This jacket would absolutely be the perfect pattern for someone who is looking to make their first jacket. It’s loose and unlined, which makes it quite beginner-friendly. There is minimal fitting involved with a style like this, which I love. My only modifications were to do a 1/2″ forward shoulder adjustment and to lengthen the bodice and sleeves by 1/2″.
The Pona jacket comes in two lengths, a cropped version and one that hits mid-thigh. Both feature a dropped shoulder and front patch pockets. There are also two sleeve lengths, a long sleeve, and a 3/4 sleeve. I made the cropped view with the 3/4 sleeves. I cut a size 10 graded to a 12 above the hem.
One thing I love about this pattern is that it can be made in a wide variety of fabrics. It looks great in something drapey like tencel or linen blends and also more structured fabrics like denim or canvas.
My fabric is navy Brussels washer linen/rayon. I’ve said it here a zillion times but this is one of my favorite fabrics to sew with and to wear. “When in doubt, use Brussels washer linen” should be my motto. It’s got such a nice drape but still the cool texture of linen. I think it was perfect for this jacket. I love how the wide lapels look in this fabric.
A while back I started keeping a notebook with sewing details for each new project. If I know I want to get something on the blog but can’t get to it immediately after I sew the garment I’m likely to forget things I want to mention. Keeping this notebook has been really helpful both for blog posts and for reminding myself of any changes I want to make the next time I sew the same pattern.
Since it has been about a month since I sewed my Pona jacket I went back to my notebook to see what I wrote about this project. My only note, other than what size I made, is “so fun to sew! Probably didn’t need to add length.” Helen’s instructions were amazing, as always. The fit was great right out of the gate– in fact, no changes were made to the actual pattern after testing was completed!
One other detail I should have written was that the way the facing and the hem attach to finish the front corners was very cool to me. I often wonder how pattern designers come up with these unique interior finishes. I was actually just thinking about this earlier in the week when I was sewing another of Helen’s patterns, the Avery leggings. The way the waistband, waistband facing, and elastic go together on that pattern is so ingenious. I would never have been able to figure out that construction method unless I disassembled a pair of ready to wear leggings. And even then I’m not sure I would have gotten it right.
I’m very happy with my Pona jacket and I know I’ll be throwing it on over t-shirts and jeans this Fall and Winter. It’s easy wearing like a cardigan but has that slightly more dressy blazer look. I love the look of the longer denim version in the pattern listing and think it would be pretty fun to copy that one.
If you’re looking for an entry-level jacket pattern, I’d recommend Pona. I’d also recommend it if you’re an experienced jacket maker who just wants a pattern that will make you say, “that was so fun to sew!”