Pendleton Plaid Anise

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For those of you who have sewing blogs, how in the world do you keep up with posting the things that you make? *sigh*

I don’t know that I’ll ever be very good at posting everything that I make when I finish making it. I feel limited when it comes to taking photos of finished projects because I don’t have a very bright space in the house with good light. Sometimes I use the light by the front windows, but on Portland’s truly gray days, it’s nearly impossible to get a good shot. Thankfully, Rob had a bit of extra time this last week to help me get to a bright spot to take photos of two big projects I’ve had finished for quite a while (I’ll share the second one soon).

PenAnise2I purchased the plaid for this jacket from the Pendleton outlet back in September. It was one of the projects that got me started on my plaid posts. I started and finished the jacket in October, and took what felt like a thousand photos while I made it. I started out by making a muslin of the jacket, and… whoa… I had a lot of pattern altering to do.

It didn’t have anything to do with the pattern. It had everything to do with my large bust measurement, tiny shoulders, and rather high budunkadunk I call an ass. I’ve got lots of curves, and I have absolutely no shame about that (it’s usually pretty awesome). However, it does require that when I use a commercial sewing pattern that I have to alter it like crazy. For this pattern, the Colette Anise Jacket, I made the following alterations:

-narrow shoulders

– full bust

– sway back

– moved welt pockets, and made them deeper


If I was going to make this pattern absolutely perfect for my body, I would have also adjusted the sleeves. As it stands, the sleeves sway backwards instead of forwards, but I didn’t alter them at all. Changing the rotation of the sleeve head and removing about 3/8 of an inch from the front sleeve cap would have given me a much better fit, but at that point I just wanted to start sewing the jacket, because I was on a deadline.


Cutting out the jacket took a good day and a half, because the plaid that I chose is a two-way, one-directional plaid (you can read more about those here). I marked the seam lines on all of the paper pattern pieces, and carefully cut them out, making sure that once the pieces were sewn together, the plaid pattern would continue, uninterrupted, around my body. Each piece had to be cut out on its own (no double-layer cutting), and I made notes by labeling each half of the body with “A” and “B”, so I knew what pieces went where.

The outer fabric is 100% wool, with a very soft hand and beautiful drape, and the lining is a thick, rich, cream colored coat lining from Mill End. I knew that the plaid wouldn’t do well on its own, so I ironed fusible weft interfacing to back of every single piece of plaid. It helped immenselyΒ when it came time to do some tailoring. Here’s a word of advice about interfacing- never EVER think you’re going to save money by preshrinking it yourself. Why I decided to save $2.00 a yard and put myself thru cleaning 9 million #!@$& little dots of fusible glue off everything in my sewing room after soaking it is just… ugh. Do yourself a favor and buy it preshrunk from Fashion Sewing Supply, really. Either that, or have wine nearby while you angrily shake your fist and clean up the aftermath. *deep breath* Yes, I still find little crumbly glue dots every once in a while.

PenAnise3The plaids all matched up beautifully, but it’s still not quite as perfect as I would like. If the plaids don’t match, it’s by almost less than 1/16th of an inch, but that’s enough to bug Miss OCD here. I couldn’t get the plaids to match up on the back princess seam (thanks to the curve of the side panels) quite like I had hoped. They match at the waistline (at the bottom of the photo below), but had to slowly creep farther apart as I set the curve in. Oh well. You win some, you lose some.


I’m still smitten with the leather buttons I found for five cents apiece. They give it just the right vintage vibe I was going for.


I’m really happy that I made the choice to move the pockets and make them deeper. I can’t wear a coat (or jacket) that doesn’t have pockets I can put my hands in.

PenAnise1Now as I said, I took tons of photos while I made this. I have my own ways (learned by some very experienced seamstresses) of hemming sleeves and bagging entire jacket linings in one nice swoop. Buuuut… I may save those tips for next fall, when everyone’s back to sewing jackets and getting mad at the mere thought of hand sewing a jacket lining in. Personally, I would never, ever do that. Using industrial sewing techniques is so much faster! BAM! YOU GET A JACKET, AND YOU GET A JACKET AND YOU GET A JACKET (say that in your best Oprah voice)!

