Army Fatigue Jacket Made Cozy, Cozy, Cozy.

Army Fatigue Jacket Unzipped

Army Fatigue Coat Front Zipped and OpenThis 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 BackI 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 ZipperSewing 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 bias 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 PiecesThis 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 WheeeeAre 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.

Army Fatigue Jacket Unzipped

Hello Kitty!  In his sweater knit by Gramma.

Hello Kitty! In his sweater knit by Gramma.

Stay tuned for Blogpost 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.  Edit:  Both completed and blogged here!

Kitty Photobombed

Sweater-Kitty Photo-bombed

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114 thoughts on “Army Fatigue Jacket Made Cozy, Cozy, Cozy.

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thanks Gillian! It is definitely warm (as it’s wool), and has that sweater-cozy feel, but it’s not lined, so I may wear my winter coat if it’s particularly blustery on Saturday.

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thank You Lizzie! It did take a lot of stitch ripping (and that fabric is NOT conducive to picking as it ravels threads very easily), but I ended up re-inserting it properly and it worked out in the end. (PS, your ‘like’ was my 500th ‘like’ on WordPress and I received a WP trophy for it!) Thanks for being my 500th blogpost “Liker”! 🙂

  1. sewamysew says:

    This has to be my favourite of all you makes to date! I love it!! The bias binding is a perfect little touch and the decision to leave out the drawstring was so right on. Effortlessly chic lady.

    • Gjeometry says:

      Ooooh, “favourite of all”, HIGH praise, thanks Amy!! I blush. Luckily, I blush pink similar to the fuchsia bias binding, so it’s all good. 🙂 (I’m glad you like the decision to leave out the drawstring. I definitely debated this, but in the several pics in the magazine, it made it look somehow too slouchy and “home-made”.)

  2. sewexhausted says:

    Those pockets are awesome! Definitely a warm and cozy make. I am working on a dress from the Gertie book too- the dress with a long zipper BUT it will not be done any time soon. Too many distractions! You seem to be a very focused sewist. I like that! ~Laurie

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thanks Laurie! It is warm, my head was freezing out there for the pics, but my body…cozy. 🙂 Which dress are you making from Gertie’s book? (I am making the Portrait blouse, but shhhh, it’s a secret until I reveal it in my next blogpost.) I am focused once I ACTUALLY begin a project. But, like I mentioned over on your blog, I have this problem with stocking up for projects and making little piles of notions, fabrics and patterns all around my room, then ever changing my mind about them. So, these can’t be classified as WIPs, but rather pre-WIPS, I guess. 😛

    • Gjeometry says:

      Aw, thank you Jennifer! This jacket was rather simple to put together because the fit is intended to be boxy and not too tailored/fitted. A style like this is a good one to begin with since you can focus more on the sewing and fabrics, etc. rather than the fitting, which I think is the most difficult part of sewing. Can’t wait to see your jacket!

  3. Boomdeeadda says:

    Well you are just so darn cute ! All those action shots are fun 😀 You seem to know exactly what it takes to take a project from wow to BAM! I Love that 😀 The pink bias tape adds so much zing. The whole project looks so professional. My gosh, you could be on your way to a whole new career if you wanted. I like the idea of a two way zipper as well, it’s so great for the car. I’m alway tearing the bottom of zips away from the seam.

    Of course we love Kitty’s photo-bomb in that super-duper fashionable sweater…adorable factor alert. Tres’ stylish and warm I bet. Grandma’s a gem and so talented too.

    I’m going to be making a post about Snail Mail before Christmas and will be showing off all my fab treasures from you and other crafty friends at WP. Thank you so much for sending the goodies, that was really thoughtful. I’m fashioning something for your mailbox too. PS. We’re ahead of you on the snow thing…yah for us 😀

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thank You so much Kelly! I giggle with delight, your comments are so lovely :). Kitty’s gramma is actually my mum and the same person who knit the catnip fishies for Petals and Blossum. She’s a whiz with the needles.

