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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Monday, November 12, 2012

A wormy jacket

Another high fashion shot showing exactly how my hair looks when I come home from the pool as well as my much amended version of this pattern.

Before I go to NYC on Thursday I thought it would be a good gesture to actually sew up next to last piece I bought on my last trip.

I got a beautiful wool knit there last winter and meant to do a cardigan jacket thing for day-to-day wear. It occurred to me as I rolled up only black knit clothes (works for the big city - don't think I pack on monochromatic and definitely not black thing when I go to Florida) that this would be a good time to own a packable cardigan so I make one up.

I used a pattern that has been around a long time - Loes Hinse's Sweater Coat based on the fact that pattern has acquired cult-like status at my local sewing guild. One of the sewers, who teaches hugely popular classes in embellishing this pattern, has made over 30 versions all of them beautiful.

I can't say I have had a lot of luck with this pattern line in the past. I miss the shaping, I miss the facings, I miss the interfacing and all those things.

But I always loved the neckline of this coat and the collar and the rest of the sewing guild has made one and let's face it I am easily influenced.

If everyone jumped off a cliff would you do it too?

Well probably. If there was sewing involved.

Here is my sweater coat on the dress form - it looks like it pulls a bit at the back, that is partially angle but I solved that totally by doing this:

Yes that is a chain sewn into the hem - works well to counter-act the old sweater bunched up above the shelf of your bum look- I am quite sure that neither Coco Chanel or Loes Hinse had this in mind for sweaters.

Giant snaps for closures - I couldn't see messing with buttons and buttonholes in this stuff.

I really can't say that this is in anyway a review or accurate rendition of the pattern. This really drooped on me during fitting and I thought the shoulder/sleeves were dated, much like myself but that's beside the point. So this is what I did in addition to adding the chain in the hem:

  • I added a centre back seam to shape in at my neck and at my waist.
  • I took a slight curve in at the waist in the side seams
  • I lifted the shoulder seam and cut it into the front chest about 3/4" to get a slimmer fit across my chest.
  • I interfaced the sleeve and bottom hems as well as the pocket hems with a fusible knit
  • I interfaced the collar
I transferred all of this to the pattern pieces, in case I ever use this pattern again, and if I do sew it again I will add some kind of a neckline facing or binding. I am not nuts about the way the collar is just serged on right to the band - in another fabric in particular you might see some of that serging at the neckline.

In short of sort of de-Loesed the whole jacket.

I do like it though. 

It weighs about 2 ounces and I think is going to jazz up my otherwise very black wardrobe, I am afraid I am going to look more like a yia-yia than a hipster otherwise, and it does allow me to get a bit of Florida randomness into the mix.

I showed it to Miss Scarlett, I was so pleased with it. 

She is usually a big fan of anything that comes out of the sewing room and I have taught her to say "Babs you're a genius" (actually I called her a genius because she, well she is, and she now says "We are two genius girls" when we are alone which I pretty much like).

However she took one look at this and said "Babs I don't like that sweater. It's got worms all over it."

She even turned down remnants, which she never does, because she "didn't want to touch it, it's got yucky worms on it."

I am writing this opinion off to her being three and not quite as sophisticated as I am, and certainly unaware of how much I paid for this stuff a yard.

Only two more sleeps and I am in the garment district and I am not taking my marking with me.


Janine said...

It looks like a New Yorkish kind of jacket -that is chic - although I have never been to NY -and of course now you have a perfect excuse to buy more NY fabric having sewn up your NY stash - not that you really need an excuse .

Debbie Cook said...

Scarlet cracks me up! But I love the worms. :-)

Margy said...

LOVE it! worms or no...have a great time in NY!

Karen in VA said...

Great jacket - I love the worms... Have fun in NYC!!

Dixie said...

This is a really chic jacket, no matter what you think about the pattern. The very cool fabric really makes it. Have a blast in New York!

KC said...

Love the jacket. You could change Miss Scarlet's opinion by introducing her to Silly String. Or, maybe not.

velosewer said...

Have a great time in NY. Love this fabric for all the worms it contains. You'll be a breath of colour is a see of darkness on the street of NY.

Martha said...

Aren't three year olds the best way to understand the universe? The rest of us have forgotten. Having said that, I do love your sweater/jacket. Seems perfect for your trip. Enjoy!

gwensews said...

Fabulous! A wear-anywhere sweater coat. Have a great time in NY!

Sew Lady Sew! said...

LOL @ the worm comment!

Your coat looks lovely. You're a genius, Babs.

LinB said...

I put a pile of leaves and dirt, full of earthworms, on a low table for the 3-year-olds in my nursery school class to explore. They loved them! Some children -- boys AND girls -- tried to pocket some worms to take home as pets. You never know how a child is going to react to a worm. They are far more honest than you'd like, sometimes! I love the Wormy Coat.