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Sew Along: Madcap Jacket Round one

Updated: Apr 20, 2021

This jacket sewing pattern has been with me a LONG time. I have sewn one in just about every color knit I could find and even a tweedy woven (gasp!)

It's so super cool, easy to throw on with just about anything and instantly gains compliments. What more could you want?

While I rarely sit down to sew something and not finish it the same day, but this jacket pattern is a great project to compartmentalize and sew in sections too.

I recommend using a medium to heavy knit for this pattern. You can use a lighter weight fabric but you will loose some of the structure that the medium weight will give.

Madcap Jacket
Rocking my Giuda "Wild Tiger Woman" tee under my Madcap Jacket.

Sew, join me (ha!) in seeing just how I made the navy blue version I rock out here with a sweet band t-shirt.

Side note: If you've never heard of Giuda, you should check them out. Amazing group out of Italy. I usually don't miss a show anytime they are in Chicago.

Ok... back to the sewing.

Step 1: Fold that seam allowance down

Let's get this party started with working on the back of the jacket.

Grab all three of the back Back Overlay pieces and lets press down the seam allowance on those babies (BTW that's 1/2".)

You will press both long sides of the Top and Middle overlay pieces but just one side of the Bottom Overlay.

Step 2: Top stitch your overlays on

Next, place those overlay pieces on your Center Back piece. There are notches for where each overlay pieces will go... make sure you use them.

Go ahead and give those overlays a sweet top-stitch along the edge of the overlay pieces.

Since this is a knit, some of you might be shaking your heads saying "No straight-stitching on knits!" Well, I've never had a problem with any of my stitches popping but a slightly longer top-stitch should allow for some stretch.

Toss aside your Center Back piece for a few minutes, we'll get back to it in a couple steps.

Pick up both your Center Back Ruffle pieces. It's time to hem both ruffles. Whatever method you plan to hem this garment is up to you, your equipment and the best choice for your fabric. I won't get lengthy with another how-to within this one but if you're into it I have a few tutorials on just how to back that hem up here.

Step 4: Time to get yo' ruffle on

Now that they are hemmed, let's get ruffling those ruffles. Place Ruffle A on top of Ruffle B. The wrong side of Ruffle A will be against the right side of Ruffle B.

If you have a ruching or a ruffle foot you can use these too and skip the 2-row gathering stitches method below. Otherwise, follow along and I'll walk you through a 2-row gathering stitch.

Along the top edge of both pieces sew across using a long and loose stay-stitch (considered a gathering stitch) about 1/4" down from the edge, just back-stitch at one end. Now, sew a second long and loose stay-stitch a 1/4" down from your last stitching line.

Grab the loose threads from the side that you didn't back-stitch. It's way easier if you pull the thread that was sewn from your bobbin (or the bottom thread).

Pull those two threads until your ruffles are the same width as your Center Back piece at the bottom. This piece is really ruffled tight so don't be alarmed.

You can pick up your Center Back. Slap that top edge of the Ruffle pieces along the bottom edge of the Center Back. Per the usual make sure you have right sides together. Go ahead and stitch those two guys together.

I suppose it's time now to pick up those Side Back pieces. You'll have two – one for each side of your Center Back with Ruffle piece.

Matching the side of the Center Back with the side of your Side Back, stitch down the side back seam.

Repeat for the other side.

If you did it right, you will have a 1/2" remaining at the bottom edge of your Side Back pieces (shown below in the circles). This will be used for your hem on one of the last sewing steps.

Seamsters, way to hit it from the back! That about wraps up round 1 for our Madcap Jacket Pattern Gossip! Check out round 2 for the next sew-along steps to this super cool knit jacket.

Have any questions? Leave me a comment or feel free to email me... I'm always stoked to help out.


Ready for more gossip? Check out the final rounds, TWO and THREE!

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Jenn Barron

A pattern specialist, master seamster and digital badass. Jenn establishes a place where creativity, authenticity and sewing meet, helping make all the things so that you can  be you.

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