I’m on a podcast, and made a Jenna Jacket!

First of all, I was so flattered to be asked to chat on the Clothes Making Mavens podcast back in August, and now my episode is live! You can hear it here. Thanks for having me, Lori and Helena!

Next up, my latest project for Cali Fabrics. I admit, this striped jersey had me stumped for over a month – not because it wasn’t nice, but because it wasn’t quite what I expected!

Jenna Cardi in Striped Knit

When I read the description, I imagined a stretchy ponte fabric. Instead, it’s definitely a jersey, which is *cough* in the fabric’s name and description! All misinterpretation was on my side. Here was my thought process as I weighed my options:

  • Make a coatigan – no, it’s so stretchy that it would show pants pockets etc underneath, and not sit nicely.
  • T-shirt dress, possibly with interesting piecing of the strips – no, it’s stiff enough that it would tent unflatteringly over the belly when I (let’s be real) slump or sit.
  • A-line mini-dress. Yes, but do I really want such a dress? I’m not sure.

I actually mention this fabric in the podcast, when I talk about getting stuck for too long in the planning phase. Finally I decided just to keep it simple, and make a little Jenna Cardi jacket!

Jenna Cardi in Striped Knit

To make the pattern  more like a little French jacket, I eliminated all the bands at neck, centre front, and hem. I got scared halfway through that it was way too cropped, but I actually like the proportion in the end!

Jenna Cardi in Striped Knit

For a cleaner finish, I lined the front with polyester crepe knit and use the same for a facing along the back hem. The slippery knit helps it sit more smoothly over clothes. I’ve made this pattern twice before but promptly gave away both versions, because I never liked how it sat on my figure. This one is finally a winner!

Jenna Cardi in Striped Knit

This project really made me think about finding the perfect pattern to bring out the good qualities of a fabric, without exacerbating the bad. Which is a good message to keep in mind because I just bought a bunch of sweater knits, which I find can go really well or really badly!

Have you had any brilliant (or awful) matches of fabric and pattern lately? Tell me your stories of triumph or sorrow! 


22 thoughts on “I’m on a podcast, and made a Jenna Jacket!

  1. I always have to reread the fabric types when ordering online. I always love the print on a fabric, order it and then have to wonder how I missed that it was a jersey. Lol. So you are not alone here, Gillian. Love how this turned out though. And by itself, it does look like it was too short, but on you, that may be your magic cropped length.


    1. Isn’t it odd how our brains only read what we want to hear? Like you, I go back and reread the description and think, “Why did I interpret those words wrong?”


  2. I always do a practice run with any new pattern I’m making to see how it will actually hang on me. I’m still so newly returned to sewing I don’t dare just jump right in 🙂 Even the recommended fabrics on the envelope can be off – sometimes I’ve made up a pattern in a cotton like recommended on the envelope and found it just a little too snug and rather than making a bunch of pattern adjustments I’ll just switch to a knit and it turns out perfect 🙂


  3. I think I told you that I love this little jacket over on CaliFabrics blog…it’s great and I want one! Congrats on the podcast!! I’ll listen to it tomorrow while I’m sewing! Can’t wait!!


    1. Thanks hon! It’s also set me off on a current obsession with sewing cardigans, so we’ll see where that takes me this fall! 😉


  4. What a cute wee jacket. I love the stripes and it is *just* the right length for you. It is so important to get the right fabric for a pattern. That has bitten me more than once in the past. Wish that I could say that I have had some fabric fails recently but I haven’t sewn anything for so long that I think my sew-jo may have finally deserted me for good. That is a gorgeous dress underneath. Xx


    1. Thank you! The dress underneath feels bit revealing on it’s own (I’m not used to a snug skirt!) but I do like how it layers with the jacket!


  5. You made it work! This is the perfect kind of jacket for adding to just about anything. The little flowers are so cute too. My worst fabric + pattern choice was a maternity top back in the day. It had a front placket and I made it in a polyester silky print that was so so pretty. But that dumb fabric had no stretch, and of course, I underestimated how much my chest had grown (likely from the time I started sewing to finishing), and as I was wearing it, it tore straight down the placket lines and disintegrated in my hands. Thank goodness I had worn a camisole that day!


  6. I listened to your guest appearance on the pod cast. You sound exactly how I imagined you sounding — bubbly, fun and intelligent.

    Your advice about being assertive with knits is really, really helpful, especially to those who are new to sewing knits.


  7. I love everything about this jacket – I need something similar in my life!
    Also, your podcast episode on CMM totally made my morning! I missed my bus and ended up walking to work instead. I was super grumpy, but your cheerful sewing chat brightened me up considerably! 😀


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