Friday, 27 November 2015

Green wool jacket

Well, I finally finished this ongoing project. I've made another wool jacket - I'm getting seriously addicted to working with wool and also with having jackets that fit me and, wait for it...aren't black! So, here's the latest (I'm sure there will be more!).

After editing
It's a green 100% wool twill (I think) fabric that I bought in the second raid on Mandors when we went to Glasgow in September. It's a lovely forest green colour (which doesn't photograph well at all) and a reasonable £20 a metre, which isn't bad at all for a 100% wool content. I used Vogue 9136 which is described as a "loose fitting, unlined coat, has collar, dropped shoulders  but made a few modifications along the way.

After editing and cropping
I pre-shrunk my wool fabric by steaming it with my iron. It took HOURS! I also made a muslin to check the fit. This pattern is described as loose fitting and it certainly is. I cut a 12-14 size and it's really roomy on me. I didn't add anything to the length of sleeves or body but I did mistakenly cut the longer View B rather than View A but strangely enough I didn't run out of fabric. Mind you, I'm pretty generous when I'm buying wool, I add a good 10% extra to the fabric requirements to cover the pre-shrinking treatment plus I add an unspecified extra amount because I'd hate to have something too short. Call it my 'Comfort Zone of Happiness'. This probably comes from being a tall person and from having to buy RTW clothing that just wasn't right but there wasn't anything else.

After editing and cropping
 There's nothing wrong with your eyes and you're not seeing double! The November challenge in Gillian from Crafting a 
Rainbow's Better Pictures Project is using photo editing software. I've used it but I'm not sure if there's much of an improvement with these photos! I've added the before and after photos. I think I've managed to make them look worse than they were before! I saved my photos to Picasa Web and edited them using Google.

I mentioned modifications. There were ton of them, mainly in the construction of the jacket.

I cut View A but added the patch pockets from View B as I don't like side seam pockets.

After making and trying on the muslin, the collar was far too high. It would very quickly have got spoiled with make-up every time I wore it. I reduced the height by, I think, about 3"so that tells you how high the original was!

I used iron on medium weight hair canvas to interface the collar so it can stand up correctly yet also bends attractively (in my opinion!) if it's worn undone.

After editing and cropping
I used a medium weight iron-on interfacing over all the jacket. Just because that's the way I like it. It gives the fabric a bit of body and I can't stand droopy, saggy jackets.

I applied medium weight iron-on interfacing to the pockets and lined them, after a lot of head scratching and trying to work out how to do it neatly.

I cut a back stay from pre-washed black sheeting, I think. To be honest it's quite a few weeks since I did this step so it's a bit fuzzy in the mind now. I felt that with the dropped shoulders the wool would get really stretched over my shoulders if it didn't have this support. It also helped stabilise the shoulder seam too.

I added a full lining to the jacket, just cutting the same back piece as for the outer fabric and adding an inch to the width when I cut it on the fold. I made a new pattern piece for the front lining and just used the pattern piece for the sleeves. The lining is a 100% cupro lining bought from John Lewis in Edinburgh and pre-washed on the silk setting on the washing machine using appropriate soap. The care label says don't wash but...tough!

After editing
I added piping between the facing fabric and the lining. As you can see due to the style of the jacket it's not a continuous length of piping but I don't care.

I added a hanging loop I made from the satin bias binding used to pipe the lining-facing junction.

I sewed reinforcing buttons to the underside of the facing to help support the large buttons on the outside of the jacket.

I hand stitched them hem and the sleeve hems. I hand stitched in the ditch along the seam where the collar meets the jacket, so the inside and outside behave as one. If you know what I mean.

Ah, the glorious buttons! This jacket is simply all about the buttons. I bought them from Mandors in Glasgow just on my way out of the door. I hesitated at the button stand and my eyes suddenly locked on to them. Does that ever happen to you? I knew they were The Ones so that was that.

So, what's the verdict? I'm not sure if dropped shoulders are my style but I do like this jacket. I love the colour, love the buttons and I like how I can wear the collar done up and also undone and it looks very different both ways. It's like having two looks in one jacket which is very satisfying. I'm glad I interfaced and lined the jacket and really glad I interfaced and lined the pockets. It's behaving just as I want it to although I do need to add another button and buttonhole to hold up the inside when the coat is closed. You can see the droop in some of these photos.

After editing
...and on to the next project...some Named Jamie jeans (also with quite a few modification) which I'm slowly working on. I'm taking my time with these and trying to get just the right fit. What are you working on at the moment?


  1. I love the blog. Great post. It is very true, people must learn how to learn before they can learn. lol i know it sounds funny but its very true. web wordpress

    1. Hi there and thanks for your lovely comments. Yep, sometimes you have to take three steps back to get two steps ahead...if you know what I mean, and it's all part of the learning process. It makes the 'wins' feel great!