Friday Pattern Ilford Jacket Sew-Along Livestream, Kelly Hogaboom / Bespoke Hogaboom

friday patterns ilford jacket sew-along

Friday Pattern Ilford Jacket Sew-Along Livestream, Kelly Hogaboom / Bespoke Hogaboom

It’s that time again! Time for another sew-along. As the seasons change and we expect a bit more warmth where I live – I thought, why not a spring, smock-style jacket?

My selection this month is the Friday Ilford Jacket – a simple garment that’s great for the committed beginner ready to upgrade to trying a sleeve placket and a collar – that kind of thing. 

Joining me once again – I am delighted to say! – is my friend Traci Kay Pryde from @pryde.hantverk and we are leading you every step of the way through this fantastic garment!

friday pattern co ilford jacket

Bust: 32″ – 60″
Waist:  24″ – 53″
Hip: 34″ – 63″

Drop-shoulder unlined jacket in two lengths; pattern comes with a few different pocket templates. Plain sleeve or placket-style sleeve.

I’ll be making the short length, and the placket sleeve. I’ll also be interlining the jacket and I’ll talk about that as I go!

Here are the materials you need!

The Ilford Jacket pattern (here)
Buttons (5 – 10; the pattern recommends 1″ – 1 1/2″)
Bottomweight woven (sewing yardages are on page five of the pattern)
Interfacing (1 yard)
All-purpose thread & topstitching thread*
Needles: denim (or heavy, sharp, universal); topstitch needle*
Buttonhole chisel*

* optional

– as well as your tuned-up sewing machine and manual, cutting equipment, pins, scissors, iron and ironing board!

I’ll be sewing on three machines: my domestic Pfaff, a White serger (for some seam finishing), and my Pfaff 130 (for topstitching). If you don’t have three machines never fear – I will be going over how to construct the garment if you are only sewing with one machine.

Our schedule! This sew-along begins 5 PM Pacific on Tuesday the 23rd, hosted simultaneously on my Twitch channel; the videos are then uploaded to my Vimeo channel if you miss out! And all dates are hosted on my Calendar (here’s a live link you can add to your own).

TUE 23: cutting & marking
WED 24: sleeve plackets* & collar
FRI 26: body, front plackets, & cuffs
FRI 26: pockets, hem, buttons & buttonholes

* This pattern has us constructing sleeve plackets right off the bat, instead of when the garment is almost finished. One caveat: you will want to baste-fit and adjust your sleeve length first, because if your intended wearer needs a much shorter sleeve (as mine does!) you could possibly end up with a too-short sleeve placket if you don’t adjust first.

And finally! The best place to ask questions about this sew-along, is right here in the blog post! This blog post serves as the master document. 

Mustard-Plaid Car Coat

Mustard-Plaid Car Coat

Mustard-Plaid Car Coat
My top five favorite things about this Mustard-Plaid Car Coat:

1. I made it from yardages donated to me: both the shell fabric (a plaid constructed with a knit backing), and the interlining (a polyester fleece). The only bits I purchased were the thread, interfacing, snaps, and jersey lining. Upcycling BOOM!

2. The quilted lining (pictures below), which make it so soft and cozy!

3. The build of the coat itself: it has a lovely one-piece collar design I’ve not worked with in any other pattern. Just gorgeous!

4. My plaid matching (top notch!) – matching at front, sleeve, and cuff – and also back-collar, yoke, and back. I was wearing a (certain name-brand) plaid shirt today, which sets a retail price for simple plaid shirts at $100 to $200. They’re plaid-matching has nothing on mine!

5. My double-welt pockets. I’ve been working on my own method for these pockets and I am getting it down. Beautiful and sturdy!

Mustard-Plaid Car Coat

Cloned Basketweave Coat

Cloned Basketweave Coat

Photos of gifts and sewn items trickling in, now that Christmas is here and photos can go public. A while back a friend in the UK sent me her coat to clone. She needed it upgraded, size-wise. We talked about fabrics and she chose a beautiful basketweave from Mood Fabrics. I chose a champagne-colored lining, a pattern for a coat base, and off we went!

