Two Hvar Jackets are Better than One

The Hvar Jacket from Itch to Stitch has been on my to-sew list for awhile because I’m crazy about cute easy-to-wear jackets. Not only are they adorable, but they help bridge the wardrobe no-man’s land between seasons. A light jacket can function as a layer under a heavy coat when the weather is severe, or it can stand alone when the day is fair. Best of all, a good jacket makes me feel stylish and put together! Chic and functional  – – what could be better than that?



Even though I had the pattern and the fabric, I put off making the Hvar for quite some time. Because the lapel of this jacket is draped, I thought the sewing would be challenging.  I could not have been more wrong. I mean, the Hvar has only four pattern pieces..simple and fast! Itch-to-Stitch-Hvar-Jacket If you never sewn a jacket before, the Hvar would be a great place to start. It’s designed by Itch to Stitch, and if you make one, I’m pretty sure you won’t be able to resist making another. It isn’t lined, but you can get a clean finish inside by serging the seams or using a hong kong finish ( I serged).

My first version was made with a light gauzy cotton. The pattern suggests lightweight fabrics and because of the draped collar, this is a must. The collar is a double layer of fabric so if your fabric is too heavy, it won’t drape.


The sewing is easy and the fit is forgiving. Shaping is made by long darts in the back and a bit of tapering at the side seams. To give my bodice a bit more of a curve at the waist I did increase the fish-eye darts a bit and took in the side seams as well.

My second version is from velvet.


Because I’ll be wearing this version in the winter and fall, I wanted to be able to close the jacket. I realized that if I cut the front lapels generously, there would be ample room to pull the jacket closed and add buttons.

IMG_3034The jacket looks a bit more structured this way, and I enjoy this variation alot. It’s cozy and warm. This fabric was a dream to sew and it’s heaven to wear…cotton velvet with just a bit of sheen.

Modifications: I shortened the jacket by a full inch. I also tapered the sides a bit more, and took a larger dart in the back bodice. I slimmed the sleeves too.


Now that I know how easy and fun the Hvar is to sew and wear, I’m imagining a knit version, a linen version, maybe even one in faux leather. The possible variations are endless. The only down side to this lovely jacket is that the lapels don’t always want to drape perfectly, but fortunately, the jacket looks okay with the lapels flat too. IMG_3073

This pattern is a definite keeper and I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a cute jacket that’s a quick sew!

With the cotton version of the Hvar, I’ve officially started my Spring sewing! I’m checking out Trench coat patterns right now, and am looking at the recent issue of the Burda Style magazine for inspiration. Lots of ideas churning in my head – It’s still cold out but I’m dreaming of fresh colors and light fabrics…Spring sewing!! How about you. Are you ready?

Happy sewing, and thanks for stopping by.



Going Moto: How many zippers does it take?


How many zippers does it take to call a jacket, ‘moto’? My version has only three zippers. If I gifted it to a biker chick, would she look happy, or mortified?

These are the important questions I asked myself as I finished this cropped jacket. Perhaps three zippers is just not enough. After all, more zippers means more edge – – all those teeth – – all that metal! I’m guessing most biker chicks would look at a three zippered jacket and laugh.  Still, I’m calling my look, ‘moto’. It’s got more zippers than anything else I own.

Zipper one….


Zippers two and three…


As you can see by the intense look on my face, I am freakishly serious about these zippers (?!). I made this little jacket because I’ve been yearning for layers. The weather here is just cold enough in the early morning to force the ‘coat or no coat’ issue, so I decided to make a cozy, cropped jacket with some color to throw on with jeans, skirts, even a dress. And, since one of my unfulfilled dreams is to be accused of being ‘edgy’, I used the extra zippers in my notions stash to try to give my jacket a bit of a ‘moto’ look.

It was easy to find inspiration for my jacket. This fall, fashion designers are giving us yet another chance to channel our inner rocker with lots of versions of ‘moto’. Here’s a painted version by Tibi.
Here’s an interesting take on the look, a lace version by Christopher Kane.
 Here’s my ‘three zippered’ look.
For my ‘moto’ inspired jacket, I used a red ponte I had in my stash (yahoo!), and leather trim left over from my moto skirt I made last year. The pattern I chose was Butterick 5958, a fitted lined jacket with princess seams and a side front exposed zipper. It didn’t have zippers on the sleeves, but the shape was perfect so I went for it anyway. I didn’t have a lot of fabric, so I chose to make the collarless version. 5958
The ponte was easy to work with, and the front zipper went in easily. I trimmed the front opening with a piece of black leather to give it a bit of a ‘pop’ (I love black and red together!). The pattern was easy to follow.
When it came to the zippers at the cuff, I ad-libbed a bit by inserting seven inch ‘sport’ zippers at the seams. In order to figure out where to place the zippers, I had to first determine the perfect length for the sleeve and the depth of the sleeve’s hem, so that the zipper opening would be placed at the wrist. This meant I had to put the sleeve into the jacket before inserting the zippers, so that I could judge the length correctly. As a result, I had the entire jacket to move around my machine as I inserted the zippers into the sleeves. Total nightmare!
 Okay, it would have been MUCH easier to have inserted the zippers before the sleeve was in. I think (?) I should’ve just measured my arm length vs. the sleeve length and then, just gone for it (?). But I was too chicken. If I’d made the pattern before (or a muslin version but I didn’t – – I’m my own worst enemy!), I could’ve avoided this cumbersome step. But alas, I did none of those things, so I tortured myself. The sleeve zippers turned out okay, but I wouldn’t recommend my messed up process to anyone!
I like the jacket and know I’ll get a lot of wear out of it. If I had to do it again (and I just might make another with leather, or denim or something for a edgier look.  Hope Springs Eternal!), I’ll add pockets and zippers there too, maybe go with the collared version of the pattern, and add some metal snaps to jazz things up a bit. I might also check out some other patterns. I know Linda, at Nice dress, Thanks I made it, sewed a cool moto jacket (see it here!) with zillions of zippers that turned out so cute.
Red seems to be one of my ‘fall’ colors this year. I suspect that in a few weeks, my jacket will coordinate with the color of the leaves outside!
If anyone has a moto jacket pattern to recommend, give a shout. Happy sewing, and thanks for stopping by!