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March 04, 2021
We are thrilled to have Emily of All My Spare Time on the blog today sharing an incredible make and blog post.
I'm very excited to share my new jacket using Raspberry Creek's Charcoal Grey Chambray. I have a genuine obsession with this fabric. So much so that I always keep it on-hand because every woven pattern I come across, I contemplate what it would look like in chambray first. This jacket almost didn't happen though, due to my fear of biting off more than I could chew. I was very intimidated but I’m glad I stepped out of my comfort zone to give it a try.
When it came time for me to choose the fabric for this post, I had a long list of all the gorgeous new spring prints. But, as always, my eyes kept wandering back to the chambrays and I just couldn't resist. This fabric is 100% cotton, making it perfectly breathable and comfortable to wear. Raspberry Creek's chambray, in particular, feels fairly lightweight until you sew it up and then it takes on this great structure. It is sturdy enough for a bottom weight yet lightweight enough to wear on top. Sewing with it is fantastic! Even over bulky seams, my needles run right through it. It even holds a press well enough to skip pins for hemming. The raw edges stay crisp and hardly frayed at all throughout the entire process, even with all my shifting and moving it around. It also comes in a beautiful rainbow of colors. Have I convinced you yet?
When this arrived, I started questioning my original plan of making a woven jumpsuit because I really wanted something that packed a punch. I had just come off sewing a bunch of knits and wanted to dive into a more challenging project. I took to Pinterest for some inspiration. Of course I loved everything under my "women's chambray" search, but a couple lightweight jackets really sealed the deal.
Enter the Kelly Anorak by Closet Core Patterns. This had been on my wishlist for a very long time but I've always been intimidated by how extensive the whole thing seemed. On the other hand, I really needed this jacket in chambray and what better time than when I have a quick deadline and only 2 yards on hand? Why am I like this?!
I knew that trying this pattern out for the first time (without a muslin) would be a risk, but if it worked out, it would be well-worth it. I didn't want to line it and I wasn't necessarily interested in making it for warmth or weather protection, so I was able to jump right in. I found some heavy duty snaps and the very last zipper left at my local big-box store. It had to be kismet. The pattern has tons of pieces and with every cut, I felt the doubt creeping up. But once I started to sew and take it one step at a time, I settled in and thoroughly enjoyed the process.
Since I didn't have any room for mistakes, I made sure to label all my pieces well, I double-checked all the steps and even followed the detailed tutorials on the Closet Core Blog. This actually turned out to be the easiest zipper I've ever sewn, even with all the layers. My only mistake was that I made 2 left pockets. It happened to be an easy fix, though, since there wasn't really a wrong or right side to my fabric.
It seems odd to call this a jacket since it's so lightweight. It almost feels more like a cardigan of sorts, or an extra layer to top-off an outfit or throw over a t-shirt on the way out the door. I love the giant gusseted pockets, the dropped curve hem, and the tall front collar. I used some Riley Blake scraps to finish all my inside seams making it pretty even when left unzipped.
Yes, this took some extra focus, a couple late nights and more than a few curse words but I am in love! I challenge you to jump into an intimidating project this year. Try something you've been putting off because of the work it may take. Bring along your favorite fabric to hold your hand and take it one step at a time together. Who knows, you may come out of it with a new favorite garment.
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