Self Assembly Required

DIY dressmaking + crafts with Emily

Channeling the 80s – the Marion jacket

I’m a big fan of trying out new indie pattern companies. I always think they bring a exciting point of view to the home sewing world. Whether that’s from a design aspect or construction, there’s always something new!

I found Scottish brand Pipe Dream Patterns on Instagram (of course!) and I fell for their 80s style Marion jacket. It’s a button front cropped jacket with really interesting style lines and when they introduced the biker zip hack I knew I had to try it!

I’d been dreaming of a silver leather moto jacket for a while now and I finally thought now is the time to try it out!

I got some of the vegan leather (AKA pleather) from Girl Charlee in their Easter weekend sale. Therein lay my first problem. I hadn’t swatched this fabric before buying (as it was a spur of the moment purchase!) and it wasn’t quite what I expected it to be. It was a little thinner and little bit more plasticky than I’d expected. Note to self – don’t buy faux leather without testing it first!

That being said, I figured since I already had it I should just truck along!

The Marion jacket comes as PDF only. I was feeling a bit lazy and I sent it out to an online copyshop to get it printed. (I used a site called which was very reasonably priced and quick to print. Plus they’re cheaper than Netprinters!).

I made a size 12 without mods and as always I traced my size off before sewing.

It’s an unlined jacket where all the seams are flat felled to keep the insides neat. I really have a thing against unlined jackets though, so I opted to lined mine in a funky patterned polycotton sateen. Because no one would then see the insides, I opted to mock fell the seams to save time (and a bucket load of effort!).

I don’t know if I made a mistake whilst tracing but when it came to sewing up I felt like none of the pattern pieces or notches matched up properly. Like in a really frustrating way.

I always expect a bit of error – mostly due to tracing/cutting mistakes etc – but you can kind of always make out where everything meets up. I don’t know if traced my pattern really badly but I felt like all the pieces were really off.

Even when putting the zip in, the recommended zip length was actually too long for the seam it’s meant to go into. I really felt a lot of it just want well thought out or tested properly. But maybe I’m just being overly critical…

I used my best judgement and got it all sewn together anyway but I really don’t feel like I’ve done it properly at all!

I actually don’t mind the end result too much but I don’t love it as much as I’d hoped. I think this was a bit of a bad match between pattern and fabric – sometimes things just don’t work out how you expect! The fabric I used wasn’t right for this project and the pattern itself was difficult to work with. It just kind of left me feeling a bit unsatisfied at the end of it all!

The best thing that came from this project?

I finally figured out how to use my walking foot! (I’ve only had it for three years… 🤣). A walking foot was a definite must when topstitching that faux leather. It worked a treat!

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  1. You made a great job of that! Well done wrestling it into submission, I prefer yours to theirs!

  2. I agree with Su that your jacket is very stylish! Love my walking foot too – my sewing machine (Elna Excellence 780) actually comes with 2 different walking feet and several snap on feet to go on them besides so I use these quite often. It even makes sewing on zippers on wiggly fabric much easier. Your experience with this indie pattern mirrors what many complain about when it comes to Indie patterns in general. They are pricey (whether you pay extra to have them printed or print them yourself and spend hours pasting them all together) I’m PDF averse so perhaps not the best judge 🙂 I’ve downloaded a couple but in general principle I avoid them. I don’t know a single sewist over 50 who buys PDF (and this is not because they don’t understand the technology 🙂 ) ! It’s mostly because they find them expensive (paying for your own printing or paying with time to paste a pile of sheets together is still expensive!), risky (unprofessional) and frankly just too much hassle. The Indie PDF market is getting awfully saturated as well – it won’t be long before these patterns start dropping to what they really should be – $1.99 or $2.99 each (Bootstrap for example is $1.99)

  3. Aww you didn’t include a picture of the lining! I saw you questioning on Instagram if it wasn’t “too much” with the silver color, but I think it’s all in the styling! It looks pretty fancy with the skirt you’re wearing in the picture 🙂 I also think you did a great job of giving your own twist to the jacket- I looked at the pattern when it came out but didn’t like the samples shown on the site at all. But your version is really cool!

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