A Soft Trench – Jack Jacket by Ready To Sew

Jack Jacket, Ready to Sew, in red wine tencel twill from MaaiDesign

Jack Jacket, Ready to Sew, in red wine tencel twill from MaaiDesign

It’s been a while!

It’s not that I haven’t been sewing… but I haven’t been sewing as much and I’ve been working long hours.

Sometimes I think projects come along at just the right time and it’s “meant to be”.

Maaike from MaaiDesign approached me and asked if I was interested in guest blogging. I did hesitate as September until February are some of my busiest work months but sometimes having something to sew makes you take some time out.

I decided to sew something I hadn’t sewn before – and once I spied tencel twill in the online shop I knew exactly what I wanted to make – a soft trench coat! I chose ‘wine red’ as it is a classic colour that never seems to date and goes beautifully with black, beige, navy and denim.

Fortunately I had the days off work between Christmas and New Year – and when I wasn’t scrubbing my house tiles, I was sewing this jacket.

The Jack Jacket – Ready to Sew

I almost made Simplicity 8554. And then I settled on a Japanese pattern which I had traced and added seam allowances to… and then just as I was about to cut out the fabric (the pattern pieces were pinned to the twill!)… I suddenly recalled the Jack Jacket by Ready to Sew!

The Jack Jacket is a contemporary trench with some traditional features and some modern. It had a number of features that I thought would pair well with the tencel twill. It has some gathered design elements at the wrist, collar and waist which seemed a good match to the fabric’s drape and weight. Unlike the other two patterns I had considered, the Jack Jacket has lining which I think makes for a more durable garment.

It is described as “A classic coat crafted with contemporary details, the Jack Trench Coat is an essential layering option that will remain a timeless piece for years to come.
It features big curved lapels, a gathered collar and a self-tied waist. Jack has a loose and comfortable fit. It falls beautifully whether the jacket is tied or left casually open.” What the website doesn’t mention is that it has giant lined patch pockets and lining.

The Collar

A sweet gathered collar detail - just perfect in tencel twill!

A sweet collar detail – just perfect in this tencel twill!

Waist Tie

This fabric has a beautiful selvage and I was keen to use it somehow in the garment. I couldn’t find any cord, ribbon or leather that I liked for the jacket. So I made my own.

The wrist and collar cord were made by folding strips of the fabric in on itself and top stitching the edges. I deliberately cut out my pattern pieces to preserve approximately 2 inches of along the entire selvage for the waist tie.

Making use of the beautiful selvedge for my waist tie.

Making use of the beautiful selvedge for my waist tie.

I tightly knotted the cord ends to finish them.

Sleeve cuff details

Sleeve cuff details

The hem has perplexed me a little. I find it wants to droop a little. I think I may add a line of machine stitching at about 1.5 inches. While the hemline is interfaced, I think the drape of the twill is fighting gravity.

Ready to Sew's Jack Jacket in tencel twill from MaaiDesigns

Ready to Sew’s Jack Jacket in tencel twill from MaaiDesigns

Overall I found this pattern an absolutely joy to sew and I am very tempted to try some more from this designer. The lining has a pleat in the back and also at the hemline – and the lining has its own pattern pieces, no drafting or second guessing the lining pieces. I did find the instructions confusing for how to sew the lining at the sleeve ends. So I reverted to the instructions for the sewalong for the Minoro Jacket by Sewaholic.

The Lining

Ballerina lining fabric from Clear It, Melbourne

Ballerina lining fabric from Clear It, Melbourne

This was gifted to me by a beautiful sewing friend. I have not seen it online anywhere. It was from Clear It in Melbourne.

A back pleat and flap - more traditional trench design features

A back pleat and flap – more traditional trench design features, needs a good press here. I was excited mid construction!

I had such a hard time photographing this one! It was either terribly hot (we have had the hottest December and January on record here) and it’s also been extremely windy!

Pattern: Jack Jacket, Ready to Sew. I made size 36, my bust is 33in/83cm.
Fabric: Red wine tencel twill. Supplied by MaaiDesign – all thoughts and comments my own.

