Recreating a Boyfriend’s Jacket

You’ve probably been wondering if I will ever sew a garment again. I haven’t come out with a garment since….ahem, I can’t even remember. I’ve actually been working on several garments and just haven’t finished them or had time to go and grab the necessary finishing detail and such. I know. Lazy. That rotten little four letter word.

Well, in an effort to actually finish something, I hereby declare that I’m officially working on a boyfriend’s jacket. I’ve been following along with Gertie’s Lady Grey Sew-A-Long and though I’m not making that coat (as I’ve already made it, and am not quite ready to make it again), I am following her tailoring technique tutorials. Even bought that book about tailoring that she mentioned. Very very worthy investment, if I do say so myself.

So you might be wondering exactly what a boyfriend’s jacket is. I’ve wanted a new one for awhile. My mom had the sweet velveteen number above that I wore all through high school and my first years in college. I loved that jacket. A real genuine 70′s boyfriend jacket. My mom told me that my dad actually bought it for her when they were still….boyfriend and girlfriend. So it’s the real deal. And unfortunately it doesn’t fit. It never did fit real well, what with those football shoulders I’ve got. Could never bring my darn arms foward. Bowling was definitely out of the question. But back to my original point. A boyfriend’s jacket is a jacket made for a woman that looks like a men’s jacket. It’s supposed to give you that look of actually looking like a boyfriend’s jacket, like you know, your boyfriend gave to you. That sort of ring around the neck thing and all.

A couple of weeks ago, this lady at work brought me a box of patterns she didn’t want anymore. (PS, it’s a very good idea to tell older women you work with that you sew and that you love vintage patterns, because they will bring your their old patterns and let you have them. This is my 4th box!) I was sorting through them rather quickly, having a glance and what to my wondering eyes – Simplicity 5250. A rather feminine detailed boyfriend’s jacket. Loved. It. Had to have it. I dropped everything and ran, not walked, home. I had the navy velveteen and the blue polka dot silk lining at the ready for this very occasion. Hip Hip Hooray! I’m such a lucky girl. You have no idea.

Needless to say, I’ve made a good start on the jacket. And I will finish it, don’t you worry. It will be tailored, am waiting on hair canvas to arrive as I type. Had to grade the pattern up one size. Will show you more on that later this week. Made the muslin, and had slight but easily fixed fitting problems. And there you have it.

And you do realize what this means, right? Pretty much, I have nothing to go with this jacket. Ha ha ha. And I’ve commited myself not to make onesies anymore, so I’ll just have to base an entire outfit around this jacket. Oh what fun! Yay!

Thoughts anyone? Did you ever have a boyfriend’s jacket? I want to know, really I do. And I want to know what boyfriend gave it to you.

PS ~ You guys, seriously, are THE BEST! Thank you so much for guiding me in the right direction for a beggining knitter. I’m very excited to get started. Have bought two books, just need to pick a project and get some needles, yarn and other odd supplies. Couldn’t be happier with all of your fabulous advice! THANK YOU! You really know how to reach out and make a girl feel welcome!