  • Brava! Such a beautiful fabric and all that extra work was worth it. I’m sure this is a piece you will treasure for a long time!

    • Thank you, thank you! I will have a death grip on this jacket for YEARS. Want to know a secret? I lined the jacket body with muslin for a more tailored look, and I wrote my name and the date on the muslin. If anyone ever takes it apart they will now be cursed.

  • The jacket is beautiful Amy! Love it!
    I can’t wait to start sewing for myself again, I’m feeling very limited with my current “bump friendly” wardrobe. Now if only I weren’t so tired I could sew some baby stuff, only 2 month to go πŸ˜€

    • Thanks, Jennie! Aww- dear if you lived closer I would help you sew some more “bump friendly” clothes. I love the little cocoon you made recently- adorable! Can’t wait to see the little one. πŸ™‚

      • Thanks, that’s so sweet of you <3
        I'm quite happy with the little cocoon, have a few more baby room things to make on my list & some clothing ideas πŸ™‚

        • Well be sure to post them! I love little teeny tiny clothes.


    So cute, Amy. I love seeing this pattern done up in plaid. Cute new hair do too!!

    • Thank you, dear! I thought I might look like a crazy circus nut for a bit, but luckily I like the way it turned out. Thanks for the hair compliment- I forgot how cold your neck can get in winter with short hair!

  • Iryna

    Very nice! And I like your haircut too! Are you getting ready for Sewing Expo? I wish I could go.

    • Thanks, Iryna! πŸ™‚ I still can’t decide if I’m going to Sewing Expo. It wouldn’t be that much of a drive for me, and could just be a day trip (albeit a long one), but I know if I go I’ll just spend money. It does sound kind of fun though…

  • Angie

    Amy, what a feast for the eyes! And how beautifully made this jacket is…. I would love if you did another craftsy class on how to adjust patterns. I sew lots and have made many attempts to get tops/dresses to fit but always end up befuddled by where i need to adjust (armhole, shoulder?…) I too am full busted, am self-taught and need guidance! I would Love to get even one top made- then I will make hundreds! My plan is to try the blueberry summer top pattern you’ve done. I think I have a chance with that but keep putting it on the long finger…. Thanks Amy. (PS I really enjoyed your serging class and made loads of zipper bags as Christmas presents).

    • Thank you so much! I’m so glad you liked my Craftsy class (and made tons of bags). They actually have a new fitting class on there- you should take a look at it! I’d love to help you out with fittings, but unfortunately I’m a person that has to see the garment up close to be of help. Let me know if you make a Blueberry Summer top- I can’t wait until it’s warm enough to pull mine out again!

  • Tamara Oster

    Beautiful!!! I love the plaid and I love the way it fits you. I have to admit I would be OCD over the matched plaids as well, but as my Grandma would tell me, if it can’t be seen from the back of a galloping horse don’t worry about it….but I still do. Thank you for posting the pictures, you did a wonderful job and I enjoyed seeing all your good work!

    • Thank you, Tamara! I love your Grandma’s quote. I kind of want that as a cross stitch to hang on my wall! I appreciate you stopping by to leave such a sweet note. πŸ™‚

  • Nancy Wichtendahl

    Well my dear I’m in love with that jacket!!!!!! It’s great! I’ll send my size over to you!! It truly is excellant! hint hint either class or tut please (and make it easy for me please!!!) Where do you find such fabric??


    • Thank you, Nancy (both for the jacket and hair compliments)! I found the fabric at the Pendelton Outlet here in Portland, and if you call them, there may be a chance you get some for yourself. It’s also where I got the buttons, so you could make a replica if you wanted! πŸ˜‰ I’m working on a super secret kind of plaid tutorial, but it won’t be available until fall.