Casual at the beach as the sun goes down

Casual at the beach as the sun goes down

This post first appeared on www.sewbusylizzy.com

Grainline Driftless and Tessuti Megan Cardigans

or the Tale of Two Cardigans…

Driftless and Megan Cardigan

Driftless and Megan cardigans

I confess I’m one of those people that decide they want a cardigan and then endlessly obsess over ALL the cardigan patterns. I do this for most garments. I comb through all the independent and Big 4 options. I’ll pour over blog posts, Google images, websites and in-store catalogues. I’ll decide what I want to make and then when I go to pick up the scissors… I’ll change my mind.

While Vogue 8780 continues to be one of my most worn and loved cardigans/jackets, I did want to find another cardigan pattern for a little variety.

I confess that I was luke warm when both the Grainline Driftless Cardigan and the Tessuti  Megan Cardigan were released. Nothing wrong with either, perhaps it’s the simple fact that cardigans are practical garments and it’s hard to get a blood rush about them?

To solve my usual inability to lock myself down to one pattern, I decided to make two different cardigans. I find sewing multiple versions of one pattern or different patterns of a similar garment interesting. Seeing how different fabrics change the same garment or comparing different features and construction of two garments is always interesting to me.


I’ve always found Grainline patterns to be endlessly wearable. I think Jen designs the perfectly practical, highly wearable designs that always seem to go together without a fuss. I also find her designs fit me well and so I keep returning to her patterns. My three Alder dresses and little linen Morris are some of my favourite things to wear.


The Driftless body is very wide and boxy with dropped shoulders and very fitted sleeves.

The pockets remind me of the Vogue 1247 skirt and are constructed in a similar way – minus all the Hong Kong binding of course! I’ve noticed that these sorts of pockets are popping up in a lot of RTW cardigans this winter in Australia.

Driftless Cardigan - Grainline Studios. Front view.

Driftless Cardigan – Grainline Studios. Front view.


This is a very easy cardigan to construct – don’t let those pockets fool you. I managed to cut this out and nearly complete it in an evening. It’s largely constructed on the overlocker (serger) with the exception of the pockets, thread chains and hand sewing down the neckband.

Driftless Cardigan - Grainline Studios. Back view.

Driftless Cardigan – Grainline Studios. Back view. I do like how it hangs across my back. I am a definite ‘slouch’ girl.


It’s a bit ‘Sunday afternoon’. Very casual, slouchy and not very dressy. I guess that sounds negative but it’s not at all. Those types of garments have a place in many wadrobes. Can’t be ‘fancy pants’ all the time! While it isn’t my favourite cardigan, it’s been worn a lot anyway as it’s ‘easy’ to wear, the type of garment you grab as you head out the door in case the breeze turns chilly. I don’t think my fabric choice helped. It’s some sort of cotton knit terry fabric… from the bargain table at Spotlight. I think it would be might nicer in a marle, slightly textured, merino knit. It may also be interesting with thoughtful colour choice as a colour-blocked cardigan.

I made view B with the split hem that is slightly lower at the back.

Driftless Cardigan - Grainline Studios. Back view.

Driftless Cardigan – Grainline Studios. Back view.


MEGAN CARDIGAN – Tessuti Fabrics

Now this lass and I became instant best friends. I’ve worn Megan a lot. She’s popped up on my Instagram feed quite a few times already. She was impatient and didn’t want to wait to be blogged. She simply screamed ‘WEAR ME – you know you want to’ and so I did.

I honestly had dismissed it as being ‘not for me’ as I had concerns about the fit on me, I thought the shoulders would be too wide and it would swamp me… thanks to the encouragement of Melanie, I decided to give her a try.

I do own several beloved longline RTW merino cardigans. They seem to go with everything from dresses to jeans, casual wear and a stylish office warmer on those chilly air conditioning days. Logically I should have made this cardigan a long time ago, alas I’m not always logical when it comes to my creative pursuits.

Megan Cardigan - Tessuti. Side View

Megan Cardigan – Tessuti. Side View


Megan is a very simple cardigan, full length sleeves, flared side seams and a quirky side hem detail.

Megan Cardigan - Tessuti. Back View

Megan Cardigan – Tessuti. Back View


Again a very simple sewing project. Sewn up in no time at all on the overlocker with the shoulder seams having added seam tape to keep them in shape (I also did this with Driftless).

