Snow? No Worries. A Cosy Army Fatigue Jacket from a Sewing Book to the Rescue!

Hey Monthly Stitch sewists!  I completed one of my projects for November’s “Sew From a Sewing Book” challenge.   I actually have three sewing books and am making one project from all three.  Here is the first and next week, I will post the next two makes as an outfit, in my next blog post.

Army Fatigue Jacket with zip and pockets

I opted to ‘copy and paste’ the entire post from my blog this time.  And, as always, you can feel free to stop by to see it on my blog and to read or leave comments, here.

Army Fatigue Jacket Unzipped

Army Fatigue Coat Front Zipped and Open

This month’s challenge for The Monthly Stitch was to sew something from a sewing book.  I have SO many sewing books, where to start?  Actually, I began with Gertie’s New Book For Better Sewing, and am at work on a project from it as well as a review.  Next, I also have the sewing book, Twinkle Sews and began work on a project from there, in addition to a review of the book.

Army Fatigue Jacket Hands in Pockets

Sew Stylish Magazine Front and Back
Sew Stylish Magazine, Fall 2013

But then, the latest issue of Sew Stylish came out (Fall, 2013) and right on the back cover was a photo of an army fatigue jacket with the pattern and instructions included in the magazine.  So, since it is officially snowing here and I happened to be VERY cold at the time of purchase, I immediately went to work making the jacket out of a cozy wool blend, that feels soft, like a sweater blanket.

Army Fatigue Jacket Front and Back

I opted not to add the inner drawstring channel and cord, since I thought it looked crisper and more tailored without it.

Army Fatigue Jacket Front collar down

"Model Pose"....or something....Work with me

“Model Pose”….or something….Work with me

I wanted to bind all the edges in the fuchsia pink, but this type of fabric has thick woolen threads weaved into it in order to create the flecks of colour and it raveled as the long threads separated from the raw edges almost immediately.

Jacket Fabric and Separating Zipper

Sewing on the bias tape then resulted in many failed attempts as the threads pulled from the edges of the fabric, taking the bias tape with them.

Mah Bias Binding Matches Mah Mittens
Mah Bias Binding Matches Mah Mittens

But, I did manage to attach the bias binding to the edges that mattered, ie, the facing and hem, areas that you would see easily if the jacket were unzipped.  The remaining raw edges were over-locked.

Bam!  Fuchsia binding.

Bam! Fuchsia binding.

The jacket has a long two-way separating zipper, (i.e., it can unzip from the bottom and the top) and deeeeeeeep patch pockets.

Warm, cozy, deep patch pockets
Warm, cozy, deep patch pockets

Some notes on enlarging pattern pieces:  First, number both the sides and top and bottom of the grid on each pattern piece.  Next, photocopy each pattern piece separately, then trim around the outside of the piece.

Fatigue Jacket Pattern Pieces

This way, when you go to enlarge the pieces and need to tape the multiple pages together, you can easily match the corresponding numbers on the top and sides of the grid.  You can also opt to copy the pieces either bigger or smaller than the intended size.  I photocopied mine so that each square was 6/8″ instead of the intended 1″ square, in order to shrink the overall size of the pattern.

Snow.  Wheeee!!!!
Snow. Wheeee!!!!

Snow Wheeee

Are free magazine sewing patterns recommended?  It depends on what you are attempting to make.  Simple items, where little can go wrong are likely better than something with more complicated pieces.  Also, I don’t think the same amount of editing, thought and care goes into the instructions and pattern drafting for the free magazine patterns as there would be for independent or larger pattern company patterns, and therefore errors can definitely result.  For this jacket, one of the diagrams was wrong, causing me to insert the zipper backwards.  (I had to re-do the whole thing and it’s a 32″ zip!)  I also made my cape out of a free magazine pattern and found that the instructions to enlarge it were wrong.  I would recommend that you not be a complete beginner and have some sewing experience before you use one of the free magazine patterns.  That way, you can tell beforehand if/when there is an error and correct it.

Hello Kitty!  In his sweater knit by Gramma.
Hello Kitty! In his sweater knit by Gramma.

Stay tuned for Blog Post Part 2, which I will post next week, where I will have, hopefully, completed the two projects from Gertie’s and Twinkle’s sewing books.

Kitty Photobombed

Sweater-Kitty Photobombed

Happy Sewing Everybody!!

Catja from Gjeometry

18 thoughts on “Snow? No Worries. A Cosy Army Fatigue Jacket from a Sewing Book to the Rescue!

    • Thank you so much! Well, you can totally pick up the November Sew Stylish and make your own version! It would be terrific for Seattle weather in something waterproof as well. If you make one, let me know, I’d love to see it!


    • Thanks elaine! I opted to leave out the waist drawstring channel and cord, as the pics in the magazine, it didn’t really flatter the model or the style. And, I prefer it this way, I think it looks more ‘chic’ as well and more timeless.


  1. I love your photo shoots, and especially this one with snow, i’m definitely a winter / snow / Christmas person , but alas the temperatures here in the southern hemisphere are climbing .
    your coat has turned out beautifully. nice touch with the pink bias and I appreciate the patience that went into this achievement , : )
    and kitty has a gramma knit sweater ! yehyeh ! maybe santa will bring some little bootees ? : ))
    looking forward to your other makes , and many happy sewing hours to you , too .


    • Hee hee, thanks shelley! You should definitely come for a visit if you are a snow person, as although the snow has just started here, we will get A LOT more soon! I’m the opposite of you, I prefer the summer and warm, sunny temps. Thank you so much for your lovely compliments! And, ‘bootees!!!!’ Fantastic idea!! Kitty is always walking around shaking his paws when he has to walk on snow, so it would actually be really practical. And, who are we kidding, adorable too, amIrite?? I will put the bug in gramma’s ear now. 🙂


  2. So cozy & warm looking! I love the fushia – & boo hiss to unravelling fabric! Thanks for the review & thoughts on magazine patterns, I often just love that I get dozens of pattern pieces to look at (all in the aim of increasing my knowledge) & fail to actually make anything 😉
    And SNOWWW – it’s 35C here today!! Bombshell weather! 😉


    • Thank You Macinic! Yes, ‘boo hiss’ indeed! I really should have interfaced the facings, it would have helped with the ravelling as well as the stretching that occurred when installing and unpicking the zipper. I have made a few things from sewing magazines, so far, but certainly not all I could make. Right now, I have them in a box, separated by title and I have sticky flags that I labeled of the things that I want to try to sew. Hey, at least it’s all organized! And, 35degrees!!!! I’m so jealous. I miss 35 degrees already!!


    • Thanks! I loved the fabric too, since it has that non nonsense herringbone grey sophistication, but the pink, white and yellow coloured flecks in it keep it fun! (And, it was on sale–booyah!)


    • Thank you Turina! It is warm although not overly so, since I did not line it. I prefer clothes that multitask and I wanted to be able to wear this in spring and fall as well.


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