One of the benefits of working in retail (particularly fashion retail) is the access to sample sales. Last summer, whilst hunting through piles of clothes at one of these, I found a beautiful fabric sample of a large crest embroidered on chiffon and grabbed it without another thought, knowing that I could make use of it somehow.

After thinking about how to make the best out of the sample, I settled on the idea of using it as the back panel of a jacket. 

The only jacket pattern I've ever made is the ByHand London Victoria jacket (which I've done a couple of times). It seemed like a sensible choice as it has a loose fit and would work well with draped fabrics, plus the fact that the embroidered panel was the exact size of the back panel pattern piece helped!

The panel itself was soft grey polyester chiffon with bright white embroidery for the crest design. I wanted to keep the colour palette light and neutral, perfect for summer and easy to wear with lots of outfits. 

Aiming for something a little sturdier to compensate for the delicate back panel, I made the front panels and lining made out of a cotton canvas type fabric (I don't actually know what it is, as I picked it up in the clearance section of Missan Textiles on Berwick Street). Although it was a very different fabric in both weight and texture, the cotton was fairly close in colour to the chiffon and complimented it perfectly. To continue with the theme of contrasting textures and fabrics, I chose a white woven fabric (also from Missan Textiles' clearance section...) for the sleeves and cuffs. Finally, to bring together the multitude of fabrics, I used the sleeve fabric on the collar, and the front panel fabric on the lapels. 

Despite the variety of fabrics and textures, I think the end result looks fairly balanced and falls well...its just a shame that I can't see the beautiful back panel when I wear it.  

Extra details:

  • Back Panel: I cut a second back panel out of the same fabric that I used for the front panels, which I attached the embroidered panel onto (it also doubled up as a lining).
  • Lining: to avoid the whole jacket becoming stiff or creating an imbalance in the weight of front panels versus the back, I partially lined the front panels (with no additional lining of the back), and finished all the raw seams neatly with (a bright yellow!) bias binding.
  • Cuffs: For extra definition, I used a lightweight interfacing on the cuffs, but left the collar and lapels without interfacing to allow for a softer look around the front.
  • Bottom Hem: I always have trouble with the way the bottom hem falls on this pattern, so i decided to hem the chiffon panel and cotton lining separately so they would fall nicely (first time using a rolled hem footer with my chiffon and it worked surprisingly well).