Megan Cardigan - Tessuti. Side View

Megan Cardigan – Tessuti. Oh that lovely little side hem detail 🙂 It makes my heart sing.


I adore this cardigan. I’ve received an amazing amount of compliments on it when it’s worn – which I think is the combination of the lovely flare of the hemline and the rather funky fabric that I paired with this pattern. It’s been worn a lot in its short life so far. I guess it also slots perfectly into that grungey casual vibe that I love to wear.

Megan Cardigan - Tessuti. Back View

Megan Cardigan – Tessuti. Back View – a nice flare without being overly cumbersome in ‘swooshiness’

The fabric I have had stashed for about three years, waiting for the right pattern as I feared the wrong choice would drop me into tragic acid wash territory. I picked this up at Clear It in Melbourne for the less than princely sum of $4 a metre. It’s certainly not high quality, a simple cotton interlock but it just seems to work with this pattern design.

Megan Cardigan - Tessuti. Side View

Megan Cardigan – Tessuti. front view

There will be many more Megans in my wadrobe in the future. The perfect layering cardigan.


Driftless: I simply visited Instagram and searched for the hashtag #driftlesscardigan

MeganMade by Melanie  | Clever Tinker  |  Boo Dogg  |  Rennous oh Glennuss

Not a city girl anymore… Sydney Jacket by Tessuti Fabrics

I expected to love this more… maybe it will grow on me – never say never. I can take a little longer to fall in love or warm to things… so I’m trying to be patient (not one of my finer qualities).

Sydney Jacket by Tessuti Fabrics, Australia.

Styled to death 🙂 because that’s how I roll.

This is the Sydney Jacket by Tessuti Fabrics. Every other blogger in the southern hemisphere seems to have made this (some multiple times), talked about it, considered making it or read about it – OK I’m exaggerating but that’s how it feels! It will be interesting to see if Sydney fever hits our northern hemisphere friends as their winter approaches.

It’s certainly a different jacket pattern with a fresh take on construction techniques. We all love a challenge, so curiosity might get the better of some bloggers – certainly did me!

I loved it as soon as it was released. It’s got all of the perfect ingredients – a slightly deconstructed feel, modern, perfect for layering, exposed seams and of course… draped. It should be my perfect jacket. I’m Sydney born and bred so this was a sentimental make, I adore Sydney but I have lived on my beautiful coastal patch for nearly 15 years now. Maybe the salt and sand has seduced me after all.

Sydney Jacket by Tessuti Fabrics, Australia.

I love the shorter sleeves, it’s very cool layering piece

There are lots of things that I like about this particular style, I love…

  • the short sleeves – it’s ideal for those not so cold days, perfect for layering and accessorising
  • the seam details
  • the pockets
  • the length – I love a longer line jacket for when I’m cruising about, they have a bit of flair and drama about them

I think a slightly heavier or more textured fabric might have worked better. I’m not a massive fan of the curved back yoke on me, I feel a little slumped. The lapels feel massive. Yes, I guess I could have fiddled with them for the photos… but this is how they fall on me so that’s how I left them.

This pattern is available as PDF (and printed) and at $10 for a PDF it’s a competitive price. It also comes with an A0 print shop version… which is often a deal clincher for me. My local Xerox shop prints A0 sheets for about $2.50 each. I really can’t stand sticking together A4 sheets and will avoid it whenever possible. It also comes as a ‘print at home’ file option.

The fabric is Italian cashmere coating from The Fabric Store, Brisbane – I can’t go to Brisbane and not go there, lovely store and lovely staff. This is gorgeous fabric that has a beautiful sheen and feels like liquid. If I don’t even up wearing this, I’m hoping to salvage enough fabric from my leftovers and the jacket itself to make a smaller jacket… I’m going to wait.

Sydney Jacket by Tessuti Fabrics

No scarf… BTW I made up the ‘petite’ version of the Sydney.

Despite my bellyaching, I really like this pattern and recommend it if you are a little jaded of traditional jacket patterns – or lining, collars and buttons/zippers scare you. It’s fun and interesting to make. Most of the seams are overlapped by 3/8 inch and you sew down the centre of the overlap. The side seams are sewn in a traditional manner.

Sydney Jacket by Tessuti Fabrics, Australia. Construction, the seams

I marked 3/8 inch in from the edge with pins, overlapped the edges and then sewed down the middle. You could choose to mark this with chalk or with thread – or by eye!

