Patchwork Denim Jacket – Pattern Review: Thompson Coat by Daughter Judy

wearing the patchwork denim jacket turned to the side to show the side seam back seam and sleeve details

I love it when a pile of scrap fabric can be transformed into something new! I had quite a pile of leftover denim from all my jeans that I’ve made and they were just sitting there without a purpose. The Thompson Coat by Daughter Judy is a pattern that was on my “to sew” list for a while and thought it would make the perfect project for a patchwork / color blocked denim jacket.

wearing the patchwork denim jacket standing in front of a white wall with hands at side
I’m wearing my Thompson Coat with a handmade tee, jeans, and my favorite Wilder Shop boots (affiliate link, use code BETHANYBOOTS20 for 20% off).

The raglan sleeve construction and the added seam details on the sleeves meant that there was already existing smaller pieces to work with (instead of having to come up with a patchwork design myself). The back seam, side seam panels, collar and welt pockets were all great places to play with mixing denim shades.

At first I was unsure at first how they would all look together but I just went for it (what was I going to do with that denim anyway?). I throughly enjoyed the process and love the finished jacket more than I thought I would!

In this article I’ll be sharing a bit of the process, my overall thoughts of the pattern and sharing pictures of the welt pocket steps (since that can be a tricky part!). I also had to make some adjustments to the sleeve facings in order to topstitch it with my machine in case you make this pattern and run into the same issue.

wearing a patchwork denim jacket seated with one hand on the collar and looking to the right

The Pattern

The pattern is the Thompson Coat by Daughter Judy and is a workwear inspired coat with raglan sleeves, buttoned front, welt pockets at the side seams and comes in two views – a short and longer version. You can read more details on their website in the description to decide if this pattern is right for you! If you’ve never tried Daughter Judy patterns, I highly recommend them. The patterns thoughtfully drafted with unique details, come with detailed instructions and are size inclusive with two size ranges.

I’ve made the Daughter Judy Worship Jeans several times and I have a whole blog post where I walk through making a pair – they are my favorite and best fitting jeans!

the buttoned patchwork denim jacket hanging on a hanger against a white wall

Sizing

The pattern includes very detailed sizing information and two size range options so I was able to make an informed decision about which size to make. I chose to make a size XS/2 based on my bust measurement of 34″ and overall the fit is comfortable! I feel like I could size up if I wanted extra ease, especially for layering underneath. It’s a tiny bit snug at the upper bust and I can’t actually close the top button – but I can’t see myself ever wanting to.

The sleeve length sometimes feels a tiny bit short, but I also like that I don’t have to push them out of the way when I’m washing my hands. They also land at the perfect spot when my hands are in the pockets – which are at the perfect height, by the way.

wearing the patchwork denim jacket side view with a hand in the welt pocket

Instructions 

I found the sewing instructions to be very straightforward and clear, even the welt pocket steps that I was most concerned about. I was confused a little on the sleeve construction page but I figured out it was due to the pictures being a little out of order – the text made perfect sense to me.

The Fabric

closeup of the back of the patchwork denim jacket in all different shades of denim

As I mentioned above, I used all leftover fabric from jeans making and some that had been in my stash for years. I had some green denim that I considered adding in, but chose to keep the palette in classic denim blues (and black) so I made the back neck loop in the green denim as a nod to the pair of green jeans I made. πŸ™‚

wearing the patchwork denim jacket with a closeup of the collar, raglan sleeves and wooden buttons

The denim is mostly all in the 9-10 oz range except the collar which felt like a 12 oz (exact unknown) and consequently was the hardest part to sew and topstitch. I could have used a lighter weight denim for the under collar, but I really wanted it all the same. Since I was working with denim and thicker layers, I used a denim needle and topstitching thread throughout the whole jacket.

I thought I had pre-washed all of the denim but one must have snuck by me because it bled onto the lighter wash in the front. I was a little annoyed about that but it’s actually not that noticeable, especially from far away.

Scroll a little further down to see the longer wool version I made and a few notes for how I lined it!

Modifications

wearing the patchwork denim jacket and holding open the jacket to show the inside pocket

Jacket Length

I shortened the overall length by 2” mainly so I could fit the front pieces onto the denim scraps I had. I like this length for me and will probably make the same mod on any future jackets. Since I shortened the length, the bottom of the pocket conveniently tucked into the hem of the jacket to hold it in place (It also reached far enough to fit under the front facing, but I believe this isn’t true for every size).

