Always in style and always being re-invented, the classic jean jacket can be worn by men, women, children and is a wardrobe staple. After a recent ParisTilton tour, Marcy and I roamed the streets of Paris in search of fresh inspiration for a new twist on the classic jean jacket. We saw many blue denim Levi type jackets, but every so often we’d spy a more interesting version, often stopping to chat with the wearer. We sat in sidewalk cafes people watching and making notes and my new pattern, Butterick 6719 is the result.
This is an ideal toss-over jacket with flattering lines and cool details. I planned it to be slightly oversized so it would go over other garments, and in a flattering, versatile longer length. Details include two flat in-seam upper pockets, two side pockets, a two-piece sleeve with cuffs and an elongated front band. It will work in many different fabrics including denim, linen, cotton, velveteen, corduroy, canvas and stable knits like ponte. It makes a perfect blank canvas for surface design or collaging different fabrics. Lining is not necessary, though you might want to consider lining the sleeves with a slippery fabric so the jacket will slide on easily. Plus, you could make it in a lighter weight fabric and wear it as a shirt.
Fabric possibilities in woven or knit:
- Denims, linens or cottons in solid, printed, flocked, with holes, metallic embossed, embroidered or painted.
- Ponte double-knit has enough body to hold the jacket shape and can be printed, embossed, embroidered or solid color.
- Casual classics like corduroy or canvas.
- Fancies — brocade, jacquard, velvet, or even organza.
Construct the pockets first:
- Mark pocket openings and stitching lines on the top pocket pieces. I made myself a cardboard template to trace with chalk to mark the curved stitching.
- Stay stitch in the seam lines where the notches are marked.
- Clip to the seam line, finish edges and press pocket openings to the inside and stitch in place.
- Baste the top pocket to the inside pocket in the seam lines so they don’t shift.
- Make the jacket as shown.
- Use a contrast fabric on the under/over collar, top/bottom cuff or pocket under layer.
- Use leather for the collar and cuffs.
- Color block the jacket using solid colors or prints.
- With woven fabrics buttons or snaps can be used.
- With knits, hand stitched snaps are a good option as the knit fabric can shift when putting in buttonholes.
- When making a man’s version switch the buttons/snaps to the other side.
I’ve made versions in ponte, printed denim, flocked denim, metallic linen and stretch wovens. The first jacket that I made for myself used a black textured stretch woven. I took it to Paris to wear and when I tried it on for the group it sold right off my back. I can’t wait to make another one! There is a piece of silk brocade waiting on my cutting table.