Pumped up Kicks

 

One more post squeezed into what’s left of 2018!  I made these cropped trousers last month, but had to wait for assistance to get photos.  I really need to make a plan with photographing trousers or dresses on my own.  Anyway, the fabric is English wool suiting, with a textured herringbone stripe and a bit of colour that you really don’t read unless you’re up close and personal sewing it – or doing the ironing.  It was a find from a charity shop!

 

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Burda trousers 120 07/2018

I knew it would become a pair of cropped trousers, there wasn’t enough for a full length version.  And I wasn’t keen on a skirt.  I decided to use trousers 120 from Burda 7/2018 again.  I like the slightly kicked out flare of the extension piece/ wide hem band(?).  They also have a nice fit on my natural waist and are closer fitting around the hip area before becoming wider at the leg. I cut the pocket lining from a piece of navy and white cotton, but the rest is all wool.  I like this fabric – it can go in the washing machine on a woollens cycle!

 

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I’ve worn them a few times now, and I can say they’re really comfy to wear, are the perfect length and always get compliments!  Today a little old lady told me I looked nautical”.  I’ll take that.  🙂  Now, the only thing I can think of that might be missing from this pattern is a pocket on the bum.  Such a handy thing to have, don’t you think?  If you want to see the inners and a bit of construction, I posted  a Work in Progress report on it that you can read here.

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I’m hoping I’ll be able to get more photos of the other trousers I’ve been making and blog them soon!

 

 

 

 

 

The Trench Coat Edition

 

The trench coat 103 in the February issue of Burdstyle 2017 has been on my “to sew” list since it came out.  There was just something about the style, length and simplicity of the design that appeals.  Daughter No1 was very keen on having it, and I really wanted to make it in one of her fabric designs, but the price of doing so was just too much.  I still hope that one day I will be able to do that, but in the mean time she has her coat, and she’s still happy with it.  And so is Daughter No 2….

 

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The spy coat!

I guess I’d better explain!  🙂  Both girls liked the coat, and both wanted a version.  So I went looking online for suitable fabric and found a rather nice pink/copper cotton twill at Croft Mill Fabrics for just £5/m.  I bought 5m, which was a real bargain.  I wasn’t sure whether the girls would like the colour, but as it was cotton, I was quite prepared to dye it to whatever colour they wanted.  As it turns out, however, they were both perfectly happy with it!  That makes it easy for me then!  My Work in Progress post will take you through all the construction details.

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I traced the 38 and toiled it in an old duvet cover from the charity shop.  On trying it on Daughter No2, we noted the following alterations:

  1. Lengthen sleeves by 4cm
  2. Broad shoulder adjustment 1.5cm
  3. Lengthen coat by 4cm
  4. Lengthen belt pieces 1.5cm

For Daughter No1, these were the alterations:

  1. Forward shoulder adjustment 1cm
  2. Lengthen coat by 4cm

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So, I was going to make Daughter No1’s coat first with her alterations, then reverse the shoulder adjustment and make the adjustments for Daughter No2 and make her coat. The coat itself is pretty straightforward to make.  Although Burda call it a “gathered trench coat”, there’s actually no gathering.  The waist is formed with dart tucks in the front and back, and the belt piece starts in the back panel seam to be fixed in the front with a button.  It does have the effect of  cinching the waist in a bit, but definitely not gathering.  The button is sewn through all the layers, there is no buttonhole.

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I did make them slightly differently, the coats have topstitching in different places, and Daughter No2’s coat has no shoulder pads.  I used shoulder pads in Daughter No1’s coat because of her posture.  I halved the thickness of the pads, she didn’t want “Dynasty shoulders”, but she did need the shaping they give.  Can you tell that the shoulders are different?

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Linings for the coats were chosen for each girl.  The coat wasn’t intended to be lined, the Burda instructions have you use Hong Kong finish on all the raw seams, and that would be fine for a Spring/summer coat.  We wanted these to be warmer, so I needed a lining.  I’ve not used traditional lining fabric for the main body, but I have used “proper” lining for the sleeves.  There’s nothing worse than your sleeves getting bunched up under your armpits when you put on a coat!

