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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Berlin Jacket

Until the 1980s I made many of my own clothes. By the mid 1980s my work and family responsibilities left little time for dressmaking. When I finished full time work I smocked a couple of dresses for myself but for the most part buying clothes is easier - and leaves more time for embroidery and making clothes for children.

Amongst the promotional emails I receive regularly is one from Tessuti Fabrics in Sydney. They have a wonderful range of fabrics. They also stock specialist patterns. I bought some Japanese children's patterns from here when my grandchildren were smaller.

This week I received an email from them with announcement of a couple of new jacket patterns - and a new range of fabulous felted wool from Italy. I'd been looking for,a jacket much like these so I took the plunge. I ordered the pattern and fabric on Wednesday. It arrived on Friday. I cut out the jacket on Saturday and sewed it on Sunday.

It was a long weekend in Australia and, thanks to a friend's tip, I was helped along by the radio playing the voters's choice of the top 100 voice recordings on ABC Classic FM.

The pattern is available as a download, but I chose to have the paper pattern delivered with the fabric - since I don't have facilities for poster-size printing and didn't fancy taping A4 sheets together on that scale.

The pattern pieces were sturdy and very well marked. I had allowed a bit extra fabric to ensure the fronts of the jacket overlapped across my ample hips.

The fabric is truly lovely - both in colour and texture. It cuts and handles easily.

I was wowed by the simplicity of the technique for sewing the boiled wool. Pockets, sleeves and fronts are faced. The facing is lined up with the main piece edge and stitched on the right side. The other edge of the facing is stitched down on the wrong side. End of story.

The pocket, with facing attached is placed on the front and stitched around on the right side - nothing to turn under. No doubt others have been stitching like this for years - I enjoyed the discovery!

At the shoulders the front and back pieces are overlapped by 3/8" and stitched down on the right side.
The sleeves are joined in the same way. This leaves a narrow ridge on the right side. I thought it looked better flat, so simply ran another row of stitching along the ridge - giving an effect rather like a French seam. Very easy.

The side seams are stitched right side to right side and the bottom edge is left raw. Next time I'd experiment with a flat side seam.

I really enjoyed the adventure of making this jacket - and couldn't wait to try it out. It is warm, soft and comfortable. I like it with the scarf my friend Vivienne gave me in 2012 and my Robyn Gordon dragonfly brooch.

I have a couple of pieces of left-over fabric that I think will take some Kantha embroidery. I might one day succumb to greed and buy the pattern for the Brooklyn Coat and the Cherry Tepore Marle boiled wool. 


margaret said...

lovely jacket you have made here. Like you have not done clothes sewing for years in fact gave all my fabric to a charity not so long ago as thought I wold never use it now just have embroidery and quilting fabric in my stash which I am sure will not all get used, will need to live to be 150 and still adding to the supply

Jillian said...

LOL. Yes, I think our intentions far our way our capability, Margaret. We do, however, need to keep imagining and planning.

Monica said...

So, was that about 4 days from desire to new coat? Isn't it wonderful when things come together like that? It's a lovely, elegant design, and I think you had a good idea with the extra stitching on the seams. Gorgeous! I can understand the temptation of the red one, that would be lovely too.

And I am a little envious, because I've found there is no season in Canada where a coat like that is appropriate. It's either too cold, too hot, or too windy!

Jillian said...

Actually 5 days from seeing the pattern& fabric online and finish. I can see it wouldn't work in Canada. It's been just great here - warn and toasty . I also cut the fronts a bit wider so they overlap and keep out the wind in front. I've worn it every day so far .

Lyn Warner said...

It looks warm, easy to wear and very stylish. Just what I need for winter too.

Jillian said...

Thanks Lyn. I can recommend both the pattern and the fabric!