I am very happy to introduce you to the West End Jacket sewing pattern which I made in collaboration with Peppermint magazine and Spoonflower.
Peppermint Magazine is an Australian magazine, based in Brisbane, about style, sustainability and substance. In each issue, the quarterly magazine partners with an independent sewing pattern designer to offer a free PDF pattern that anyone in the world can download. In the last 2 issues, the pattern was also available as a paper pattern in the printed copy of the magazine.
In this Spring 2022 issue (Australian Spring), they have chosen to work with Camimade Pattern. And I 100% agreed! I couldn’t believe it when they offered the collaboration!!
The brief was to make a mid-season and gender neutral worker’s jacket. I designed something, sent my proposition and we agreed quite quickly on the style. To my surprise, because I wasn’t sure everyone would like the rounded collar, a detail which I really wanted to have.
Spoonflower is the world’s largest marketplace of independent designs from global artists. The website offers on demand printing of fabrics, wallpaper and home decor and is leading the way in sustainable printing, with reduced material, energy and water due to the on demand service. It is also using non toxic inks and fabrics are ethically sourced. The jackets you can see on the pictures were made using Spoonflower fabrics!
The jacket is a worker’s jacket for the mid-season, and will become a staple for the southern hemisphere spring as well as for the northern hemisphere autumn (and vice versa!)!
Inspired by the functional lines of the worker’s garment, the West End Jacket is a universally useful and gender-neutral design. Shoulder seams brought forward, dropped shoulders, big patched pockets, etc.
As I was saying earlier, I was very attached to the rounded collar, a detail that made complete sense for me. Let me explain. Most gender-neutral clothes are from the men’s department and I just don’t see how this is neutral. So with the West End jacket sewing pattern, I thought we shouldn’t only take references from men’s wardrobes. My approach was to bring a bit of femininity with the rounded collar, to balance the classic men’s worker jacket look and get to a more neutral point. But you could argue that the rounded collar is actually a men’s wardrobe reference: the men’s “club collar shirt”, worn by the Peaky Blinders in the famous TV series, has a rounded collar! This literally blurs the gender lines!
Regarding the construction, the worker’s jacket has to be strong enough to be worn daily, go through the washes, etc. I am therefore explaining how to sew the jacket with flat felled seams. A double effort that it will pay overtime, I can guarantee.
Here is the initial jacket proposition I sent to the Peppermint team:
How to make a gender-neutral jacket when body shapes don’t have neutrality? I decided to draft the pattern using a B-cup bust across the whole size range, which will be fine for most women with small and medium busts (B,C) and men. Women with a bigger bust may have to do a full bust adjustment though. In any case, make a toile first to check the fit.
Here is the measurement table for the jacket:
Regarding the height, I drafted the pattern with a 1.65m / 5’5” height in mind because the space was limited on paper and this is also the height I work with for all my patterns. Fear not if you are taller, simply lengthen the pattern!
You don’t have to know how to make flat felled seams before making the West End Jacket. As for the construction, the level is intermediate because of the collar and sleeves to insert and the bias finishing to add. Sewing heavy weight fabric is also something to be aware of.
In order to sew the West End Jacket, I recommend a mid-weight to heavy weight woven fabric: denim, cotton twill, or corduroy would be ideal. You could also go for a cotton flannel to get a shaket style or thick wool for a winter jacket.
The samples you see on the pictures were sewn using the “dogwood denim” from Spoonflower, a heavy weight denim. The woman is wearing the watercolor tie dye print from artist Melly Williams. The man wears linen like navy print from artist Esther Fallon Lau and the pockets and under collar of that same jacket are made from the Matisse inspired Magnolia print from artist Carrie Cantwell.
I have been waiting for a few weeks now for a brown corduroy I ordered to make my own version of the West End Jacket, but the Royal Mail strikes cause delays in the UK…so I will show you my jacket in future article!
To find the West End Jacket it’s this way on the Peppermint Magazine website.