Picking a Winter Jacket Pattern

By Tiffany - Saturday, October 26, 2013

Step 2 in my quest to create a winter jacket: finding a pattern. This step is even more difficult than I thought it would be.

Deconstruction of an Winter Outdoor Jacket

Looking at several different sportswear websites, I found jackets that appealed to my taste. I like ones with a mid to long length, since they will keep my bum warm.

ColumbiaNorth Face

Most of the jackets I found were styled like fitted trench coats. If you look closely at them, they have princess seams.

The shoulder is usually made seamless with a separate piece (like a trench coat), so that moisture does not get in. They have the zipper flaps and built in hoods. On top of that they have adjustable waists (most with cinch-cord) and wrists. It would also be nice to have zippers in the underarm seam to allow for extra venting. Now, to look for a pattern!

More after the jump...

Existing Jacket Patterns

I took a look at the existing sewing patterns for outdoor jackets and was quite disappointed. There are quite a few patterns from the 1940s to early 2000s, but then they fade to almost nothing.

1940s pattern 1970s pattern
A problem with these vintage patterns is that they are not really great winter jackets. They lack key components that make a modern winter jacket, like zipper flaps and built in hoods. And they don't fit with current ideas of what outdoor jackets for women should look like.

By the 1990s and early 2000s, these components were added to jackets, but everything was worn very large and usually with drop shoulders. There are few patterns are out there, but they also don't fit with current ideas of what outdoor jackets for women should look like.

1990s pattern2000s pattern
The above two patterns by Jalie and Green Pepper are close. But, again they are not very fitted. They are probably more suited as men's jackets.

The Minoru

Tasia at Sewaholic must have recognized this gap when see created the Minoru, which is probably why it is so popular. The Minoru is a lot like the Green Pepper pattern, but it has shaping thanks to the gathers at the neckline and the waist elastic.

My Minoru
I've already made a Minoru (and love it), but this pattern may not be suitable for specialty outdoor fabrics, which don't gather very well. I would also have to add zipper flaps, etc.

Making My Own Jacket Pattern 

After I spent hours looking though patterns, I decided to look for a basic jacket pattern to which I will add all the special winter jacket features myself. Without further ado...

Option 1: The Minoru Revised

If I wanted to, I could still use the Minoru pattern and get rid of the gathers. This was done by Meg (of Made by Meg). But then you lose the shaping and end up with something like the Green Pepper Oregon jacket shown above.

Option 2: Simplicity 2149

Simplicity 2149 is a cute jacket with princess seams and raglan sleeves. Raglan sleeves are nice and easy to sew. The only downside is that there is a seam in the sleeve that sits on top of the shoulder. But, it comes with different front pieces for different cup sizes. So, bust adjustments are done for you.

Option 3: Burdastyle 08/2011 #102

The Burdastyle Military Coat has the right pieces. It also has princess seams. There are no shoulder seams, since there is an extra piece that goes along the top of the back and over the shoulders. If I remove the extra pockets and the shoulder flaps, it will be quite similar to the jackets I have been looking at.

There were other nice patterns out there, but these were two that appealed to me. Which one do you like? Which one do you think will look best with a zipper and hood?

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  1. I think Options 1 and 3 would look best with a hood even though I like Option 2 as is best. I think you can't go wrong!

    1. Thanks Diane! Decisions, decisions... sigh :)