Those plans were laid aside, however, when my long sought navy windproof fleece arrived in the mail. P needed a windproof vest for the cold, morning bike rides to school and the weather was definitely turning....
The school uniform is red and navy so the photo top right looked perfect, and my fabric which is a double sided red/navy fleece with a windproof membrane in the middle was spot on. But my son, ever the stickler for detail, said that the "real" school vests were all navy, so mine was made with all the "contrast" fabric navy side out. Secretly I was gutted 'cause having found reversible windproof fleece in red and navy to hide all the red just seemed a waste. Inside out, however, you get to see a fair bit of red:
The pattern recommends fleece or sweater fleece fabric and does mention windbreaker fleece, but I somehow doubt one was meant to use double sided windproof fleece for both the main and contrast fabrics. This was one tough sew!
The biggest challenge was creating a welt pocket with super thick fabric, the instructions for which were superb.
I was surprised to realise that the small zipper listed amongst the notions was for that welt pocket. (I've heard some people read through patterns before they get started, how droll) What?! A welt with a zip? Heck...
Not so tricky after all.
I added a label since it's for school:
And here he is, all ready for the cold, windy mornings:
I'm delighted with the fit, however I suspect by next winter it will be too small. I definitely won't be doing it again with both layers being windproof fleece. I think a drill or similar would be better for the over-layers.
Pattern: Kwik Sew 3816, vest view B
Size: S (6)
Fabric: Windproof fleece from Pennine Outdoor in the UK*
I was so delighted with the end result, and had enjoyed sewing the pattern so much I decided to make another straight away. Well, after going out to buy some new, straight, sharp pins and a couple more overlocker and sewing machine needles that is. How I forgot to buy a thimble is beyond me. I really do need one!
This time I went to the fabric pile and picked some fabrics that were gifted to me by a relative's neighbour who would have had no idea about my dislike of purple. My daughter apparently loves purple, and since I had purple fleece and some co-ordinating corduroy I wanted to see how the pattern would sew up in some more manageable fabrics. For the cost of a zipper I couldn't really go wrong.
This time I chose the jacket, view A.
The sleeves have the cute contrast overlays that remind me of an '80s ski jacket:
The zippered welt pocket was much, much easier in a fabric that was a reasonable thickness and which could be ironed into some semblance of a crease.
Given that the front has double fabric on the top sections, and the bottom sections by virtue of the pockets, this should be quite a warm jacket, even without the windproof fabric of her brother's version. The back also has a double yoke at the top and only the bottom of the back and the sleeve fronts are single layer fabric.
Curiously, for all it's purple-ness and the softness of the inside of the fleece, there has been no way of coaxing A to try it on. Instead she is happily wearing this dress, day after day after day. Maybe I should have pleased both of us and made her a brown jacket after all!
Pattern: Kwik Sew 3816, jacket view A
Size: XS (4/5)
Fabric: Sweater fleece and embroidered corduroy
The pattern is wonderful. There are a lot of steps and the sewing is fairly time consuming but the instructions are very clear. With heavier fabrics it would probably pay to increase the seam allowances (from the recommended 1/4") so that you could grade the seams, but for the second version using the overlocker to sew the seams worked perfectly. Pattern runs from XS (4/5) up to XL (10/12) and (I think) is also available in male or female Adult sizes.
*A note on international shipping: I found the Pennine Outdoor site to be wonderful and the shipping was very reasonable. In fact I priced shipping a similar fabric from the US and it was absurdly expensive. If I had shipped fabric to a US domestic mailbox, used a NZ on-shipping service to send it to my stalker (thanks for the offer), and then shipped from New Zealand to Aus it would have cost about 60% of what the US fabric store quoted for direct shipping! From the UK was a little cheaper again and I'll be looking at Pennine Outdoor for all those outerwear fabrics and buckles and bits from now on.