I’m a pretty big fan of sewing with wool. Back when I was maybe 12, my mom decided to teach me about sewing with wool. We chose this amazing Black Watch tartan plaid wool and a matching evergreen wool from Britex in San Francisco, where we were on a family vacation at the time. (Side note: Britex is amazing–it’s like a way better organized Mood, with floor to ceiling shelves of fabric bolts and library ladders. You can imagine what an impression this made on me as a 12 year-old.) That summer, she helped me make a classic kilt skirt and matching vest. I learned about using pressing cloths, steam, vinegar, and the general delight of soft, spongy wool. At the South Dakota State Fair, I won a sewing competition with that outfit and received my very own sewing machine as first prize. It was a pretty big deal.
Anyway, back to this jacket. I have had this fabric for, oh my gosh, maybe 15 years? It is a lovely piece of Pendleton that I received at a Make It Yourself With Wool contest in my teenage years. I have a particular weakness for herringbone, and this is a special one, with alternating shades of cinnamon and yellow-ish brown. This is my first foray into jacket making in quite some time, and although the results aren’t perfect, I’m pretty happy with this result. (I’m not sure why it looks like the fronts are off-kilter in the photo above–I must have been standing somewhat off-kilter, or maybe I have one shoulder slightly higher than the other?)
I used an old Vogue basic pattern for a lined, two-button jacket with princess seams that I can’t seem to find online anywhere. (Geez, I can’t even find something similar from the Big 4 at the moment.) I like the cut of this jacket quite a bit–it’s curvy and feminine while also being sort of basic and Brit-chic. I’m not going to deny that there are fit issues: I took out quite a bit of volume above the bust on the front and could potentially remove more, it appears that I need a swayback adjustment to rid myself of those wrinkles in the back (thanks to my curvaceous hips and large arse), and I might need to do a slight full bust adjustment or something in the front. But, whatever.
I had a scant 1 1/2 yards of this fabric, which was barely enough to eke out the main pieces of this jacket. I chose to use some tie silk for the under collar and for the underside of the pocket flaps in the front, which adds some whimsical interest. I had a bit of an issue setting the undercollar in one spot, so it doesn’t lay perfectly (with the collar down, though, no one is the wiser!). I also could’ve improved my collar pressing with a proper pressing ham. Oh well–lessons for next time. My welt pockets turned out nicely, and I also made bound buttonholes for the gold blazer buttons that I picked up at Fleishman Fabrics here in Philly.
I love the feminine, classic hacking jackets Boden produces, and I’m pretty happy with this as my homemade version. I have another one planned in black and white with a grosgrain ribbon trim, so I’ll have another chance to fix some of the fit issues on this pattern and also be able to practice my plaid-matching!