The instructions provide lots of photographs which is helpful. However sometimes the text is on one page & the photo is on the next. It’s not a drama it’s just a couple of times I’d find myself looking at a photograph at the top of the page & reading the text underneath… then realising the associated text was on a previous page. It’s just how I read, nothing wrong with the pattern instructions. I just found flicking between pages for one step threw out my rhythm a little.

There are pockets… not in the side seams… and no welts… oh no, you cut through the front of the jacket piece to gain access… yes, that requires a little bit of faith! And yes, more raw edges. The pockets certainly made for an interesting construction step – I love trying and learning new things.

Sydney Jacket by Tessuti Fabrics, Australia.

Those lapels swamp me. I didn’t fiddle with them for photos and that is how they fell which I think has to do with the weight of the fabric.

All the edges are raw. So if you hate hems – this is the pattern for you! You do need to keep that in mind when selecting fabric as something that frays will not be suitable. Think boiled/felted wools, neoprene and ponte.

I really enjoyed making this – fun pattern, interesting jacket… Love at first sight doesn’t always happen – how many times have you dreamed of a garment, tried it on RTW and felt slightly deflated? Or felt lukewarm about something and then worn it forever? Well, that happens with sewing as well. This is definitely a case of ‘it’s not you, it’s me’. Great pattern.. perhaps not on me (I feel like the lone blogger *sobs*).

Sydney Jacket by Tessuti Fabrics, Australia.

Taking a moment to soak up some warm winter sun.

Sorry can’t type much more – I’m typing like demented drunk monkey as I managed to sew straight through the pad of my left index finger on Friday morning… twice… yes, it hurt and still hurts – a lot. Funnily enough, I was madly stitching down fused (but not cooperative) stars onto my daughter’s ‘superhero’ tshirt (complete with gold net cape – her special power was ‘kindness and generosity’) so she could read her story to the kindergarten class in character that day.Giselle was thrilled (apart from the bleeding and swearing mother element) as the teacher said that if there was a ‘best dressed award’ it would have been her – more exciting because it was all thought out and designed by her. Superhero daughter status… but right now I’m sewing and typing a lot slower for a while!

There are lots of gorgeous version out there to inspire you…

Pattern: Sydney Jacket by Tessuti
Fabric: Cashmere coating, The Fabric Store (Brisbane)
Boots: Flore from Duo, scarf from Metalicus (old fave), beads from Portmans (years ago)

There’s potential for scoring a part-time job as a windsock at least…

Sydney Jacket by Tessuti Fabrics,

A little bit of swooping action… who doesn’t love a dramatic coat?

A double take… Morris Blazer Grainline Studio

Morris was one of those patterns which just seemed to be a guaranteed hit before it was even released. Everyone was talking about it. Instagram and Twitter went a bit barmy on its release. It seems everyone is now madly printing and sewing it. I anticipate our blog feeds will be brimful with blazers! These blazers (yes I made two) are huge queue jumpers. I’ve been working on a vintage muslin and have four other projects in the blog queue. I just wanted to make Morris… so I did!

Morris Blazers

Morris Blazers

The Morris Blazer is the latest release from Grainline Studios. I will admit before I even write anything about Morris that I am a huge Grainline fan. I haven’t made all her patterns but I have made the Maritime Shorts (x 3), Moss Mini (x1), Archer (x1), Hemlock (x1) and Alder (x 3). The Morris Blazer is described by Jen as “The Morris Blazer is the perfect mix of casual and cool. It will quickly become the go-to garment to complete any outfit. With a mixture of drape and structure, bracelet length sleeves, and gentle shawl collar, it looks great dressed up or down. It works up well in fabrics with stretch, making it comfortable on top of everything else!” It’s rated as an advanced beginner and I would agree with that. I made two of these in two days (OK, one evening and one day). Probably the trickiest thing is putting in the shawl collar but it’s not that difficult. Techniques include:  sewing a straight seam, setting sleeves, sewing a shawl collar, facings, and topstitching. I made my first Morris in one of the suggested fabrics: a medium weight ponti style fabric. I have no real idea exactly what is it – it’s been maturing in my stash for about three years. I found it on the Spotlight bargain table for the princely sum of $5 a metre. Anyway, shut up Lizzy and show us some pictures… OK.

