Pattern: Explorer Jacket
Designer: Peek A Boo Pattern Shopo
Fabrics: Forest Friends Softshell – Etsy. Solid Mustard softshell and cuddle fleece – Spotlight
Measurements: Chest: 21″; Height: 35″
Size made: 3T
Adjustments: I had to alter the lining which I’ll detail below
Pros: This is going to be the PERFECT winter. Its so cuddly and warm.
Cons: I chose to line it with cuddly fleece and had quite a few problems. I felt the instructions weren’t that clear on what to do if you were lining with a thicker fleece.


The Wrap Up:

First up, I absolutely ADORE how this one turned out. It is an intermediate pattern and I definitely agree. I couldn’t finish this one while watching TV or being distracted by kids. It had a lot of little finishing touches that required concentration. But, with many things, the effort was totally worth it and I love how it turned out. Didn’t love the 5 needles I broke on the zipper installation alone, haha, but the end product was worth it.

Now, the tricky stuff. As I mentioned above, I broke 5 needles when installing the zipper. Was not a fun time, much cursing was said to my machine that I later had to go to her and apologise for being a bit cranky. I simply think my domestic machine struggled with the layers of soft shell, zipper tape binding, seams and cuddle fleece. I had to hand crank in a few areas as it was dicy. I even used a microtex needle to try and help pierce the soft shell fabric a little easier.

The second issue I had was that the pattern gave a tip to not use cuddle fleece in the sleeve lining as it would likely make the sleeve too bulky and stiff in addition to the soft shell (You can actually do the whole jacket unlined as soft shell generally has a fleecy underside which is fine). I agreed so I didn’t cut my arm pieces to line it and proceeded to sew up my lining as instructed. However, it became apparent when putting the jacket outing and lining pieces together that because of the raglan style sleeve it really wouldn’t work without some kind of arm lining. I was a bit stumped about this for a while and kind of put something together to make it work. It was only after I had done that that I realised I probably should have used a cotton lycra for the arm lining, sewing it to the cuddle fleece. I was just a little disappointed there wasn’t some kind of note next to the tip about not using cuddle fleece in the arms that look at using a lighter fabric instead.

The inside of the jacket with open arm holes in the lining.

I would also note that even though I sized up, using the cuddle fleece has added a certain amount of bulk and I probably should have gone another size again to account for that.

I have more planned, with no lining this time haha. I definitely think its a great winter jacket pattern. This little guy is certainly going to be the sunshine on my rainy days this winter.