I wrote a little while ago about the Topshop jacket that currently holds the title for Least Tasteful Item in my wardrobe but, sadly, doesn’t actually fit. (If you happen to be a UK14 and love really loud prints, drop me an email!) I mentioned in that post that it was going now, rather than previously, because I was planning to replace it. Naturally the replacement had to be as loud, or louder…
I browsed for suitably demented prints and eventually settled on Michael Miller’s Dandy Damask design, a classic damask pattern available in many sensible and tasteful colourways …
… and also in the one I actually bought:
I scoured the Internet for this stuff, and was over the moon when I discovered that Craft Emporium still had some in; I duly patronised them to the tune of two and a half metres. I only realised they weren’t on the mainland when I got the parcel with its return address of Raad ny Gabbil,* Castletown, Isle of Man and a weeny sticker declaring it safe to travel by air! Lyn from the Emporium wrote me a lovely note on the receipt saying that she’d love to see photos when I finished the jacket … so here they are.
The shell is the Victoria blazer from By Hand London, which is truly a versatile and wonderful gem of a pattern. The sleeves are the long versions I described drafting here and also used on the so-called Joker Jacket here; the collar and lapel are the fake-notched version also drafted for the Joker Jacket.
I cut on a single layer to get the print placement right. There was no hope of matching it at the seams, but it does at least all point in the same direction and is roughly symmetrical left-right. I couldn’t quite fit the last sleeve in the place it needed to go for correct print, so pieced the last tiny bit. This is the only seamline in the whole garment with a matched print, and it is of course completely invisible. *sigh*
While the Victoria is designed to be boxy, the jacket this one is replacing is more fitted, so I spent some time holding it up at various angles trying to figure out how best to take it in. In the end I figured out that the side seams hit in about the right place and the front is the right size for me as-is, with the extra volume in the back.
I took out two long fisheye darts either side of CB, loosely based on the ones that shape V8772 (my go-to shirt pattern). It was still a touch baggier than I wanted, so I also took about half an inch out of the back side seam. Rather than unpick the side seams, I was lazy and just folded the excess out. It’s left tiny gussets under the sleeves, but it’s not visible and is hardly a problem.
The lining is plain black probably-acetate that has been in the stash pretty much since I’ve had one, so probably about five years. It’s a bit heavier than most lining fabric and tightly woven – pins punch huge holes in it.
I topstitched the front edge, mainly to keep the multiple thicknesses of seam allowance there in the right place (six layers all told – lining, self, then two lots of self/interfacing forming the lapel) but also because it adds a bit of interest to the slice of lining that’s liable to be visible at the front.
In the cake/frosting taxonomy popular in the sewing blogosphere (cake: solid and versatile; frosting: shiny but not what you want all the time) this is so far into the frosting zone it’s started to discover new icing-based life forms, and I don’t even care.
Handily this also fits right into this month’s Sewcialist theme – #PinkApril! Heck of a coincidence, as I don’t wear pink all that much and will probably not make another pink item this year. I guess this one has enough pinkicity to last me a while …
* Raad ny Gabbil: I had a proper language-geek moment over this. I know no Manx, but I do have tourist Welsh, and I guessed that this translated as “Chapel Road”, with the G of gabbil mutated from a C after a preposition. Turns out after consulting an online Manx-English dictionary that I was right in mechanism but wrong in specifics – it’s actually “Horse Road”, and cabbil is a cognate of caballus (Latin, whence French cheval) rather than capella (Latin, whence chapel). Consonantal mutation is why the Welsh for Wales, Cymru, shows up spelt with a G on the “Welcome to Wales/Croeso y Gymru” road signs, and why the Manx name for the island is Mannin (after Manannan, awesomely), but for “Isle of Man” is Ellan Vannin.
Fascinatingly, Manx, Welsh, and the other Celtic languages are actually more closely related to Latin and the Italic family than to the Germanic languages which English descends from, even though geographically the areas we now think of as “Celtic” and “Italic” are nowhere near one another. Wikipedia has a huge – but still incomplete – tree of Indo-European languages if you’re really interested.