      I’m so delighted that you liked your loot! Please note, no reciprocity expected or encouraged. I just really enjoy your ‘company’ online, especially noteworthy is all of your kind and encouraging comments! It makes me feel gooooood about what I sew. 🙂 AND, I happened to receive a stash of turquoise/aqua themed fabric. So, it was written in the stars to make something for you, really. And, of course, Kitty fell in love with your cats immediately.

      I am sure you are still beating us with the snow thing. Although its here, its not so thick on the ground, just a dusting really.

  4. Brooke says:

    I love the surprise pink binding on the inside! So glad you got the zipper in facing the right way – it was worth all the stitch-picking because the coat looks great!

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thanks Brooke! I debated whether to just scrap it entirely, or try to salvage both the zipper and the fabric pieces. Luckily, my production team (my mum :)) offered to help in the zip/stitches removal, so it went fairly smoothly. I do think the stitch ripping compromised the front and facing fabric pattern pieces a tad because when I re-sewed, it just didn’t look ‘quite’ the same. You know what I mean? I guess the fabric stretched out some and it just didn’t ‘hold’ the zipper the same perfect way as the first (backward) insertion (stupid wrong diagram!!). But, I’m still glad I didn’t scrap it because it did work out and it is cozy goodness :).

    • Gjeometry says:

      Oh, thank you so much Chris! Yes, we do have the ‘jump’ on you for cold weather and snow. Both now (cuz it’s our winter) and even in your winter, since it’s so mild there. So, it’s fun to just go with it and sew up some warm and cozy goodness. Kitty, although he looks fabulous in his woolies, is not the hugest fan of winter though! When he walks on the snow, he shakes his paws repeatedly and tries to find a cleared off area to walk on. And, when I pick him up, he’s often shaking from the cold, even with his woolies! He’s a summer boy, he should definitely come and visit you, I suspect he’d love the weather there!

      • Chris Lucas says:

        I’d probably be like Kitty in all that snow LOL. He’d probably love it over here and Zoe would love to have a friend like Kitty to hang with all day. When I go to work I put Zoe outside and when it gets too hot for her she digs holes in the dirt to make a cool spot to lay in… then she hops in her pool (yes she has her own little pool to cool off in) and then when she’s soaking wet she goes and rolls around in the hole she’s just dug and ends up filthy dirty LOL. Luckily when she dries the dirt seems to mostly fall off of her. Thank goodness because ss soon as I get home she runs inside to enjoy the airconditioning… sometimes I have to bath her before I can let her in as she’s still wet and covered in red dirt LOL.

  5. seweverythingblog says:

    Wow! That is all…
    Seriously, I have the same Sew Stylish issue and did not give that coat a thought until I saw your completed version. Will have to go back and look at it with new eyes, thanks to you. Great job on the coat — very couture.

    • Gjeometry says:

      Hee hee hee, thanks Samina! That is all. 🙂 It’s funny because I saw the coat and immediately thought ‘warmth’ and HAD to sew it. But, not necessarily because I was enthralled by the pics of it. I think removing the waistband drawstring casing helped make it more sleek and wearable as well as using a softer, more pliable wool fabric. I think their versions were sewn more in the traditional cotton canvas-style fabrics that you would see in an army fatigue coat. Give it a go, with your mad sewing skills, I’d love to see your version of it!

    • Gjeometry says:

      Hee! Thank you Laura! I feel cozy in it for sure, but my ‘model pose’ still makes me laugh. No idea what I’m doing there. And Kitty can rock a sweater, yes? He still gets chilled in winter weather though, he’s not a big fan.

        • Gjeometry says:

          Lol! 🙂 And, I’m not a cold weather fan either. Obviously, since winter is here, I have to embrace it and sew things to keep me warm, but I prefer your neck of the woods temps. Kitty and I are going to have to make a mid-winter visit to Vegas one of these years.

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thanks Denise! Hetty would eat her coat? Oh dear. LOL. Well, she can ask Kitty to ask his gramma to knit her one. I’m glad Kitty hasn’t destroyed his sweater, he’s actually pretty good about keeping his wardrobe nice and neat.