  • Tasia - Ooh this project is going to be fabulous! When I wore boyfriends’ jackets they were usually cotton hoodies, not quite as cool as your mother’s boyfriend’s jacket! Love the fabric and lining combo, look forward to seeing it come together!
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  • Carlotta - Ooooh… are you sure it wouldn’t at the very list match with you Bella pants (my favorite hand-sewn pece of clothing of yours)?
    I just purchased a Betsy Johnson for Buttreick pattern that looks roughly the same as your jacket : big collar, even if it’s a shawl collar, same length and puffy sleeves, and I’d love to see what you’ll do with this pattern!!
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  • Carlotta - Oops, I meant “at the very least”, sorry about that!
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  • Laura - I was thinking Sunni’s pattern was totally Betsey Johnson too!
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  • Jill - Love it! The great thing about a boyfriend jacket is that you can wear it with anything — isn’t it supposed to look like your gentlemanly boyfriend threw it over your shoulders on a brisk fall day?
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  • Laura - I didn’t have a “Boyfriend Jacket” per se, but I did start buying vintage men’s tailored jackets at thrift stores as soon as I realized having all those pockets inside would let me carry everything without a purse!
    I love the look of your pattern, and think it would be adorable with your self-stitched jeans and with maybe either your ice cream top or the bosenberry blouse to tie in the great polka-dotted lining.. Of course, a pea green twill a-line skirt would be adorable paired with that bright navy as well. Come to think of it, pairing it with the “Summer in Italy” skirt might work too, especially with a magenta or purple top..See? Because you’re drawn to colors and silhouettes that you love, they inevitably go with other items in your wardrobe, and might not be the onesies you think they are…
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  • Seemane (aka Claire) - Back in the mid-90′s a bought loads of second-hand men’s suit jackets from charity-shops for like £2 / £3 each. They were all worn slouchy style with the sleeves rolled-up LOL!
    Re: your not wanting this to be a “onesie” – I agree with the above this will so look lovely with your Bella trousers. Also, how about a more casual style pencil skirt (we know you know how to make those ;) ). Or… the Colette Beignet skirt in the same fabric + some contrasting buttons maybe? I can also see you wearing the jacket with a lovely 3/4 sleeve bow/tie-neck blouse in white swiss dot-cotton!!
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  • Alexandra Mason - I love the look of that Simplicity jacket and your material is so gorgeous! I have a boyfriend jacket from the carboot not from my man because he is about 2 times wider than me :)
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  • A Sewn Wardrobe - You could so wear this jacket w/ jeans and a simple T! I cannot wait to see the finished version (and any tutorials in between!!).
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  • Wanett - Oooooooh! I love velvet blazers! I had one once from Old Navy….I have no clue what happened to it. Around junior high school age, my aunt took me and my cousin to a used clothing warehouse in Brooklyn. There I bought this huge (I was about 90 lbs soaking wet then) suit jacket that I wore with the sleeves rolled up for years. I wish I could find pictures wearing it. I’m sure I looked a sight, lol! Though, I’m thinking I should go see about getting one now.
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  • lsaspacey - You must make the pants too, what a great shape. Of course, they don’t have to be in the navy cord but how about a coordinating herringbone or nubby flecked wool that picks up some other colors too? I’ve been in love with that pattern too but I think I’m too lazy now to make a fitted jacket. Can’t wait to see yours finished!
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  • Mrs. Lyons - Can’t wait to see the jacket! I love blazers, and that pattern you’re using is super cute!! I’ve got line-backer shoulders too, stuck on a small person’s body, lol!
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  • Angela - Ooo… I love the pattern!! Hehe.. can’t wait to see your progress on the boyfriend jacket!!
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  • Emily - Delicious fabric choices! Can’t wait to see it and the outfits you create with it.
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  • Becky - I’m a sucker for a good jacket–a love affair that also started in my teens, thanks to a couple of vintage-looking blazers I found in my very first shopping trip to Goodwill in jr. high and a couple of my mom’s 70s hand-me-downs. She had this one jacket that I absolutely loved. It looked kind of like a tweed, in a brownish-tannish shade with random bits of orange and turquoise, of all things, mixed in. And it definitely had a bit of a menswear look to it, though I know it wasn’t a genuine boyfriend jacket because my mom actually sewed it when she was a teenager. That was such a great jacket–the only reason I eventually gave it up was because I’m a bit taller, and definitely broader in the shoulders, than my mom. And so it was always a little too tight across the back. Not to mention the sleeves were too short for my monkey arms. Oh, and it was some kind of wool or wool blend, which I’m highly sensitive to and can’t really wear without breaking out. But part of me wishes I’d kept it anyway, because I’ve never found a lighter brown jacket that was quite that awesome since.
    Your pattern looks really great–looking forward to seeing the finished product! (And I’m laughing because Gertie’s tailoring series is inspiring me too– I don’t need a new outerwear coat, but I do have plans for a corduroy jacket later this fall and just might use her series as reference. Because I’m always up for learning a new technique, and who says corduroy can’t be tailored?)
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  • Julie - I smiled when I read about letting the older women you work with know that you sew. I just gave away a lot of 70′s patterns that are too small for me. After looking at your article and the article in Threads maybe I should have kept them and graded them up! This boyfriend jacket is cute. I hate the boxy crap that all you can find now. I’ve started working with repro Victorian patterns to get away from that.ReplyCancel