Pattern Test: Chalk and Notch Joy Jacket

Jacket: Joy in modal twill  //  Sweater: J.Crew (old)  //  Jeans: Gap  //  Shoes: Coach  //  Sunglasses: Ray Ban

YEP! I made a jacket!

I can't tell you how excited I am about that. Because it was my first jacket. My first bit of outerwear at all. My first bagged lining, first grommets, first separating zip (okay, that last one never intimidated me). And you know what? It was easy! I sewed this thing together in what, three days? Granted, those weren't three 30 minute sessions, but it wasn't anywhere near as time consuming as I expected!

I definitely have to give credit where credit is due though. Once again, Gabriela has created a great pattern. This pattern is so well drafted, everything goes together with such ease! And the directions are clear and thorough, which was perfect for an outerwear newbie like me.

But, let's come back to that. Because, I just have to share a little bit of the story behind this new pattern. So, if you're here, odds are you're already familiar with the sewing community and then, you know just how truly wonderful the people in it can be. Gabriela is absolutely one of those wonderful people. She designed this pattern for Emily, whose mother died of leukemia at only 48 years old. Emily has treasured an old jacket of her mother's and searched for a pattern to make another one like it. When she couldn't find it, Gabriela came through and designed one for her and named it for her mother. How lovely is that?!

Obviously, with a backstory like that, the goal was design and test this jacket to absolute perfection. I can honestly say that I think she nailed it!

It was such a pleasure being a part of this testing group. We all joined in on Facebook, read Emily's story, cheered each other on, watched as we each successfully made a jacket that we instantly feel in love with, and shared in Gabriela's and Emily's joy as it all came together. (That wasn't meant to be a pun, but it's just such a fitting name!)

Now of course, style preferences may vary, but there was definitely a lot of thought put into this and it's everything I want in a jacket like this. The length* is sporty, but long enough for the pockets to be at a comfortable height for hiding your hands away on long walks and such. And the pockets are generous! The (optional) hood is generous too. Not ridiculously oversized, in danger of falling in your face, but large enough to cover a bun or ponytail, in my experience ;) I also love the drawstring in the hood (and there's an option for one at the hem), the shape of the sleeve, the raglan shoulder, the lining, which has plenty of ease built in. The included hang loop pattern piece (I definitely would have forgotten that otherwise!) I love that it was designed with drapey twills in mind. Really, I love everything!

The construction, though involved, was very straightforward. (Oh, and there's even a pattern piece for each bit of interfacing, so you don't forget those steps either!) Each step is clearly described and illustrated. I just marked off each bit as I went along. Despite this being my first jacket, I didn't encounter any issues or confusion along the way. I would definitely say any confident sewist could tackle this and it would be a great first outerwear pattern! (But, if you're still not sure, Gabriela is planning a sew-along on her site in March.)

Side note: Yes, this is the same amazing black modal twill I've used here, here, here, and for an unblogged pair of Winslow Culottes haha. What can I say, I clearly hate it! Nothing new to add about it though - simply, if you live near a Jo-ann and they have this, I recommend grabbing some!

Fit Notes:

  • Be sure to check out the size chart and finished garment measurements. These are accurate and even include body length and sleeve length details - so helpful!
  • I fell on the size chart as a 10/10/12, so I muslined a sz 10, blending out slightly at the hips.
  • *Since I'm 5'10", I added 1" to the sleeves and 2" to the body and I think both adjustments worked well. (Since I added 2" to the length, I also used a 30" zipper, instead of the suggested 28".)
  • I also added 1" to the pocket and lowered it by 1.5", to adjust for height and scale.
  • Following my first muslin, I made a 3/4" dartless FBA, so my jacket would close. (My bust is "prominant" so even if my measurements match the size chart, I often need more room in the front.
  • The jacket fits really well over tees, button-up shirts, or light sweaters and fairly well over an oversized bulky cable knit sweater, with just a bit of sleeve restriction. Note: the pattern has large seam allowances on the outside of the sleeve to allow you to add or remove room for your shoulders or to accommodate desired layers. I won't wear it over the bulky sweater often, so I left mine as drafted.
  • Now I've worn this one a bit, I think I may adjust the sleeve length on the next one. I plan to keep the length, but split the added inch between above and below the elbow.
So, not many changes :) I love when a pattern happens to come together like that, don't you? And I really love finally having a jacket that fits! haha  Another box ticked and another thing I no longer have to buy rtw, yes!!

Convinced yet? It's currently on sale over on the Chalk & Notch site! But, I love this pattern so much, I've decided I need to share the Joy ;) I'm hosting my first giveaway over on Instagram, so keep an eye out for that! The winner will receive a code for a free Joy pattern!

Happy sewing! x

Main fabric:  Jo-ann (from stash) //  Lining: Bemberg (from stash, org. Jo-ann)  //  Grommets: Dritz  //  Zipper: Wawak  //  Label: Wunderlabel
Loni had the great idea to use a two-way zipper, instead of a standard separating zipper, for extra ease when sitting


  1. So chic! I love the double ended zipper and that sweet pop of floral inside!

    1. Thanks, Gabriela! It's the little things, isn't it? The loop makes me smile every time :)


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