Cloned Basketweave Coat

 The new fabric (left) was quite a bit heavier than the original garment. The bulkier fabric made a very different result when it came to the gathers and freeform pleats. (Well. Very different to me, but most people probably wouldn’t notice!)

Sizing up a rather complex garment was no picnic, either! But things seemed to turn out beautifully in the end. Collar:

Cloned Basketweave Coat

Front pockets: the original garment had these very small in-seam pockets – just big enough for a ladyhand. The pockets were also located in a pleated area and are rather hidden. I absolutely loved the look of the ecru satin with the shell fabric.

Cloned Basketweave Coat

Hem and lining:Cloned Basketweave Coat

I sent over the parcel a few days ago; upon receipt yesterday, my friend had to pay £38 in VAT. I’ve sent many things overseas and that’s the first time that’s happened – or at least, that someone told me about it.

Finishing the coat meant – another coat! (for a friend: photos pending), and my Christmas gifts for Ralph and the two kids. As per usual my Christmas was full of a great deal of creative exploits!

Wool Drover Coat For M.

“I’m not going to lie to you… it’s gonna get weird. Two coats.”


I recently had the honor and privilege of making a friend’s vision come to life: M., who had saved up two large wool blankets for over twenty years, in hopes of one day having them made into a drover’s coat. M. and I exchanged some FB messages, I emailed him a quote, and he delivered me many pounds of heavy wool blanket. With some trepidation I cut into this vintage fabric to begin construction!

Thursday I grabbed a few pictures of the finished product (modeled by husband who is an inch shorter than client in arm and total height):

Wool Drover Coat For M.

M. had several visions for the coat: he wanted the end fringe of the blankets to be used as much as possible at hem, sleeve hem, pocket, pocket flap, and cape. Now is the time for me to point out that the two blankets were different – you can really see this at the stripe near the knee. I am super-proud to say that with careful planning I made an entirely balanced coat – in other words the left side utilizes one blanket for the body, and the other blanket for patch, pocket detail, etc. – and vice versa. I also managed to wrap the wool fringe to curve around the cape such that it looks like it was woven there – and to place another stripe at the shoulder on the cape!

M. wanted antler tips for closures. I got to fiddle/figure out how to use those without the typical toggle closure, which M. didn’t care for. My solution was a bound buttonhole – time intensive, but really a solid, rustic choice. The wool was so very thick I chose to use the selvedge/woven edges for the lips of the (pseudo-) bound buttonhole, thus reducing bulk significantly. Finally – I found tips that were cut in half lengthwise so could be worn very flush to the coat front:

Wool Drover Coat For M.

Hem fringe and cuff tab:
Wool Drover Coat For M.

The collar and collar tab, sleeve tabs, and cape are all lined in a cotton the same color as the shell wool.

One of my favorite details: the cape and collar. The cape is fabulous: it looks like it is sewn to the coat, and it fits perfectly snugly with underarm straps for security. But the wearer can easily unfasten the cape if they don’t want to wear it:

Wool Drover Coat For M.

The fringe – applied to curved cape edge:
Wool Drover Coat For M.

Ralph, about to go tend the flock. Wearing a hat I knit him too – by the way.
Wool Drover Coat For M.

I can’t express how wonderful it is to work with someone on their design – if their design is cohesive, and M.’s really was. I sew up other people’s designs rarely – because I like to make my own. However in M.’s case he had such a definite sense of what he wanted and I instantly grasped how handsome a garment it would make. Although the coat was a technical challenge – the wool in the blankets had warped, and had several very well-done repairs in thread – I learned a great deal while working on it.

The best part? I hand-delivered him the coat last night and he lit right up. “I am completely satisfied!” – a direct quote! And the garment suited him very well. It gives me great pleasure to make someone something they want – or have wanted, for years!


