Mai oh Mai!
We have been enjoying a weirdly hot summer here in Finland this year – unfortunately it was a very short summer too, and before I had the time to really enjoy it, it was already fall. Time to prepare for wet and cold weather again, no more bare legs and shoulders, boo!
But the beginning of cold season has its positive sides too – it’s refreshing to switch to a new set of clothing and re-discover all that knit, wool and layering! I haven’t been sewing at all this summer, for a couple of reasons; mainly because it’s been simply too hot to do anything. Or actually I did make one Leini Dress (I can tell you more about that later), but it only made me realize that sitting inside stitching is not something you want to do when it’s +35 C and sunny outside. And pressing is definitely not something you want to do when it’s +35 inside, too. So as the weather gets colder, it’s actually nice to return inside, sew a little, and not worry about missing out on a fantastic weather.
I decided to start my fall by making myself a brand new piece of outerwear. If I have to bear the cold, at least I can do it wearing an awesome jacket! I like making jackets and coats perhaps even more than summer clothes. Maybe it’s because wools and other fluffy wintery materials are very forgiving, unlike thin, delicate summer fabrics. So you can be a bit more careless.
I used to be afraid of sewing lined garments for a looong time, until I dared to make one and realized that, when you know what you’re doing, sewing a lined item is not any harder than making an unlined one! And lined garments are just much neater, more comfortable and long-lasting in comparison to many unlined garments – that is of course if you choose a good quality, durable lining fabric.
The other reason for not sewing at all this summer is that we had hired a professional seamstress to make our samples (it’s our mom <3), so I didn’t actually have to sew. But when I finally got to making my jacket, I was so happy to be back in front of the Singer and just sewing away!
I chose the Mai Zip Jacket because I felt that my wardrobe was missing such a cool and casual everyday-jacket. I refused to make anything too wintery since I wanted to start wearing it right away. And may I say (or Mai I say) that this jacket was finished just in time – As soon as I had it done, the weather got much colder.
I made some minor changes to the pattern: First of all, I made the jacket without the zippers at the sleeves. I also left out the in-seam side pockets and merged the contrast panel around the zipper to the bodice. I made the hemline band slightly narrower (-1 cm) too. Most of these changes were made simply because I wanted to make the jacket somewhat quickly, so I stripped it down and removed most of the details. I also wanted it to be slightly simpler and more casual than the original jacket.
The fabrics were bought at Eurokangas, Tammisto. I chose a lovely forest green & black hound’s tooth check buclé for the bodice, and a black Gucci wool blend for the sleeves, shoulder yokes, collar and hemline. The lining is smooth, shiny black, 100% viscose satin.
And I’m very pleased with the result! Have been wearing it every day, like planned! I really think that this is a perfect casual jacket for everyday use – it’s comfortable, easy-to-wear and goes with almost everything. It’s not too fancy for any occasion, but not too ‘sloppy’ either. And even though Mai might be a bit time consuming (It took me approximately a day and a half, but most coats do), it’s not that difficult to make. At least not the stripped down version. What do you think about my Mai jacket?
I’m glad that you have read this post all the way to here! This blog post is actually kind of a tester; we need your help with something. We are trying to bring our blog to life (you know, to actually start writing it), and would like to hear what you’d want to see and read about! Would you like tips and tutorials of special techniques, pattern alterations and specific garments? Which techniques and garments especially? Or style tips and outfit posts, behind the scenes stories? Or would you prefer sew-alongs and giveaways? Or just us rambling on about ourselves like I did with this post (probably not). We would be very happy if you left your comments either here in our blog, or sent them to our mail: email@example.com!
Out of all commenters we will raffle three lucky winners who will get the Mai Zip Jacket pattern for free! Or, if they don’t fancy Mai or have it already, switch it to any other Named pattern of their choice. The raffle winners will be announced on Monday 6th of October.
Thank you! Warm and fuzzy beginning of fall!
P.S. My next make of this fall was a wedding outfit for my friend’s wedding. Which was a disaster! The outfit, not the wedding. Would you be interested in hearing more about that…?
Images: Saara Huhta; Locations: Talvipuutarha, Kumpula Botanical Garden.