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I’d found the cotton poplin William Morris inspired print at Fabworks and knew it would be perfect for Daughter No1.  Daughter No2 needed something more contrasting, and I was looking for something geometric with a grey and white colour but was coming up empty handed.  Eventually I found a blue and white paisley print with bronze detail at the Rag Market in Birmingham.  It is viscose and cost a mere £2/m!  It was the right choice and Daughter No2 approved.

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My next problem in choice was the buttons.  I raided my button box and then all the charity shops in town.  I ended up with 3 rather yummy plum/maroon vintage buttons for the front of Daughter No2’s coat.  But there weren’t any for the sleeve tabs.  Another rummage through the button stash revealed 3 pretty pink mother of pearl buttons that would work.  So that was one done, Daughter No1’s buttons were more tricky to decide on.  She didn’t want a colour that would stand out too much, she decided subtle was the route to take.

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Buttons!

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In my raid of the local charity shops, I had found 4 beige-y/pink buttons, BIG ones!  So the colour was subtle, size – not so very much…!  But – they have worked rather well, and I found a couple of smaller similar coloured buttons in my stash that I used for the sleeve tabs.  So, there you have two pink/copper coats with different linings and different buttons for two different girls with different styles.  Although the shell colour is the same, and I used the same pattern, they do look different on.

collage coatsThat’s another Burdachallenge2018 entry for the year, and I’m glad to have made the trench coat.

 

Jeans or Trousers

 

Finally!  I have some photos of the trousers I was making two weeks ago.  I’ve worn them quite a bit since making them, mostly because I thought I’d be able to get photos, but no…  Instead I had a comfy, warm day of wearing my new pants.  I really do like this pattern, it will be good to make in a summer fabric too, linen or even viscose.  A reminder that the pattern is 117 from November Burda 2018.

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Burda trousers 117 July 2018

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They were really easy and quick to make and they’re fab to wear.  That could be because of the stretch content, of course!  😉  The piping in the waistband has the advantage of stopping the waistband stretching out.  So it looks good and has a proper purpose!  Detailed photos of the waistband and pockets are in that WIP post, link above.

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The welt pocket is also good.  Next time I’ll widen the welt and resulting pocket by 2-3cm.  The original 14 cm is fine, and fits the phone, but it could do with being slightly roomier, making it easier to access said phone.  For people with a wider phone than mine, it would also be a good idea to make the pocket wider!

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A proper, workable back pocket!

The leg length is just fine.  I had shortened the legs by 4cm and crossed my fingers that it would be ok.  I still get a break on the top of my show, and honestly I wouldn’t want more than I’ve got in a stiff fabric like the denim.  In a softer fabric, more of a break would look fine, so a longer length would work.

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I just can’t decide what these are, jeans – or trousers?

Work in Progress Wednesday

It seems I’ve been posting more of these “in progress” posts this month than showing the finished items!  I must get some photos this weekend, if it’s not too rainy.  So, what am I making today?  Well, I decided on the spur of the moment last night to use a piece of wool that a friend had found in a charity shop and gave me last month.  It’s navy blue suiting with a pinstripe and herringbone weave.  It was about 1.2m in length, so was never going to be a full length pair of trousers.  That made it easy to pick a pattern, I could use my favourite cropped pattern that I’ve used 5/6 times, or a newer one, used just twice so far.

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Everything cut out and tailortacked, ready to sew.

I picked 120 from July Burda 2018.  I have made it earlier this year, in the summer, using a linen and cupro blend.  Definitely time to make another.  I got pretty much all of the pieces onto the wool, except for the pocket lining piece.  I was slightly tempted to add the ruffley thingie on the pocket opening, but there just wasn’t the space to cut the bias piece.  Actually, it was just as well, it would only get in the way of my shirts and no-one would ever see it anyway.  I cut the pocket lining from a piece of scrap cotton print in the stash.

I cut the 44 but had graded it before from the hip to the waist to the 46.  The leg has been shortened by 4cm, this was a good length in the previous pair.  I started by tailortacking and then overlocking all the pieces.  In order to make my sewing time really productive, I pinned the darts, pocket linings to the openings, and pinned the lower front and back trouser pieces to the main pieces.  These were then all sewed up.