  • whitedragonstudios

    Gorgeous jacket–I do love a pretty plaid! How about a plaids Craftsy class–I’ve got a ton of wool plaids inherited from my mom’s stash to try and use up and my mom always asks me if I’ve sewn any of it yet, would be fun to say yes!

    • Thank you, dear! I love plaids as well! I’m actually working on a secret project with plaids that you’ll be happy about, but I won’t be able to talk about it until this fall. It’s hard to be so hush-hush! πŸ˜‰

  • I have some beautiful Pentleton red and black plaid I bought years ago and you inspire me to get it made into something. I’m just as OCD about matching the seams as you which is why I haven’t done it yet. If I don’t do it soon, I’ll be too old to enjoy it! Beautiful jacket!

    • Oooh- it sounds lovely! I bet you’d really like working with it. Wool is very forgiving and loves to be ironed and pressed into shape. It’s probably my favorite fabric to work with. If you make something with it, I’d love to see it!

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  • Houseofpinheiro

    Stunning jacket. Just found your blog and I’m loving your projects x

    • Thank you, dear! I appreciate it! πŸ™‚

  • jillyc

    It looks beautiful. My fabric for my jacket is still waiting for me to do a muslin. Oh well, just another project to add to my list.

    • Thank you! I know what you mean- there’s always something keeping us from being able to jump to the fun part of sewing. I always drag my feet when it comes to making muslins, because I just want to work with the actual fabric. It’s absolutely worth making one for this jacket though!

  • Heather

    So beautiful! I would love to see a post on how to insert the lining, and soon! I tend to sew in off seasons, so summer stuff in winter/spring and fall/winter stuff in summer/fall. Also, does your Craftsy course cover doing a rolled hem on lightweight fabrics like georgette with the serger? Thank you!

    • Hi, Heather! Things have gotten a bit hectic over here, so I’m sorry to say that I don’t think I’ll have any extra time soon to write up a detailed post for inserting a jacket lining. Have you heard of the Grainline Studio blog, though? Jen has one up on her blog that’s really nice- you should go have a look!

      Yes, my Craftsy course covers serging on all kinds of fabrics. I’m always happy to answer any questions you have about serging certain fabrics in the Craftsy class platform.

      • Heather

        Great, thanks! Will get the Craftsy course soon, I have a stack of georgette that it’s finally time to work through! And I’ll check out the blog you mentioned. πŸ™‚ Heather

        • Great, Heather! I hope to see you over on Craftsy, and have fun exploring Jen’s blog. πŸ™‚

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  • Tiffany

    That jacket is gorgeous. You did an amazing job. Being curvy myself I completely understand how much time and effort it takes to redraft a pattern cut for a straighter figure. I can get a little tedious and I love the way that the jacket flatters your figure. Its very daring to wear a double breasted jacket on a full bosom. I get kind of intimidated by the thought so I’ve never tried it on myself. I love the way it looks on you so much that I may reconsider trying a double breasted detail on my own figure. I really enjoyed this post and can totally see every minute you spent on the jacket it looks very professional.

  • Thank you SO MUCH, Tiffany! Yes, curves are fun but they make for quite a bit of work, don’t they? You should absolutely try out the double-breasted look. I’m always surprised (when the jacket is cut correctly and hangs well) that it doesn’t add a lot of weight to my silhouette. I think the key to that is properly fitting the shoulders and upper back. Thanks again for your kind words!

  • Meg

    This looks so lovely on you! I’m inspired to sew an anise myself. I selected a woven wool from Britex fabrics. How much extra fabric did you feel like you needed with the plaid? I’m very excited! I love your version of this. πŸ™‚

    • Thank you very much, Meg! Oooh- your wool sounds lovely. I had the best time when I went to Britex fabrics and I’m sure your fabric is beautiful. With this plaid, I believe I ended up buying an extra 1/2 yard of fabric. It was a true 60″ wide, which helped so I didn’t have buy quite as much extra.

      I do have several articles on my site and in magazines that discuss buying, cutting, matching and sewing plaid. You can search for “plaid” on my site to find out more. Good luck on your Anise jacket!

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