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.
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.
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″.
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.
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!)
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.
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.
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.
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!