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Make more with your pattern - The Utility Jacket
9th May 2019

I have been saving this mustard coloured washed silk for something special. I bought it on a recent trip to India from a fabric emporium in Mysore, a city known for its silk. It has a fabulous lustrous quality and weighty enough to make more than a blouse.

I decided to make a version of the Utility Jacket adding some extra adjustable ties to the sleeve; accentuating this season's utility trend. I also elongated the back straps to start from the side seams, forming a half belt.

I cut and made two further straps to mirror the ones on the centre back and made narrow belt loops to hold the straps in place. Although this fabric has some weight, the metal slide buckles need support.

The straps are 36cm-finished length with the small buckle attached. The belt loops 8cm before folding.

Each sleeve requires five belt loops and three for the back half belt, so thirteen in total.

The belt loops are tucked into the seam between cuff and sleeve and hem cuff and body. On the sleeve the loops are placed on the centre of the outer placket to hold the buckle, then evenly spaced finishing with one just before the under placket. To keep the loops in place they are also stitched at the top - if I had thought this through from the beginning, I would have stitched here before folding - this would have hidden the stitching.

On the back I place a central loop to take the weight of the buckle and two further loops between the centre and the side seams.

This version of The Utility Jacket has a dressier feel; it’s certainly more of a statement piece. I'll wear it as a blouse rather than a jacket although it could be worn over a sleeveless dress or vest top.