Tuesday, December 6, 2016

San Diego - the new one

The San Diego jacket or big shirt is an older pattern from the Sewing Workshop. I had the pattern pieces but no instructions due to a pattern inheritance. I was intrigued and have wanted to make it for quite a while now.

My interest in the San Diego was piqued when I attended Sew Kansas the first time. Linda Lee wore a version of this shirt in a light weight silk. She had decided to just stitch the two fronts together to create a pull-over. It was of course quite lovely on her.

Then this past summer at Sew Kansas, a young woman on the staff wore her version of it, this time lengthened and the volume was greatly reduced. She also shortened the sleeves in keeping with the hot weather. She looked so fresh.

Now the Sewing Workshop has re-issued it, this time with the original jacket, as well as a new top and a tunic. The top/tunic are from the same base pattern pieces but they are quite different from the original jacket. So this really is a two-fer. And now I can make the original one as a moderate weight winter jacket.

But I made the top first. The silhouette is more contemporary - so much less volume. The shoulders are just barely dropped, sitting almost on top of my shoulders. Also it is a pull-over, with a modified placket that ends half way down the front. Below that is a lovely wide pleat.

It still has the forward shoulders and the pretty collar shape.

I am not overly fond of short sleeves on shirts so I added 9" to the sleeve pattern piece for the top/tunic. Otherwise I made almost no changes to it, constructing a Medium as I usually do. I say almost, because after I had finished it, I made some selfies and discovered that I would really like having a fastener to keep the placket smooth.

Here is the before:

And here is the after:

I like the shape of the collar with the button better too.

You can see how far forward the shoulders are in this shot.
It was fun to make and I did definitely need the instructions, particularly for the Y-seam that creates the cut-on collar. Sewing that Y-seam required that I pay careful attention to the direction of the pieces. In the picture below, you can see I've pinned the shoulder seams and the facing/collar is piled up in the center.

The fabric is a silk-linen weave, I think, purchased at the old Textile Fabrics in Nashville, before they moved. I've not been back through Nashville since they moved, but would love to do so. They always had such interesting fabric.

The fabric looks like it would fray easily. Actually it was easy to sew and with a little care, should last a long time.
I hope to make an actual jacket using the original jacket pattern. The volume will suit my plan for outer wear. It has a two-piece sleeve but I'm scratching my head about that since the seam on the sleeve does not provide any shaping.

This is a good pattern, one I think I'll use several times again.


  1. I have loved the San Diego for a long time, so of course I had to buy the revised pattern! I'm looking forward to making the top and will lengthen the sleeves as well. There may also be a jacket in the future!

  2. This suits you so well and the color! wow, what a gorgeous look with your hair. I like the design and if I were to try this, I would go for a caftan.

    1. Ooohhh...a caftan would be great, Mary! Thanks.

  3. This is absolutely lovely! I'm sure it will be in constant rotation.

  4. Oh, this is really flattering on you! I love it. You are so right, the button helps the drape so much.

  5. Martha, you looks so great in shirt type garments, wish I did. Love the color and fabric. It's perfect on you!

  6. The button really makes all the difference! Good call.

  7. I just took the "old" San Diego out of the bowels of a drawer a few months ago because I wanted a longer tunic like top for skinny pants and Linda must have been reading my mind from afar. Love this version on you and happy to hear about how it works.

  8. Really nice. I love all your projects.

  9. I saw this "new" version on Sewing Workshop website....and after seeing your's I'm going to buy it this AM....fabulous make!