Harlequin jacket – part one

So, I am currently partway through making my very first jacket. The story begins with the jacket Rabbit (the singer) is wearing in this Steam Powered Giraffe video (you can get a good look at it full-length at 0.51):

It’s a brilliant jacket, but it’s definitely in the realms of costume rather than everyday wear. It also looks like it’s a touch tight in the midriff region, to judge from those horizontal lines. Hence, and also because too many buttons, I didn’t want to try and copy the design, but the idea of an asymmetric jacket done in black with red contrast stuck with me. I went browsing for asymmetric patterns that were a) in print (goodbye, Butterick 5393 and McCalls 5759; it was not to be) and b) easyish to sew. I hit in the end on Kwik Sew 3531, which comes well-reviewed and is also rated as beginner-friendly.


I wouldn’t call the illustration photo inspiring – the fabric is a wee bit too much like a sofa – but it definitely has possibilities. As printed, it’s unlined. Having gone to all this trouble to find a beginner-friendly pattern I of course then decided that it needed a lining, and drafted one up with the aid of Tasia’s excellent tutorial on the subject – remarkably easy, though I have a suspicion I got the tiny alterations to the armhole (1 1/4″ in one direction, 5/8″ in the other) the wrong way round.


The fabric is mystery fabric. The black, for the shell, is the same weight as cotton drill but doesn’t seem to have the diagonal line, and is shiny on one side, and has a tiny bit of a stretch. The black-and-white for the torso lining is cotton, not especially heavy but stiff for its weight. The red sleeve lining is, er, lining fabric of some synthetic variety. You may be able to tell from this that I didn’t get any of them in a shop – I got the red from a friend who’d used it as part of a Dracula cape, and the other two came from SCRAP, a local charity who sell stuff donated by local businesses that would otherwise go to landfill. If you’re in striking distance of Leeds, go there. It is amazing.


The buttons came from Duttons for Buttons in York when I was there seeing Henry VI the other week. It’s a good show! Worth catching if the tour is coming to your neck of the woods.

The combination of colours and the playing-card-esque motif on the buttons led me to christen this the Harlequin jacket. It is going to be awesome.


About Craft (Alchemy)

I make things and make things up.
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2 Responses to Harlequin jacket – part one

  1. Pingback: Top 5s for 2013 | Craft (Alchemy)

  2. Pingback: A jacket! | Craft (Alchemy)

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