After several hours in front of the sewing machine, I am happy to report… my new Cascade Fleece Jacket is complete… and I have to say, I’m surprised at how warm it is! I am going to assume that it is due to the fact that the bonded fleece is a bit more wind resistant (the cold doesn’t permeate through all the fibers as much), because it certainly is a bit thicker to sew. But enough on the fabric, let’s dish on the new pattern!
The Good: I like the overall design of the jacket. It not only gives you the option of adding some contrasting elements to your coat (collar, zipper shield, sides, etc.), but it also has a cool zipper shield (something you don’t see on a lot of casual style jackets) and zippered pockets (I had so much bulk in that area, I opted to skip the zippers). The directions are easy to follow and has lots of photographs to guide you through each step, making it a good pattern for an advanced beginner who is willing to tackle some new techniques.
The Bad: I honestly don’t have a lot of bad things to say about this pattern, more like a few complaints. First off is the fit: According to my bust measurements, I fall within the Medium range of the jacket, but the fit was very loose on me. I wound up taking in another 1/2″ on each side and in the sleeve. While it looks better on, I am pretty sure that I could have gone down a size and gotten more of the look I was after. My second complaint is the bulk. I am fairly certain this is largely due to my material choice, but no mater what the thickness of your material is, you’ll still have issues with the pocketzipper area. If I make this jacket again with pockets, I may have to re-think how I sew this area to make it less bulky. Speaking of the pockets, I really don’t care how they are stitched down to the jacket – you are left to ‘make your own arc’…. this means that you’re leaving a lot of room for each jacket side to look radically different from each other (which would drive me nuts in the end!). I wound up laying the pocket template over the jacket (sliding it down 1/2″ for a seam allowance) so that I would have some consistency.
The Bottom Line: If you’re ready to sew up a casual jacket or work out gear this could be a good option for you…. just be sure to make a muslin to check the finished fit before you use your good fabric (and watch out for that bulk!)!