Monday, March 26, 2012

playground jacket

The Sunday Brunch Jacket was always my favorite Oliver + S pattern. When Liesl announced it was going out of print, I think I had just found out the baby would be a girl and so I quickly bought up both sizes. It’s hard to believe this is the first time I’m actually making it.

The genius of this pattern – as in many Oliver and S patterns – is that it combines real practicality with great looks. The sweet mandarin collar is comfortable. Most children’s coats have collars that are nearly impossible to close properly under small chins and are therefore in the way.  This one adds a little warmth without getting in the way.
 The swing style of the coat allows great ease of movement, which is so important for little ones. I love the gathers! 
 In fact, it's so easy to move around in that Kitty soon decided sitting on the step modeling was much less interesting than climbing.
And running away.

The cuteness of the pattern is undeniable. Browsing Flickr, you can see that it looks good in cord, velveteen, wool, novelty prints, suiting fabrics and even fleece.
Bound seams are the suggested finish and a beautiful option, but I chose to bind only some of the seams. I wanted to use a printed cotton lawn – the same one I used as an accent on her pink Playdate dress – and I found in the past that the inside looks a little too busy for my taste when every single seam is bound in something colorful. Also, if I’m honest, the bound seams are quite time consuming and I just didn’t want to.  

So, I finished the shoulder, arm and sides with flat felled seams, which are really well suited to the cotton twill fabric I chose for this. Flat felled seams also helped reduce bulk in this thicker fabric where they joined other seams. I actually did them inside out so they’d be a little more subtle. Flat felled seams are a lovely and comfortable finish and might be my favorite.

I bound the edge of the facing, the ruffled seams and the armscyes with the very lightweight cotton lawn, the same one I used for the piping and facings of the pink playdate dress. I'm pleased with the more balanced pop of color on the inside.

 There was one hiccup with the construction. My automatic buttonhole was defeated by the bound seams were too close to the buttonhole location. With a completely finished jacket, the half done button holes were very upsetting! After unpicking all the knots left by the frustrated automatice process, I finished them manually with the machine’s zig zag stitch. They don’t look very nice and they’re not holding up well. Fortunately, when it’s buttoned, the buttonholes aren’t visible. Next time, I might try a hand stitched buttonhole. I saw that technique in an English sewing book and have been curious to try it. Or, I might use snaps instead and have buttons just for show. It’s a bit much to button all four of those under her chin.
Kitty has actually been wearing it for a while now and I’m telling you I get a compliment every single time.  I plan to make this one over and over again.


  1. Gorgeous! I made this a few years ago for my (then) little one, and had similar problems with the buttonholes- I ended up using snaps with the buttons sewn on the outside. Sometimes buttonholes and I have serious issues!

  2. just beautiful, and it's adorable on her! what's the gray fabric, a twill? i want to make this again!!

  3. That's a good idea, bec, I will probably do the same next time around.

    Thanks, Gail! It is just a cotton twill from Joann, but I've already washed it once or twice and it still comes out nicely.

  4. This is just beautiful, I love it! I might have to get my pattern out for this winter.

  5. It's a beautiful jacket! I like how you used flat felled seams for the shoulder and side seams. I might have to borrow that idea.:)

  6. Thanks, Claireabell and Cindy! Please borrow that idea. The flat felled seams worked very well for this and were a little less work than binding.

  7. Melanie HELP!

    I know the chances of you seeing this comment in time are slim since you posted this in March, but I'm going to give it a try anyway :)

    I'm making this jacket for the first time and I stumbled across your post. Did you use flat felled seams for the arms? If so, how did you manage to sew down the length of the sleeve without catching the other side?

    You did such a beautiful job!!!

    - Kim

  8. Thanks, Kim. I did finish the arms with flat felled seams too. I think I just very carefully worked a little at a time. You know, stitch a little, scrunch the fabric, stitch some more. Sometimes I work from one end of the tube to the middle and then start at the other end. HTH!