I’ve been intrigued by the moto jacket. It’s one of those garments I’ve heard fans of the capsule wardrobe call an “essential.” It pops up on Pinterest over skirts and jeans alike, and every time I see it I think that the woman wearing it looks fantastic, but I’d never even tried one on myself.
I started thinking it might be the type of piece that I never knew I missed until I had one of my own.
And then, Liesl released her Spring line of Lisette patterns in partnership with Butterick. I was immediately drawn to the B6169 Moto Jacket and knew that if the timing worked out, I’d love it to be my next project as a Britex guest blogger.
The timing totally worked out!
Though choosing fabric online is always tough, I am thrilled with the Midweight Cozy Brushed Navy & Smoke Cotton that I picked for this jacket. It is a hard fabric to describe – it has enough heft to it to make a nicely structured jacket, but isn’t overly heavy when sewn (or worn). It retains its shape, but stretches enough to accommodate the many princess seams that needed to be sewn on this pattern. The navy blue color feels neutral, but the gray pinstripes add interest. It’s soft to the touch, but not dainty.
It’s just perfect.
Britex also sent me a high quality metal zipper and beautiful nude pink Bemberg rayon lining to complete the jacket. I’d heard of but never sewn Bemberg rayon before. It was a bit tricky and slippery to sew, but feels soooo nice to wear!
I used my high bust measurement instead of bust to determine my size, at the advice of Liesl (the pattern’s size chart was landing me between a 14 and a 16 and I was worried it would have too much ease – so much sizing anxiety!). I ended up sewing a 12. The fit seems pretty spot on, though I generally feel like I need to add a little length to most tops I sew. So while this jacket feels a touch short to me, I think it hits exactly where it’s supposed to – it’s just not a style I’m used to wearing yet.
I deviated from the pattern and instructions in a couple places. First, the pattern calls for small shoulder pads, which I bought, but when I tried to place them I didn’t think they added to the silhouette, so I skipped them. I think the structure of the fabric and the broadness of my shoulders made them unnecessary.
The instructions also called for hand sewing the lining sleeves at both the hem and the shoulder, but I followed this tutorial on bagging a jacket lining by Jen of Grainline which results in minimal-to-no hand sewing (your choice). I always love the magic trick of machine sewing the lining to the sleeves and pulling it all through a sneaky gap to reveal a nearly complete jacket!
The zipper Britex sent was 20” long and the pattern called for an 18” zipper, so I pulled the extra teeth off with a pair of pliers – Threads Magazine has a nice resource on shortening zippers if needed. I pressed my seams using either my tailor’s ham or sleeve roll, indispensable tools with the many curved seams on this jacket.
I’m pretty much in love with my new moto jacket. It’s the first outerwear I’ve sewn for myself, and I’m so excited to have it in my closet! I learned a lot in the process, too. I haven’t sewn many Big 4 patterns and the sizing, markings, and seam allowances (5/8”!) still feel unfamiliar to me, but knowing Liesl was behind the pattern made gave me confidence to take that leap and know it’d pay off.
There’s a lot less hand-holding in Big 4 than indie patterns (no explicit instructions on how and when to trim/grade seam allowances, for instance) and it was a little scary, but I felt like a real grown up conquering this thing. Like maybe I’ve graduated to the next level of sewing for myself? Like maybe since the pattern assumed I already knew a bit about sewing, I guess I must? It’s hard to explain, but kind of exciting too!
All cotton at Britex is currently 20% off, so if you want to get your hands on some of this awesome fabric, now’s the time! Thank you Britex for providing the Navy & Smoke Brushed Cotton and Nude Pink Bemberg Rayon for this project, and to Liesl and Butterick for the moto jacket pattern!
Special thanks also to my husband photographer!
Linking up to Selfish Sewing Week HERE!