This was my husband's Christmas present and he finally agreed to model for the blog! We've been together for almost eleven years and I've sewn for him much less than that. The only other garment I've made for him to wear out is an ill fitting button down shirt. But he wore it and loved it! I've made him three pairs of pajama pants. And that's about it. I haven't sewn more for him for a couple of reasons. For one, he is a big and tall dude. He's about 6' 4" and it can be difficult to find clothes in the store to fit him, much less alter a pattern to fit. Secondly, there's only so many button down shirts and vests one can make a man if you look at what the Big 4 has to offer. Still, there is something special about sewing for the ones you love so I set out to make a jacket. I had planned to make Vogue 8842 a la Andrea's cameraman jacket. But I soon realized how much she had to change the pattern and was quickly discouraged.
Colette patterns then read my mind, knew exactly what I wanted, and released the Albion pattern just in enough time for me to make it for Christmas.
Although there are some harsh lows, the winter temperatures in this part of the world are on the milder side. I didn't think he would need a super insulated, heavy coat. So I went with a cotton twill shell and a flannel lining. It's just the right weight to cut the cool chill but not be too heavy. The cotton twill is not as formal as a wool coating but it better suits my husband's everyday style.
I was prepared to have to make several fitting changes but surprisingly, there wasn't much I had to do. Before he stumbled into the sewing studio one night and discovered what I was doing, I was trying to keep it a secret. I took one of his tall sized coats that I knew fit well and measured the pattern against the coat. The only place I was worried about fitting was the shoulder length. I lengthened the shoulder but later ended up cutting this back again after a fitting with my husband. I'm glad he discovered my secret because I was able to fit the jacket on him as I went. The one place I hadn't thought about being a problem was the arm circumference. My husband has large shoulders and biceps and the original armscye was a bit too small for him. I tapered out the seam allowance under the arm to almost nothing to give him a bit of extra room which at that point was about all I could do. He said it was enough to make it more comfortable. Other than that, the length and width of the pattern worked perfectly.
As for the construction, this went together relatively easy. The only part I think a beginner might have trouble with is sewing the inseam pockets. However, I know Colette Patterns is starting a sewalong which will be a great reference for tips and tricks and tutorials.
Speaking of the inseam pockets- they are huge! That is my husband's one complaint about the jacket. If he puts something in one of the side pockets, he has a difficult time finding it because they are so large and deep.
I have to admit, I was worried about my husband liking the end product. You never know if you are going to put in a lot of work into something, only to have the recipient not like what you have done. However, he truly loves his new jacket! He has worn it every day since receiving it. He has received several unsolicited compliments from people and is happy to show off my work.
I hope Colette Patterns continue to put out more patterns in their line for men. I am very happy that my husband has something made by me that suits him just right! I may later make him another version using a wool coating just so he has another style to go to.