Second coat: one for my husband. This, part of my thirteenth anniversary gift for him, was constructed without him ever being aware I was making it (total score!). Waxed canvas, and lined with a matching grey liner with a semi-coarse, lovely finish. The effect is that of a rain slicker – except more breathable, and with a beautiful patina and long-lasting wear:

Waxed Canvas Jacket #1

Grey-green shot cotton binding at neckline. Waxed canvas – such a beautiful finish – and, now that I’m used to it, a pleasure to sew (this coat was the first I’d made in this fabric; Nels’ was the second, and things went better there):

Waxed Canvas Jacket #1


Top-stitching: about as near perfect as you can get (using single-needle tailoring):


Waxed Canvas Jacket #1


A fun stretch stitch at hem. Interestingly, in this photo the liner and shell don’t look like the same color; that is a trick of how they photograph. They matched identically!
Waxed Canvas Jacket #1

Cuff tab – a triple-stitch for a heavier stitching line. Antique brass snaps I set myself. Kind of fun, actually!

Waxed Canvas Jacket #1

 The coat was constructed using Green Pepper’s Frenchglen (adding length to arm and hem as per Ralph’s usual adjustment); the pattern featured a side pocket embedded in the zippered patch pocket:

Waxed Canvas Jacket #1

And  a very special zipper pull tab – in a “bean” shape. I found one tab at Quilt Harbor in Aberdeen and knew I had to have it. But I couldn’t find another – not even online! A few weeks ago I ran across the second tab in Lady Lynn’s for $1.75! I was beyond excited. Because I am a huge nerd.

Waxed Canvas Jacket #1

Ralph, who stands this way – his arms don’t rest at his sides. I discovered this about him a few garments ago and I may or may not call his posture, “Ape Arms”.

Waxed Canvas Jacket #1

Something tells me I am just ramping up the coat and jacket sewing for the fall! Having all that heavy wool in my house during the hottest days of the year was… fun. “Fun”, she says, using “air dick quotes”. Next up: a brief snatch of air sewing an easy flannel car coat for my child – before diving into Halloween sewing, which ramped up so fast I was required to close orders before I could even update my Etsy shop or my website! Good lord.


Bundle Up Boy Blog Tour

flyer coat; lumberjack shirt; adorable son!

 Bundle Up Boy Blog Tour

Nels, male model. Adorable times One Hundred! You know. I made all the clothes pictured: the Finn hat, the Flyer Jacket, the skinny wool trousers (Banyan by Figgy’s), and the hooded pearl-snap shirt. AW YEAH. Hell I (arguably) even made the child. Yeah. Yeah I’m pretty awesome.

OK, so down to brass tacks: I have two new garments to show you, and two patterns to discuss. Across the internetz many (mostly)lady-bloggers are sewing up a batch of boy patterns. They are all PDF indie designs, have a wonderful size range of 3 months to sizze 16, and they are all featured on sale this week. I was honored to be asked to participate. August 26th I will be submitting my second entry. If you like what you see here, you might pee your pants on the 26th! No, really. It’s that good!

So for today: I am showcasing the P51 Flyer Jacket by Terra’s Treasures and the Lumberjack Shirt by Patterns for Pirates, and I’ll be discussing them here and in my Flickr tagset.

Bundle Up Boy Blog Tour

Bundle Up Boy Blog Tour

hot medium-brown wool action!!!

Brown Wool Blazer

Yeah that’s right, you have entered BLAZER COUNTRY. Who knows how many damn blazers I’ve sewn. All I know is, after I made this one (since Nels had grown out of Nolan, although it was still going strong!) I decided to trace one of my most-used blazer patterns in every size (that’s seventeen pieces by eight sizes, so one hundred thirty six pieces) and then color-code and cut and punch and reinforce and hang them all. And then I decided once I finished this rather ambitious project, I would reward myself by sewing a blazer. So now I’m almost done with a new blazer different than this one.


