Friday, April 22, 2011

Leila and Ben: Bolero Jacket for Baby Girl

My latest sewing project is a bolero jacket for my daughter using a pdf pattern from Leila and Ben

I have had this pdf pattern printed, taped together and cut out, just sitting in the cabinet with my fabric stash for about a month now.  I couldn't decide what fabrics to use for the jacket - I was thinking a navy pinwale cord but that seemed so blah and not springy at all.  But then my husband decided to throw out an old pair of his jeans and I realized that those holey jeans might be just the thing I have been waiting for.  So I made up my daughter's jacket in reclaimed denim from the worn out jeans with a lining made from Liberty tana lawn. 

The Liberty print I love so much that it was hard to convince my hand to actually make the scissors cut it!  But really it turned out to be the perfect lining for this little jacket - I think it transforms a plain old jean jacket into something special. 

Because I was using pieces from my husbands jeans I wasn't able to cut any of the outer pieces on the fold as instructed - so there are 2 seems on each sleeve instead of just 1 and there is also a center back seem that the pattern doesn't call for. 

This was my first time using these set snaps - in the past I've always used buttons or sew-on snaps.  I like the look of the snaps with this jacket and I feel like the snap closure will be easy to get on and off a squirmy little girl. 

Here is an action shot of my baby girl trying on her new jacket...

It was really fun to sew up this little jacket.  It comes together in a flash with no hand sewing involved.  I love the style and versatility of this jacket - she can wear it over a long sleeve shirt now while it is still chilly.  She can also layer it over a t-shirt or sun dress later on in the season.    If you are thinking of making up this pattern I have a couple of tips:
1.  Note that all of the seam allowances in this pattern are 1/4 inch.  I'm used to seeing 5/8 or 1/2 inch in garment patterns so I had to keep reminding myself to use a 1/4 inch seam.
2.  Although the pattern does not call for it, consider interfacing the areas where you will apply button or snap closures.  I used a 1 inch strip of medium weight fusible interfacing at the edges of the front lining pieces, fusing it just inside the seam allowance.
3.  The pattern pieces don't have any notches.  For the most part this is fine since you aren't working with gathers or easing in fullnes.  However I think a notch at the center back neckline and on the center back of the collar piece would help to make sure you get the collar on correctly.  You can easily put in a notch yourself if you want when you are cutting your fabric. 

All that aside I'm very pleased with the way this jacket turned out and I'm ready for the next project.  I actually have a little over a yard left of this Liberty print.  Maybe a matching twirly skirt for her?  Maybe a new spring top for me?  Decisions, decisions...


  1. The jacket is gorgeous, especially the lining. Pants or a skirt would be great in the lining fabric.

  2. Thanks Faith! I am seriously considering doing up a skirt to match in the lining fabric. I will keep you posted as to what becomes of the rest of the Liberty fabric.
    - Liz

  3. Liz,

    This is a beautiful jacket. I recognized the pattern right away. I had seriously considered purchasing it some time ago, but forgot all about it. Thanks for the reminder and inspiration.


  4. Carol,
    Glad I could enable. Wait, I mean inspire! ;)