Judi's Ilford Jacket

Judi's Ilford Jacket

When choosing a project for this blog post I wanted to  think and do outside ‘the box’.  A pattern which had caught my eye over the past months was the Friday Pattern Company Ilford Jacket.  I am a recent convert to the Friday Pattern Company as their designs suit all body types.  Indeed, the Ilford Jacket is a unisex pattern.  This pattern offers so many options from pockets to sleeve, from length to cuffs. How you interpret this pattern is down to you.  To add another dimension I knew the Ilford Jacket would malke the perfect coat to wear on the beach, during an English summer (I’m chuckling as I write this just after the heatwave!) made in the boxy style with deep pockets, a long length and in soft shell.  I don’t know if I’m alone planning and visualising my makes in my mind but this make has not let me down. 

Jenny Stitches offers the most beautiful soft shell fabric, a fabric which I had only recently come across but one I had dreamt of encountering for quite some time.  This make gave me the chance of combining a new pattern with a new fabric. 

With the pattern being a loose fitting jacket I didn’t need to make any pattern adjustments but I did choose to size up to allow me to wear a jumper under the jacket.  During the making process I did try on the make at various times to ensure that the neck/bust area were not too large as I am smaller in these areas.

One of the biggest benefits of working with soft shell is that the fabric does not fray so there is no need to neaten any of the seams, but did I just want to do a standard seam?  Oh no I decided to do flat fell seams, where the wrong side of the fabric are sewn together, one side (toward the back) is trimmed and the fabric on the other seam if folded over the trimmed seam and sewn down.  Great in principle but soft shell isn’t the finest of fabrics and then there is working these seams around an armhole and down the sleeves.  There was some unpicking, but there’s nothing wrong with that, a lot of pondering and then the light blub moment of realising I needed to let the seam move up the side of the jacket, flow into the armhole and take in the sleeve seam.  As for dealing with sewing down the flap on the sleeve seam, well I stitched the flap and then caught it down from the inside as I simply couldn’t get the machine so sew down the sleeve when it was closed!


Soft shell doesn’t hold a pin or stitching mark which is excellent to know before you start working with a fabric.  For the needle I used a 75 titanium needle which is extra sharp and allowed for a clean stitch to be made.  The soft shell adored being top stitched and in using the edge stitch foot for my machine I was able to ensure a straight and clean finish.


The finishing touch for this make are the buttons.  Before sewing the buttonholes on to the button placket, I did do numerous tests to ensure that the effect of bar size and length were to my liking.  If your machine allows you to alter the size of various aspects of a buttonhole it is useful to do numerous tests to ensure you create a buttonhole to do justice to your make. Now for those of you who know me well will know that I am not one for using gigantic buttons, or as a matter of fact wearing cerise pink spotty fabric, yet this fabric was calling for dramatic buttons that I  sewed the buttons down with cerise thread for added statement. 

Would I recommend this pattern?  Yes.  I have made a number of  Friday Pattern Company makes to date and their instructions are clear and explicit.  What I would recommend is not to think about going bold on your fabric choice but to just do it.  The Ilford has made up as a simple yet striking spring/autumn jacket, a result which will be achieved with any choice of fabric.  Jenny Stitches will be able to provide you with a wide choice of fabric, and I think without buttons this could easily make a open coat/jacket for a special occasion or a Christmas party.

Jenny Says:

"Judi's jacket truly is joyful! I would never have considered using soft-shell based on the pattern cover but it just goes to show that thinking outside of the box really can pay off."

Inspired to make your own version? Here's what you'll need:
Friday Pattern Company Ilford Jacket

Spotty Softshell - Blue (Pink sadly now out of stock)


Embossed Italian Buttons


Judi was provided with the materials for her project free of charge and received a gift voucher in recognition of the time spent on her project.
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