The anorak is done, and it’s time to look it over.
First things first: the fit. The sleeves are the right length (I got help shortening and slimming them down), and the hood is the right size. And I like having some waist definition rather than the boxy look of many outdoor jackets.
But this is way too big for me above the waist in the front and especially in the back. I could loosen the drawstring a little to reduce the difference between the roomy upper and more defined lower areas, but I wouldn’t be able to reach the bottoms of the pockets.
I tried pinching out and pinning 3 inches of fullness, and you can see the difference. I might want even more fullness taken out. If I make this pattern again, I’ll consult a fitting expert about how much fullness to remove and still have a measure of roominess.
Now, about the pockets. I glanced at the photograph on the pattern envelope and noticed for the first time how the model was displacing the flap to slide her hand into the pocket. Then I realized how I’d misunderstood the whole pocket construction. The original flap provides closure, as it should. I misinterpreted the instructions to mean that the flap wrapped around and reinforced the pocket opening. My pockets stand wide open. Maybe I can stitch Velcro strips to the pocket and front to close them.
This anorak flap is probably an outerwear convention, not an innovation of Calvin Klein’s. I suppose now I’ll be standing in a checkout line or in the security line at the airport and noticing hundreds of such flaps and pockets. Lesson learned.
I’m not happy with the stark white nylon cord and will look for a replacement in a color. The toggles I recycled from my old windbreaker.
I got a lot of experience by sewing this pattern:
- Making flat fell seams using both a flat fell foot and a standard presser foot. I used David Page Coffin’s instructions from his book Shirtmaking and video Shirtmaking Techniques and succeeded right away.
- Working with a stretch woven. I didn’t need the spandex for this project, and it interfered with getting a good crease, but it does resist wrinkling.
- Looking for a 36-inch separating zipper, which I finally mail-ordered from Sew True, and then sewing it in with success.
- Learning the difference between eyelets and grommets (eyelets are one piece; grommets are two); then opting for buttonholes for the drawstring openings.
- Making a garment with casings, and using a bodkin to thread the cord through.
- Seeing the point of an inset in a sleeve instead of a sleeve placket–to keep the rain out. But insets are more work to cut, assemble, insert and sew.
- My first hood.
As I mentioned in my previous post, almost every step of this project took longer than I expected: finding the zipper, altering the pattern, sewing the pockets and the cuffs, and doing a mile of topstitching.
But now that I’ve tackled this anorak, I think I can handle another outdoorsy jacket.
Just not right now.