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Overlocking

Pockets were sewn and everything well pressed, then the front and back centre seams were sewn to just above the crotch curve.  The waistband needs to go on before the zip can go in, so that was interfaced and the front and back pieces attached to the trousers.  I didn’t have a dark navy invisible zip in the stash, but the brighter blue one I chose will do just fine.  The waistbands lined up rather well, usually I need to unpick at least once to make the seamlines line up better.

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All pinned so I can sew as much as possible in one go!

 

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Invisible zip time! Thankfully invisible zips are mostly hidden, so I can use a more zingy colour…

Next to do was all the side seams, making sure the perpendicular seamlines lined up nice and neatly.  On the whole, it worked out rather well!  I decided to handstitch the hems insead of machine them because I was using thread from the stash and they didn’t necessarily match the colour of the wool all that well.  I then decided I’d handstitch the waistband on the inside too.

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Seams lined up properly the first time! Not always the case…

I finished the trousers by 3pm, having started cutting out at around 9:30 and taking an hour break for lunch.  So I’m chuffed with that, I have a new pair of trousers in the cupboard and one less piece of fabric in the stash!  I’ve also used the remains of three reels of blue thread and taken another zip out of the zip box.  Eventually I’ll get all these “stashes” down to more acceptable levels!

 

Work in Progress Wednesday

I hadn’t thought I’d have a post for today, thought I’d have finished off my epic two-coat run.  But nope, I’ve been a little slow this week!  So here’s what I’ve been working on for the last 2 weeks, two versions of the coat 103 from February Burda 2017.

The fabric is a pinky-copper coloured cotton twill that I bought either from Croft Mill or Fabworks earlier in the year.  I bought 5m because I liked the colour so much, and it was only £5/m!  I figured I could dye it if certain people didn’t like it, so I was quids in.  Turns out both girls liked the colour and then they both wanted the same pattern made up with it!  I needed to do something to make them a little different from each other, but I think the chances of them wearing the coats at the same time together are pretty slim.

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I have done the usual interfacing, using Gill Arnold’s weft insertion the the t-panel, sleeve heads, upper back and under collar.  I used the polyester fine sheer fusible for the facing pieces, tabs and upper collar.  I altered the pattern pieces too.  First, the non-fitting changes.  I traced the collar to make one whole piece and added width of 2-3mm to the short sides and outer edge to accommodate turn of cloth.  The under collar had its grainline changed to the bias, but stayed the same size.  I also added 2-3mm to the revers on the facing pieces, tapering down to the original stitching line at the breakpoint.  The front piece had 2mm added to the front from the breakpoint to the bottom.  This all helps to roll the upper layer of fabric to the underside so you don’t see the seamline.

Fitting adjustments were relatively simple.  Both girls wanted it longer, so I added 4cm to the skirt length.  Daughter No1 needed a forward shoulder adjustment of 1cm, so that was pretty simple.  Her coat was made first!  Daughter No2 needed the sleeves 4cm longer, a broad shoulder adjustment of 1.5cm and the belt tabs needed to be lengthened by 1.5cm.  As this needed more cutting up, her coat was made last.

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Inside Daughter No1’s coat

This pattern wasn’t supposed to be lined, the raw edges are treated with Hong Kong finish, but we wanted something nice on the inside, so the hunt was on for nice linings.  Printed “proper” linings are expensive, so we went off-piste.  Daughter No1 has a William Morris inspired cotton poplin lining in her coat.  The large print looks great peaking out, and I know she’s going to love it!  The sleeves have a white and grey stripe “proper” liningso that her clothes aren’t bunched up in her armpit when she puts the coat on!  I still have to find/choose buttons for this coat, otherwise it would have been finished early last week!  The colour of the fabric makes it tricky to find the right stuff, and having no haberdashery shops within a 15 mile radius doesn’t help.  I raided the charity shops in town on Monday and found buttons with potential, but we’re not sure…

Daughter No2 has a viscose print for her lining.  I had originally thought of a geometric monochrome print, in pale grey or dusky blue, but she found the perfect stuff at the rag market in Birmingham for only £2/m!  The gold/beige tones in the paisley print work well with the copper tone of the shell fabric, so it works, despite the blue paisleys!  I found enough dark blue “proper” lining in my lining bag to use for the sleeves.  This coat does have buttons!

