Making a coat is definitely on my list of challenges and when I saw the Helen's Closet Pona Jacket I thought it would be a good introduction. It looked to be a simple construction and no lining to wrestle with. I chose this gorgeous light petrol needlecord as it is one of my favourite colours.
I've made a few skirts with needlecord recently and I love the way it looks and sews. I wasn't sure I would be brave enough to try a jacket and did consider a pinafore, like the Nina Lee Camden, which would also be lovely with this fabric. I couldn't get out of my head a jacket I had and loved when I was about 17, though, so I was determined to jump right in an give it a try. I'm so glad I did!
The Pona jacket is an oversized open-fronted jacket with options for a full sized with full length sleeves or cropped with cropped sleeves. I went for view A which is the full length option with full length sleeves. I decided to size down 2 sizes as I didn't want it really oversized. I judged it by the finished garment sizes and went for a size 2.
The construction was simple as the jacket has a drop shoulder seam and the sleeves are inserted on the flat. Having made a few of Helen's Closet patterns, I love her instructions, as everything is explained. Even though this pattern is for an advanced beginner the steps are easy to follow and there are further explanations of the terms used.
There are some lovely details with this pattern, especially the way the hem is finished and the side panel gets turned up into it. I had considered binding my seams inside for a neater finish, but as binding is not my strong point, I decided against it. However, as the jacket front folds into the inside, it gives quite a neat finish without it.
I did consider shortening the jacket, but in the end I left it full length. I didn't make any other alterations to the sizing. I often find I have to add length to sleeves on patterns, but this was perfect.
Once it was made up, I couldn't resist adding buttons. The pattern is just intended to be open with no fastenings, but I love double-breasted jackets and coats. I was very careful measuring and marking my buttonholes as I didn't want any mistakes. The fabric was really lovely to sew with and the buttonholes went in easily (I really need to learn how to sew buttons on with my machine as my hand sewing isn't the best!)
I love this jacket and have already worn it lots. I am tempted to make the other version for spring/summer.
Thanks for reading!