Ilford Jacket was a struggle

I’m really happy with this finished Ilford Jacket from the Friday Pattern Company but it was not the most enjoyable sew and took many hours.
The pattern is a simple design but I felt its construction techniques made it difficult to get a nice finish. For the boxy sleeves you sew them in flat and when attaching to the shoulder you sew the seam right to the end of the sleeve fabric. I found this made it very difficult to get a neat join when sewing up the side seams and sleeve seams. See pics – and at that stage I had ripped and resewn each join three or four times. If I were to make this again, I would set in the sleeve.

I decided to line this jacket following the Friday Pattern Company method on their website. I had never made a lined jacket before. This was supposed to be simple but I found it very tricky. The instructions have you sew the basic lining together, then attach it to the neckline and treat the rest of it as one with the main fabric.
This did not work for me. No matter what I did, they pulled at each other and puckered. So I ended up ripping them apart at the hem and sewing the hem of the lining, then sewing the main fabric hem separately. This was messy because I had already enclosed the lining in the placket. More ripping.
I sewed the hem of the main fabric by hand so I would have more control and avoid catching the lining.
The sleeves were a little easier to handle because I smoothed them down and took 1/4” off the two together with my rotary cutter.

I deliberately did a deep sleeve hem because I wanted to wear the sleeves turned back like cuffs.
The main fabric is a beautiful Irish linen from The lining is Liberty Tana Lawn that has been in my stash for a long time.

The unisex Ilford pattern goes up to 60” chest.
I’m also wearing a linen LB Pullover; and Muna and Broad Sculthorpe Pants.
That pile of clothes in the background is waiting for ironing!


  1. This style suits you so well – I love the large buttons! It’s such a beautifully balanced style. Have you seen The Insouciant Stitcher’s latest? Not the armchair 🙂 – her lovely version of the Tessuti trench coat?
    Regards, Sandra


  2. Nice jacket Sheila- looks a nice style on you. Lovely material and colours

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  3. Great jacket! I really like the bar tack details.

    I started setting in ALL sleeves, even knits, years ago. It takes very little, if any, additional time and the greater control over ease and seam matching is worth it. To me, anyway.


    • Oops. I just realized that I’m repeating what I said in response to your last post. Guess I feel that strongly about it! Set-in sleeves forever! (And you said that you set in sleeves in knits, too. I’ll bet there aren’t very many of us out there.)


      • Thanks! I love doing set-in sleeves in jersey. I find I need just one clip at the shoulder and one at the underarm. I discovered it by accident, when I wanted to sew up the side seams on a jersey dress to test the fit. Team set-in!


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