The Sanda Jacket by Merchant & Mills

The last Intermediate rated jacket/coat sewing pattern by Merchant & Mills I made  felt a bit like a marathon. So in preparation for the Sanda, I took time to get in the zone before starting, oiled the machine, cleaned out all the lint, and put on a new needle. I was going to take it slow and steady. I did feel a bit like some kind of elite sewing-althete there for a moment. 

I needn’t have bothered, the Sanda was a doddle compared to the wonderfully detailed Denham! Don’t get me wrong I love my Denham but there were some very fiddly bits that took some brainpower. The Sanda has none of that, it’s the ultimate boxy jacket with a few standout details that take it out of the ordinary.

In terms of an intermediate pattern, and especially if you make the unlined version, it is solidly on the beginner side of intermediate. The choice of a rolled collar makes construction so easy. There is surprisingly little effort needed to get it aligned and stitched on tidily. The dropped sleeve means no easing in, unless you make the lined version, but even then it all seems to go smoothly. There is a fair amount of hand-stitching involved if you are making the lined version, so settle in with something good on Netflix and for the evening.

Now I’ve made the jacket I am really itching to make a nice winter wool version. This is the kind of pattern you feel comfortable using your really good fabric on. 

Fabric choice

If you’ve seen the Sanda online there are lots of soft squishy jacket versions out there and lovely snuggly wool coats. 
So of course I decided to use a 14oz rigid denim for the ultimate structured jacket. I have been hankering for a denim jacket for some time and saw the potential for some great topstitching details and and interesting, almost 90’s jacket shape. 
Halfway through I thought it was going to be a disaster.  I tried it on after putting the sleeves in and I thought I’d made it way too big and it was a complete fail.  Someone kindly reminded me that I always feel like that partway through a jacket project so I plowed on. 
After hemming and getting the collar on it was transformed and I’m here to report that the Sanda works in a heavyweight twill or denim! I wouldn’t say rush out and make a 14oz version unless you love heavy denim but you would be very safe working with something like a 12oz Sanded Twill, or Cotton Gaberdine with oomph.
You already know from the samples that this one works well in the Cotton Jacquards and softer wools. It would look equally fabulous in a corduroy or even oilskin.  
So all in all, this one has something for everyone and works in a wide range of fabrics. 


I’m almost always a size 12 in Merchant & Mills sizing and decided to make the 10 for this one after seeing the completed garment measurements and knowing I was going to be using the most rigid of rigid denims I didn’t want too much excess fabric hanging around. Given it’s on the more cropped side, the waist and hip measurements aren’t so vital here, so based on bust alone I sized down and its still got plenty of room to wear something underneath. 

Possibly in the coat version with a lighter and more fluid fabric I’d stick to the original size as it is meant to be a oversized coat. 

Sleeve-wise, this one instructs you to hem the sleeves before attaching so you don’t know until it’s too late if they are too long. I highly recommend spending a bit of time measuring up the sleeve before you hem it and if you usually have to shorten arms, you’re going to need to with this one. I didn’t, but I will next time. 


Check out the pattern…

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