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Pink mother-of-pearl buttons from the stash

In my charity shop raid I found 3 vintage plum coloured buttons to use of the front of the coat, they go on the belt tabs and to close the coat in the front.  I had to use different buttons for the sleevetabs, and had lovely dark pink mother-of-pearl shell buttons for that.  I tried just about every type of button from the stash for these coats, and nothing worked.  What’s the point of a large, full button box if nothing is right when you need it??!

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Paisley lining for Daughter no2’s coat.

So today I need to make up the lining for the second coat and get it in, then finish off the buttons.  And maybe I’ll find something that works for the first coat too.  Fingers crossed it’s all done today, I’m really keen on making a nice snuggly Toaster Sweater for myself, and there’s a pair of trousers in this month’s Burda I fancy too!

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The best buttons so far, but are they too big? Too bland?

Do you wear culottes in the Winter?

 

I have two pairs of cropped, wide legged trousers in my winter wardrobe, made last year and worn loads last winter.  I also plan to make a pair or two of the Peppermint Wide Leg pants, for myself.  From my deep stash, in the winter fabrics boxes, I dug out a lovely windowpane wool that I had bought ages ago from Fred Winter in Stratford on Avon.  It had been used to make a pair of trousers for Daughter No 1 back in 2013 & I stashed the leftovers for a future project – because past-me bought enough of the lovely stuff for more than just one pair of trousers…

 

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Culottes 104 Burdastye February 2017

 

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All those red lines looking good!

I waved this piece in front of Daughter No1’s eyes recently when she said she wanted a pair of trousers that would sit on or just above her natural waist, and be loose fitting over her tummy.  I figured there’d be enough there to make a pair of the culottes from last February’s Burda, which I have used to make 3 pairs for her already!  So she knows the fit, etc.  It didn’t take much convincing, and I knew they’d look fabulous!  (And machine washable!)

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Good fit in the back

 

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I made sure the red lines of the windowpane check were in the right places on the pattern pieces, transfering the marks onto the paper pattern.  I cut the 34 and only took them in a tiny little bit (1.5cm) in the centre back once they were fitted, essentially making a dart in that back seam.  I shortened the pattern in the crotch depth by 1cm, the upper thigh area by 1.5cm and between the knee and the hem another 1.5cm.  I have also moved the zip from the centre front to the side seam, which she prefers.  All the culottes I have made from this pattern for her have a side zip.  But, this is the first time I’ve made the pants with the belt loops and tie for her.  And she likes it!

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Spotty lining in the pockets

These are going to look fabulous as part of her winter wardrobe.  The photos were taken on one of her visits home, so she only has limited clothing to wear with them here.   These pants will look great with boots, smart high heels and of course, these handmade brogues she bought on her travels in Vietnam.  I am making her a coat at the moment in a pink/copper colour that will look amazing with the tones in these pants, so whole outfits are emerging!

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Undercover Super Hero Cape

Everyone should have one, their own super hero cape.  When I was a kid it was my swimming towel, corners wraped around the straps of my swimming costume.  This long cardi is 126 from January 2011 issue of Burdastyle.  Daughter No2 had picked it out earlier this year, and I dutifully purchased 3m of black ponte from Fabworks to make it.

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Then I sat on it, prettier and more interesting patterns constantly jumped ahead of it.  Then finally in August, I put it on “the list”.  Now I had to get on with it!  Only 3 pieces, it was so quick and easy to make, I don’t know why I’d put it off for so long!  The overlocker was put to good use, and the sewing machine was drafted in for the twin needle stitching of the hems and front edge.

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The magazine has two versions of this cardi, one called a coat (126A) made with boiled wool and with a belt, and this one in jersey, as part of their loungewear collection.

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It’s a great pattern and I really want to make another, or two, one for me and another for daughter no 1 – at least.   I rather fancy one in a nice russet coloured boiled wool.  Just to find the right colour somewhere!  So, made back in August, this cardi was made about a month ago, and one of my entries for that month’s BurdaStyle Challenge.  Given that it’s already nearly the end of September, I wonder when I’ll blog those things I’ve made this month…

 

 

Late Summer Sewing

Catching up on all those clothes I sewed for the girls last month!  You know the trend for paperbag waistlines in skirts and trousers?  Well this is that, but at the neckline of a top!  It’s another one of the “wants” on daughter no 2’s long list.  The pattern is 121A from the November 2015 issue of BurdaStyle, shown in the magazine in green satin.  Daughter no2 chose black cotton voile from the stash.

