My husband has a new jacket! It fits! And he likes it! Happy dance! Smiplicity 1328 has taken me almost a month to finish-- I'm a slow sewer-- but I've gotten to learn so many new things along the way: thread tracing, flat fell seams, plackets, how to do a collar stand. I had help along the way though. You Tube, David Page Coffin's "Shirtmaking", "Sewing Secrets from the Fashion Industry" by Susan Huxley and Vogue's "Vogue Sewing". I couldn't have accomplished it without them. (Nerds do love their books.) Coffin's book was the most helpful. It takes you through every step of shirtmaking in detail.
I used a size XL ( 46-48) based on the jackets in my husband's closet, size 46 regular. I was so afraid the whole time I was sewing it that it was too big because it looked absolutely huge! Especially when I stored it on Zelda to help it keep its shape. It looked so big there I started draping it around my chair instead. I guess my eye was just used to seeing a much smaller size for me because it fits him wonderfully.
I did three things differently from the pattern. 1) I lined the pockets. I'm so glad I did. They added some structure to the pockets and my husband was delighted with the touch. He noticed it right away. 2) I used self fabric for the interior yoke instead of lining as I'd never seen a man's shirt use lining there. 3) I used self fabric for the button placket for the same reason. I think they look very professional now. The fabric was a brushed flannel from JoAnn's in a lovely charcoal grey so it wasn't too thick working with those layers.
The pattern wasn't exactly hard just very time-consuming with new things to learn. The layers were difficult for the flat fell foot for the side and sleeve seams because of the fabric I chose. They're not perfect but they're not bad, either. I practiced on scraps for a long time before I did it for real. Glad I did because I was awful in the beginning! The plackets weren't hard to do just intimidating and a bit of a puzzle to figure out. I'm so proud of how nice they look.
My favorite things about the jacket are the same things my husband likes about it, too. (We've grown so alike over the years.) The softness of the fabric, the lined pockets, the pleats in the back to allow more arm movement, and the number of pockets. (There are four huge pockets on this thing!) He was having a bit of fun modeling for me cracking jokes, goofy guy.
So my first attempt at men's sewing has been a success and I'm no longer afraid of it or too intimidated to sew for my husband. (The what if it doesn't measure up to his RTW mentality? There will be more projects in the future. But in my immediate future I have a Burda top because I just got some lovely cotton/linen voile in the mail and have a staycation planned for the week ahead. A few chores and a lot of sewing is on the agenda. What fun! Happy stitching all.