Kelly Anorak

I finally did it! I made the Kelly Anorak of my dreams! I am so excited to share all of the details with you. I have been mostly following along with the sewing schedule in the Project Sew It Facebook group this year and the project for September was a jacket. I had a lot of other projects planned for September but I wanted to get my Kelly Anorak started in that month figuring that it wouldn’t be finished until October.

Kelly Anorak 2

Do any of you remember this Minoru that Sallie Oh made years ago? I ordered that same navy fabric from Mood to try to make something similar after I read her post. I managed to sit on the fabric for a super long time working up the nerve to try to make all of the changes to the Minoru pattern. Thankfully I waited long enough that the Kelly Anorak pattern was released and I could just use that pattern. My dad got me the hardware kit for Christmas last year (he was wondering why I was asking for snaps and eyelets for Christmas but got it for me anyway!) so I’ve been prepared to make this for quite a while.

Kelly Anorak 4

Kelly Anorak 3

I made a muslin of the jacket because I was a little concerned about the sleeve width. I knew the sleeves were fairly slim and I wanted to be able to layer comfortably. I did a full biceps adjustment of 7/8″ and a forward shoulder adjustment of 5/8″ for my muslin. I really liked the fit of the sleeves with the extra room but they were too short so I lengthened them 3/4″.

Kelly Anorak 5

Kelly Anorak 10

I was so excited when I got to the point where I could start sewing, but my machine absolutely HATED the topstitching thread that I was using. I had ordered some from Amazon and I think it was upholstery thread. I tried all of my tricks with adjusting tension and trying out my backup machine (which is usually a champ with topstitching thread!) but I was getting skipped stitches and terrible thread knots on the underside of the fabric.

Kelly Anorak 7

After I unpicked the topstitching thread multiple times I decided that I was going to order new thread and see if my machines would be happier. I ordered this Gutermann Mara thread because I’d used the same thread on my first pair of Ginger jeans (the jeans I’m wearing in these photos, actually!) and my machine had been happy with it. For some reason I still struggled a bit with the tension using this thread but I mostly stopped getting the thread nests on the bobbin side. (This probably sounds ridiculous, but I think my machines don’t like navy thread. I seem to have the most trouble when I’m using navy!)

Kelly Anorak 8

This jacket felt like it took me FOREVER to make. I’m mostly chalking it up to my thread issues but I had to unpick almost every seam I sewed at least once. It is not an exaggeration when I say that I spent about 6 hours working on the hood. Flat felling those seams was so tricky and my thread was failing me and I could not get a nice clean result. I tried glue, I tried tons of steam and my clapper, I used every single pin I owned but I was not happy with how the seams looked. Eventually I gave up and decided to try to bind the seams instead. Once I did that I was happier with how the inside of the hood looks but next time I will line the hood and save myself hours of grief.

Kelly Anorak 9

I followed the sewalongs that are on the Closet Case website when I was sewing the pockets and the zipper plackets. Both of those sections were a lot easier to assemble than I was expecting. I got a little bit tripped up with the illustration and instructions for attaching the hood facing to the neckline. It took me a few tries to figure out how to do it, but I got there in the end.

Kelly Anorak 6

The jacket looks so professional with all of the hardware installed. Setting in snaps makes me a little nervous– having to poke a hole in a finished garment is scary! The snaps that come in the Kelly harware kit are really easy to hammer in and after all of the angst of getting this jacket topstitched I was excited to get some quality time with the hammer.

Kelly Anorak 1

I have been wearing this non-stop since I made it. This navy twill is pretty hefty and it’s a great weight for Fall. Those giant front pockets are so amazing. I can carry my phone, an RX bar, my keys, some wadded up tissues, and even a small sippy cup in those pockets and still have some room for my hands! I am so proud of the jacket and it’s really hard not to tell all the random strangers that I made it. In fact, I loved the pattern so much that I’ve already make a second, hacked Kelly and I’ll be back soon to show off that one, too.

Thanks for reading!



23 thoughts on “Kelly Anorak

    1. Thanks, Becky! I am really proud of it (and of myself for working through all of my machine issues!) I love wearing it— it’s definitely going to be in my top 5 makes of the year, or maybe ever.


  1. If I met you in that jacket, I would NEVER imagine that you actually made it! It’s gorgeous and just the kind of jacket you’ll probably wear out to threads! These are the types of coats I wear all the time (I’m in Victoria BC Canada) but making one just scares me 🙂 I am going to make the Sewaholic Cape though…I’m determined 🙂 in a gortex I have on order from Seattle Fabrics…if I’m successful at this project my next will definitely be a Kelly in gortex!


    1. Kathleen, thank you so much! I think the Sewaholic cape is a great place to start before you move on to the Kelly. I just read on the Closet Case blog that a full sewalong for this jacket is coming in the next month or so. I don’t think you need to be scared to make this jacket. The pockets sort of scared me but they turned out to be much easier than I expected. I relied on the tutorial for that part, which I would recommend. I would love to make a black Goretex version for myself. I think you just inspired my 3rd Kelly, but I’ll probably wait a while before I make another.


  2. It looks great Teri! Such a good pattern. I’m impressed that you immediately dived into making another one, I’ve had to give myself a bit of breathing space before thinking about another one 😂


    1. Thanks, Kirsten! I am pretty amazed that I started a second right away but I figured I should just do it while the construction was fresh in my mind. It’s certainly one of my craziest sewing decisions but I’m happy I went for it!


  3. I am SO INSPIRED, Teri! This is incredible! You totally killed it! Like the other said, I would never in a million years guess this was something someone sewed at home on a regular machine. It is just soooo profesh. I have this pattern, fabric, and the snap kit, but I am intimidated AF! Maybe your post will help me overcome my fears a bit …


    1. Thank you, Inder!! I can’t believe how well it turned out, despite all the fighting with my machines. I do not think that YOU, the maker of an amazing rainbow unicorn costume, need to be intimidated by this pattern! I just read that a full sewalong is coming to the Closet Case blog in the next month or so— you could wait for that for extra help. I hope you try it soon!


  4. Your jacket looks great! I Have been following along on IG and glad you persevered to success! I just purchased fabric for mine finally and just need hardware to start. Looks like closetcase is getting ready for another sewalong. I will be ready!


    1. Thanks, Jean! I am really happy with hardware that came in the kit from Closet Case. I didn’t use the kit for the second jacket I made since I needed a shorter zipper and wasn’t going to use the drawstring or any of the cord locks, eyelets, etc. I found snaps on eBay that aren’t quite as heavy duty but still do a fine job.


  5. This jacket turned out so good! I’m glad you were able to power through despite the top stitching woes. In my experience, it’s usually the fabric to blame. Every once in a while twill gives me issues like this, and it’s so frustrating! Anyway, this jacket is so perfect I’m sure it was worth it in the end. I would wear a jacket like this constantly!


    1. Thank you, Lisa! I hadn’t though my to blame my issues on the fabric— I’d pretty much blamed everything but the fabric. Most of my topstitching has been on denim but now I’m not sure if I’ve ever tried it on another twill. I have to go look at my Lonetree vest to see if that was a twill or more of a canvas. Anyway, I do love the outcome of my jacket and I’ve forgiven whatever it was that caused all the trouble!


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