    • Gjeometry says:

      Yay for coats! This one is a pretty simple shape to sew. I wish that I could have bias bound all the seams, but the fraying was just TOO intense, so over-locking won out.

  6. sewbusylizzy says:

    Oh can’t wait to see what you are making from Twinkle Sews. I’ve got that book but can’t decide what to make – love lots of stuff!
    Great jacket! Looks like a mobile blanket! I can’t imagine living somewhere where it snows!!!!

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thanks Lizzy! It actually totally FEELS like a mobile blanket since it is plush and wooly soft, good description! I am making the masculin et feminin skirt from the book. (But, shhhhh, it’s a secret that I will reveal in my post next week). I’ll also have a bit of a review of what I encountered. There were definitely some difficulties with the pattern, sizing and the instructions for that particular project. I hope the other projects are not similar because I have already picked out the next thing I’m going to make from the book. She does have pretty designs!

  7. marie says:

    Love this coat. It looks so comfortable & warm. The colour is great & the hint of pink is perfect. Glad to see that the zipper worked & you didn’t give up on it. It can be frustrating when the pattern instructions don’t work but it’s good that you can figure out how to correct the problems. Everything you make comes together so nicely & looks so good on you. I always look forward to see what you make next.

    • Gjeometry says:

      It worked out in the end, thanks for helping me stitch-rip the zip. I did find it compromised the integrity of the front and facing fabric pieces and just didn’t lie the same as before ripping it out, but at least next time, I’ll know exactly how to insert a separating zip.

    • Gjeometry says:

      ‘Tis the season for coats….fa la la la laaaa, la la la la! 🙂 The pockets make me delightfully happy AND they are a perfect solution for when you forget your mittens!

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thank You Nothy! I’m glad that at least the bias tape help at those important visual spots as it was being pulled right off the edges of the coat as the threads pulled out and raveled. Not the best fabric to do anything fancy with the raw edges, but over-locking everything would be too boring.

  8. CGCouture says:

    Cozy definitely describes how this jacket looks! I probably would have UFO’d it after the zipper incident, but I’m so glad that you toughed it out, because it turned out awesome! Also, love the pics with Kitty–the sweater is too fun!

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thanks so much! Yup, there was a definite debate as to whether to scrap the whole thing, just try to rescue the decorator zip or try to salvage it all. I’m happy to report, salvaging did work, for the most part. Next time, I’d probably re-cut the facing pieces as they definitely stretched out of shape and maybe also even the front panels if leftover fabric allowed. Kitty says to say ‘thanks’ as well. He has a rather dapper wardrobe and actually genuinely enjoys dressing up. And, also keeping warm, he hates to be cold.

  9. symondezyn says:

    Pretty pretty bias binding!!!!…. I TOTALLY noticed you matched your mittens even before you said so! LOL – nicely done! 😉

    I love that you just decided to make a coat and then just did it… you are a better sewist than I… I’ve had two coats in my queue for eons, and I’m still freezing waiting for myself to make them LOL.

    I have the Gertie and Twinkle books as well, and SOOOO many projects from each of them on my to-make list… it’ll be super exciting to see what you do with them!

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thank You Amanda! I knew you’d notice the mittens/bias connection!! Life is so dull without a touch of fuchsia, n’est pas? Ya, it’s funny as I have two projects on the go for November Monthly Stitch and the day I got the magazine, the jacket looked so warm, I decided to make it right away! I will be posting my makes from the Gertie and Twinkle sewing books next week. I will also post a bit of a review of each so you can know what to expect, especially if you’ve not sewn anything from them yet.

