Basics Collection Inspiration - Jacket and Tunic

The patterns in our Basics Collection are perfect as a base for creativity - from fabric selection to embellishments to styling - these patterns can take you in many directions.  Today I am going to share a few ideas for creating and styling the Jacket and Tunic.  And check out our Pinterest inspiration board for more ideas and to get your imagination working while thinking about what you want to make with these patterns.


The Basics Jacket is short and boxy, has wide built-on sleeves, and is fully lined.  The front and back are sewn as one piece, with a back seam, and there are pockets!  

First, if your fabric has a large print or stripes/plaids, etc., you don't necessarily have to have the back seam.  You can cut the front/back as one piece by placing the pattern piece on the fold (taking out the 1/2"/13mm seam allowance).  Just make sure your fabric is wide enough to do this.

Fabric choice is another consideration for making this jacket.  You can make this jacket out of everything from heavy-weight denim to light-weight silk chiffon.  Medium to heavy weight fabrics, or fabric without a lot of drape, will give you a boxier look, a more utilitarian jacket (good for outerwear, work, etc.), and will  potentially be warmer.  Fabric with drape and lightweight fabrics will be perfect for warm weather, making a cover up, or as a daily-wear jacket.  

For one of our samples, we made the Basics Jacket from a kantha cloth, lining it with muslin (cause kantha can be expensive to use for both outer and lining) and using the back-side of the kantha for the pockets.  For a heavier jacket, lining with another section (or back-side) of kantha would be warm, cozy, and beautiful.  

Woman wearing a kantha cloth short jacket with hands in the pockets

back of kantha jacket. woman has one hand on her hip and is looking over right shoulder.

When doing some researching on styling, we saw some short, kimono-like jackets with painted flowers on them and that inspired Victoria to do a local-inspired florals painting on one of our jacket samples.  For this jacket, she used acrylic paints and painted rhododendron, dogwood, and mountain laurels on the outer layer of the jacket (after the pocket is sewn on) before sewing the jacket lining.  If you are inspired to add some paint to your jacket, or any of the patterns in this collection, be sure to paint with a scrap fabric (or cardboard) underneath and let it dry before moving on to another assembly step in the sewing.  Victoria also used a coordinating fabric for the lining of the jacket, so it really turns into a bit of an art-to-wear piece.  She choose rayon for both layers and you can see the drape is quite nice.

Woman with short grey hair wearing an aqua short jacket with painted flowers on the front


This jacket is also perfect for quilting.  The two layers (with or without a layer or batting in between) make it a great choice for adding the interest and warmth of extra stitching for loft.  Make it in solid colors or patchwork.  Either would be beautiful.  We saw several quilted jackets that inspired Esi to make one from linen scraps we had left over from other projects.  She will have a blog post soon about how she made her quilted jacket.  Check out the inspiration (Pinterest links) below and Esi's jacket.

 Pinterest link (Eileen Fisher).

Pinterest link (Anthropologie).

Esi's quilted Basics Jacket

Finally, because this jacket is fully lined, it is very easy to make a reversible jacket.  Esi has a blog post about how she made the jacket reversible using two beautiful organic linens.  


The Basics Tunic has a handkerchief hem with side slits, dolman sleeves, and a keyhole opening in the back.  It is very easy to sew and is lovely to wear.  
Fabric is key to this tunic.  It really does well with a light-weight fabric, fabric with some drape.  

We made several samples with light-weight (to even medium-weight) linen and one of a Burma silk, and they all hung beautifully and were comfortable and breezy to wear.  

Made with organic linen (in stock)

Made with a Burma silk
You could also adjust the sleeve length to make a short sleeved tunic like the one below.  

Or color block to make something like the one below.  The possibilities are endless.

I hope these patterns and ideas spark your creativity and add to the wardrobe you want.  Look for more ideas for the other patterns in our Basics Collection.  And, tell us, what do you want to make?  How would you make these patterns?