Jalie 2679 in Heavy Fleece

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The Jalie 2679 is a great jacket pattern that works well for fleece, soft, and hardshell materials. It has a modern cut, with big zippered pockets, and isn’t too difficult to make. 

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This will be the third jacket I’ve made using this pattern and fabric. Overall, it provides a warm and durable layer that is quick to sew up.

There is one difference in cutting for the pocket lining. The two pieces that compose the main pockets are taped together to cut the lining. Not difficult, but a little different. For this jacket I’ve used a black nylon for the pocket lining.

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The pocket zippers are sewn first. The pockets are composed of two pieces that are joined  along the zipper tape. For this pattern, I’ve found it helpful to use zippers with a 3/8th tape, vs. a 5/8th. This helps make for more consistent seam allowance when joining the two pocket pieces together. I’ve used both types of zipper before, and the 3/8 ths inch tape makes for cleaner seams.

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Here’s the finished pocket / zipper combo, which is repeated for the other side. This is the most difficult portion of the pattern, and once it is completed, the project moves along pretty quickly.

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The picture above shows both completed pockets. The piece on the right is right side up, and the left is wrong side, with the black pocket lining placed over the top. I overlocked the nylon pocket lining to prevent frying. Normally, I would surge the lining onto the main fabric, but this fleece is too thick for my serger.

With the pockets complete, the main body and sleeves are quick to put together. The instructions and diagrams in Jalie patterns are pretty good, and there is nothing too tricky in building up the body of this jacket. One thing to keep in mind, is that the front body pieces need to be put together with a fair amount of precision, because they will need to line up when the main zipper is installed.

After the sleeves and body are put together, it’s time to install the front zipper. There are three seams across the front that all need to line up, and it can be hard to get them perfect. Below, is my first attempt, and the seams did not line up correctly.

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This is my first attempt with the zipper, and I was not happy with it. I pulled the zipper from the right side of the picture for a second try.

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Binder clips can be convenient and fast. You can also see the unfinished seams on the inside of the jacket. Because of the thickness of this material, I have yet to find a nice way to finish the seam allowances. More on that towards the end though. IMG_0438

My second attempt ended up much better!

To finish the collar and zipper, the jacket is completely unzipped, and the second collar piece is attached. Once the collar is turned, the lengths of the zipper, and the edges of the collar are ready for topstitching.

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The walking foot does a great job smashing all the layers down.

To finish the sleeves and bottom hem, I applied lycra binding. I cut a few strips of black lycra 1.5 inches wide, and applied them just like a bias tape. The only difference is that the lycra for the cuffs is sewn together first, to make a loop, and that the tape is stretched slightly as it is sewn, to snug everything in. I think a fold-over elastic would be a good option also.

Lastly, some thoughts about the fabric. This fleece is factory ends from a major clothing manufacturer (or so I’ve been told). It is very thick and resilient, making it rather difficult to work with. On one hand, it does not fray when cut, but on the other hand it doesn’t like to be folded and can make very bulky (uncomfortable) seams. My best guess, is that commercial garments sewn with this material would be flat-locked using an industrial machine specific to that stitch. That being said, this is a warm and durable fabric, but it is not perfect for the home sewist. I really don’t like the look of the unfinished seams, but they are only cosmetic, as this material does not fray.

From the outside, you’d never know though.

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