What I wear

The Reproduction jacket

This week’s theme on the Sew Weekly was ‘On Trend’ – sew something inspired by one of the catwalk trends for Summer-Autumn 2012.

I may be a historical seamstress who loves vintage, but I’m actually quite enthusiastic about trends, and follow new design collections with interest.  Why?  There are so many different cuts and colours and fashions  that I love (Gold-yellow!  Paisley!  Greek keys!  Colour blocking!  Yokes!  1930s piecing! Laurel wreaths!  High waists!  Wide legged pants! Birds!  Small floral prints!  Petrol Blue! and…and…and…) that every season is sure to bring something that I adore, and then that item is easy to find and I can revel in it and stock up so that I can enjoy it till it comes around again.

What I love, I love, and when everyone else loves it, I think that’s fantastic.  I’m like the anti-hipster (“I liked that before everyone else did, and now they all do and that’s sooooo wonderful!”)

When the theme came up I knew exactly what I wanted to make.  One of my very favourite things has been all over the  catwalks for Summer and Autumn:  White on white.  Yes!  I not-so-secretly  love  white.  I have at least twice as much white fabric as any other colour.  And I have a little jacket that I own and love that I’ve had patterned up for months, waiting to make a new version in a white wool-acrylic blend.  The jacket has a cool wide standing collar, which is something else that has been on the catwalks a lot recently.

So, with the perfect pattern and the fabric to make it out of, I pulled out my fabric, pulled out the pattern, got another piece of coordinating white wool for a white version of the dress I did for  the accessorize challenge  and put them all ready to make up when the week rolled round.

So everything should have been really easy.  But it wasn’t.  Come the week, fabric and pattern are no-where to be found.  I searched, and searched, and just couldn’t find them.

OK, time for a re-think.  Retro Americana is on-trend for the Northern Hemisphere summer.  I’ve got a great novelty print from Grandma.  I pull it out, find an adorable pattern to pair it with, size the pattern up from a 32″ bust to a 37″ bust, and then discover I forgot to check the fabric requirements, and I am desperately short.  Back to scratch.

By this point, I’m getting a little worried and short on time.   I have one last brainstorm and a massive rummage in my newly re-organised sewing room, and this time, finally, hallelujah, it’s there.  So I had a mad dash to make the jacket in time for the challenge.

The mad dash was not helped by the horrible fabric.  Acrylic is such a revolting fabric to work with — it won’t press, won’t sculpt and just goes limp when you iron it.  There wasn’t enough wool in the blend to mitigate that, and if I hadn’t inherited the fabric I wouldn’t have had it in my stash.   Still, I managed a perfect bound buttonhole in acrylic, so I’m feeling quite pleased with myself!

I first paired the outer fabric with a gorgeous pastel floral lining twill lining, because I thought a white lining was a bit much.  Alas, the pastel floral showed through the white (stupid sucky acrylic), and I had to go through the painful process of unpicking it and replaced it with some white satin lining that I had, very providentially, found at an op-shop just that day.

Thanks to the loosing the fabric and days of sewing time I had to give up on making the dress as well, so I worn the jacket with jeans and black top, which is how I’ll actually wear it on a day to day basis.  If I were doing this for a runway show I’d pair the jacket with a maxi dress in heavy white silk jersey.  As I have no need for such a garment in my wardrobe, and, alas, no such fabric in my stash, my photoshoot is little less fashion-forward.

The photos were taken in downtown Wellington during a little Sunday shopping with Mr D, and then at a stop at the artificial beack at Oriental Bay to enjoy the late-afternoon winter sun.


Just the facts, Ma’am:

Fabric:  1.3 metres of loosely woven twill-weave acrylic-wool blend inherited from Nana, 1 metre of white satin-weave acetate lining fabric from an op shop ($4 for 3 metres).

Pattern:  Self drafted, based on a jacket I already own.

Year:  2012 does 1965

Notions:  one large white button and a vintage dome (snap), both inherited from Nana

Hours:  1 hour to draft the pattern from the jacket, 3.5 hours to make, 5+ hours of searching for the darn fabric!

Make again?  Probably not for a while.  I love the jacket, but have the original (in purple), and now one in white, and I’m not really a ‘make one in every colour’ girl.

First worn:  To teach Baha’i children’s classes on Sunday morning (virtue of the week: patience.  So very appropriate!) and then for shopping and a walk and photos Sunday afternoon.

Wear again?  Yes!  That’s the benefit of patterning up and making a garment you already own: you know you love the shape and style and that it fits well into your wardrobe.

Total cost:  $1 for the lining fabric



  1. Smashing!

    I love white, myself. But I *don’t* love doing laundry, and anything white looks dingy about 10 minutes after I put it on. I guess I just have a talent for attracting dirt. 😉

    • Me too. I like white, but I don’t wear white because I just can’t seem to keep it white.

      • I’m with you guys. Never fails. I wear white the same day as I’m eatting spaghetti!

  2. Lynne says

    I really like the collar. Frames the face beautifully and does standing up as well.

    But I have to say it took me a wee while to learn an important lesson (and my mother never did learn it): it is not worth wasting good sewing skill and time on fabric that is less than the best one can afford. Nasty stuff will wash out, shrink, fade, and generally look beyond wearing in a very short time. I’d rather re-make something that was in good fabric. I do not think cheap equals nasty, by the way.

  3. The Mad Purple Chicken says

    A bound button hole in acrylic?!? Wow, you have awesome fabric taming skills. Hey, that could be another term for seamstress. Remember that post in which you asked what is a good name for someone who sews? We could call ourselves fabric tamers, fabric can be as unruly as lions can’t it?
    Or am I just being silly?

    The jacket is cute, not a style I would wear, but it looks very nice on you.

  4. Wow, what a gorgeous jacket! It just suits you perfectly. I’m so sorry about your frustration with the project and losing the fabric… I just hate *knowing* that I have a particular yarn or fabric in my stash and not being able to find it!

    I love that photo of you lounging on the steps, too. 🙂

  5. OH WOW. This sharp little jacket is just FABULOUS. I never realized how crisp and classy a white jacket could be until I read this post. Beautiful work, and bravo on getting a bound buttonhole out of the acrylic material!

    • Thank you! I’m a huge fan of white – just as versatile as black, but so much brighter and more interesting.

Comments are closed.