Brown Wool Blazer

OK so here’s a cool detail – elbow patches in a wool/silk blend. I hand-embroidered the concentric ovals, then cut the patches, fused them to the sleeve, black-zig-zagged them firmly to the coat, and then hand-embroidered the very outer oval. Adorable and I think they will look even cooler as they wear!

Brown Wool Blazer

Blustery day! … and, a few more details:

Brown Wool Blazer

Bound buttonholes. Here you can barely see the chalk marking the center-front of the blazer – the buttonhole extends 1/8″ in from that mark. You can also at top-left see the pink basting stitch I used to affix the underlining fabric to the wool.

Brown Wool Blazer

More elbow patches – and along the bottom of the picture you can see the purple triple-stitched topstitching line I used for most of this coat’s edges.

Brown Wool Blazer

The bone buttons, nine in all (I bought two extra of each size) cost more than the rest of the garment (in part due to how good I am at finding good fabrics on sale). I bought the buttons from M & J Trimming and they shipped quickly! You are also seeing the back side of the bound buttons here. I used a black silk organza for my facing’s buttonhole “windows”.

Brown Wool Blazer

My preferred pocket method – a fully-lined pocket, interfaced at the top, and then applied by fell-stitch. Here you are seeing the pocket before I turn it right-side out, then stitch the opening at lining and facing closed.

Brown Wool Blazer

Here’s that hand-stitch I just referred to – inside the pocket. When it comes to a simple coat my kids are going to wear the hell out of, and I am not looking for a print or texture, I use slipper satin from for coat linings. It is a nice weight for a medium or heavy coat, it wears well, and feels very nice.

Brown Wool Blazer

Echo-stitching on the collar. Basically free-handed. Echo stitching  here emulates the elbow patch detail – but it also gives a stiffer hand to whatever you are echo-stitching (in this case, the collar), and gives a great, rugged look and wear.

So there’s Nels’ newest jacket.

Now listen. I’m not going to go into why a blazer really is a killer garment. I’m not going to elaborate on how long and how well my versions hold up. Or even how awesome it is you can pull one off in so many fabrics –  lightweight linen, classic raw silk, homey corduroy, handsome waxed canvas, bad-ass melton wool – GAH!! Basically you, blog readers, are in for a blazer-fest this summer and you just need to settle in and DEAL. Will I be sewing other things? Why yes, of course.


Oh – and here is the end result of my pattern-tracing efforts for blazers – all marked, color-coded, cut, punched, reinforced, and organized. At left is the pattern, yardage, and sizing information in a clear cover sleeve.

Pattern Tracing, Marking, Color-Coding, Cutting, & Hanging

But now I *SOLEMNLY SWEAR* not to sew with wool until the fall. I promise. No, really.

So who’s got some fabulous linens they can point me to?

spring / flame, part deux

spring / flame jacket, 2014

Just chillin’.

Nels loved last year’s version of this jacket, so I made him one this year. I can’t remember what happened to last year’s; I likely donated it to the thrift shop.

Here’s 2013:

Long Sleeved

This year – stretch satin for lining/underlining, coupled with a Hong Kong seam finish (I am always looking for the perfect lining fabric that is not boring, and can stand up to the punishment of an active child’s lifestyle):

spring / flame jacket, 2014

I added a striped cotton hood, and cotton cuffs:

spring / flame jacket, 2014

spring / flame jacket, 2014

I love working in two separate colorways for this garment: the “flame” colorway was used on the overcollar, lapel facings, pockets, and elbow patches. The effect is subtle but very pretty – especially from a distance. Pockets? Fully-lined, of course, and attached by fell-stitch.

The cotton cuffs, attached the floating underlining/lining, is a little idea I had a year ago for Nels’ double-hooded red linen coat. These cuffs are very cozy, could easily be replaced if they were to get too stained, and deliver a pleasing layered effect.