Morris Blazer by Grainline Studios

Morris Blazer: Excuse the ‘resting bitch face’. Had zero sleep the night before due to 12-year-old molars! Complete bummer as she never teethed badly as a baby!

Morris Blazer, pattern by Grainline Studios

Side view – sorry that dratted cloud in the background suddenly slid across the sun and we were done for the day. Boo!

The edges of the jacket at the lower front don’t seem to sit quite as smoothly as I would like. The jacket has a front facing, which rolls over to become the shawl collar. I think the texture of the medium weight knit tends to catch against each other or perhaps the body of the interfaced knit is not playing nice with the non-interfaced jacket front – if that makes sense. I’ve been wondering two things… if I lightly interfaced just the front section (where the front facing is) of the front pattern piece if this might alleviate this issue. I wouldn’t interface the entire front of the jacket – just the front portion. The knit properties are very comfortable and I would want to retain that quality. Would the front then have the same structure as the front facing piece and be less likely to collapse against the facing thus creating a smoother jacket front?? I have no idea – but I’m interested to find out. While it’s made from a stretch cotton, my Papercut Patterns Bellatrix blazer has the front facing and front pieces lined… just food for thought. Jen has made a hefty number of these blazers so I’m sure she will have some strong opinions about that! I’m all ears! The only step I got a little confused was Step 15. Most likely because I was tired. Earlier in the process you join the two facing pieces at the back neck. You then fold over the inner edge of the front facing pieces by 1/2in to the wrong side. You join the back and front hem facings and turn their upper edge under by 1/2in. Then you join the facing pieces to the front facing pieces.

Step 15 - Grainline Morris Blazer

Step 15 – Grainline Morris Blazer

This is where I go confused – Step 15. If you are purely a diagram person then you might not get confused – however it wasn’t clear to me that I had to fold the folded inner edge of the front facing back out before I attached the hem facing pieces to the front facing piece. You need to unfold the front facing edge before joining the pieces. Yes, the diagram does say ‘foldline’ but I managed to get confused anyway. I read the words and cross check the diagrams and they didn’t quite click for me. I’m not sure if this is any clearer but I think it better matches the diagram and desired outcome. Step 15: With the right sides together and raw edges aligned, line up the bottom edge of the front hem facing with the bottom edge of the front facing. Stitch the two together starting at the hem edge and stopping at the point where the 1/2″ front hem seam allowance is folded under. Press seam open.” Fortunately it’s about 3 inches of unpicking to rectify. Not a big drama. Maybe it should also say “Unfold the front facing edge. Then with  rights sides together… etc With my curiosity sated about this new much-anticipated pattern, I got thinking and wanted to make another straight away! A LINEN MORRIS

Grainline Studio Morris Blazer - front view

Morris Blazer – front view

Then I just couldn’t get a Morris linen idea out of my head… so I made it despite the fabric not being a stretch. It’s a rayon linen blend with a tiny bit of give. I really should have perhaps sized up or altered the pattern… or been sensible and chosen a jacket pattern designed for non-stretch wovens. Since I’m not altering guru (at all!), I decided to make it, rather than seconding guessing what would happen and trying to counteract it. I’m one of those idiots who learn best by making mistakes and analysing them. This is why I have a fabric stash – to enable excessive amounts of sewing, my imagination and sometimes my idiocy. I decided to underline the back and front pieces with very light white cotton voile. I was concerned about the soft drape of the linen. I choose a very light fusible interfacing for the front/back/sleeve facings and front facing pieces. Interestingly the jacket front doesn’t seem to have the same tension issue around the lower hemline. Whether it this is because the front and facings have the same body due to the interfacing and underlining – or whether it’s just because it’s a woven rather a knit? I’m looking forward to seeing all the other makes.

Morris Blazer - in linen

Morris Blazer in linen – back/side view. Should have rolled that collar over more, should have pulled my top down, should have worn a belt… Oh for a blog stylist. LOL

Overall the jacket sits very nicely and went together without any hiccups. As it is a casual jacket, without shoulder pads interfacing around the upper jacket shoulders etc it does fold slightly as it sits – but I wasn’t after a structured blazer so I don’t mind those features. In fact I’ve always wanted a linen jacket, I love the soft creases they get in the elbows and the gentle worn look they have. I find it very distracting to talk to people wearing linen jackets, or men in great dress shirts (I have a fascination with shirtmaking at the moment), as I have an urge to turn over their button plackets and feel the quality of the fabric. Sorry, I digress.

