I don't wear much black, but the seduction was so complete that I could not get the idea out of my head. I set out to make my very own version.
I chose to make a version with cropped sleeves. I wore this jacket on a trip to Melbourne in winter. I layered it over a long sleeved merino top to combat the cold temperatures. The cropped sleeves turned out to be quite advantageous, as whenever I put my elbows on the table whilst sipping / sampling the local cuisine, I did not have to worry about putting my beautiful wool tweed in any crumbs or spills.
I have made a couple of similar jackets now, but this is the first time I have made one with a button opening.
I chose a different pocket placement than my inspiration jacket. It is actually difficult to get the pocket placement right for a button opening jacket and have them look okay when the jacket is worn both open and closed. There must be some formula to get each the right distance from the centre front. I hand-sewed these pockets on at least twice, very late, on the evening before I flew to Melbourne. I am a little disappointed in the pockets. I made a template, but being fully lined in silk, the pockets ended up a little misshapen. I needed to stabilise either the tweed or the silk. I was rushing these the day before I left. I have enough fabric left to redo them at some future stage in my life when I am blessed with a little more time. Once I started wearing the jacket, I did not notice the uneven pockets any more.
All the button holes are fully functioning.
I made spanish snap button holes (more detail here)
I used many hand-sewing techniques on this jacket, but I did not set the sleeves by hand. I used the method in the Threads article "Shortcuts to a designer jacket" (Jan 07). I have yet to bind the armhole sleeve allowances. I might take the jacket with me over the summer to complete this hand-stitching.
I don't normally talk about costs on my blog, but I thought some of you may be interested in the cost to make one of these iconic jackets.
- Linton Tweed - 2 m 44 pounds, shipping 30 pounds ($135 - I have enough left over for a pencil skirt, should I decide to make one)
- Silk charmeuse lining from EmmaOneSock - 2 yds @ $25/yd, shipping, say $10
- Braid, from M&J Trimming - 5 yds - $24.90 (I bought enough braid to go around the hem, but did not use that much. I left the braid off the hem because I wanted it to be easy to let-out / take-in the jacket if required, anticipating that this jacket will be around for decades :)
- Metal Chain, from M&J Trimming - 2 yds $5.96 (I haven't added this yet. I am wondering if I bought the wrong weight of cahin, because it doesn't feel heavy enough to affect the hang of the jacket)
- 14 buttons, from M&J Trimming - $37.52 (1 spare)
- Shipping from M&J Trimming $19.95
- Pattern - it was adapted from a Patrones pattern. I'm not sure how to cost that in. I visited my sister's sewing teacher, who helped me fit my muslin and adjust the pattern in a 1 on 1 session (what a joy that was!) for which I paid $100. The pattern was heavily changed, so much so that it is not worth giving the pattern number.
- Vilene tape ~$15 from Spotlight
- poly-cotton remnants and interfacing remnants from stash - considered free
- thread - say $12
Of course, some of that is in $US and some in AUD, but at the time, the 2 currencies were close to parity, so I am ignoring that fact.
All that totals to just over $400. a lot for one piece of clothing but a little compared to RTW versions.
I think I need some help styling the jacket. These jackets are supposed to be very versatile, but so far, I have only paired it with jeans or a pencil skirt. Probably doesn't help that not much of my wardrobe is in neutral colours.