About me

My photo
I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


Follow by Email

Follow me on Instagram


Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Peek-a-boo pattern's Park City Pullover

As you know I am interested in exploring patterns beyond the Big 4. Over time I have found that some independent pattern companies are simply doing a better job with fit that more closely resembles RTW, than the usual pattern companies, and also give us access to styles that are also closer to what real people are actually wearing in their real lives.

My admiration for StyleArc patterns, the pants in particular, and Jalie patterns is well documented in both my wardrobe and in the patterns I review on this blog.

As a result I intend to sew even more this year and to expand my horizons in as many ways as I can.

So for this reason I decided to make Peek-a-boo patterns Park City Pullover for my husband. I knew he needed a fleece jacket before our trip, all those state parks and campgrounds, and of course all those golf courses too.

My husband is hard to fit, or to be more accurate he finds it hard to fit himself. He is a trim fit guy but his shoulders and chest are proportionally larger than the rest of him. If left unattended, something we try not to do,  in a store he will buy himself XL tops (because they are comfy), completely ignoring the extra fabric that flaps around his waist and hips.

His approach to dressing has made me highly motivated to do more sewing for him. 

So when I saw this front zipper jacket from Peek-a-boo  I thought it would be a nice quick place to start:

I have had good luck with Peek-a-boo for kids clothes and for the diaper bag and diaper bag I made my niece in the fall. 

Like many independent designs the instructions are incredibly detailed, well-illustrated and carefully explained. As someone who has worked with new sewers, and seen them struggle through cryptic standard instructions sheets, I really appreciate any pattern designer who goes to all this trouble and makes sewing so clear and easy.

My husband is of average height but as someone who also sews for very tall sons and sons-in-law, I appreciate too that this pattern also has complete tall pattern pieces - another plus for a new sewer who would need them.

Now onto how the pattern worked for me.


The sizing was great. The large gave my husband the perfect amount of ease in the chest and shoulders but was trim everywhere else. He has more or less worn it nearly every day here on the road.


The details need a little work and there are some changes I would make next time. Here those are:

  • The pockets are the standard inseam tear drop pocket units. These are fine in something with a long side seam but as soon as my husband puts his hands in the pockets they hang out below the hem.

He isn't really that sad about the pockets, just got him looking down in this picture! I actually think this shot makes us even for all those pictures he has taken of me that make me look fatter than I actually am ...

If I were to make this again I would use one pocket piece, sew it to the back piece at the side seam, tape turn and topstitch under the seam allowance at the pocket opening in the front piece and next topstitch the pocket piece to the front of the jacket to make the pocket. 

Does that make sense? It would fix this problem.

  • The collar piece is a straight sided rectangle. You see this a lot but it makes a collar that stands up straight from the neck, rather than being curved into it, and a jacket that hugs the neck a little is warmer. A curved neck piece would fix this.

  • Finally the construction of the band attaches a little awkwardly to the front zipper. There is no way if you follow the instructions to have a clean serged edge all the way up to the zipper. Following the instructions this is what it looked like before I finished the short unfinished part by hand:

I am sure I can find a way to wrap so it turns out more neatly.

So my final feeling is that this is basically a nice, well fitting pattern, great for beginners, but definitely needs some refinement to be as good a pattern as it could be.


bbarna said...

I agree with the pocket fix. As for the lower band..McPhee workshop patterns had a great way to wrap the ribbing around the zipper for a clean finish...unfortunately I no longer have the pattern in question, as I replaced it with a Jalie pattern. Perhaps someone will remember how it was done.
Barb from Prince George.

Eileensews said...

Super nice!

Moosiemoose said...

To fix the pocket "problem" I would just sew of the bottom of the pocket into the band when attaching the band to the body of the jacket. Maybe that would make it too short and not enough room for the hand. You could extend the width of the pocket to make up for that. Or you could still make it one piece as you mention and still have the bottom match the bottom of the body of the jacket and sew both into the band. I am not a fan of the two piece pockets that just hang. And....though I have not seen every photo of you, I haven't seen a photo where you look fat. We are our own worst critics, aren't we. Jean

SewRuthie said...

Great jacket, looks good, and hopefully you'll make him another one soon.

mrsmole said...

You would have thought that in the testing of this pattern by the designers, they would have discovered these poor sections before selling it on to the public. I find Indie patterns leave out crucial steps/pieces or just duplicate older versions of the same old same old patterns to promote their brand. That collar is badly designed and who wants pockets that droop below the band? Thank you for making this pattern to show us all what the results can be.

Anonymous said...

He's a sport to model his new jacket, and Vogue is frequently full of equally sad or sullen faces.


Barbara said...

My poor husband, he is not a gloomy guy and would like me to repost with his head cut off from these pictures. Know how he feels. Maybe only the face of a man who was dragged away from a major project for a photo shoot.

Anonymous said...

See, I just thought he was being arty. But perhaps he isn't a frequent Vogue reader anyway?