Morris Blazer

I’m a fiddler. Is it just me – it doesn’t how much you press – you always miss a tiny bit?

While it’s a neat fit, it is comfortable and will definitely be worn. I rather like it. It’s important to note, I don’t have broad shoulders and I couldn’t swing a golf club in this. Fortunately my golfing is limited to living within walking distance of two golf clubs and playing hydro golf with the kids… which I’m not bad at and don’t wear linen jackets to at any rate. All credit to Busy Lizzie who suggested the navy trim when I was pondering the lapel – whether to make it contrast or piped or who knows! A very indecisive morning! It’s just a navy bias binding, sewing to one side and hand stitched down. Thoughts about Morris

  • A fast  and easy jacket pattern – some sewing experience is needed or wait for the sewalong.
  • The instructions are excellent (except for possibly Step 15, although it could just be me! I read this Morris  blog post by Saturday Night Stitch and wondered if it was the same step that tripped me up.
  • Fabric choice is important.
  • The sleeves are short. I like this feature as I tend to roll up my sleeves – or shove them up my arms in the most untidy fashion.

Note: I would not recommend making this jacket in linen or a non-woven. It’s not designed for it and I respect for Jen’s knowledge and pattern drafting skills (I just like experimenting). The linen jacket works for me – but perhaps not for everyone.

Pattern: Grainline Studios, Morris Blazer. PDF purchased.
Fabric: First version: medium weight ponti style knit and a  linen rayon blend from Lincraft (purchased at a 50% off sale). All purchased by me.
Size made: 0 (my measurements: 32 bust and 25 waist)
Construction: Sewing machine and seams neatened on the serger/overlocker.

Also see: Crafting a Rainbow | Saturday Night Stitch

WordPress editing mode is impossibly slow tonight – I can’t write any more as it takes several minutes for a line to appear. No more words possible.

Sweet Carolina… a Mood Fabrics silk metallic brocade three-piece

I know… it’s been awhile! 

I’m having a weekend ‘up north’ with Busy Lizzie… potentially shopping for shoes, buying fabric (who me??) or eating ‘high tea’.

After a bout of sensible sewing & lots of knit fabrics, followed by a bit of blog & sewing silence, I’m back with some very extravagant fabric, courtesy of Mood Fabrics, New York.


These pictures were very difficult to take. We have had a lot of rain… and when it clears it is soooooo hot & muggy. It was 30 degrees celcius and very humid…. and it was 4.30pm! Despite being lined, every item of clothing kept clinging to my skin. Fortunately this was not made with outdoor leisure in mind! I prefer to take all my shots outside as 1) natural light is kind, 2) the family happy snap camera doesn’t like playing nice inside, 3) my hometown is pretty & 4) I’m not big on putting my house on the blog – a bit precious I know but that’s me.

I confess I’ve had this fabric for months and the indecisiveness nearly destroyed me. It was so different to anything I had sewn previously and I was a little stumped… and terrified. 2.5m of Carolina Herrera silk metallic brocade from Mood Fabrics NY!  


The flowers are enormous… and the fabric shifts quite dramatically between light & dark.

So I spent lots of time draping a fabric over my dressform, wrapping about myself, sewing some small swatches and ironing them helps me better understand what type of garment the fabric might suit best. Then I bombard my sewing friends (thank you in particular to Lizzie, Jen and Susan for their advice) and the instagram peeps!

When I google Carina Herrerra there was an abundance of cocktail dresses, with fitted bodices and full skirts. I think this would be grand… but overwhelm my frame. This fabric would make a stunning sheath dress – which I own rather a lot of as it’s my typical work dress style – they often pop up in my Instagram feed.

I nearly made a Pauline Alice Quart Coat.  It would have been perfect… the fabric does crease beautifully into pleats… however I faltered at the last step and suddenly changed my mind. 