Sleeve Facings

sewing the cuff facing to the sleeve on the sewing machine arm

I had a setback when I reached the sleeve facing step and wasn’t able to fit the opening of the sleeve around the arm of my sewing machine to topstitch the facing to the sleeve (see above photo). I tried everything I could think of to wrangle the sleeve under the presser foot, even took out some of the seam allowance at the sides and finally had to step away to think about it.

Thanks to a suggestion from a fellow sewist on Instagram (thanks Katie!), I ended up re-drawing the sleeve facing and added 1″ to the length so that *hopefully* the facing would reach to the presser foot. I cut out new facings, skipping the interfacing so that I would have more give in the fabric.

It worked! The sleeve facing was long enough to reach under the presser foot so I could stitch it to the sleeve. I first sewed with a long basting stitch on the wrong side, then turned it out to the right side and topstitched with the topstitching thread I was using throughout.

I reached out to the designer about my concerns with the sleeve facing fit and she let me know that there are updates planned for the Thompson Coat later this year, as well as a lining and hood expansion!

finished denim patchwork jacket closeup of the right front cuff and pocket

The Process

Instead of sharing the entire process, I’ll just be mentioning a few tips that helped me throughout the cutting, welt pocket and topstitching steps. Hopefully these will help you out as well if you choose to make this pattern or a color blocked jacket of your own!

Cutting out the pieces

The most time consuming part of this project was figuring out what scrap pieces I could use for each pattern piece. I started with the biggest pattern pieces first and decided which shades of denim I wanted next to one another. From there I could lay out the front and back pieces and decide on each following piece one at a time. For some denim types I was limited by the size, so in a way I had to let the fabric decide where to be – a freeing way to work!

the patchwork denim jacket in progress with the pieces all arranged in a color wheel of various denim shades

For the most part I tried to keep denims of the same wash from being right next to each other or on separate sides of the jacket. Once all the pieces were cut out, the rest of the sewing was pretty straightforward. The coolest step for me was after assembling the front, back and arms and the denim created a sort of color wheel around the neck opening (photo above).

Welt pocket construction

cropped view of the wearers' left side of the patchwork denim jacket

While the instructions are pretty clear for the welt pocket step, I think it may be helpful for some to see actual photos of the process. I’m a visual learner myself so I always appreciate extra visuals! πŸ™‚

Start by reinforcing the corners of the pocket opening on the front pieces and snipping into the corners close to the dots. Transferring the dots marked on the pattern pieces are really crucial to getting a clean welt pocket! You will be lining up the dot markings on the welt piece to the dot markings on the front piece so make sure these dots are marked before beginning.

Also make sure your welt piece is pressed well before beginning, because you will be using it as a guide / starting point when sewing.

showing where to start sewing with a pencil on the welt pocket for the patchwork denim jacket

Lay out the pattern pieces like shown above with the front piece right side up and the welt piece right side down at the top. *In my example I’m working on the wearer’s left pocket. In the instructions, the dots are numbered in the drawing which I found really helpful!

You will start sewing (with the designated 1/2″ seam allowance) from the fold line in the welt piece along that first short side of the pocket opening (see photo above) to the first dot, sink needle, and pivot.

Pivot while bringing both the front piece and welt piece around, so that the long edge of the welt is lined up along the long edge of the pocket opening. Sew along to the second dot, making sure the dots are lined up. It may feel kind of bulky at the corner, but just move the excess fabric out of the way.

At the second dot, sink the needle, raise the presser foot and pivot again. Bring the front piece and welt piece around so that the last short edges are lined up. Move the bulk of fabric out of the way and sew to the fold line.

the finished first half of the patchwork denim jacket welt pocket turned to the right side

Turn the pieces over to the right side to check out your work! There were a couple of places where I went back and cleaned up the corners by stitching closer to a dot or reinforced it with a few stitches.

Next, it’s time for the other half of the welt pocket where you will be attaching the pocket bag.

pointing with a pencil to show where to start sewing when attaching the pocket bag to the other half of the welt

Line up the pocket bag as shown above (again, I’m working on the wearer’s left pocket) with the and you will be sewing in the same way as the previous steps, but attaching the pocket bag to the other half of the welt piece.

Starting from the fold line in the welt, line up the edges and sew across the short side to the first dot.

Sink the needle, raise the presser foot and pivot bringing the welt and pocket bag pieces around so that the long edges line up. Sew along to the second dot and pivot.

sewing the last stretch of the welt pocket to the fold line on the welt piece
Sew to fold line

Bring the welt and pocket bag pieces around so that the last short edges line up and sew to the fold line, moving the fabric bulk out of the way as needed.

