Helen’s Closet – Pona Jacket

Sew… I made a jacket. I keep thinking this is my first but I have made the Seamwork Audrey jacket so really this is my second. Both are really different so it’s my first of this style!

I am a huge fan of Helen’s Closet and loved the look of the Pona jacket when Helen released it last year. I was aiming for a smarter jacket as I’m lacking one but if you keep reading you’ll see I went in the opposite direction!

Helen describes the Pona as oversized blazer with pockets, a statement lapel and no fastenings. The Pona has a US size range of 0 – 30 and has the best instructions so perfect for sewists of all levels.

The fabric recommendations are for light to medium weight fabrics with no stretch. So I decided to ignore this and picked a teddy fur coating from Sew Me Sunshine which has some 2 way stretch. I didn’t want the jacket to end up saggy and going out of shape so decided to interface all pieces in a light weight interfacing. I went for light weight so that it stops it stretching out but will also keep the soft snuggly feel.

The jacket is unlined and I obviously didn’t want all the interfacing on show which now meant that I had to add some sort of lining. Instead of trying to get my head around working out how to line it I decided to interline the jacket. I used a super soft sandwashed satin, also from Sew Me Sunshine. I cut out the back bodice, front bodice pieces, sleeves and pockets from the interlining and hand basted these to the interlined pieces.

All the pieces!

To give myself even more work I decided that as I didn’t want any overlocker seams on show I would instead finish the raw edges using Hong Kong seams. And of course pre made binding wouldn’t be good enough so I made my own using a scrap left over from some fabric I was given from India. I ended up making about 20m worth but probably only used about 10m. With everything getting quite bulky I finished the edges before sewing them together to give myself a bit more room to work with. Due to all the layers and the teddy fur the finished seams were quite bouncy so I then stitched these down along the outside edge of the bias binding. You can’t see the stitches from the right side due to the texture of the fabric. Each seam needed 7 lots of stitching!

Neat on the inside.
Spot the stitches.

To ensure I got a really neat finished I hand basted the hems and collar before sewing. There was no way pins were going through all these layers so I used clips, which were perfect. I also used the bias binding to finish edge of the facing and hems. And for the final finishing touch I add an ‘this took ages’ label from Pink Coat Club.

Finishing touches.

Yes this took ages but I love it and am so please with the finished result. I love the oversized snuggly look.

Helen advises to pick your size based on your high bust measurements and to size down if you are over a range of sizes. My high bust is the size 16 but I decided to make a size 14 as there would still be 8 inch of ease at the high bust, 6 inch at the full bust, 14 inch at the waist and 4 inch at the hips. To be honest I could probably size down again. Due to the drop shoulders I don’t think this style of jacket would suit me for the smarter look I’m going for but I will definitely be making more oversized cosy jackets.

My machine only just managed with all the layers and did need some gently easing to get them all through at some points. When attaching the collar, facing and back bodice there were 4 layers of teddy fur, 4 layers of interfacing and one layer of satin! So bear this in mind if you fancy making a similar jacket.

All the squishy layers.
Showing off the insides.