  10. Missy says:

    I got some herring bone wool to make a winter coat for my husband, too! (Although, I think he’s object to the hot pink trim 😛 ) Nice work! It doesn’t look like you lined it, but is it warm enough? I’m thinking about getting some of that flannel backed lining for my husband’s coat. Also, love Kitty’s sweater 🙂

    • Gjeometry says:

      Herring bone, yes!! That’s what this fabric is. Didn’t realize till you mentioned it, thanks! I didn’t line it. I hmmm’d and haw’d about adding a lining, and decided that it would still not be warm enough (for me, since I get cold SO easily, I need heavy-duty industrial strength winter gear) so this way it can also be a fall and spring jacket and, as well, I can wear it at work, where it inevitably gets so cold indoors. A multitasking sweater-jacket. 🙂

  11. Chuleenan - C Sews says:

    This jacket looks great! I had no idea the pockets were so big (love big pockets)! I couldn’t tell on Instagram. Your coat definitely looks warm and cozy. The hot pink bias tape is a great detail. Beautiful job!

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thanks Chuleenan! I love the big pockets as well, especially when it’s so cold out, it’s a nice place to store your hands. In fact, the pockets should have been about an inch larger both ways, but since I shrunk the entire pattern, I also shrunk the pocket pieces. I think it was the right decision otherwise, the jacket would have been ALL pockets!

  12. foamofdays says:

    Looks warm and cozy indeed! I love the big pockets, makes it more comfy 🙂
    Well done on making bias binding, it’s a cute touch! Looks great on you (and in time for snowy weather…)

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thanks! It definitely has that blanket feel to it, which is a nice change from the waterproof and rip-stop type of fabric that my winter coats are made out of. And, yes, just in time, it started snowing just last week!

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thank You Melanie! Both Kitty and I are pretty toasty in our home-made makes. Still not toasty enough however, like mother like cat, we both get cold in winter. I’m not a huge fan of the season, especially when the sun doesn’t shine and it is really windy out.

  13. macstabby says:

    Ohmygosh I lurrrrrrve it. I love the style plus the fact that it’s long enough to cover one’s bum- very important to prevent drafts! Plus the pink binding- a little surprise! Great job!

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thank you!!!!! Yes, when I saw the pic, I realized that I NEEDED a longer coat since not only the butt gets cold, but I find also my thighs just freeze. I suppose it depends on which way the wind is blowing, but at times, my thighs have actually become numb from sub-zero temperatures. Long live the long jacket!

  14. mrsmole says:

    Love 2 way zippers and I try to encourage my clients to select those for all jackets since we don’t want to open a jacket just to sit down or drive do we? You look so toasty and well as Kitty in her darling sweater. Did you interface the facings before you added the bias bindings? Ravely fabric just can be maddening! Great job and your smile say it all!

    • Gjeometry says:

      Yes!! Thanks Mrs. Mole. This was actually my first two way, separating zipper, but it really was not difficult. And, oh so practical! Kitty rocks a sweater/jumper doesn’t he? And about the facings: the pattern did not call for interfacing, which I thought was odd. So, I did not interface, but in hindsight, I definitely will next time. Not only was there that ravelling issue, which would have seriously been helped by interfacing, but also, I found that when I sewed the zips on, the facing stretched by as much as 2 inches!! And, they are a bit ‘wavy’ when I tried to press them to the inside and didn’t lie completely flat without some hand sewing into place. I think interfacing them would have solved all these problems. Where were you and your good advice a week ago???!!! LOL. 🙂

  15. Kirsty says:

    Ooh it looks fabo! I love the pink binding – and great work for sticking with it! The double zipper thing looks great too. I think I’d lose my nerve sewing something so long!!

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thanks so much Kirsty! Actually, the double ended zipper was fairly quick and easy to sew in. The instructions for that part were good in the magazine, the only issue was a diagram which showed the zips facing the wrong way, so I ended up inserting them backwards. Sheeesh. But, I would definitely say go for it, I did not find it too difficult at all, even with this extra ravelly type fabric.

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thanks Karen! Yes, as soon as I saw the pic of this jacket, I abandoned both projects from sewing books, that I was working on, in order to finish and WEAR it! When it gets this cold out, you kind of develop a one-track mind: ‘warmth’.

