School days jacket

school days jacket- side

I obsessed over the Oliver + S school days jacket for a very long time.  I searched for wool, scoured Flickr, read the forums, and studied many other fabulous versions of this coat. Finally, with E quickly growing out of size 3 clothing (the biggest size of the pattern range I own) and spring just around the corner in these parts, I went to the store determined to buy something and get sewing.  I finally found an indigo-colored stretch denim that seemed workable.  It was considerably cheaper than wool and so I figured that this would be my learning coat.  It’s not particularly cold around here anyway, and E is one of those kids who is always too hot.

school days jacket

I used two different fabrics for the lining: Dear Stella Piper sprinkles for the sleeves and hood (if you don’t care about directionality you can squeeze the 3T out of 1/2 yard) and Dear Stella Piper stripe for the other lining pieces and pocket lining (about a 1/2 yard, I believe).  The main coat was coat out of 1 1/3 yards of the stretch denim, considerably less than the 2 yards recommended.  I was happy to have the extra denim, but probably not so much if I’d bought that $35 a yard wool that I was considering.  If you’re in the same boat, it might be worth laying the pieces out and seeing how you can squeeze things together before buying fabric.

school days coat lining

jacket close up

I only made a few modifications.  I added a little hanging strap at the back of the neck and I ended up adding a layer of cotton batting to the interior body lining pieces.  It was easy to quilt the batting to the lining because I could quilt up the side of each stripe.  The fabrics felt a little lacking and the lining makes it a bit more cozy.  I wish I’d followed this advice from Rachel and cut the pocket lining out of the exterior fabric.  The white lining pokes through a bit from the side view. Since I was using a thinner fabric I decided to avoid the various toggle issues discussed in the forums and use buttons instead.  I had no trouble with the button holes and I like the color they add to the front.  However, E has trouble getting them buttoned and unbuttoned by herself.  I’m going to look into magnetic snaps or proper toggle closures next time.  I also added a fourth closure and it pulls a bit funny at the bottom as she moves.  A good lesson in doing things as written the first time…you can see how the bottom pulls when she moves here:

school days jacket b

Once I’d acquired the appropriate materials and cut out the various pieces this was an easy sew.   The directions, as to be expected with Oliver + S, are very clear.  Lots of steps for sure, but nothing too technical.   One of my favorite parts of the project was conversing with Christine at Beanniequilts, after discovering that she was making the same jacket for her daughter.  It as such fun to have a sewing buddy to keep motivated on a long project.

school days jacket front

This coat took a long time but I’m really proud to have made a proper, fully lined coat.  It was a huge undertaking and my first 3-scissors pattern.  Whether or not it gets much wear it was a great learning experience.  But I do think I’ll wait a while before tackling a coat for O.  I need something a bit less involved for a chance of pace.

school days jacket side:back

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15 thoughts on “School days jacket

  1. you should definitely be proud! the pink buttons are great against the denim and i love that you used two lining fabrics. it’s adorable on her and it looks like a great fit. i love that you’re a pattern obsesser/researcher, too – a girl after my own heart 🙂

    • Thank you, Gail! I really wanted to use a lovely wool like you had for Lila’s coat but when I finally decided on a color, the shop was closed for inventory. Oh well- the denim worked out too. And now, I can start obsessing about my next project 🙂 I need to tackle the jumprope dress soon. With a little guy still spending lots of time in my arms I have plenty of time for contemplation!

  2. Wow! The coat is so special, fun, and amazing. I really love the two linings and the buttons. All the fabrics and the buttons look so good together. I can’t tell you how much I love it. Again, I really enjoyed our emails back and fourth and we should do another project together again.

    • Thank you, Christine! I had originally planned to only use the stripe lining, but was worried that they’d look off kilter on the hood because I couldn’t really match the stripes. E had picked out the buttons a few months ago for a totally different project. Funny how you can obsess over something for so long and then things come up and you just go with it!

  3. Wow, for a “learning coat,” this looks fantastic! I really like the idea of the cotton batting to add a little extra warmth and body. I have this pattern as well, and it is my hope that I will make it for Maggie before she’s too old to wear it (my son HATES coats and jackets, so even though I would love to make it for him, a proper duffle coat in wool with toggles, I am very worried that I would spend hours on it and then he’d totally reject it). As much as I love the idea of making it in wool, I can see that a lighter weight jacket like this one might be more practical and get more wear in my mild climate. Anyhoo. Well done!

    • Thanks so much Inder! This is really a great pattern and I’d love to see what you make for Maggie someday! But I know what you mean about putting in all that time. I hope that E will wear the coat- she seems to like it so far! I think a corduroy or twill would also work nicely when you don’t need much warmth.

  4. Gorgeous coat, Elizabeth! A perfect pairing of outer and inner fabrics and it looks impeccably made – so impressive! O + S designs are just so lovely and if I weren’t such a Japanese patterns girl, I would sew more of them.

    • Thank you, Sanae! It is so lovely to have you stop by and I enjoy reading your blog so much. Making something lined was quite satisfying and I really appreciate the O+S patterns and the great community. I hope that by the time E has outgrown the size ranges I own I’ll have acquired enough clothes-making knowledge to successfully tackle more Japanese patterns!

  5. I love this jacket! I’ve love your fabric choices and now I can’t wait to see a boy’s version. (I used to sew 3 of these coats in the weeks before Christmas for my kids. They would love it, but I was so exhausted by the time I reach coat number 3 …).

    • Thank you, Ana Sofia! I can’t imagine making three of these in a row! It would be so satisfying and you’d be quite the coat expert by the end! But a tremendous amount of work as well.

    • Thanks so much, Carolyn! She seems to like it and it’s already got a bunch of use. It’s covered in sand and mud from preschool already, so I consider that a success! E is growing out of my smaller size range Oliver+S patterns so there may be some more sew-it-while-you-still-can projects ahead!

  6. Pingback: Catching up: sewing for E | lizzieville

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