Fishtail jacket, utility jacket, cargo coat, whatever you want to call it: this design has been on trend this past fall. I will admit that I already own a khaki ready to wear version from a cheap retailer, but wanted something more substantial than the light weight cotton twill.
There are a number of indie designers who have put out their own version of this design, but I used an Ottobre pattern that I already had, #18 from issue 5/2013. I first muslined a size 40, but it had much more ease than I preferred so I muslined a second version in size 38. I also added a full 2″ to the sleeve length but wish I added a bit more (I am 5’9 but found the overall body length to work for me).
The fabric is a water and wind proof fabric called Commander. It is a Canadian product; I was able to find it locally but Peak Fabrics also carries it if you are shopping online. (Side note: I found the manufacturer, Brador Hiver from Quebec, and tried to order from them. You need to fill your cart and wait for a quote but I never heard back from them). It is lined with a cotton shirting fabric. The print is a bit hard to see in the photographs, but it has little bicycles on it.
Construction on this jacket was a bit different than I expected. Instead of doing a conventional lining, the front pockets are sewn first and then the lining peices are basted to the outer peices and sewn as one. This means that all your seams will be visible. Ottobre doesn’t give much direction on finishing the seams, so I decided to bind each seam with bias tape. This was VERY time consuming, but results in a beautiful interior.
There are two cargo style pockets on the front as well as two welt pockets. Although the welt pockets look great, they are positioned a little oddly for actual use. I love the toggle on the back of the hood. It seemed a bit odd at first but works amazingly well to keep the hood on tight; perfect for blowing wind!
I made one design change and wanted the cording to end on the ouside of the jacket instead of hidden inside so I applied large grommets to the front so could come out and be visible. I also used metal snaps instead of velcro on the pockets and the storm flap.
Overall I am extremely happy with the end product! It was very time consuming; I think about 40 hours including tracing, doing 2 muslins, shopping, cutting, sewing, etc, but I know it will get a lot of wear!
A side note…the lovely modeled photographs are courtesy of my 9 year old!