  16. Born To Organize says:

    Nicely done and oh so cozy. Just in time,too, it would seem. I do love that fuchsia bias trim. It’s a nice surprise and a great compliment to your pink mittens. It almost looks like two coats (definitely two different looks). Your posts are always so conversational which I love. The pics of you, the coat and kitty, are divine. Enjoy that lovely addition to your wardrobe. xox

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thank you so much Alys! Yup, here we are now snowed upon. I imagine, it’s still pretty sunny and toasty where you are. (jealous) The coat fabric actually has flecks of colour in it, although hard to see from the pics, but it wasn’t quite enough colour for me, so had to add the fuchsia bias binding into it. Thanks for you lovely compliments about my blog! You are too kind. 🙂

  17. Caroline Joynson says:

    What a wonderful, cozy and stylish coat. You look like a professional model in this shoot. Love the styling of your bright pink mittens with the colour pop of the bias binding on the inside of your coat ; ).
    An excellent job as always Catja, and enjoy looking out for where / when kitty is going to sneak in for a cheeky photo-bomb.

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thank You Caroline! I’m laughing out loud at your “professional model” comment. LOL. Seriously, almost made tea come out of my nose (how classy!). I’m so glad you like to watch out for Kitty’s ‘entrance’ since I also enjoy looking out for where / when Kitty is going to appear and / or what he is going to do. He keeps all of us on our toes, he’s got quite the personality. 🙂

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thank you Shanni! Putting the zipper in was fairly painless and went quickly, even though it was my first time using this type of zip. But, removing it, ai-yi-yi! Very painful. And, both sewing and removing the zips definitely stretched out the facings. The instructions did not indicate to interface the facings but, next time I will, as Mrs. Mole suggested.

  18. sati5000 says:

    This jacket looks so great and warm and I just ADORE the bias tape inside! I’m 90% done with my cape but I think seeing your amazing coat has given me the kick I need to get going and finish it. So great!!

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thank You Kirsten! It’s my first attempt at a jacket, so I’m pretty pleased and I wore it out today! I bought a silver flower broach to pin on it, and it really spices things up. Go, go, work on your cape! I can’t wait to see it completed. You’ll love wearing it when it’s sewn, I’ve worn my cape out and it really does make me feel like a superhero!

  19. fionaparker17 says:

    Oo this looks so cosy and gorgeous on you! It’s so snowy with you already! I’m loving the hot pink binding to match the flecks of pink in the fabric, really adds a little something else to the style!

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thanks Fiona!! Yes, fuchsia pink was the only colour choice for binding as far as I was concerned. There are other flecks of colour in the herringbone fabric, like white and yellow/cream, but it would have been too sophisticated and boring to use those as the bias colour :). And, last week, it was all snowy and even sunny here, my favourite combination. This week, above zero, all snow melted and it is grey and overcast. Sigh. We’ll see if we have a snowy Christmas here or not.

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thank You Andrea! Yes, after a few tries, I did manage to make the bias binding ‘take’. Maybe next time I should use 1/2″ bias binding instead of 1/4″ on fabric that ravels this much. We also missed you on Saturday!

  20. Kelly says:

    This is gorgeous Catja! I’m so glad you managed to get the zip to work in the end 🙂 I love the pink bias binding seam finishes. Bizarrely, I met someone this weekend who really reminded of you!

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thank you Kelly! I did have a debate over that zip, but, as long as you insert it the correct way, it is actually very easy to sew in. You met somebody who reminded you of little ol’ me!???! That’s so kewl! Where did you meet them? Why did they remind you of me? So curious. 🙂

    • Gjeometry says:

      Yes, I have used a few patterns like this from sewing magazines and have learned the best ways to be able to photocopy them and piece them together. Numbering the squares is SO helpful. Kitty is quite the catch in his sweater, yes?

    • Gjeometry says:

      Thank You Lizzie! Yes, I purposely left it unlined because I figured I could use it more like a sweater, for layering, as you suggest and also for outerwear when the weather warms up. Come on, weather!!! Let’s warm up!!!

  21. grtescp says:

    what a gorgeous coat, I love the simple lines, how cosy it looks and that flash of pink is genius! I have about 10m of grey wool I recently inherited, and I was planning on making a coat something like this… I feel I may find inspiration in your binding (if you don’t mind!?)

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