Since we stayed home for Christmas this year, the fella and I are off on vacation next week to LA where we’ll be staying with friends (and I’ll hopefully be learning to make sandals with Jasika Nicole!) I also decided to spend a few days in NYC on my way back to Montreal so I can attend a huge fabric convention (I’m a little nervous because I’ve heard this one is huge and incredibly overwhelming). What this means is a packing quandary; how do you pack for two weeks in warm, sunny California and cold, snowy New York in one small suitcase? I wanted to make a few easy transition pieces that would work in either climate, and the number one thing on my hit list was this oversized kimono jacket from the Making zine, designed by Jenny Gordy of Wiksten Patterns.
One of my big goals this year is to start making a dent in my stash (now meticulously organized and cataloged in our new stash closet). I’ve had this beautiful stretch twill tencel for a few months and decided it was the perfect neutral base for an easy coat I could throw on top of a dress (California) or layer with separates (NYC). I originally picked this fabric up locally at Globetex with the hope of making some soft tencel Sasha Trousers, but worried it was perhaps too lightweight for pants. Since this kimono pattern is fully lined, I figured I could stabilize some of the stretch in the fabric with a medium weight, non-stretch lining. I had a few fabrics in mind, but since this jacket is a bit of a fabric monster, I realized most of my two-yard choices weren’t going to cut it; thankfully I lucked out and found a not-quite-but-nearly matching linen at Tonitex, another wholesaler in Montreal. I like how the fabrics complement each other; the tencel has a slight washed sheen, which plays nicely with the more organic texture of the linen.
I LOVE THIS PATTERN. Did I say that yet? LOVE LOVE LOVE IT. It’s perfectly slouchy and oversized and the proportions are spot-on; easy to layer it’s comfortable while still feeling pulled together. Guillaume is kind of obsessed with it and was wearing it around the house the other day with puppy dog please-make-it-for me eyes, but I think I’ll be too busy plotting my next version for myself. I’m going to try and find a nice hefty cotton with a subtle print or texture; I think it will look totally different in a more structured fabric.
It sewed up super quickly, and I highly recommend picking up this issue of the magazine to get it, although you’ll still have to download and print the pattern itself with the included link. The instructions are clear and easy to follow, and I had it on my grateful body within a few hours of starting. My only beef is that there wasn’t a copyshop version available; now that we have a plotter printer in the office it seems silly to have to assemble letter sheets, but I read on Jenny’s instagram that she is releasing this as a print pattern in the spring, so that is another option if you don’t mind waiting.
This jacket is my everything. I want to wear it non-stop, stuffing those huge pockets with everything I could possibly need for the day. Who needs a purse when you can carry around the kitchen sink in your pockets?
Since I don’t have a dedicated sewing room in my home anymore, I got everything cut and prepped at the studio so I could sew it over the holidays at my dining room table. After investing so much in my sewing set-up at the studio, it’s kind of funny to sew at home like I did when I first started, with just the bare minimum. I do find it keeps me more organized and focused; I have to really think about what I’ll need so I don’t stall out when I’m home and realized I didn’t bring any interfacing.
I also had plans to sew a few Mandy Boat and Ebony tees for my trip but I leave in two days and haven’t had a chance to cut them out with all the admin I’ve been doing since the holidays. We’ll see if I manage to get any panic sewing down before we leave.
Any tips for me while I’m in LA? I’ll definitely be doing some fabric shopping but since I’m with G I’ll have to keep it to a minimum. We’ve been researching fun places to go and see while they’re there but I’d love to hear from some locals! Anything we shouldn’t miss?