I am not going to lie. Somehow this year, I ran into trouble. I made a few errors during pattern drafting and the fit of the coat is not as attractive as it was last year. I will be making up a new version entirely. It is just THAT irritating to have something not come off right.

So: this version is up for grabs.  I’m thinking the size is good for a 150 cm (a little under 5′) child. Text me if it’s yours! 360.500.3287


Slytherin Coat

As some of you may have guessed, I sewed and knit and cooked and crafted an awful lot for Christmas. Most of these items I sent off and wrapped up and gifted without taking photographs because I have been one busy – and often overwhelmed – Little Mama since October. However today on our errands I grabbed a few pictures of a couple of the little ones’ gifts.

As per usual, if you click on the photos my Flickr page will give a little construction background, for those interested.

Slytherin Coat

Phee is actually a Hufflepuff but I had a deep green hi-lo 100% cotton corduroy I was dying to work with. I underlined the coat in wool so it is very warm. It is fully-lined and fixed up with a shiny, “scale”-like snakey vintage button!

Slytherin Coat

Slytherin Coat

AND the Slytherin breast pocket patch. Because it is too cool. No, I did not make it but had it made by SewMagicStitches on Etsy.

Slytherin Coat

I also did not knit Phee’s scarf and mittens (not this time anyway!) but ordered them from nuclearkitten, another Etsy shop. I enjoy supporting other crafters and I try to always link back to them to give them credit.

And then there’s Nels. Nels who I am always wanting to grab up. So I had to make him shark mittens. Because I want to bite him.


By the way, I can’t help but notice Nels’ hat is handknit (I bought it from an alpaca farm in Oregon, a while back), and I sewed him his jacket and his pants. AND on the other side of the crafting gives-a-shit spectrum, Nels’ father “fixed” the cuff-latch button with a safety pin, instead of needle & thread. #boo





The mittens were based off Ravelry’s “Deep Blue Sea” pattern (you have to be a member to see the pattern, I think) and were constructed of 100% wool – except for the yarn used for “teeth” – that was cotton. I really enjoyed these mittens and I think I should make a super-tiny pair for someone. AMIRITE or what

DIY: Sewing An Awesome Fucking Blazer


As promised: some detailed notes on sewing up a lined, underlined blazer with patch pockets. This garment is one of my favorite things to sew (obviously!). Check out those crisp lapels!


& the wee, tiny lined breast pocket! I AM DYING HERE!!1!

Best Breast Pocket, Ever!

OH SHIT lambswool elbow patches with yellow topstitching LIKE A SIR

Elbow Patches: Upcycled Sweater

My kids wear these blazers until they are far too small and quite shabby from all the extensive use. Last summer when I tried to get rid of a jacket – originally fashioned for my daughter, worn a billion times by both children – my son howled and attempted to climb in the clothing donation bin after it. I had to promise to make him another coat just like it. Which I’ll be doing here pretty soon, for the summer.

At any rate, here are a few notes and pictures about constructing such a garment. I’d love to teach this as a course somewhere but, barring something like being picked up by Craftsy, the clientele is just not where I live so this ain’t gonna happen.

Choosing a pattern design, pattern, fabrics, supplies, & notions

Sometimes the pattern dictates fabric choices; sometimes it’s the other way around. Each choice influences the other, so in that respect we learn best by experience – ours, or that of experienced stitchers.

In this case, I chose my pattern first. I drafted a three-button blazer pattern, sort of a Frankenpattern based on design elements I enjoy. This garment features a two piece sleeve and a center back seam and front waist darts, which gives a slightly more fitted, less boxy shape. It also features three lined patch pockets and a full lining. Here is the front piece of the jacket, which includes markings for facings, buttonholes, darts, and pockets:

Front Piece Markings

It might look a little tricky, but honestly this front piece is the only garment piece that has anything tricky about it.


