Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane

Mildly interesting….


…….or nerdy post on tailored jackets!

I love a jacket: warmer than a cardi, dressier than a cardi, can be worn indoors without looking like you haven’t taken your coat off and outside because, well, it’s a jacket: it finishes off an otherwise mundane and ordinary outfit, covers the ass and a multitude of other human flaws. I wear a lot of jackets all year round. One thing I learnt yesterday at our Belfast sewers’ meet-up was that we all only see the mistakes and errors in our makes which are all but invisible to everyone else so this time, we’re focusing on the positive, not the wrinkles!

BTW, thank you all so much for such interesting fitting comments and suggestions on the wrinkles. I certainly learnt a lot and everyone who has read the erudite comments has benefitted too. Thank you too to all of you who dug out your jackets and tried them on – I hope I didn’t raise some other fitting issues for you! Too much inspection and reflection can be a bad thing too.

pat875So today, let’s start with a neutral background – white shirt and jeans, then top it off with Jean Hardy pattern number 875 – three times.

All versions are tailored, ie. pad-stitched lapels and collars; canvas interfacing on the fronts, sleeve hems and back vents and across the back shoulders; taped roll lines and fronts; shoulder pads and hand stitched lining.

The jacket is a three buttoned single breasted hacking jacket – genuine equestrian wear. It has a double back vent (for sitting on saddles while still keeping your rear covered obviously), princess front seams and centre back seam, vent front  pockets with flaps and inside vent pocket, two-piece sleeves, side front and back panels. It sits comfortably at high hip.  The pattern instructions include two versions of tailored collars, pad stitching directions and separate pattern pieces for the lining and interfacings. Although I would recommend you work hand-in-hand with a tailoring book too. I use these.. click image for Amazon


Classic Tailoring Techniques. Roberto Carbrera


Vintage Couture Tailoring. Thomas von Nordheim


Jacket 1

Heavy brushed cotton in brown made exactly from the pattern. Lining is petrol blue and a matching waistcoat was constructed to use up the leftover fabric. I made a muslin for this one in woven cotton which ended up as an interlining to scaffold the shell fabric. Wears well with jeans, straight skirts in brown, moss, green and blue. I have also slung the jacket on over all white underneath – white linen trousers and a white T-shirt on a chilly summer day.

Made in Nov 2011 and still a favourite.



Flash of the lining that matches jeans so well








I can’t help it – sunburst wrinkling at front when top button is done.





























Jacket 2

Checked wool with burgundy lining – no leftover fabric as it was all used up matching the checks and was a Herculean task. This one was sewn a little more fitted than the first, if I remember rightly, just by sewing larger seam allowances. This one is also underlined and fully tailored. Only worn in autumn/winter because of the colour but very versatile in terms of colour co0ordination. Made in Nov 2012


A bit of gaping at the bust that I never noticed before

DSCN4745 DSCN4746


Jacket 3

Wool tweed in small petrol blue check with various coloured shades woven in from Chrysalis and the one with the wrinkles and the rose. I deliberately made this one very fitted tightening up the seam allowances and really can only be worn comfortably with just a shirt underneath. I had enough fabric left over to make a waistcoat and made use of the beautiful selvage edges as trim. Made this year in Oct. This jacket is practically an annual event in my sewing calendar!








Wrinkles along the back waist but I still had the waistcoat on as extra padding (which I don’t need)



Some more little details…


Co-ordinating Fran shirt, waistcoat pocket hankie and piping around jacket lining



Front pocket with flap


Front pocket with flap folded in










But of course….



So, in your opinion which one is best fit? Which is most dashing? Which most wearable? – 1,2 or 3

16 thoughts on “Mildly interesting….

  1. Jacket 2 fits the best , jacket 1 the most wearable color and jacket 3 the most dashing. Jacket 1 when buttoned has drag lines that point to the problem…more bust ease needed which can be borrowed from the princess seams. Jacket 2 fits the best and looks great with denim. Is it a Hardy pattern as well? Jacket 3 is more severe, wider shoulders and narrower waist but more for formal occasions not good with jeans…just my opinion.

  2. IMO, number 1 hands down. It’s the longest, roomiest, and best color for you. Best proportion for your height and shoulders.

  3. I’m envious – they all look great!

  4. Phew! The workmanship is superb and very impressive. Fitting is really hard, especially with a tailored item and we all need a reliable skilled fit buddy (like Mrs Mole!) who could guide us. I wish you lived nearer so we could help each other.

    Colourwise No 1 is best because it is cool and bright, and especially with the nice white shirt really complements your colouring. The other two are a bit too warm, or too muted, IMO.

    Style wise I think this style of jacket is too buttoned up and “big” looking on you (even though it is tight fitting in some of the versions). You would look really good with a lower break, with the top button much lower down your body, probably at or even under the bust line. This would have the effect of elongating your neck, and reduce the emphasis on your squarish shoulders. I would also try a fitted shape as you have a very nice waist line and fantastic legs. A shorter, slightly flared jacket with a deeper V neck.

  5. Well they are all grand, but i like the third the most! I do love a fitted jacket, and those details- just marvelous. I am especially loving the waistcoat addition, as it just looks so darn snazzy. Well done, and thanks for the tailoring book recs! I am going to be tackling my first jacket here shortly, and i am a fan of the helpful reference book!

  6. Gosh, I’ve never seen this pattern before. I agree with Mrs. Mole about #2 being the one that fits the best. Imho, #1 is the most versatile in terms of wearability – brown is such a great staple colour (anything chocolate is fab). Your latest tweed version is super. I love the fit and the tailoring, but I think the lighter denim colour of the jeans competes with it. Perhaps a darker indigo denim would show it off fully. Wow. Three jackets. All fully tailored. I’m impressed. BTW, the finishing and details of the tweed set are gorgeous.

    And I love the matching waistcoats.

  7. Fantastic blazers! I sort of like number 1 the best, something about the colour and fabric. But, I do like how #3 is so fitted and the purple colour. Number 2 is lovely, but I can’t help picturing that you shall be required to be on horseback, LOL. It’s got that lovely polo-esque feel to it.

  8. I think the brown as the colour suits you best. But then no 3 I like the fit better. Maybe a touch tight with the vest but that is fixed by not buttoning it up 🙂 All are great.

  9. Please don’t make me vote! I’m jealous of all three…great jackets all!! One of my personal favorite jacket styles…

  10. If I could pick for myself, it would be #3 as I love the tweedy fabric. BUT, this is all about you. 🙂 I like #1 best on you, though the fit through the bust needs room. The color is a great contrast with your own dashing hair color and skin. #2 fits well but looks somewhat strong in the plaid. All of these are so well made and very nice!!

    If I could make a jacket for you, I would try a fitted waist, very subtle peplum and a long soft collar as in a shawl collar. Your figure is phenomenal, and I think a softer style would be pretty. If the idea of a peplum doesn’t resonate, just a more fitted waist as in #3 would do it.

    I spent many weekends wearing black dressage jackets and white breeches :-p

  11. I would like no 3 for me, and the insides … Gorgeous , but no 2 looks so professional.

  12. Beautiful work, as always!

  13. What Mrs. Mole said – plus I LOVE them all! 🙂

  14. 2,3,1 in order of preference, 2 being most preferred. A touch of the feminine in the shape of your flower brooch is a great idea as it lifts from the functional and detracts from any (minor) imperfections.

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  16. I love the look of 3 on you more than 1 and 2. So, as you can see from the comments Ruth, opinion varies!! I think that version 3 of the jacket would look fabulous with trousers,or a different colour jeans…………..but that’s just me. I really like the fit of this version.

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