When spring rolled around, I realized I didn’t have a lightweight jacket to chuck-on for chillier days. Actually, I lie. I do have a few jackets, but nothing easy and versatile to compliment my growing Edwardian-inspired wardrobe.
Enter the Eton Jacket by Truly Victorian Patterns!
Drafted from an original 1890s pattern, it’s a close-fitting, lined jacket that hangs open in the front
While I love the dramatic puffed sleeves of that era, I wanted something a little more subdued, something I could easily dress up or down … like my leather jacket that goes with just about anything!
This pattern seemed to tick all those boxes.
Sizing & Fit
The pattern doesn’t lie when it says it uses unconventional sizing methods. However they do a good amount of hand-holding when it comes to figuring which size to cut out for yourself.
They have you take a few body measurements, and do very minimal mathing — don’t worry! They give you helpful examples.
For the back pieces, I cut out a size E, and for the front pieces, a size A. I then trued ALL of those pieces to have a size C waist size. Simple!
Verdict: It fits like a glove!
Again, I was aiming for modern/historically-inspired. To achieve this, I decided to reduce the volume of the sleeve cap/pouf. Because let’s face it, in the 1890s … their sleeve caps went to eleven!
This is where I hit a roadblock. While I’ve been sewing for nearly five years, my fitting/adjustment skills still need a lot of work.
The books I have and the internet had a plethora of methods for adding–in sleeve volume, but nothing on how to reduce it.
Plus, the sleeve pattern I was working with had a wonky shape so I really didn’t know where to begin.
So I phoned a friend.
Amy, if you’re reading this … Cauldron bless you! She walked me through everything. And because I couldn’t find a tutorial out there, I figured I’d pass along the knowledge here:
Hopefully the illustrations I made above make sense …
Fig. 1: I drew slash lines (red), slashed the horizontal lines (sleeve cap and lower arm) and set those pieces aside. I then slashed down the vertical lines.
Fig. 2: I then pivoted the vertical lines inward from the bottom center point, lowered the height of the sleeve cap, and re-joined the lower arm at the base of the pivot point.
Fig. 3: Finally, I taped everything in place, trued-up all the edges … and that’s all there is to it!
I literally did a stupid happy dance after Amy broke things down for me and I was able to make it work. Mind blown! Thank you, Lady!!
The only other modification I made was adding sleeve linings since the pattern instructs to create a lining for the bodice only. I didn’t like the idea of having no additional insulation and raw edges next-to-skin on my arms.
I didn’t do anything different. I just repeated the steps for the fashion fabric with the lining fabric and whip-stitched the lining in place at the waistline and the cuffs. A little extra work, but so worth it!
Unexpected bonus: the sleeve lining helps give body/structure to the sleeve cap!
For this project I used Kaufman Lush Black Velveteen which is a medium weight 100% Cotton. I found it very easy to work with, and while you’re not supposed to iron on velvet directly, it handled pressing very well!
The lining is far from luxurious. I purchased 4 yards of this lightweight polyester black/taupe pinstripe at an Odd Job in Cape Cod, when I was still relatively new to sewing and didn’t know much about fabrics. It resembled dupioni silk and for $6 … I thought, “What a bargain!”
It’s been sitting in my stash for a few years now, reluctant to use it because … synthetics. But when this pattern came into my life, I finally knew what to do with it!
This pattern came together so fast and so simple, it seemed too good to be true! Again, save for the sleeve alteration, this was super quick and easy pattern to whip-up. From start to finish, I’d say a seasoned sewist could make one up in about 5 hours — the sleeve gathers and hand stitching being the most time-consuming.
One neat feature about this pattern should also mention is that Truly Victorian offers an add-on pack of sleeve that are compatible. Brilliant!
I’m completely smitten with my new jacket and it’s going to get plenty of wear this spring! Needless to say, I’ll definitely be making another … maybe even try my hand at a bit of tailoring!
P.S. I did not make my dress. 😉