All my favourite things rolled into one garment - green, linen, peplum, swingy, and indie sewing pattern!
I first came across the pink version of this jacket (photographed below) on the @fordandguy Instagram page, and it soon became one of those styles that I just couldn't stop thinking about. I knew I had to have it!
I was obviously not the only one. Because it didn't take long for the makers to release a PDF pattern for this exact jacket, enabling us home sewers to make our own. So you can imagine my excitement, as I purchased the pattern immediately!
I was not disappointed with the end result either. This has easily become my new favourite make. We just need Spring to return here in Munich so I can stop wearing it around the house and actually wear it outside!
A wrap-up of this review
The makers: Ford & Guy
Established in 2020 by Suzie Ford (photograph on the right), Ford & Guy produce ethical and sustainable clothing and accessories. Their products are all handmade in their workshop in Nottingham, England.
Ethics and sustainability obviously play a big role in everything Ford & Guy do, with their;
re-purposing of fabric scraps into such things as pockets or scrunchies.
timeless designs that hang around in wardrobes for longer.
slower approach that focuses on small batches or made to order, helping to avoid waste.
Ford & Guy also have a sustainable and creative sewing hub that offers sewing lessons, workshops, and a range of resources.
Head to their website (linked above), check out their social media @fordandguy for more inspiration, or if you are in the area, check out their recently opened retail store in Nottingham!
The Ruffle Jacket is the only sewing pattern currently on offer by Ford & Guy, but I am hoping it won't be that way for long.
The pattern is available in PDF only, and includes sizes 6-24. Once you have purchased your pattern you will be instantly emailed a link that allows you to download your PDF sewing pattern. This download will provide you with access to:
A4 print at home pattern - 28 pages
A4 sewing instructions - 9 pages
There is just one version of the jacket included in the pattern, and I must say it is all about volume, with gathering at the waist and sleeves. There is a simple and neat neck trim and ties at the front. The jacket is cropped in length, finishing at the hips and the wrists.
I have mentioned before that I am not a huge fan of the A4 print and stick at home method of creating patterns. However, unfortunately this was the only option with this pattern as no A0 patterns were offered. This was a shame, but hopefully something they can add in the future.
When it came to the pattern itself, there were just a couple of minor things that I would add;
Size differentiation: The printing instructions tell you to “Open the pdf pattern and select the layer corresponding to your size, deselecting the other sizes.” I don’t know if I missed something here, or if it was how the file downloaded on my computer, but I didn’t get this option. I sent my files straight to the professional printers, and therefore received a pattern with no size differentiation, with all sizes having the same dark, solid line. Therefore, a really good inclusion (in case this happens again) would be different patterned lines to indicate the different sizes.
Notches: I love a notch, and while this comes down to personal preference, I did find that there was a lack of them. As they are easy to add yourself, I would recommend adding some to the neck trim, and even to assist with evening out the gathering.
When it came to the instruction booklet, it included the essential information covering the recommended fabrics, a glossary, printing instructions, size chart, cutting layouts and fairly basic sewing instructions, with accompanying clear diagrams.
Fabric and notions
The suggested fabric is woven, such as cotton, hemp, wool, linen or tencel, or for a more structured look, a heavier weight twill or denim. The pattern does require fabric of 140cm wide or more.
The only additional notion you need for this jacket is coordinating thread. As this jacket isn't lined, I would recommend matching your overlocking thread as best you can also. I simply purchased a few extra reels of the Gutterman machine thread to use on the overlocker.
When choosing fabric for my own version, I couldn't go past the Judy Green 185 European laundered linen from Merchant and Mills, which is a stunning emerald green colour. This fabric, which forms part of their stock range, is 100% linen, 143cm wide, and Oeko-Tex certified.
Cutting out of the pattern pieces was pretty straightforward. There are seven pattern pieces in total, and many of the pattern pieces were rectangular, thanks to the gathering panels and neck trim and tie.
Once you have cut out the pattern pieces, you are asked to do a little prep work, pressing the hems for both the front neck trim, front tie, lower arm, and back and front pieces. I was a little hesitant about this, as I usually prefer to do this sort of thing as I go, but I actually found it really handy and it saved a lot of time later on having all this already prepped. You will also be required to cut along the horizontal line of each front piece, as this section is gathered.
I would describe the Ruffle Jacket as being for the advanced beginner sewer. The pattern will have you top-stitching, creating darts, and sewing quite a bit of gathering for the ruffles on the body and sleeves.
Once you have completed all the gathering, the jacket comes together pretty quickly. There were just a couple of things I altered, that added a little extra time:
Lower back panel: This panel is quite wide, and instead of having 2 long, continuous rows of gathering stitch, I simply broke it into two halves to reduce the risk of breaking a thread.
Neck trim: I tacked this trim into place before topstitching to ensure it was neat and even on the underside (see photograph to the left).
For more on gathering, and some tips, head to my earlier article 'How to: Machine gather'.
This jacket, like most things I make, is super relaxed when it comes to fit. The oversized design, dropped shoulders and roomy sleeves definitely make it a little more forgiving when it comes to fit than other jacket styles, allowing you to easily layer a long sleeve top underneath. The jacket also looks just as good undone as it does tied up.
The jacket is cropped in length, hitting just below the natural waist. I am more on the shorter side, coming in at approximately 155cm, and found the cropped length perfect for pairing with high waisted garments. However, if you are on the taller side, there are lengthen and shorten lines included in the pattern for both the body and sleeves.
Please get in touch or leave me a comment. I would love to know if you found this article helpful. Maybe I have inspired you to check out the Ruffle Jacket pattern from Ford & Guy for yourself.
Thanks for reading.
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