DIY BIKER JACKET | WEAR LEMONADE MONA

DIY BIKER JACKET | WEAR LEMONADE MONA

Sewosphere, this week I actually put my money where my mouth went… I sewed my first French Indie sewing pattern, AND I made my first jacket. So, without further ado…. Meeeet Mona!

Mona is a simple biker jacket from the French brand Wear Lemonade. They are the pattern side of the well known French DIY and lifestyle blog, Make my Lemonade, published and curated by the stylist and influencer Lisa Gachet. Wear Lemonade offers quarterly collections of RTW clothes, on a ‘when they’re gone, they’re gone’ basis, but also the patterns for the same clothes, so you can make your own at home. They have 13 patterns so far, in both paper and PDF (all in French, I’m afraid), and I must admit, quite a few of them have made it on my ‘to sew’ list for this year. And Mona was definitely the one to win my heart the fastest. Here’s my first version (because I’m sure I will make loads more).

Mona Perfecto Black Denim (2016) #01.jpg

Mona Perfecto Black Denim (2016) #02.jpg

PATTERN:

Mona Perfecto (French for biker jacket), free PDF pattern from Wear Lemonade. Line drawing below. It comes in sizes from 36 to 42 and I cut a size 38.

TIPS FOR ASSEMBLING THE PATTERN

For us used to PDFs that are easy to assemble, like Burda or the bigger indie pattern brands, this one is a bit of a pain to put together. This is really my only gripe with Mona, though can’t complain too much, as it was free. The pattern sheets are not numbered, or framed, and there are no matching triangles or the like to figure out what goes where. And there are 36 pages!!

If you want to make Mona too, I would suggest adding the page numbers in PDF (add header, then numbers), so you can make your way around it. Then measure the distance from the left side  and top to the nearest pattern line and draw a line parallel to the paper edges, then trim those out. Then use your common sense to join the sheets together.

NB: pattern includes 1 cm seam allowance.

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Image source: Make My Lemonade

FABRIC

I used a heavy weight cotton denim twill, from Classic Textiles in GoldHawk Rd. It was £6.5/m, but it was an end of roll, so I got 3m for £15. It has a lovely brushed feeling on the right side, and the regular twill weave on the left side. It has absolutely no stretch, and give that I had planned originally planned to make Ginger Jeans with it, this was a much more suitable use for it. I used about 1.3m, so plenty left for other projects.

Mona Perfecto Black Denim (2016) #06.jpg

TRIMMS:

You will need a separating zipper, about 35 cm long, but can be longer then trimmed to size. You will also need bias binding, about 4m (I used self made binding, from the black cherry fabric I used on the Sewing Bee) and 4 anorak snaps (just the female parts).  Depending on the weight of your fabric, you will also need a bit of interfacing for the collar.

Mona Perfecto Black Denim (2016) #19.jpg

Mona Perfecto Black Denim (2016) #14

ALTERATIONS

Because I was not at all sure about how exact I was in putting together the PDF, I made a quick toile. This is what I changed as a result

  • It felt a bit tight across the back, so I added 0.5 cm to centre back and 0.5 cm at the side seams. It turned out it was entirely unnecessary and I ended up taking in the side seams, but of course, the CB could not be altered, so it’s a bit too wide over the shoulder-blades. Oh well, next time…
  • I also moved the bust darts, they were very long and very high, so they came down by about an inch and shorter by about and inch as well.
  • Having read this in other blogs, I also did a full arm alteration on the sleeve, as the original ones felt really tight and made it difficult to bend the arm if the fabric was not too stretchy. I added about 1 cm in total.
  • When I set the sleeves in, I really struggled, so I took off 0.5 cm tapering down to nothing at the very top of the sleeve cap, and then it fitted in perfectly.
  • Also, mind you that it comes out very short, as you can see from the pics, I am 5.6” and it hits about the natural waist. I might try a longer version next time, by adding a few more centimetres to the hem.

CONSTRUCTION

This is a dead easy project, even for beginners. It took me longer to put together the PDF than it did to sew the garment. The PDF does not have instructions, but Lisa made a video demonstrating how to put it together. It’s in French, unfortunately (and she speaks a bit fast too), but you can see what she is doing and it’s fairly self-explanatory. If you have done such a garment before, you probably don’t even need it. There are no major watch-outs, other than figuring out what pattern piece is what (there are 3 pieces for the front). Just mind the notches for the zipper ends and make sure you keep to the 1 cm SA.

