I just want to start out by sharing that I bought this fabric in November 2018. Shortly afterwards, in January 2019 I went ahead and bought this pattern… It’s April 2021, ya’ll! The last time I had made anything like this was in October 2016 when I made the Lonetree Jacket. That jacket took a lot of work, and I had a lot of help from my husband’s grandma. So I was feeling a little bit intimidated. Now that I’ve sewn more, and now that I have a sewing machine that can just about sew through any fabric, I felt much more confident about making it.
You probably have a fabric or pattern like that too! You’re just not ready, but you will be eventually. The timing will finally feel right, and you will make that thing! It took me around 2.5 years of lugging these two things around before I did it. But I am SO very happy to share that I’ve finally made this jacket, and I love it so much.
The Tello Jacket is by Pauline Alice Patterns. This is the first pattern I’ve made of hers, but after making this one, I would completely be willing to buy more of her patterns. I was so impressed by the instructions’ clarity, and I didn’t get stuck at all. I have made collared/button up patterns like this before, so I can’t say how beginner friendly it is. The instructions were only two pages long, and it was nice to be able to go back and check things without scrolling through tons of pages. All of the notches and pieces fit together perfectly, and I loved not having to interface anything — Although that could be because the pattern is meant for more structured fabrics, and mine had plenty of structure.
Since it’s been 2.5 years since I bought the pattern, LOTS of new jacket patterns have been put out in the world. While I was tempted to go with other patterns, I just really liked the basicness of this pattern, and I never heard anything negative about it. The Tello Jacket is great because it has all of the bells and whistles, but you can also just be like me and make it look the way that you want it to look.
Made the front a 90 degree angle instead of a curve.
Lengthened the bodice pieces by 5″.
Lengthened the sleeves by 1″.
Made the bottom pockets 3/8 inches bigger.
Changed the placement of the pockets to be aligned with the chest pocket.
Stitched the buttonholes vertically instead of horizontally.
All of these adjustments were super simple, and I’m so happy with how it turned out. I made my size according to the size chart, and it fits really well! I am curious what it would be like if I would have sized up, but I won’t be wearing any thick sweaters under it, so that’s not a big deal.
I was going to try making this jacket look more like the Will Jacket by Sezane, but I decided it was a little too overly complicated for me (specifically the pockets), and I really liked the look of a basic utility jacket. I still really liked the length of the Will Jacket and the way they did the button placket. So I decided to make it similar in those ways instead.
This fabric is 8.5oz cotton chino twill, and I think it worked great for this pattern. It pressed really well and was really easy to sew. One thing I did to elevate this jacket was to add Hong Kong seam finishes to the inside. If you’re not familiar with how it’s done, I watched Sew DIY’s video called “How to sew the Hong Kong seam finish”, and got right to it! I made my own 1.5″ bias tape with rayon poplin from Stone Mountain. I really struggled on the first seam, and ended up unpicking the whole thing, so the seam ripper pin on my jacket speaks the truth! Haha. I found it was easier not to fold and press the bias tape beforehand, but that was just my preference. I also realized when I was finished that I should have bias bound the back neck facing and placket facings (as opposed to serging them like I did), but it took me around 4 hours to do all of the other seams, so, like the pin says — No regrets!
I joked on Instagram that I put my sweat and blood into this project because sewing visible pockets always makes me so nervous; and for the first time, I caught my finger with the needle while I was sewing. Thankfully it wasn’t too bad, but it still scared me. Luckily no tears went into this project, which is always a good thing!
This will go down as one of those makes that I feel so proud of, and I hope that I have it for a long time. And since it went so well, I think I’ll add a few more jackets to my make list! 😉
What jacket patterns have you been wanting to make lately? Do you have a sewing project that your extremely proud of?
10 thoughts on “Tello Jacket”
I am proud of you, too! This Tello is a beautiful jacket. You are learning so much with each project. Your blog comments make the experience come alive.
Thank you, Grandma! I’m trying to stretch myself a little bit, and it’s been pretty fun! I’m so glad you enjoyed reading the post. 🙂
GORGEOUS jacket! Your Hong Kong seams are lovely, and truly elevate your make. Thanks for the link to Beth’s tutorial. (I had misconceptions about the process.)
So nice to involve your husband’s grandma…she must be thrilled to have a common interest!
Thank you, Lodi! I’m glad the link to the video was helpful! All of my grandmas sew, so it’s been fun to share the things I make with them. Especially when they truly know how much time goes into it!
I think your Tello is outstanding! Your finishes inside are gorgeous-really elevates the final look and your sewing is impeccable. Wow!
I made one in this same colour last year – but my fabric was a lighter weight textured linen. I thought it would make a great summer ‘layer’. Although I shortened mine & hacked the pockets, I’m excited to make another with heavier denim or twill, for a true chore jacket look.
You’ve inspired me to get it it, lol. ( I am back.to.stitch on IG )
Thank you so much, Vivian! I definitely put a lot of work into it, so I’m glad you can tell!
I just saw yours on instagram and it’s so beautiful! I LOVE the angled pockets. I’ve seen quite a few of them made out of linen and it seems like it would be so nice! One in denim would be totally amazing, and I’m so glad I could help inspire you to make another!
I have this pattern in my collection and it was on my to-do list last year but then I was plagued with fast growing cataracts and my vision went completely sideways derailing all my best laid sewing plans 🙂 I’m happy to say my surgeries are done and now I’m just waiting for healing and to get fitted out for reading glasses and I’m back to the sewing table! I love your Tello! Thank you for sharing your experience and finished piece. I think this is one of those patterns that has just gotten lost in all the excitement over some other jacket patterns. For sure it’s an unsung hero. Love your Hong Kong seams which is also on my wish list to do!
That’s so great that you were able to get your vision fixed! Wishing you lots of great sewing soon, Kathleen! This is a great pattern, and I agree that it kind of got lost in all of the other cool jacket patterns being released. I’m very glad to have made this pattern now though, and I’m looking forward to making others without this pattern + fabric guilt tripping me in my stash. Haha.
Absolutely perfect!!! Well done. And you are right, Pauline Alice patterns are awesome!
Thank you, Les! This was my first Pauline Alice make and I loved it!