As a lot of Sewists will know there is a sewing challenge coming up called MeMadeMay run by Zoe at SoZoeWhatDoYouKnow the concept is to reconnect people with their hand made wardrobes. You make a pledge to wear an item you've made; it could be once a week, once a day - whatever you prefer and while lots of people will be posting photos on Instagram, you don't have to - it's a no pressure, just enjoy it kind of challenge. Even though I've been sewing a while, I only got involved in Instagram about a year ago, so I've never taken part in this challenge, and I want to get involved this year. I think it'll be a fantastic way to encourage me to wear my memades more often and to think about how everything in my wardrobe works together. I'm a way off only wearing clothes I've made, but I haven't bought any new ready to wear for a very long time, so it's something I'm aiming for. I'd really like to go the whole hog and only wear items I've made for the whole of May, but I'm not going to make that pledge just yet because there are holes in my wardrobe, like jeans for example so I'll have a review at the end of this month and see what I've got.
With a renewed sew-jo I made a list of items I 'need' and a casual, throw it on kind of spring jacket was high on the list. While I was in London I bought some olive green fabric from The Cloth House, It's a drill of some sort, but the right side feels wonderfully soft, so maybe it's a moleskin? I'm not sure, but if ever there was a fabric that's 'me' this is it. I found the Merchant and Mills Ottoline jacket pattern while I was Trello-ing my stash and knew they were the perfect match. I've made my husband a few jackets in this style and have wanted one for myself for a while, so this project went to the top of my list.
I opted to make the version with both side seam splits and sleeve vents, but the pattern also comes with a version without these, which would be simpler to sew. You can also use contrast top stitching, but I played it safe this time and matched mine using standard sewing thread and a twin needle, I'm not keen on topstitching thread.
It was the best pattern ever to sew after my loss of sewing enthusiasm as I didn't have to make a single alteration. I chose a size 16 as this matches my bust measurement and although my waist is larger Merchant and Mills give the finished garment measurements I could see that there was plenty of ease around the waist. I'm pleased with the finished fit, it is a little big across the shoulder, but I don't think it really matters for this style of jacket.
The instructions were as always very clear and simple it's been classified as 'experienced' and while it probably is a bit of a stretch for a beginner I'd say it's more of an intermediate as there's nothing too taxing.
I know that this will become my go-to jacket for the next few months, so expect to see it a lot over May, I'll keep you posted what I decide to pledge.