Due to the body of the fabric and the structural way it fell, I was haunted by the urge to make a cropped flared jacket that emphasised the body of the fabric. I finally settled on Vogue 8145


This was one of my very early pattern purchases, I’ve long adored the flared back of the jacket.This pattern is an unlined jacket. As the fabric is somewhat coarse in texture I used a lining from the stash. I underlined the body of the jacket and lined the sleeves. I used a bias tape to turn up the hem to minimise bulk.  


The sleeves are two piece raglan sleeves with a seam running down the top of the arm which provides some shaping.

I omitted the buttons as it felt ‘busy enough’. I also eliminated the centre back seam in the jacket body piece.

Once the jacket was complete… another bout of indecisiveness followed… should I make a long pencil skirt or a mini skirt? 

So I took the very practical approach of wrapping myself in fabric and the was very apparent that a long fitted skirt would be a nice counter balance to the very dramatic flared jacket. 


It was very tempting to indulge in a new pattern and I nearly gave in and purchased the Sew Over It Ultimate Pencil Skirt. In a rare bout of self restraint I decided to defer to my pattern stash. I really loved the fit of the By Hand London Pencil Skirt – which I had made and blogged way back in 2012.

I lined the skirt with more stash lining and added a walking vent (yes, a lined walking vent no less!) following A Fashionable Stitch tutorials. You can learn how to draft the walking vent here and how to line a skirt with a vent here. Thanks Sunni!

While this skirt pattern calls for fabric with some stretch, the long walking vent makes it easy to walk in – I do have a huge stride (fast walker!) so I’m slightly limited – probably walking in a more ladylike fashion. I actually adore the firmness of the fabric. It feels amazing to wear and I find the high waist is very comfortable. 

The top is a Burda 2964. I had this in my stash as well! I picked this up at a Spotlight sale as, despite the rather gawky pattern envelope art, I loved the square neck and princess seamlines. The top is cropped and I think the shapely yet slightly boxy fit suits the fabric and works beautifully with the high-waisted skirt. The top is a slight miracle of pattern cutting Tetris – I wiggled and jiggled the pieces onto the scraps of my brocade.

The pattern is unlined, features a side zip and slits in the seamlines. It also comes with long or short sleeves and in a longer length.


This fabric freaked me out for a while as it was so unfamiliar. However… I’ve fallen in love with silk brocade and would now love a sheath dress! The fabric is just fabulous to wear.

The oversized print is spectacular of this particular Caroline Herrarra fabric is a unique blend of opulent and grunge. It does amazing things in different lights and settings. It’s just gorgeous. I’m never 100% comfortable in ‘pretty’ things however this rather masculine yet feminine blend of colour, print and texture is very appealing to me. 

I’d read much about the frantic fraying nature of brocade but didn’t find this fabric at all troublesome. In fact it was one of the easiest fabrics I’ve ever worked with. That’s not to say it doesn’t fray but it wasn’t shedding like a beast. 

I would advise lining this fabric.

Slip stitching the fabric is a joy as the stitches just seem to disappear. 

The colours of the fabric change quite dramatically – in the first image the fabric looks quite dark & moody. The light is behind me. The other pictures the sunlight is shining onto me, bringing out the yellow gold tones.

I doubt that I would wear all three items together… then again you never know! I do love to dress OTT sometimes, it’s fun! I’ve purchased several suits in my career and usually only wear the pieces together at the most formal corporate occasions. I prefer to mix and match. I love wearing jackets with skinny jeans and heels to more casual events such as dinner and drinks with friends. I also think I will wear the skirt with heels and a loose fitting shirt tied at my waist. 

Fabric: Caroline Herrara Silk Metallic Brocade, supplied by Mood Fabrics as part of my participation in the Mood Sewing Network. All opinions are my own. 

Pattern, Jacket: Vogue 8146 from the stash 

Pattern, Skirt: Charlotte Skirt from By Hand London (this pattern was sent to me in 2012 by the girls. Previously blogged and loved here.  All opinions my own). I’ve modified this pattern by adding a walking vent to the back and adding lining. 

Pattern, Top: Burda 2964 from the stash 

The Quart Coat will happen sooner or later… it’s just a matter of time & fabric…

I love sewing with Mood Fabrics, I’ve tried so many new things – anything you’d like me to try next – fabric or garment?