Monday, 16 August 2010

An autumn jacket


I'd said here that I was going to have a four-day sewing hiatus...but it actually only lasted for 24 hours...I'm not sure why, but something to do with feeling like it was just very wrong. Also that I was granted one hour to go into town alone between the hours of 9 and 10am in which to get some sewing thread before we all went off visiting for the day. Having not really been into town for several weeks for any of my own shopping*, I also took it as an opportunity to carry out some fabric research for various projects that I knew I'd want to start on over the next couple of weeks. My local fabric shops have a reasonable quilting selection, but a truly magnificent line in suiting, wool fabrics and other more obscure things, so finding material to make an autumn jacket was no problem. My heart was won by some amazing boiled wool fabric...but at £25 per metre, I decided to go for this very similar, but much more reasonably priced fabric (£7.45 per meter...meaning that the whole jacket ended up costing around £12 for me to make).


I actually made the muslin and then sewed up the majority of this jacket in one evening. The pattern for the jacket comes from a Japanese Pattern book that I bought from Kate's lovely shop. But I'll share more of the details of the book in my next post, as I've forgotten to take any pictures of it. However, original inspiration came from this beautiful jacket, first seen several months ago and it's been in my head ever since.


I lengthened the sleeves by 2", added a button and fastening tab at the neck and chose to bind the facings and create a hook to hang the jacket by.  Other than that the pattern needed no changes. I made the size 7**, and I'm completely falling in love with how Japanese patterns just seem to fit me without my spending several days feeling incompetent because of how horrendously my new garment fits (Honey, You Look Like a Blancmange post here). The Japanese seem to draft patterns without ridiculous amounts of ease in them, so even with the more drapey garments like this jacket, the shoulders are still cut nice and small.


I finished off the jacket the following morning on Sunday (a 7am start...I practically leapt out of bed and as the finishing was all done by hand it was a sociable affair that could be carried out while chatting with Mr Teacakes as he spent over an hour practicing different egg poaching techniques) and I realised that I was enjoying making the jacket more than anything that I'd made for a very long time. Normally when I'm sewing I love making the last stitch and the feeling of something being finished...but with this I enjoyed making it so much that I looked to protract things by adding in details that I might normally skip over, such as adding in a coat hook and hand-finishing all the binding and then stitching the facings down by hand.


...and even hand stitching a label onto the bottom edge of one of the facings inside the jacket...this is so unlike me - I normally dislike hand-sewing:


I'm really happy with the finished coat and I love the balloon sleeves. They are lined with a grey silky material that I found in my fabric drawers. Yes, it's August, this jacket is currently unwearable...but it's always good to be prepared for inclement weather. However, the project that I want to start on next has an altogether summery feel....does this make me a sewing changeling?


Pictures from the Japanese Pattern book to follow tomorrow.

Florence x

* I try to avoid going into the town with the Teacakes during the holidays for the complaints I would receive - they tend to be so reasonable in their complaining that it's all the more guilt-inducing - and ruins all enjoyment, instead leaving me feeling like a consumeristic beast who drags her poor children around the shops, when really they should be doing something wholesome like being taught to knit underpants from clematis tendrils.

** I put this in as when I was researching this pattern and looking at how other people had made theirs I found it really helpful when people said what size they'd made - it gave a better idea of how large or small the pattern was coming up and helped me decide between using the 7 or the 9.

14 comments:

  1. It's a lovely jacket Florence, but I do hope you don't have to wear it for a while yet. Underpants out of clematis tendrils, makes me smile (must be the whole 6 year old bathroom humour rubbing off one me. Underpants, snicker snicker!!!). I could make hundreds of pairs even though my dad attacked mine yesterday for fear of becoming trapped!!

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  2. Your jacket is very pretty!

    You are lucky to a have few good sewing stores near you that have decent fashion fabrics. For me it is always a trek into London (which isn't the end of the world, but not so easy with two small girls.)

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  3. That's a beautiful jacket you've made there. You should post a tutorial on the clematis underpants :)

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  4. Wow Florence, this jacket is gorgeous, perfect for Autumn. I have one from Noa Noa that is really similar to this, love the sleeves and swingy-ness of it.

    I'm a huge fan of Amelie at My Daruma too, she makes the most amazing clothes.

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  5. Hi Florence,
    Wish you lived near me as I'd love to go fabric shopping with you and also to learn some of your skills - you are talented.

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  6. Beautiful jacket Florence, your finishing is always so nicely done. My daughter used to sit beneath bolts of fabric in the local department store, reading while I rifled through pattern books or dithered over fabric. I used to spend hours there once she was at school - no distractions, it was lovely! You could never take a child to my hideous local fabric shop now (a tight squeeze, rude staff - just horrible; in fact I don't think I have ever seen a child in there.) When you do something a lot I think it's hard to stop - it just is what you do. I always found that the best sizes were patterns that came with a magazine. (As I recall, a little extra weight on me left me between sizes, with the pattern now too small and losing weight too big - a good incentive to stay the same!) Otherwise, yes you can have all sorts of annoying problems trying to work out the non standard sizing of different patterns.
    Siobhan

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  7. How lovely, I am really very envious. I am 4 months pregnant and have just realised I will need a coat to fit me this winter. Yours looks like it would be the perfect coat that could even be worn by humungous pregnant people easily. However my local fabric shop is Dunelm who stock 4 dress weight fabics all jersey and uglyier than ugly. No nice suiting and I haven't a clue where to start internet wise. I think I will have to research suiting etc and the book you have mentioned if you have any tips they would be gratefully received as I only really make handbags. Thanks for sharing

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  8. Oooh - this is lovely Florence :) Im in an Autumn predicament at the moment - all I want to sew is pretty wool jackets, 50's style dresses and heavy brocade skirts - I just feel so guilty for the pile of discarded summery sewn goodies at the end of my bed....

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  9. It turned out really well.You are very talented!

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  10. Another great post Florence. I am very much thinking about autumn sewing now as I love all those autumny colours, but in reality I am sewing stock ready for Christmas as it will be crazy this year. Oh I want to make me some clothes!! Thank you for allowing me to do so vicariously. Love that jacket so much x

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  11. This is beautiful Florence, the sleeves with the silk linings are gorgeous. The main fabric looks good too, brilliant bargain. I identify with people wishing they had good fabric shops nearby

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  12. I LOVE the Jacket! Very jealous!

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  13. I agree your jacket does look as if its styled around the NOA NOA look!
    Not a bad thing to be recognised for..

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a message - it's always really lovely to hear from people.

I now tend to reply within the comments section, so please do check back if you've asked a question or wish to chat.

Florence x