Another School Days Jacket – now officially a tried and tested pattern


This week I completed my third Oliver + S School Days Jacket (kids will keep growing, won’t they?). I’ve written a fair amount about this pattern before when I made versions one and two, so I’ll stick to what’s new this time.

  1. I added reflective piping to the yoke and hood seams. The little beastie is pretty fast on his feet these days and I thought this might be a useful safety feature if it lasts him into next winter.
  2. Instead of a quilting cotton for the lining, this time I copied some of the RTW children’s jackets I’ve seen and used single jersey.
  3. I switched to an acetate lining fabric for the sleeves, again copying some of the RTW jackets and hoodies I’ve seen for toddlers.
  4. I added an inch to the length between the armscye and the waist – not that toddlers exactly have a waist –  as he’s very tall for his age.
  5. Learning from experience, I used a coordinating fabric for the patch pocket linings, rather than a contrasting fabric. So if the lining does peek out at the sides, it’s not so obvious.

I really like the lining in a knit – you get the stretch you need from the fabric rather than from putting a pleat in the centre back, so I adjusted the pattern piece to remove this. Keeping a slippery fabric for the sleeves makes it easier to get the jacket on and off over a bulky jumper. I’d worried about joining a knit to a woven but my walking foot coped OK.


He requested the same outer fabric as last time, so it’s another charcoal polyester coating from Croft Mill. Cheaper than wool, but harder to press into shape. I used the same Thinsulate interlining as last time, from Pennine Outdoor, but I fancy trying something a bit thinner and less fluffy next time – any recommendations?

The lining is a bicycle print organic cotton jersey from Fabric Godmother (which looks now to be sold out). Love the print, love that it’s organic, but it’s a real shame that it’s printed slightly off-grain. I splashed out and bought three metres with the idea of making the rest into pyjamas for him, but pattern matching is going to be a problem.It also pilled slightly when I pre-washed it, which is disappointing at £18 a metre.

The sleeve lining is a bog-standard acetate in cream which came from my Grannie’s stash. It’s a huge piece and has a label still attached saying ’50p’. Bargain!

The toggle buttons are from Weaver Dee. Not real leather, unfortunately, (I can’t find real leather ones or leather laces anywhere round here) but they were inexpensive compared to others I’ve seen and they come with pre-made holes so you don’t need a leather needle.

I made size 3T, which is the largest size in this bundle of the pattern. So if he wants another one next year I’ll have to invest in the larger size version of the pattern – well worth it, I reckon. I’m adding this to my list of TNT (tried and tested) patterns.

Yes, you can buy cheaper duffle coats in chainstores, but I’ve really enjoyed crafting something unique and personal. Would you make this, or would you rather buy a ready-made one?


  1. […] If you’re thinking of making a coat for the first time, I’d encourage you to go for it. Yes, you’ll spend a fortune on fabric. Yes it’ll take a lot longer than a skirt. But you’ll end up with something you could potentially wear every day of the winter for years and years. Plus people are always amazed that you made something as difficult as a coat. I’ve made four so far – one for me (unblogged), and three versions of the same Oliver + S Schooldays Jacket pattern for my son. […]


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