We, on the West Coast, have come out of an unseasonably cold winter spell where multi layers and down jackets were wardrobe necessities. Now, however, we are back to our regular winter weather with some beautiful sunny days. Some people are actually bringing out the t-shirts and shorts! While I have packed away my down jacket, I am still needing some kind of outer layer especially on my early morning walks with the dog. A trend garment that fits that label is a shacket.
What is a shacket you may ask? A shacket is basically an oversized shirt but made from a heavier fabric. Like a jacket but in the style of a shirt. It is a great in-between weather option when it is too warm for a coat but still too cool for just a shirt.
There are many sewing patterns offering this trend wardrobe item. I chose this (easy) Burda pattern as it was readily accessible since we carry Burda patterns in the store and I liked those great big pockets. (Did you know, these paper patterns are not the same as the Burda magazine patterns?)
I chose this dark green melton wool as I was inspired by the Victoria clothing company, Anian, who locally manufactures most of their clothing line out of melton wool. Like View B from the pattern envelope, I also used some heavy wale corduroy in black for the collar. I used a fusible weft interfacing for the facings and collar. I liked the weft interfacing as it does not produce such a stiff result. For the hardware (snaps), I decided to go with the antique copper snaps from Snap Source. Based on my 100cm/40″ bust measurement, I picked size 18 (European size 44).
I machine washed both pieces of fabric since I wanted to make sure I could wash this garment. As most dog owners can attest, your clothes get dirty! The melton fulled/felted a bit more but did not shrink dramatically. One bonus for melton, even without the extra felting, is that it is a fabric that doesn’t fray so no need to finish the cut edges!
You can’t really tell from the models on the pattern envelope but you can see from the tiny line drawings that the garment has some extra piecing. There is a seam line between the upper bodice and the lower bodice. The sleeves are also divided so there is a seam at the elbow. While the instructions don’t mention anything about embellishing those seam lines, it seemed a shame to not highlight those design lines with top stitching.
On a scrap piece of melton, I tried different colours and number of threads for top stitching. First I tried a single thread of copper coloured Mettler thread (#0975) to match the antique copper snaps but I felt the single thread didn’t have enough “presence”. I then tried double threading my machine with the copper thread but I felt it was too copper. Lastly, I tried double threading my machine but with one spool of black thread and the other with copper thread. That seemed to work “just right”! The black toned down the copper.
The instructions seemed detailed and clear. (I will admit I am not much of an instruction reader. After 20 odd years of sewing, I figure I know the basics of construction …. sometimes to my detriment!) I liked their collar construction method. After stitching the collar pieces together and turning it right side out, the instructions recommended you hand roll the collar and baste before attaching to the neckline. Though incremental, the top collar will need to be slightly wider than the bottom collar because of that roll. While I was taught that in design school, I have never seen that as part of the instructions for jacket construction in any previous patterns.
The snaps were easy to put together. This company has a handy tool that sets the snap in position before hammering together. When the instructions recommend using a hard surface for hammering, they do mean a hard surface. I tried to work on top of my padded pressing board and there was too much give. (My pressing board is a piece of plywood covered with some thick wool fabric then covered with some muslin. While it is not plush, there is a little bit of flex when you press down. Apparently that was enough for the snaps not to snap together.) Instead, my kitchen’s linoleum floor worked perfectly.
As you can see by the pictures, I am just about finished. I only hesitate because I am undecided about the pocket flaps. I cannot decide if I want the pocket flaps. They seem really stiff. I also think I could have made a smaller size – maybe even 2 sizes smaller!
I’d be interested to hear what you think! It is on display at the store if you want to have a look at the garment.
Penny, that’s outstanding! I used to use Burda all the time but have drifted away to all indie patterns. Now that you carry Burda I will have a deep dive into the book!
The ‘shacket’ is fabulous, my favourite colour (other than black) looks great on you. It doesn’t look huge, in fact just comfortable…and winter isn’t finished yet…
As for the flaps? I’m usually not a fan but in this case I think it completes the casual look; sporty and … je ne sais quoi? Good idea on the top stitching, too.
Interesting that the melton didn’t shrink… All in all a definite thumbs up!! 👍
Thanks for the thumbs up!
I think the flap finishes the garment and ties it together. No flap looks messy to me. I agree the pocket could be smaller but it is what it is for now.
All in all it’s a nice all round garment. I’m sure you’ll get a lot of use out of it.
See you soon!
I still have some scraps from which I could make smaller pockets. I’ll have to give that some thought. Thanks!
Love your jacket! The topstitching examples are great and the corduroy collar, so classic. I prefer the pocket with the flap. Great post!
Thanks for your feedback. So far, flaps are winning!
I am not a “flap” person, probably because I am on the small size, but here I think they look good. I would make them smaller and without the snap detail. I love my Anian jacket, so I won’t be making another. But thinking of another “shacked” project I could make.
Another vote for the flap! I think I’ll try to make the flaps again but without the interfacing.
I’m in favour of flaps just so you’re not constantly snagging those pockets on things. The opening is big so it could gape away from the shirt once the cloth relaxes somewhat, and the flap would keep it contained. What’s the construction for the flaps? Maybe you can do without one of the layers so it’s not so stiff.
The instructions suggested interfacing both layers of the flap which I did. I did use the softer interfacing but I think both layers of interfacing was too much. I’m thinking of making the flaps again but without interfacing. Fingers crossed!
Good jacket, Penny! I like the flaps, but the uninterfaced version seems worth a try too. And thanks for reminding me about rolled collars and double threading — yours worked beautifully.
I had forgotten the rolled collar treatment from school so these instructions were a good reminder.
I also like the flaps – I think they give a finished look to the garment. Perhaps if you omit the interfacing, they won’t be quite so stiff.
I like that you mixed the thread colors – I too have found that you get a softer look when you do that. Samples are great, but we don’t often take the time to do them. Great Job!!
Great suggestion re omitting the interfacing. Thanks!
A very versatile pattern for a few different seasons, depending on layering options and the pockets and flaps will be needed when you walk the puppy often!
It’s a wonderful green colour for a coat too!
Yes. I’m considering making it in a heavy corduroy too.
Penny, your shacket is fabulous ‘in the flesh’! Definitely keep the flaps, as they balance the contrast at the neck. I was intrigued to see how the black and copper threads play together to accentuate the antique copper snaps. What a winner of a project!
I also like the “finished” look of the flaps.
Good looking shacket Penny. I would definitely keep the flaps as I think it finishes the coat and and protects the pocket contents from weather or inquisitive dog noses. As to the flap thickness, perhaps just one layer of interfacing and use something lighter (featherweight black cord or flannel ) as the flap lining? Your idea for using two colours of thread for topstitching is just brilliant!
Yes, I’m thinking I’ll try no interfacing on the flaps. Thanks for the suggestion.