Sewing with boiled wool: The Flynn Jacket by In The Folds

Date: April 24, 2020
  • Some reasons why boiled wool is adored by sewists:
  • It’s easy to sew 
  • It does not fray, so you don’t need to finish cut edges. 
  • It’s soft and drapey which means it looks great in a large variety of styles. 
  • It has a luxurious and gorgeous texture. 
  • It’s so comfy! 

The Flynn Jacket is an oversized, faced jacket with fascinating style lines and generous in seam pockets. I’ve used two colours of boiled wool (black and chartreuse) to highlight the style lines. I’ve also used (black) acetate lining for the facings and pocket bags.

I could have done the facings in boiled wool as well, but I found the boiled wool way too thick to do a double layer. It would have made the jacket clumpy and hard to sew. 

***A quick note: Any fabric with wool as the main fibre needs to be heat-shrunk before you cut it. I shrank my boiled wool in the drier:
I just popped the wool in with a damp tea-towel on a half hour cycle.
SO EASY! (If you don’t have a drier, the steam from your iron will do the job just as well).

Boiled wool is naturally drapey so, to give the Flynn Jacket structure around the neck and front pieces – where it might warp out of shape – I’ve used two interfacings:
A lightweight on the boiled wool to stop it from warping, and a heavyweight on the acetate lining to give it body and to help shape the style lines.

I didn’t interface any of the (black) bodice pieces as these are supported and shaped by my shoulders and back.  

It’s a little complex to explain so, here’s a cutting diagram and you can see all the pieces I had to cut (and out of what material) to get this look:

  • I attached the lightweight interfacing to the boiled wool (chartreuse) pieces,
  • and attached the heavyweight interfacing to the Acetate lining pieces.

When it came to sewing, I found some of the seam edges had warped a little. This is because boiled wool naturally has quite a bit of stretch to it.
To fix this I pinned each seam on each end and then (pinned) worked my way into the middle, easing the seams into each other.

For sewing: I used a 90/14 stretch needle. I chose this needle because it is thick (since we’re working with a thick fabric) and because stretch needles have a ball point end. Meaning that the needle slides between the fibres as opposed to puncturing through them.

(This needle also worked really well for the acetate even though it is thinner).

In the Fold’s instructions for putting this jacket together are great! 

They’re detailed, well illustrated and there are lots of extra tips to help you get the best out of your pattern. 

The final step is to finish the facing (close everything up).
I used  an invisible hand stitch, this was the easiest way for me. And I could do it while watching Netflix. 😀

This tutorial will show you the slip stitch I used.

Skill level recommendation:
I can recommend the Flynn highly as a jacket pattern for someone who has never made a jacket before. As I mentioned the instructions are gold, and the techniques are very accessible. 

The most complex part of the pattern is the pockets.

Supplies to make my version:

Fabric recommendations for a jacket similar to mine:

Fabric recommendations for a lightweight robe-style jacket (like on the cover of the pattern): denim, cotton canvas, duck, drill, heavyweight linen.

I really hope you’ll give the Flynn Jacket a go. 

This pattern is pretty remarkable, it looks great on every body-type and there are really endless possibilities in terms of looks you can achieve (denim=casual cool, wool suiting=tailored chic, tencel=drapey elegance etc, etc, etc). 

Sewing it was fun from start to finish (not something I can say about all that many patterns). 
I really feel like I didn’t have to work very hard to get an amazing result. 

You can get your Flynn Pattern here. 

Happy Sewing!