Friday, November 4, 2011

Blaze Orange, Part 3

Piece 3 of the blaze orange-a-thon is the coat, by far the most time-consuming, but then also the most satisfying to have completed.

The full suit is a little frightening, but I think now my husband will be highly visible to everyone but deer.
The sun glinting off this fabric makes it seem very neon orange, which it isn't. We took this photo this morning in the frosty air, and hubby was able to confirm his new suit is very warm. When/if it warms up in midday, the lining of the pants can be removed, and he can take off the coat and wear his purchased sweatshirt or blaze orange tee.

At the outset, making this coat seemed a little daunting because of the multitude of details, but I have to say, Jalie's instructions and illustrations are really excellent. I followed them (mostly!) step by step and had great results.

I saved myself a lot of stitching and topstitching time by connecting the pattern pieces for the sleeves and front and back which are supposed to be color blocked and pieced.

My husband, the visionary, couldn't help but improve on the pattern concept a little: cargo pockets. I actually think Jalie 2008 is amazingly well-detailed and professional looking with the exception that there ARE no pockets on the lower half of the coat, where you would normally put your hands. So it made sense to add some cargo pockets. If I had had more time, side seam pockets would have been nice, too, since cargo pockets are better for storage than for hands.

The pattern calls for zippered welt pockets covered by a flap. The flap is supposed to start at the bottom of the bodice yoke, but since I eliminated that, the flap starts in mid-air.

Welt pocket in the beginning stages.
Jalie's instructions for the zippered welt pockets are the best I've seen. They include a pattern for the welt strips with seam allowance included, so you are guaranteed they'll be the right width. "Fold in half and stitch a guide line down the middle" is fairly precise. The instructions included a lot of "guideline stitching" which I found to be really helpful.

Zippered welt pocket hidden under the flap. A loop of cord is attached to the zipper pull.

Cuff. One side is elasticated. The velcro flap allows for a custom wrist fit.

Adjustable shock cord in the hem.

Adjustable shock cord in a casing at the waist. The cord is strung through a casing in the shell, pulled through button holes, and pulled through button holes in the lining to the inside.

Inside out. I used quilted supplex for the bodice only. A heavier weight fleece seemed better for the sleeves, hood lining, and bottom since the supplex was a little stiff and not very cozy.

Hood peak.

Hood closure: velcro and adjustable elastic cord.


Back view.

I'm extremely pleased with how the coat turned out and I felt the instructions and pattern were top-notch. And my husband is very happy with his new coat.

Parka pattern: Jalie 2008.
Orange camo microfleece (?): $5/yd from S.R. Harris.
Quilted supplex: $6/yd from S.R. Harris.
Grey fleece: $1.29/yd from remnant table at Mill End.
Cord stops: $5 for 4 from Hancock Fabrics. (Plus 1 random one from stash).
Long zip: $3 from Seattle Fabrics.
Pocket zippers and velcro: stash.
Snaps: included in my snap pliers kit.

Total cost: about $35, not including the pattern.


  1. Wow! That looks so professional! I don't think I'd ever manage to sew so ... neatly!

  2. I'm gobsmacked! It looks amazing! You undid an awesome job on that. I can imagine his friends seeing it and begging you to make them some too.

  3. *applause* Hat's off to you, Joy! You did a fabulous job on it and for $35 in materials, it's certainly a savings.

  4. What a labor of love! Well done! Your work is top-notch; I'd spend a year on something like this.

  5. Oh my goodness. Not sure what to say but it looks like an amazing amount of work and it looks fab.

  6. Your work is impeccable.Your lining choices are very clever and look nice and warm.
    I have made this pattern, and liked it too. I found it rather a lot of work! Lucky husband.

  7. My, are very clever! I am so impressed!
    The top photo is very scary btw!

  8. Wow! That's fantastic. Looks realy smart, and you have made it for an astonishing good price. Am VERY impressed.

  9. The work you've put into this is truly admirable. It must be so satisfying to have to have worked on all those details. I can't believe it only came to $35. Well done! What's with the mask?

  10. Bernice - the mask is for warmth (: (It's actually a hat).

  11. Holy Cow, your hubby is actually brighter than I. This is truly impressive! My husband keeps musing about the perfect winter biking coat. Hmmm. Maybe it's time to start designing.

  12. Wow. That's a magnificent piece of sewing- your work is so clean and tidy... The first picture was a little scary until I remembered you're working on hunting gear. ;)

  13. Fantastic coat Joy, I have to add that pattern to my want list now.

  14. That looks like an amazing effort. You will have to do another in plain fabrics so that we can see all those details, especially the zippered welt!

  15. That is just amazing joy! How clever you are. You're husband must be thrilled.

  16. The word "impressive" has been used already, but it's the one that came to my mind too. That is a ton of work! Really professional looking.

  17. Like everyone else has said WOW it is so impressive, not to mention unmissable ha ha. I am really tempted to get this pattern now to make something for my bike. You didn't mention how long it took you to make - looks labour intensive was it?

  18. Hi pdiddly, I wish I had kept track of how much time I put into this (or maybe not!). It took me almost a week, some time in the evenings and a good Saturday, so I would estimate I traced, cut, sewed, put on snaps, etc. for 12-14 hours. That doesn't include shopping for fabric and notions.


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