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The pattern itself is deadly simple, only a couple of pieces required and an afternoon to sew and you’re done!  I French seamed the insides for neatness and double turned the hem.  The paperbag neckline is formed by inserting a bias cut drawstring into a casing formed at the base of the self-faced collar.  Gathering the collar gives it height and texture, you just need to rearrange the folds in the top.

It’s turned out quite well, despite my initial misgivings when I finished it and arranged it on Betty.  But it looks great on and she loves it!  I delivered it to her 3 weeks ago now, and apparently, she’s worn it loads (sometimes not bothering to iron it first…)   I guess you could say that’s a good sign!  So that’s another #BurdaChallenge2018 project done.

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By the way, this gorgeous skirt she’s wearing was one I made last year!  I ended up putting an invisible zip in the centre back seam because she found the concealed button front so annoying!

I have many other projects made during the last month, such a backlog to show you!

 

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So I’m adding a pair of shorts to this post!  Daughter No2 is really happy with them and has announced that next summer, if I’d like, I can make many more of these!  The pattern is 107 from July 2016 Burda.  I cut the 38, but graded back to the 36 from the high hip to the waist.  No other adjustments were needed.

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Details

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The fabric came out of the stash, and it had been waiting a good couple of years for the right project to come along!  I’d bought this 1m remnant piece from Clothspot in a sale thinking I’d make a skirt for the girls, but no…  It’s a crisp blue linen with white stripes.  The pocket pieces are lined, but instead of using fabric I didn’t have, and increasing linen-ey bulk, I chopped up one of the other half’s no-longer-wearable shirts and used that instead!  I did have to make sure I lined up the stripes on the pockets and front pieces properly, it would have stood out too badly if I hadn’t!

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The fit is fabulous, I’m really happy with that, and the length is just right too.  The cuffs and tie make them a little more casual than they could be without.  So I can definitely see more of these coming out of the sewing room next summer.

 

 

 

Work in Progress Wednesday

I realise that all of the posts in the last few years have been completed projects. I used to photograph as I sewed, I even posted as I worked, with the finished project at the end, nicely modelled on the daughter for whom it was made. So I thought, I might start that again! I’ve been working on a jacket for daughter no 1 using a 1m length of Linton Tweed. I like mixing things up a little, so I suggested we make a biker style jacket with the fabric, rather than something more predictable. That got the thumbs up!

I’m using the same Burda pattern as I did last year when I worked on the Refashioners project. This time, however, I’m not changing the pattern, because I don’t have to! 😀 So how far have I got? Well, I’m almost done… I cut and interfaced yesterday, block fusing so if there was any shrinkage it wouldn’t affect the pieces too much.

Pockets!

Today I did most of the construction, I thought I wouldn’t get as far as I did because I had ordered the zips online from Jaycotts and wasn’t sure when they’d arrive. Luckily, they came today! I used a black piece of wool for contrast and bulk reduction in certain areas, the welt for the pocket, facings, inner cuffs, waistband pieces & inner collar.

Setting the sleeve

I think it’s worked rather well! I needed the bulk reduction, this tweed is chunky! I’m actually using the wrong side here, we decided it was less busy, and more likely to be worn this way around.

This is what it looks like tonight, with just the lining, waistband, cuffs & snaps to go. Now my eyes are tired and it’s time for bed!

Mid-Century Inspired Jacket

I’d marked this particular jacket in the August 2016 issue of Burdastyle when it first came out, but wasn’t sure I had the fabric, or who to make it for!  It’s got a lovely 50s-60s look to it.  In the photo in the magazine, it looks loose, big and comfy, but the sleeves look too long.  That worried me, so I left it – for two years!

