Kind of a long post here, so just skip ahead of you wanna see the final thing. I love varsity jackets - here's my version. You can see the inspiration HERE. Some quick drawings below. Traditional varsity jackets have snaps down the front but I really wanted to avoid using any metal trims for this jacket since I'm always so metal hardware-happy...love my zippers and buckles. I got some awesome leather buttons at the Pendelton mill in Oregon and I wanted to incorporate them for this style.
It's a very simple cut but there still ends up being a lot of pattern pieces.I sewed a canvas mock-up to make sure it fit right.
I wanted to try something different - I had my heart set on leather button holes. I hate reading directions and following patterns which is really dumb of me, but I usually just mess around with something until I figure it out on my own. You learn a lot from trial and error. These button holes were a REAL BITCH. Still not 100% happy with the final outcome but I guess they look okay if you don't know anything about sewing, so don't look too close. Here's some practice versions.Self-portrait, with scissors. Those are my great, great grandmother's dressmaker's shears. Sewing it all up. I really wanted to use an old army blanket for the body but couldn't find one that was the right weight, so I bought some wool yardage. Everything else is black leather (sleeves, pockets, neck and waist ribbing, buttons, button holes).Mr. McFiddles, always underfoot even though there's no food here.Making neck ribbing using leather and elastic. Totally not sure how this was going to turn out (ribbing is usually knit) but I crossed my fingers. I like it - but next time I'd increase the gathering ratio a little bit.
About to sew the neck ribbing on. I use binder clips to hold my leather pieces together because pins bend and leave holes on the leather surface.I really wanted to do a quilted lining...but not just boring old grid quilting. I made a zig-zag template on paper and pinned it to the batting and lining, following it as a guide while I sewed the layers together. The batting is very thin wool, so it's not bulky but still keeps you warm.Finished jacket. But I still gotta put a button hole at the very bottom!See the zig zag lining? I'm very happy how it turned out. Grids are for squares!Leather covered shank buttons, how I love you. I bet they've been making this same kind of button for 200 years. Guaranteed your grandpa has at least one jacket with those buttons on it.Fits like a glove, I'm going to wear it all the time.