Monday, October 26, 2009

Fall colours inspiration

I decided to make a wearable muslin. No, no no, not a wearable muslin - a wearable garment, a version #1, only out of a lesser fabric than my fuzzy, and likely to turn out to be one to fray terribly, mohair. Our gorgeous fall dictated my choice here.

I grabbed a fall-colours cotton or rayon tweed (burn test says no synthetic fibers) purchased a year ago at Ottawa's Fabric Flea Market for a song. There wasn't much of it and I was first inclined to have it as a wiggle skirt, but when the leaves turned this month it leapt up begging to be a jacket – and I loooove making jackets. I made it exactly to spec as above, but then took two 1.5” diagonal cuts out of the top & bottom of CF, to make two V-shaped openings, each about a third of the overall CF length.

This fabric came fully interfaced with black fusible knit, which must've been done industrially as the interfacing wouldn't budge despite laundering, steaming, or high-T pressing, and still had nice sideways flexibility. Great!

(the pic at left shows the jacket's completed, but not yet fully trimmed out. You will notice it has no pockets. I cut out one pocket, but would have to piece a second one, or make welt pockets. The strategic aka easy way out aka DH said, forget the pockets)

I didn't do any quilting on this pre-interfaced baby, though I did tape the neck line and CFs. This body is a straight out of the envelope standard jacket construction, with fashion fabric front & back facings and a bagged lining.

The lining's a nice weight sueded silk twill, dyed with brown Jacquard dye. This was one of my early stovetop dye jobs, and the result came out surprisingly mottled in reddish and golden brown hues. Making lemonade here, an ideal match to my fall tweed! I faced the lower sleeves just to the top of the vent with leftover black silk dupioni from another project. But a little hand-sewing was inevitable: the facings were sewn to the CF-SF SA's, and the side lining seams to the side SA's. Hemmed the bottom by hand & attached a gold chain (pssst: from Home Depot!) at the bottom, under the lining fold.

On to the decoration: that's always the tricky bit, isn't it? I brought a scrap of my tweed to this year's Flea Market to look for nice gold buttons, but I never could find the minimum 6 little + 3 big ones that matched or looked good together (I even considered the “unmatched vintage button mix” look). Lo and behold, I found a set of eight little and four big leather (!) buttons, with just the right mix of yellowish to reddish brown shades. So, four buttons on each vent (I even made a tiny buttonhole for each, in retrospect a ridiculous waste of my time since the buttons cover them completely), in keeping with the non-uniform colour scheme throughout, sewed on with variegated embroidery floss.

Still to finish: hook & eye closures and the large leather buttons on each side of the middle part of CF. Attachment of the twisted cord piping to highlight the neckline and CF. Advice solicitation: DO tell, should I continue around the bottom hem as well? Once all that's done, I'll post the jacket in action!


  1. Gorgeous colours for a gorgeous jacket.
    I love sewing jackets too.
    Jackets are my favourite garments I could have hundreds


  2. Perfect for the fall!

  3. I love those fall colors. Your jacket looks wonderful, especially that Vogue 3 piece sleeve. I'm going to have to work on transferring that sleeve design to my TNT pattern. It really accents the trim wonderfully.

  4. Looking super, great fall colors.

  5. Your jacket is amazing. I took your chain advice and got mine at Home Depot - at only 60 cents a foot! Thanks!

  6. Lovely jacket. I can't believe you got the chain at Home Depot. I must remember this tip.

  7. Yes, continue the piping around the hem too. It's wonderfully understated. And Home Depot will be wondering why they sell out of that particular chain - good tip!