I wanted a light and weather resistant jacket for my travels in Europe and discovered quite a nice range of soft-shell fabric hidden away at my local Spotlight. The attendant told me they don’t sell much of it, and indeed I haven’t seen much worn where I live, which is surprising as soft-shell jackets and coats are ubiquitous in Europe.
So it wasn’t surprising that I didn’t find any patterns at my two favourite pattern companies, StyleArc and Tessuti, which are both Australian. In the end I cobbled something together adding a hood to a Vogue Katherine Brenne pattern, V9135, which I have used before, making a couple of jackets I like to wear all the time.
The main feature of soft-shell fabric is that it is double faced, with a nice fleecy wrong side which is warm and looks good without a lining. To make this work I decided to flat fell the seams and change the inseam pockets to patch pockets on the outside. This worked really well and the inside of the jacket looks as good as the outside.
I didn’t think that different coloured zips rather than matching would be a good idea until it was too late. Neon orange green or purple come to mind. The navy zips are boring, lesson learnt.
Still, I pick this up and wear it all the time, even after getting home from my trip. I might well make another one with a bit more colour.
For those interested, the sewing details are on PatternReview