I jumped at the opportunity to test the Kingston Jacket by Mummykins and Me recently. I'm really glad I was chosen as I really learned a lot.
The Kingston is a classic denim jacket and, as with all of Rebecca's patterns, the instructions for construction and finishing are detailed. As much of the seaming is done with flat fells, it's a great opportunity to learn and perfect this technique.
What's a flat fell? I've been sewing rather steadily for 2+ years, and I hadn't heard of them until recently. There's a simple description and discussion shared here with a couple great diagrams. (The site is devoted to backpacking and hiking, not sewing in particular. Cool.)
The approach to flat-felled seams described in the pattern is to stitch the fabric wrong sides together, trim one of the seam allowances, wrap the other seam allowance around the trimmed raw edge, and then top stitch the folded seam allowance down in place. The illustration above shows how the seams are wrapped around each other.
I've had this charming medium weight stretch twill from in my stash for some time. I'm pretty sure it was purchased with the intention of making myself pants, a sewing goal I'm baby-stepping my way to. Very slowly.
For the lining pieces of the waistband and the collar, I used this sweet Dear Stella print from Raspberry Creek's Etsy shop.
First flat fell! Instant swoon. I used my edge stitch foot to close all the flat fell seams. It helped keep all my top stitching nice and straight, but I wish it was a wee bit closer to the edge. I'm thinking my next sewing machine will be one with more needle positions.
If I'm being completely honest, it's not the first time I've tried flat fell seams,. The seam between the yoke and main on the Madison Blouse has the option for finishing with a flat fell. Trouble, for me, was wrapping a 1/2" seam allowance (SA) around the small section with gathers. Serger to the rescue that time. On this jacket, though, the flat fell seams are perfection. But if you are a serging enthusiast, there's also instructions for finishing that way too.
I learned some tips about top stitching in making this. If you don't have top-stitch weight thread (on hand or in the desired color), you can use 2 construction-weight or 2 embroidery-weight threads threaded together through your sewing machine needle. That would have given my top stitching a bit more oomph. You sew, you learn!
The pattern comes with 5 sleeve options; classic long, bell, and 3/4 bell, half angel and trumpet. Those bell and trumpet sleeves make for a big wow. I kept the sleeves simple for this 3-6 month version, using the half angel option. The breast pockets are simple patch pockets; a flap piece is also included in the pattern, as well as optional inseam side pockets.
The romper is a Teatime Romper, another Mummykins and Me pattern.
The testers had lots of other great ideas for hacks and mods. I suspect we'll be seeing some fun Kingston Jackets with added flair in the form of hoods, without sleeves, with added ruffles along the yoke or armscyes, and maybe even some with skirts too.
For more inspiration, check out the other testes' posts about on their Kingston Jackets.