I just want to start out by sharing that I bought this fabric in November 2018. Shortly afterwards, in January 2019 I went ahead and bought this pattern… It’s April 2021, ya’ll! The last time I had made anything like this was in October 2016 when I made the Lonetree Jacket. That jacket took a lot of work, and I had a lot of help from my husband’s grandma. So I was feeling a little bit intimidated. Now that I’ve sewn more, and now that I have a sewing machine that can just about sew through any fabric, I felt much more confident about making it.
You probably have a fabric or pattern like that too! You’re just not ready, but you will be eventually. The timing will finally feel right, and you will make that thing! It took me around 2.5 years of lugging these two things around before I did it. But I am SO very happy to share that I’ve finally made this jacket, and I love it so much.
The Tello Jacket is by Pauline Alice Patterns. This is the first pattern I’ve made of hers, but after making this one, I would completely be willing to buy more of her patterns. I was so impressed by the instructions’ clarity, and I didn’t get stuck at all. I have made collared/button up patterns like this before, so I can’t say how beginner friendly it is. The instructions were only two pages long, and it was nice to be able to go back and check things without scrolling through tons of pages. All of the notches and pieces fit together perfectly, and I loved not having to interface anything — Although that could be because the pattern is meant for more structured fabrics, and mine had plenty of structure.
Since it’s been 2.5 years since I bought the pattern, LOTS of new jacket patterns have been put out in the world. While I was tempted to go with other patterns, I just really liked the basicness of this pattern, and I never heard anything negative about it. The Tello Jacket is great because it has all of the bells and whistles, but you can also just be like me and make it look the way that you want it to look.
Made the front a 90 degree angle instead of a curve.
Lengthened the bodice pieces by 5″.
Lengthened the sleeves by 1″.
Made the bottom pockets 3/8 inches bigger.
Changed the placement of the pockets to be aligned with the chest pocket.
Stitched the buttonholes vertically instead of horizontally.
All of these adjustments were super simple, and I’m so happy with how it turned out. I made my size according to the size chart, and it fits really well! I am curious what it would be like if I would have sized up, but I won’t be wearing any thick sweaters under it, so that’s not a big deal.
I was going to try making this jacket look more like the Will Jacket by Sezane, but I decided it was a little too overly complicated for me (specifically the pockets), and I really liked the look of a basic utility jacket. I still really liked the length of the Will Jacket and the way they did the button placket. So I decided to make it similar in those ways instead.
This fabric is 8.5oz cotton chino twill, and I think it worked great for this pattern. It pressed really well and was really easy to sew. One thing I did to elevate this jacket was to add Hong Kong seam finishes to the inside. If you’re not familiar with how it’s done, I watched Sew DIY’s video called “How to sew the Hong Kong seam finish”, and got right to it! I made my own 1.5″ bias tape with rayon poplin from Stone Mountain. I really struggled on the first seam, and ended up unpicking the whole thing, so the seam ripper pin on my jacket speaks the truth! Haha. I found it was easier not to fold and press the bias tape beforehand, but that was just my preference. I also realized when I was finished that I should have bias bound the back neck facing and placket facings (as opposed to serging them like I did), but it took me around 4 hours to do all of the other seams, so, like the pin says — No regrets!
I joked on Instagram that I put my sweat and blood into this project because sewing visible pockets always makes me so nervous; and for the first time, I caught my finger with the needle while I was sewing. Thankfully it wasn’t too bad, but it still scared me. Luckily no tears went into this project, which is always a good thing!
This will go down as one of those makes that I feel so proud of, and I hope that I have it for a long time. And since it went so well, I think I’ll add a few more jackets to my make list! 😉
What jacket patterns have you been wanting to make lately? Do you have a sewing project that your extremely proud of?