Well, here’s a fun little piece:
If the internet is to be believed, I am the first person to make this jacket aside from the designer. (Though obviously plenty of people sew & don’t blog about it.) I discovered Oki Style Patterns through the Monthly Stitch. Oki Style was one of the sponsors of Indie Pattern Month. Her designs are really interesting. There’s such a glut of basic boxy tees, simple rectangle dresses, gathered skirts, etc in the indie pattern world. I do enjoy sewing basics, because I like sewing things I will actually wear, & I’m not going to wear a frothy party dress to walk my kid to preschool. Oki Style is a breath of fresh air in that respect. The Salt jacket is the only one I’ve tried so far, but the entire pattern line is full of unusual silhouettes & seamlines that seem like they’d be fun to sew (maybe even if they turn into unwearable disasters, haha).
The Salt jacket is an “experimental” piece with curved sleeves & an unusually draped back. I chose a weird fabric for it, a really stretchy, medium-weight faux leather. As a result, the back of my jacket doesn’t necessarily “drape” like maybe it is supposed to.
But you know what? That’s okay. It’s such a bizarre piece, who’s to say how it’s “supposed” to look? The back is cut in two pieces & the seamline bringing them together is a big curve. It creates kind of a Hunchback of Notre Dame effect. I mean, this is definitely one of those “love it or loathe it” pieces, & I truly didn’t know which camp I would be in until I tried it.
I’m not sure Oki Style offers paper patterns, & the PDFs are pretty rough. I think Oki is in the process of reconfiguring them to work better with American paper options. (She is from Mongolia & now lives in Germany, so the PDFs are sized for European paper sizes, which are just a little different than what Americans have. Just one of those things I know from zine-making that proved helpful when I got into sewing.)
The worst thing about the PDFs is that there are no notations to help you figure out how the papers get taped together. There’s no layout map or anything. It was literally like putting together a jigsaw puzzle, complicated by the fact that these “experimental” pattern pieces are not shaped like your average pattern pieces. There are only six pieces for this jacket, & this wasn’t my first PDF pattern rodeo, so I figured it out without too much teeth-gnashing & hair-pulling, but it was quite tricky. Maybe the next Sewing & Stitching Expo should feature a live-action challenge in which a group of sewers are given an Oki Style PDF & whoever puts it together the fastest wins some fabulous prize.
Due to the fabric I chose, I had to think about the construction order & go off-script a bit. (& by the way, this is probably not a pattern for a beginner. The instructions are mighty sparse, since English is not Oki’s first language, the English translation is pretty rocky. You can figure it out if you have some sewing experience, but if you still need a lot of hand-holding while constructing garments, this pattern may defeat you.) The entire edge of the jacket is finished with a facing. You are supposed to sew it on, right sides together, & then flip it to the inside & topstitch along the interior edge of the facing. I suppose I could have done that, but I had no way to hold the facing in place while I sewed, & I worried about puckers & not catching the edge. I mean, topstitching a facing in place from the exterior of the garment is always tricky, but when you can’t even use pins (because they would make permanent holes in the faux leather, & the facing was too wide for Wonder Clips to work)…
I wound up sewing the facing along the edge as instructed, right sides together. Then I understitched (though the front of the jacket terminates in sharp corners that I just could not access with understitching). That helped my facing turn under nicely, which was important, because my faux leather could not be pressed. I then edgestitched around the edge of the jacket, & I used double-sided fusible tape to hold down the edges of the facing.
I also topstitched all my seams, again because my faux leather couldn’t be pressed. I used the same voile from which I made my Anderson blouse, since the garments were constructed as part of an outfit, & I thought it would be fun to use the same fabric. The facing shows when the jacket is worn, so this crazy fabric is perhaps a limiting choice, but we’ll see. I wear a lot of all-black outfits, & I think the facing will look great with them.
Which brings us to the big question: is this jacket actually wearable? I styled it with three outfits to see if it fits in with what I have already made for myself.
Jeans & a casual button-down? Sure thing! (Especially if you ignore the wonkus collar situation I have going.)
Black tee & a gathered skirt? Looks great!
& this might be my favorite combo. I feel like the jacket really elevates this simple knit dress.
My only complaint is that the fit around the shoulders is super-weird. I did widen the sleeve because the largest size was exactly equal to the circumference of my arm with zero ease. In a perfect world, I would widen it a bit more, add a little extra depth to the armscye, & taper the sleeve to a narrower silhouette at the wrist. I didn’t muslin this jacket because I was making it for the Indie Pattern Month bundle challenge & was working on a deadline. It’s wearable as it is, but it definitely fits better over short sleeves, which means it will be a transitional jacket–an extra layer on t-shirt days. Oh, also worth mentioning: the pattern does call for buttons, but because the front is two big circles, the buttons would join them together with all kinds of wrinkling & bunching. Again, this is an intentional design feature, but one I did not love. I liked how the jacket looks without closures, & since I will only be wearing it as a bonus layer on cool-ish days, & not as an actually barrier against cold weather, I figured I could skip the buttons. I didn’t relish the thought of trying to put buttonholes into this fabric anyway.