In the studio we’ve been laughing about the neverending Sienna Maker Jacket content… it feels like we’ve discussed and explored this pattern way more than most (just see our Montreal Maker series here for proof) and we’re not quite done yet. Alex shared her glorious upcycled denim version earlier this week, and today I’d like to talk about my latest take on Sienna, one that involved hours upon hours of hand embroidery.
I’ve yet to make myself a cropped Sienna (I’m planning to make a classic denim version with a cozy shearling lining in the spring) but was happy to have a go at the mid-length variation, something I could easily throw on top of sweaters this winter. I was unsure what fabric to go with until I spotted this lovely linen denim at New Craft House in London (thankfully they still have some in stock!) and knew it would give me the chance to explore directional stripes.
Rather than matching stripes on all the pockets, I rotated them to break up the jacket. Sometimes playing with stripe directions can hurt your eyes, but these ones are wide enough that I think it works. I also skipped the belt to create a sort of oversized blazer. I really love the way it feels to wear this, so if you were on the fence about that belt, feel free to skip it (our namesake Sienna did the same with hers!)
The biggest hack I made was to add a back yoke. I had my heart set on doing some hand embroidery (we, in fact, nixed a huge embroidery module for this pattern, but are hoping to do something special for our first pattern of 2020!) and then spotted this gorgeous printed upholstery fabric at one of our wholesalers. It would have been too stiff, and frankly too busy, to use for an entire jacket, but I decided it would make the perfect base for some freestyle floral embroidery.
I worked on this on and off for the better part of autumn since embroidery takes forever and I kept ripping out parts I didn’t like. At first, I thought I might embroider that entire center portion but when I actually got started on it I realized the jacket wouldn’t be finished until 2025. Instead I tried to compose some flower groupings, and then linked them together with some tendrils and leaves. I’m still relatively new to embroidery, but adding a relatively easy design like this is a super fun way to give your handmades a little something extra.
To make the yoke, I eliminated the center back seam on the back. This is easy to do on the 0-20 size range since the back seam is straight, but if you’re making 14-30 you’ll have to straighten out the back seam first since it has a bit more shaping. I then traced off a yoke shape, leaving a 1″ seam allowance at the bottom. Once the yoke was done, I stitched it in place along this seam allowance and then basted it in place along the shoulder, armscye and neckline before assembling the whole jacket.
It’s way too cold in Montreal to wear this as outwerwear, so I’m leaving it in the studio for the forseeable future to wear while I’m sewing or when I’m chilly and need the extra layer. I just love having these big pockets to hold all my tools in.
Have you ever tried your hand at embroidering your me-mades? Tell me about it in the comments!