Fabrics & Supplies

(clockwise from upper left: shell fabric, underlining and lining, oval lambswool elbow patches, three buttons, interfacing, silk organza for bound buttonholes)

Shell: I used a wool blend for the shell. It has a lovely tweedy houndstooth weave, making for a great texture. However, the weave is quite loose and this needs to be considered throughout all steps of construction. To wit: 1. straighten the grain before each cut, 2. twice-finish seams, and 3. handle each garment piece carefully while you sew!

Underlining: I used a firm-weave quilter’s cotton for underlining, and underlined only the front and back pieces (not the sleeves). Underlining is one of the single best things you can do for a garment – especially a jacket. The fabric used needs to be lighter weight than the shell fabric, and with a firm hand and solid grain. If you have any questions about underlining, please put them in the comments!

Lining: children’s garments need linings that are slick (for ease of wear) but also quite sturdy, as my kids will immediately climb eighteen trees in their new coat. I used a polyester fashion fabric from Jo-Anns with a nice floral pattern –  shown here at lower-right.


Interfacing (for collar, front facings, jacket and sleeve hems): Inerfacing can be thought of as a way to add some firmness and structure to parts of the coat. It keeps collars and cuffs looking crisp; I also enjoy using it along the jacket and sleeve hems, on the shell fabric, as shown:

Interfacing At Hem

This adds a wonderful, crisp, rugged nature to the hems.

I use Pam Erny’s interfacings. They are worth the little bit of trouble to order them, and Pam provides excellent support in purchasing and using them. If you don’t prepare interfacings properly, you can ruin a garment. Ask me how I know this!

Extras: wool for elbow patches, silk organza for bound buttonholes. The wool came from a thrifted-and-felted 100% lambswool sweater. These kinds of things make great elbow patches and are worth keeping around.

Needle, thread, other notions
I use a Sharp needle for the shell and the lining, at appropriate needle size (16 and 10 resp., in this case). I use Mettler 100% polyester thread. For working with the knit elbow patches: a stabilizer. I use Sulky’s Fabri Sticky-Solvy which comes in very handy for all sorts of projects involving knits.

Sewing machine
A straight-stitch machine is all that is needed; in addition, a serger or zig-zag machine helps for seam finishes but is not necessary.

Cutting, marking, underlining, & interfacing

I cut and mark as I go piece by piece, using tailors thread tacks, especially if, as in this case, the fabrics are prone to raveling and will not tolerate notch-snipping.

In this case, I underlined the body of the garment, minus the sleeves. I marked the shell, underlining, and lining darts on all pieces (six total) using thread. I marked the RS of the shell for the three patch pockets and buttonhole locations. I interfaced the jacket and sleeve hems and then carefully pressed at the hem (as shown above).

Finally, I interfaced the WS of the shell for pocket positioning on the three patch pocket locations.

Sewing darts, staystitching, bound buttonholes, & elbow patches

I sewed darts in shell, underlining, and lining; then I basted underlining to shell and treated the two pieces as one piece:

Basting Underlining

I staystitched the back neckline facing and back lining neckline, as these are two curves that need to be joined and can be a little tricky (Normally, I would trim & notch this seam after I sewed it, but given the loose-weave of the shell fabric, I decided not to risk this.)

As for bound buttonholes: there are many methods to create these; I won’t detail those here. They are best done early in the process of the jacket, before proceeding with shell construction.

Elbow patches: a pattern that includes this feature will also include where to place these patches. However, my children are almost always getting a major length adjustment in their sleeves, so I find my own placement. This is easiest to do by sewing the uppersleeve and the undersleeve together, then pinning the final sleeve seam and placing it, carefully, on the recipient.

Elbow Patch Placement

Elbow Patch Placement

I marked the elbow patch location, unpinned and removed the sleeve then placed it flat on the table. I pinned the patch in four places for stitching. In general, the center midline, lengthwise, of the patch should be parallel to the grainline of the garment.