I really enjoyed adding the bias binding to the edges of the facings, as well as the hem and the cuffs. And contrary to my habits, I hand stitched the bias binding instead of machining the hems and cuffs. Somehow, I thought it might work better, and it was really quick.

Mona Perfecto Black Denim (2016) #20.jpg

Mona Perfecto Black Denim (2016) #18.jpg

And now, the fashion shoot overload :). We discovered a small Japanese garden in the neighbourhood, so Carl went all artistic on us. Also, hope you like my new glasses, geek chic meets biker chick, ha ha.

Mona Perfecto Black Denim (2016) #12.jpg

CONCLUSIONS

This is possibly in my top 3 favourite makes ever, and I have already worn it as soon as I finished it. I know it will become a wardrobe staple and literally be worn to pieces, as it goes with anything, dresses, jeans, skirts etc. Luckily, it’s a sturdy denim, so should last me a while :). I can’t wait to make more, and figure out how to make a lining for it too.

If you guys want to give it a go, it’s free, and I’d be happy to help with translating the video or any other tips. Or I’m sure there must be more French speakers out there (looking at you Nee 🙂 ) who’ll love it too.

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20 Comments

  1. 14 February 2016 / 9:25 PM

    AAAA it looks so awesome!

    • Alex
      Author
      21 February 2016 / 6:19 PM

      Multumesc mult ;)!

  2. 14 February 2016 / 10:30 PM

    I love it, flippin’ gorgeous on you! Yes I’ll help with the French if required. Might make this too! Well done… Great pics!

    • Alex
      Author
      21 February 2016 / 6:19 PM

      Thanks Nee! I can’t believe we only just discovered this garden, makes for great pics background. And you should definitely give it a go, it’s a great pattern.

  3. 14 February 2016 / 10:42 PM

    Nice! Mona is currently on my to do pile and having seen your make it’s a bit further up now. I highly recommend making the Paloma dungarees- super comfy and satisfying to make too!

    • Alex
      Author
      21 February 2016 / 6:18 PM

      Hope it turns out like you envisage it! I have seen Paloma and heard good things, I just can’t picture myself wearing dungarees :). Maybe I’ll make them for someone else for the practice.

    • Alex
      Author
      21 February 2016 / 6:17 PM

      Thanks Linda!

  4. 16 February 2016 / 7:58 AM

    Fantastiqe ! You look so stylish in this outfit.

    • Alex
      Author
      21 February 2016 / 6:16 PM

      Thank you for your kind words!

  5. 16 February 2016 / 8:22 AM

    brilliant jacket! I have started to look at French indi patterns after trying Deer & Doe patterns.

    • Alex
      Author
      21 February 2016 / 6:16 PM

      Thank you! I have never tried Deer & Doe, but heard good things about it. Have a look also at IAM Patterns, Dessine moi un patron, Aime comme Marie and Louis Antoinette (check out the Los Angeles dress).

  6. 16 February 2016 / 10:02 PM

    Fab! Looks great on you, sure it will become a firm favourite 🙂

    • Alex
      Author
      21 February 2016 / 6:06 PM

      Thank you! I have already worn it twice in a week, can’t wait for the weather to get warmer so I can wear it on its own.

  7. 16 February 2016 / 11:10 PM

    I love your jacket, Alex! Thanks for the tips on the PDF because I might give it a shot, too 🙂

    • Alex
      Author
      21 February 2016 / 6:05 PM

      Thank you! And definitely give it a go, it’s free, and it will be a good practice for various techniques. Let me know if you get stuck on the French instructions.

  8. 22 February 2016 / 7:52 PM

    This looks great! I always wanted a cute cropped biker jacket – thanks for sharing this with us, downloading the pattern as I type!

    • Alex
      Author
      22 February 2016 / 8:06 PM

      Hurray! Can’t wait to see your version. Let me know if you get stuck.

  9. 23 February 2016 / 12:07 PM

    This is a nice biker jacket that can be done by somebody without advanced sewing abilities – thats me! 😀 definitely will download the pattern

    • Alex
      Author
      23 February 2016 / 12:18 PM

      Good luck! I think it’s a neat little patten. Have a look at the video before you start though, just to get the order of operations right. It’s a bit harder without the written steps.

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