Zip Front Fleece Jacket

Apparently I can't just stick to the pattern. I have to modify things!

I liked this zip front jacket pattern (McCall's M7293), but needed to make a couple modifications to suit my needs.

First, it needed to be warmer. I live in Wisconsin and winter is cold. So, I decided to add some batting to this to insulate it a bit.

Second, I don't love layering fleece because it "sticks" to cotton, which is usually what I wear underneath. So, it needed a lining to make it smooth to take on and off. And, since I was going to insulate it, it had to have a liner.

This project consisted of multiple epic fails and restarts. Here's what I learned along the way:

Batting

I basted the batting to the outer body pieces. I decided not to insulate the sleeves because it would add too much bulk. I made sure to trim the batting back right to the line of basting stitches to reduce bulk in the seams as much as possible. Worked fine.

Lining

For my first attempt at the lining, I used a nylon ripstop. Bad choice because it has no stretch and this jacket style is a little fitted. I had sewn together the sleeves with this and put a sleeve on my arm to test it out and when I bent my elbow it was really tight and uncomfortable. So, I opted to use a spandex knit with a 4-way stretch instead and that one was a winner.

Because the lining was a bit of an afterthought, I just used my main fabric pieces as templates to cut the lining pieces. This was particularly important for the front pieces because the actual pattern has a yoke for the contrast fabric, so I just used the assembled front pieces as patterns since the liner didn't need that extra yoke detail.

 From there, I assembled the lining just like the jacket (body and sleeves only) and set it aside. And, after attaching the first sleeve to the lining, I realized that I had put it in with the wrong side, so now I have one sleeve with the exposed seams. Picking out serged stitches is a pain in the ass, so I left it alone. If I had been making this for someone else, I would have redone it, but it's for me and it's not going to bother me.

I thought a lot about how I was going to attach the lining to the main jacket and ultimately decided that I was going to have to live with some exposed seams. I assembled the outer according to the pattern instructions (back/front/sleeves/collar) and then began adding the lining. To do this, I inserted the lining into the jacket and started with attaching the lining at the collar by serging it.

Then, I hemmed the outer and to reduce bulk at the hem, I turned up the hem, cut the batting and the liner so that they sat inside the hem fold, and then used my twin needle to close the hem.

Next up was the zipper, which I attached according to the instructions to all layers, making sure to cut back the batting as much as possible to reduce bulk.

Lastly, the sleeve cuffs. Because I wanted thumbholes in this bad boy, I modified the sleeve cuffs to put in the thumbholes, and then attached the cuff to the lining and body with the serger.

The front hem is slightly uneven. Oh well! Not bad for a first attempt at this!