Elbow Patch Placement

Now: stitchinz! I used a goldenrod thread and two rows of stitching, in a narrow zigzag.

Stabilizer, For Lambswool Elbow Patches

You will note the elbow patches have a wash-away stabilizer attached to them. This is to keep the soft 100% lambswool knit from stretching while I applied the patches to the sleeve. It worked perfectly; it also helps my Pfaff has an IDT system (*yawn, casual brag-stretch*).

Lining & shell construction

I like to make the lining before the shell for a number of reasons. For one thing, linings are oddly tedious to construct, and it gets it out of the way. For another, this is a great way to do a fit check on the client (note: my front facings are overly long; I usually design a little extra there as I finish my jacket hem and lining by hand).

Checking Fit, Using Lining

Checking Fit, Using Lining

The shoulder-width is one of the more important fit considerations on my tall, slim children. Remember, the neckline will be 5/8″ shorter (or whatever the seam allowance is) against the neck.

While seam-finishing isn’t necessary on most linings, I like to do so for extra sturdiness. I used a serger for all seam finishes.

Finishing Seams

Here you can see the aforementioned staystitching at the back neckline facing, as well as the pressed and finished seams:

Seam Finishes: Serged & Pressed


I then created the patch pockets and applied them to the shell. I like to make lined pockets, and then attach by a fell stitch. One can always go along and topstitch the pocket, but the fell-stitch allows for perfect placement and will keep the lining from peeping and showing.

I cut my pockets on the bias because I think bias pockets look great. Warning: this can make for pissy pocket construction. If you aren’t pretty familiar with working with bias pieces, first attach a very lightweight interfacing to the WS of the piece you’ll use for bias-cutting, then proceed.

Here are the three pockets, shown at various stages of construction, before being trimmed, turned, and stitched closed:

Lined Pockets

I used a sturdy whip stitch to close the pocket:

Lined Pockets

Finally – topstitching along the garment hems, opening, and sleeve hems adds sturdiness to the garment. I used a triple-stitch to give the right bold topstitch look; you can also use a heavyweight thread if you like. If you don’t use a heavier stitch or thread, the garment fabric may swallow up the effect. Topstitching is an art in and of itself!

Topstitching With Triple-Stitch At Cuff



All done! I suspect I will make many more blazers in my time. They are so versatile, can be dressed up or down, and can be made in all types of materials and different weights, depending on the needs of the garment!

And for now, my daughter is all ready to sit in bookstores reading Raymond Chandler graphic novels & looking awesome!

Bookstore Hipster

look what i can do!

Sew an awesome frakkin blazer. But you already knew that.


spring / flame

I saw these fabrics a while back and immediately envisioned this jacket. I pictured the weight – and what interior fabrics I’d use to get it – the style lines, the pockets, everything. I pictured the differences in colorways and was very pleased with how that turned out – even more subtle yet beautiful than how I’d pictured it. In fact in every way I loved designing the elements of the coat and all steps of construction; I am offering a custom version at my Homesewn site for a few days in case anyone else loves it as much as I do.


In preparation for my upcoming tutorial (an exhaustive, lengthy tutorial) on sewing a lined, underlined, interfaced child’s blazer, I paid a little extra attention to making this one, for posterity. I discovered that photographing the different construction elements of the jacket was a very  illustrative measure.

Interfacing, Underlining


I also adored the little separate piles of fabrics that end up making the construction and durability of  a kick-ass jacket. I am also finding that I prefer using fabric to interfacing for larger pieces, including collar and cuffs. I recently used this technique with Ralph’s wool coat – I haven’t yet blogged it here – and the results were wonderful.

Bound Buttonholes

Bound buttonholes.

This afternoon my mother asked me for a blazer as well, and I look forward to constructing it to fit her needs. I’m pretty much up for making awesome blazer-style coats at any moment and don’t see that ever changing; my one rule is, the garment has to be exciting (for me. to sew.)