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Burda Jacket #114 August 2016

This year I decided it would look fabulous on Daughter No 1, sent her a photo of it and remarked that I’d shorten the sleeve as it looks a little hinky there.  The reply was instant – yes please!  I traced the 36, the smallest size and toiled in a piece of mystery content fabric I’d bought years and years ago.  It was used as toile because every winter when I brought it out of the stash, I got wrinkled up noses and doubt.  So it was obviously not going to be useful otherwise.  I’d also tried to dye it blue-er, which didn’t work because it isn’t a natural fibre…  this I found out when I tried dyeing!

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Little Details

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Long story short, I toiled quickly using scraps of previous projects for the pocket linings and the flaps, red thread so I could see where I’d sewn if I needed to adjust or unpick.  When she came home for a long weekend, she tried it on, and pronounced it perfect – almost.  The sleeves were definitely too long, but we fixed that by turning up 8cm instead of the 4 for the hem, and then turned back another 4, essentially making a fold back cuff.  The lower section of the sleeve is straight on the sides, so it’s easy to turn back more, and to make a cuff, no faffing with angles.  She also decided she really liked the toile, and could she wear that please…?

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I should have known.  How often has this happened to me?  I use a piece of fabric that’s otherwise ugly, or they haven’t noticed before, make a toile – and suddenly it’s the best thing since dairy free cheese!  There was no attempt at matching the stripes, placing the pockets and tabs in the right place to line things up, just a toile, right!?  I huffed a little – there’s no point in making out that this is easy too often, they might get the wrong idea! 😉  I found a suitable piece of lining in the stash, ended up unpicking the original pocket flaps with their red linings, as well as the pocket pieces themselves.  Then I recut the flaps and pocket linings, resewed them in and finished off the jacket.  One thing I did not do was interface.  I was in no mood to go fiddling around with already trimmed and sewed bits to do that, it will just have to do!

 

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I have to admit it looks good.  I just wish we’d all had a better idea of that fabric before I’d started that particular job! 🙂  Never mind, at least the fabric has been put to a good use, and it wasn’t wasted.  Things to note from the toile:

  • Make the sleeves shorter, 8cm hem, 4cm turn back for cuff – optional as with the 8cm hem, the sleeve is now a good length.
  • Recut the shawl collar/facing pattern pieces with 3mm added to the outer edge to allow for turn of cloth.
  • Recut pocket outer flap pattern pieces and all outer (top) belt pieces with 3mm added to edge to allow for turn of cloth.
  • Consider interfacing shoulder areas to reduce chance of stretch on the bias over the shoulder

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The pattern lay in the magazine doesn’t show any interfacing apart from  the facing pieces, and this doesn’t want to be an overly structured garment, but I felt it needed a bit more support in certain areas.  So I interfaced a 2cm strip on the back shoulders, the front, front and back facings and the undercollar.  I also added a 5cm wide bias cut strip to the hemline areas on the jacket, and a deeper bias strip to the sleeve, giving support to the area that would be turned up as the cuff, if she wanted to.

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The final fabric for the jacket came from the deep stash, and I think I originally got it from a charity shop.  It’s wool, grey on grey houndstooth.  I’d pre-shrunk it with steam, so this will have to be drycleaned.  For the lining, I raided the stash again.  The initial idea was to have something dramatic, rust or copper on the inside, but I couldn’t find something in the right shade and fabric in time.  So I dug out a piece of gold and blue shot lining I’d bought from The Lining Company to line a camel coat – as yet still unmade.  It works pretty well, is warm and still interesting when the light catches it at different angles.

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The jacket didn’t take long to make.  I’d cut out the pieces and interfaced one evening, started sewing the next morning and finished the shell in time to cut the linings the next evening and sew them in.  All I needed to do the next day was to hand sew the linings to the hem and attach the buttons, all of which came from the stash and are vintage.  So it’s a quick jacket to make, the only fiddly (time consuming) thing is the welt pocket, if you haven’t done one before.  The rest is really straightforward!

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I cut the tabs on the bias this time, and I like it!

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Both jackets have been really well recieved.  We had a full house with both girls home for a weekend, and the jackets got well and truly drooled over.  The colours work brilliantly with her wardrobe of neutrals (much like mine) and they look fabulous with her strawberrry blonde hair.  I know they’ll get well worn this Autumn and Winter, a real winner!

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