Now that the days are starting to become a little chillier, I was facing a bit of a problem whenever I leave the house.
Boy 4 has outgrown his cute little fleece jacket that he wore last autumn, but it is not yet cold enough for his big coat.
I had a pattern for a little jacket, but it had a zip when I actually wanted a jacket with buttons so that he could do it up himself.
I also had some fleece fabric that I had bought last year.
(I also wanted to give it raglan sleeves, but unfortunately I only remembered after I had cut it out!)
Making the Alteration
This is the pattern I used (affiliate link)
It was not actually that difficult to change the jacket from a zip fastening to buttons.
The issue was that buttons would require the front sections to overlap, whereas a zip fastening does not.
A seam allowance would already have been included for the zip, so I didn’t need to worry about that.
The sewing instructions that come with commercial patterns can be confusing so I just went about it in the way that I thought best!
So here is how to sew the little jacket together once you have made your alterations to the pattern, along with some (hopefully) useful tips!
Sewing With Fleece
Fleece can be a nightmare to work with. It is both thick and stretchy. My old sewing machine did not like it at all!
With it being so thick, you might need to use a different needle.
When you start sewing the seams, line the edge up with the lines on the foot plate, then start sewing. What will happen is the edge will end up lined up with a different line as the bulk of the fabric causes the edge to be in a different place when it is being sewn.
As with any stretchy fabric, try to avoid pulling on it while sewing. If it is a total nightmare, then either use a stitch for knits (if your sewing machine has one) or zigzags.
Sewing the Shoulder Seams
Making the hood was actually not complicated! Yet again I thought something would be difficult that actually turned out to be easy!
The hood is made from two pieces, with darts in the middle of each piece.
Something that was a little bit of an issue here was where the hood met the front of the jacket. On the original pattern, the front of the hood lined up with the front of the jacket. However, because I added an extra 5 cm to allow for buttons instead of a zip, there was jacket left over!
So when I trimmed the hood seam, I just made sure that I left the bits on the front of the jacket.
Sleeves are one of those things where you can either do them the proper way or the easy way!
The Proper Way
This involves sewing up the side seams so that you are left with the armhole. Then sew a few long stitches along the top edge of the sleeve. Sew together the long edges of the sleeve. You will have a sleeve and an armhole. Pin the sleeve to the armhole. Use the stitches you made along the top to “ease” the sleeve into the armhole.
I have no pictures for this, because I opted for the easy way!
The Easy Way
Don’t sew up the side seams just yet! Pin the sleeve to the open arm hole and sew. Pin the side seam and the sleeve seam, ensuring that the seams match at the armpit. Sew from the bottom of the jacket to the wrist of the sleeve. If you want to be sure of the seams matching, you could start at the armpit and sew the jacket sides, then return to the armpit and sew the sleeve seam.
To make a lining, all you do is make a second jacket! I used micro fleece so that it would still be warm but not as bulky as ordinary fleece.
Trim the seams, the turn it out.
You can find a detailed tutorial for making button holes here.
Sew on the buttons. Trim the threads and you’re all set!
So if you want to make something and you have fabric and you have a pattern, but the pattern isn’t quite right, it is quite possible to adapt the pattern pieces to make it how you want it.
And if the instructions are confusing, if you know what you are doing (or if you know a friendly blogger who usually knows what she’s doing!), just go about it in the way that you find suits you best!
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