And the welt pocket is done! Press everything flat and to get the corners nice and crisp.

both of the finished welt pockets in the front pieces of the denim patchwork jacket

Fold the welt in half wrong sides together, moving the pocket bag to the wrong side of the front piece and press. Then continue on with the rest of the pocket construction which will be to sew the pocket facing onto the pocket bag piece.

Topstitching

both finished welt pockets laying next to each other with the pockets topstitching with contrasting thread

I topstitched all seams according to the instructions using topstitching thread that I’ve used before when making jeans. I love how it looks and the way it highlights all the different design elements of the jacket!

showing the basting stitches next to the topstitching stitches on the center front of the patchwork denim jacket

There were a couple of places where I found it helpful to sew from the wrong side first with a basting stitch and then topstitch from the right side. I did this on the sleeve facing step and then again on the front facing and hem (see photo above). It took a little extra time to sew and then remove the basting stitches, but I think it was worth for the topstitching to be uniform throughout.

I could have also used topstitching thread in the top and bobbin, but it can be harder to get the tension looking just right on the bobbin so that it looks neat from the right side.

Lining the Thompson Coat

The designer is coming out with a lining and hood expansion for this coat soon, so I did not write out a full tutorial for lining this coat (mine was very much made up as I went!). However here are a few notes for how I lined my long wool version of the Thompson Coat.

Sizing / Length

I sized up to a S for my wool version since the wool fabric I was using was quite bulky. I’m happy with that decision and there’s plenty of ease for layering sweaters underneath! I lengthened the front and back pieces of View A (short version) 9″ (vs. printing out the longer View B pages).

Front Pieces

the new front piece to use for lining the thompson coat

I combined the Front piece to the Side Front piece by overlapping it by 1/2″ (the pattern seam allowance) to make a new front piece (photo above). I took out 2″ out of the center front since the front facing is folded over the lining.

After adding 9″ to the length, I then shortened the length 2.5″ so it could tuck in under the coat hem (So I guess I only added 6.5″ to the overall length…see what I mean by “very much made up as I went”) :). Once I had my new front piece, I cut out two mirrored pieces out of my lining fabric.

Back Pieces

For the back pieces, all I added 9″ to the length and then shortened 2.5″ to tuck in under the coat hem (so only lengthened 6.5″). I then cut out two back pieces – I just left the existing seam at the back for simplicity.

Sleeve pieces

the sleeve pattern piece pieced together laying next to the cut out lining sleeve piece

The sleeves were a little more complicated….I didn’t want to cut out all the individual arm pieces and I didn’t have enough fabric anyway. So I ended up piecing all the pattern pieces together by overlapping each one 1/2″ to make one sleeve piece (photo above) and closing up the darts at the cuff.

By doing this, I did loose some of the extra ease that was built into the pattern, but there was enough ease left that the sleeve fit fine – just slightly smaller than the outer sleeve. I then cut out two mirrored sleeve pieces in my lining fabric.

I also shortened the sleeves by 3″ since I was going to be sewing them to the cuff facing – you’ll see how by scrolling further down.

Sewing the Lining

Once I had all the lining pieces cut out – two fronts, two back, two sleeves – I sewed them together in the same way as the outer coat layer.

I attached the lining to the collar first (photo above) so that I could fold the collar over the lining to enclose the raw edge. Note: I saved this step for the very end so I could fold the collar over the front facing.

I then attached the lining to the sleeve facing of the outer coat in the same way that I lined my Daphne Jacket. This is typically how it’s done when lining a coat using the “bagging out” method. You’ll want both the coat and the lining inside out, then bring the lining over to the outer coat sleeve facing and slide it over to meet the raw edges (see photo above). I secured with pins and then stitched together with a 1/2″ seam allowance.

Flat Lining

the finished lined wool thompson coat laid out on the floor showing the lining inside

The final, and honestly pretty finicky, step was enclosing the raw edge of the lining with the front facing and hem and of the outer coat using the “flat lining” method. It was tricky to get the lining laying smooth, and then topstitching the wool was difficult (some seams were quite thick). I had to redo the front facing on both sides to get it to lay smooth, but finally got it to a point I was happy with.

closeup of the wool thompson coat in a light gray brushed wool

Overall I’m so happy with how it turned out! It’s sometimes hard to predict how things will turn out when I’m winging it, so I’m happy that I have a very wearable cozy coat. πŸ™‚

wearing the patchwork denim jacket at the side showing the welt pockets and sleeve details

I really love how this patchwork denim jacket turned out and I’m curious to see how the denim wears in over time!

Thanks for reading along and let me know if you have any questions – I’m happy to help if I can!

Bethany signature

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Shopping Cart
Scroll to Top