Fast Jackets

Has the Stitchers’ Guild jackets sew along made it onto your list of Resolutions ?

Most people who hear the word ‘jacket’ immediately assume lengthy hours of advanced sewing skills are essential. Well, there are sewers who can make a tailored/ structured jacket in a month. And good for them.

But many jacket patterns don’t involve tailoring. They’re ‘dressmaker’ styles with no lining which need little more skill than making a top – often much less skill than making a shirt with band collar and proper sleeve placket. As my fabric stash consists mainly of miles of quilting cottons, I need to make casual jackets and shirt-jackets to use some of it up !

So, what about making some jackets really quickly ?
How about a jacket a day 😀

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There are some jacket patterns which can be made in a few hours. Just the thing if you get to the end of a month and find you haven’t made anything at all 😀

I’ve already listed the Big 4 speedy jacket patterns which claim to take only a couple of hours sewing time. Three patterns for knits. For wovens, there are jackets all the way from casual cascade to formal notched collar. Even two quick outerwear jackets.

Since that post, McCall’s have added another 1-hour knit jackets pattern – McCall’s 6208.


There are also a few jackets among the speedy wardrobe patterns..

Make all those, to get you well on the way to a dozen jackets.

What about patterns from independent designers ? They rarely claim how long their patterns take to sew, but there are a few.

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Textile Studio often do give sewing times for their simple stylish patterns. There are a couple of jackets (originally designed by Loes Hinse).

Capri jacket : 2-1/2 hours sewing time.


Shawl Collar jacket – also 2-1/2 hours.

I have the Florence jacket, said to take 2 hours to sew. Discontinued but still available from The Sewing Place.


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CNT patterns also have a couple of timed jacket patterns.

One, no. 2401, is even called ‘Start after breakfast finish before lunch’ (though personally if I was matching stripes at the raglan seams I think I would take a bit longer than that. . .)


And they say their ‘A Little Somethin’ jacket’ no. 2501 is a 3-hour project. Slightly dropped shoulders, shawl collar.


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Silhouette patterns don’t give specific sewing times on their site, but the instructions often suggest how many sessions you need. I have one quick one – no. 85 Sweater Wrap says it can be made in one session.


It isn’t obvious from the photo or line diagram, but this is a fun circular shape with added sleeves. Could be made without the sleeves, as a wrap vest. (Styling assumes it’s made with a serger, the seams show so need a good finish.)

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Yvonne Porcella’s Cardigan Jacket from Project Sewing Workshop. Claims to be the ‘easiest jacket ever made’. Not so much so I suspect if you’re tempted to embellish 😀


(P.S. I now have this pattern. Yes, very easy if you know what you’re doing. But it would be polite to say the instructions are confused. No line diagrams to clarify the style options, nor suggested fabric layouts etc. Definitely not for beginners or for people who like clear instructions. If you only have 3 hours for a project, you’ll use them all on trying to understand this pattern.)

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There are some minimal DIY patterns available online. I’ve decided in general not to review online patterns. But I can’t resist mentioning this one.

Watch Shirley Adams show how to make a jacket without using a pattern at all, and only 2 seams – in her Bog coat video. Make a fleece jacket in 10 minutes.

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MacPhee Workshop patterns don’t give specific sewing times, but her patterns focus on quick techniques.

In particular, there are several jackets in the ‘It’s Magic’ section which have only one pattern piece. Her ‘Magic Coat’ no. 150 is a tidied-up version of the bog-coat. As is no. 154, ‘Night and Day’.

There’s also the ‘World’s Easiest Parka’ with 2 pattern pieces, in the Coats and Jackets section.

I would refer to these patterns more often, but the diagrams are so tiny they aren’t worth reproducing.

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There are other Big 4 patterns which aren’t quite so quick, but don’t require complex skills. Though beware that most Very Easy Vogue patterns would be ranked Intermediate in difficulty by other people !

Look at the Butterick jackets section. There are about a dozen jackets labelled ‘Fast & Easy’

Or the Vogue jackets section. There are more than a dozen labelled ‘Very Easy Vogue’.

And there are about a dozen more jackets in the Very Easy Vogue Separates section.

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What about going the other way and advancing your skills, but still on relatively quick projects. Perhaps working toward ultimate jacket making skills by doing some tailoring.

For quick tailoring, there’s the McCall’s 6172 Palmer-Pletsch blazer pattern, supported by the Palmer-Alto book ‘Jackets for Real People’. (P.S. There’s now also a DVD, Jackets for Real People.) This jacket is interfaced with fusibles. They claim it takes 8 hours sewing time (after practice !). Three lengths so you can get it right for your own proportions.


Tailored styles are not right for me. I’d be more likely to advance my skills by making a trench coat. Such as Silhouette patterns no. 1925 Barbara’s Trench. The instructions say that can be made in 3 sessions. Hah ! For me that would be more like 3 months 😀


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These are just a few examples of what you could do if you want to go a more complex, though still quite quick, jacket making route. But there are so many quick and easy patterns, there’s no need to despair that you need to improve your sewing skills and take lots of time if you want to make several jackets in one year. And you have only got to make one jacket in the year to join the sew-along !

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Patterns and links available January 2011

Explore posts in the same categories: speedy sewing

6 Comments on “Fast Jackets”

  1. Pati Says:

    Enjoyed reading your article.

  2. maria Says:

    This is a great idea. I know from experience that most jackets do not have to go through the very lengthy process of tailoring 🙂

    Great article…thanks for sharing.


    • sewingplums Says:

      Thanks Maria

      Enjoyed your blog. I love wearing swirly skirts, but just don’t find them practical for my lifestyle, so I’m a pants person. I add touch of lace or embroidery to my tops 😀

  3. Egret Says:

    I’ve made the CNT jacket. It has set in sleeves, but they have almost no easing at the cap, so they sew in with minimal effort and look great! I made the shorter sleeve, which has a fuller, almost bell shape. I love this pattern.

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