Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane

O1 Jacket


As promised, here’s the low-down on a few of my pieces for O1 specifically, the reversible jacket made as part of my O autumn/winter collection and the doubled layered top. My first outfit has the really imaginative title of O1 and this jacket will also form part of the equally imaginatively titled O2 ensemble.


The fabric is a double sided wool knit – navy and grey – comes from Fabworks.

The pattern is Vogue 9162: Kathryn Brenne design which includes shirt, trousers and the jacket. I made all the pieces last year so I already knew what was involved in the construction of the jacket – the original is fully lined with hand top stitching and acres of interfacing – there were many modifications made for this version, mostly eliminations!

Interestingly, when I look back on the photos from May 2016 I see a change in myself; I don’t know if you do too- but only 18 months ago and I appear completely different. Maybe it’s a state of mind. One of the added benefits of blogging is not just a diary of sewing but the alterations in one’s self:

I started this log of sewing adscn0495nd other things back in November 2011 – almost six years ago – and while the photographs document the onslaught of age I also see a change in personal style and knowingly personal attitude.  I’ve lost weight, started exercising regularly and generally am feeling much better about my life and really comfortable in my own skin – clothes are just the accessories.  I also found a hair stylist who understands and knows me and what’s more important, knows what suits me – invaluable!

Look at that hair! I thought is was great at the time! I still have the boots, scarf and the jacket  and still wear them.

Let’s bring you back to the present……

Double faced (two sided) fabric is made with two separate fabrics that are bonded together. It tends to be heavy-middle weight, obviously, but is perfect for reversible garments or those whose inside will be on display, like the revers of a jacket or a turned back cuff. On the whole, this type of fabric does not fray so leaving edges unfinished and naked can only add to the overall style.


There are various ways to sew seams on double faced fabric, depending on what you want the final the garment to look like:

  1. Sew as usual; no special treatment or considerations. This produces a ‘raw’ edge on one side that displays both sides of the fabric and can be attractive. It is best to trim the raw edges evenly.


2. Flat felled seams, as in a shirt, which results in a tidy, neat finish but tends to be bulky and lumpy, depending on the weight of your fabric. Sew the seam as usual, trim away one side, fold over the untrimmed edge over the other side to hide the raw edge, sew in place.


3. A half flat felled seam. Sew as usual and trim one side of the seam allowance; fold over the larger seam and stitch close to the edge. Less bulky than 2. On one side some colour of the reverse will be visible.


4. Overlap seam. Match the seam allowances on both pieces and overlap, ie. lay one on top of the other. Sew both seam allowances close to the edge like an edge stitch. Much flatter than 2 and 3; the reverse side tends to show on both both sides, however minutely and might well add to your final design.


5. Separate the two layers by pulling apart. It helps to hand tack or machine with a very large stitch to mark the seam allowance as this stops you separating the two fabrics too far. Sew one layer as usual, right side to right side. On the reverse, trim the excess from seam allowance, on the matching seam allowance fold over and under the trimmed side – totally encompassing the raw edges of the original seam. Hand stitch the reverse fabric in place using a fell stitch or slip stitch – whatever is best for your look, fabric and finished garment. This produces a neat, relatively flat seam that is equally tidy from both sides. The downside is that this method is time consuming and laborious.Slide5You then have the option of machine top stitching the finished seam or leaving as is, albeit with an extremely good press.

For instructions on sewing with double faced fabrics, download this and keep it for future reference. It’s really useful.

I opted for No. 5 seams to sew O1 jacket but didn’t do the machine top stitching, just left the hand stitching to pucker and display for all to see.

There are pockets on both sides of the jacket – rather, there are pockets on one side with an opening on the other: navy side has a welt opening, the grey side has patch pockets that cover the welt’s insides and are the actual pockets. The stitching that sewed the patch pockets on the grey side defines the pocket on the navy side.

The collar is a 2X2 rib, knitted on large needles in mottled grey wool. The fabric was separated around the neck edge, raw edges folded under and the knit collar sandwiched between the two. Machine stitched in place. I took this idea unabashedly from Shams – thank you.  



Along all the edges – fronts, hem and cuffs – I separated the two layers, folded under the raw edges and slip stitched together for a neater, tidier finish, although this is unnecessary because the fabric doesn’t fray. I just liked the more ‘complete’ look.


What I didn’t do: a lot!

No lining. No interfacing. No front facings – these were cut but trimmed narrower for the jacket’s fold over. No hand top stitching. In fact, all I cut out was a back, two fronts and sleeves. I lengthened the body by a few inches. The sleeves are just folded back to whatever length I fancy on any given day which means the reverse side, whatever which one, is always on show.

There’s no closure on the original jacket and no closure on this one either. I’ll have to get one of those impressive and elaborate safety pins to hold the front closed.


My jacket is too big. My original is too big too and I should have remembered this or at the very least, read my own blog! The sleeves are mega long and I always fold them up.  Anyway, I’ll still be wearing both (not together mind you)  while going for that oversized look.


May 2016

Which now makes me wonder if I have always had a secret hankering for an Oska look without actually admitting it. When I surveyed my pattern stash I found quite a few that fitted with the aesthetic and I have a few completed items that will already work with my intended O collection.

I still love a pencil skirt and a fitted dress that defines the waist and skims curvy hips but loose, relaxed clothes certainly have a strong pull, especially for the everyday. Maybe there’s a way to combine the two…..


Double Layered Top

The double layered, front-split top was self-drafted. Made from cotton jersey, elbow length kimono sleeves, scarf-type collar (cut from whatever was leftover) and is as versatile as it is practicable.


Underneath layer tucked in with outer layer loose. The fronts have centre front seams that allow for the split to made easily.  It’s just a scooped neck T-shirt with an off-centre round edge collar.


All loose; It can be worn on its own but I usually have a long sleeved T underneath – I like the contrast colours worn together.

The layers are both right side out and the hems in the sleeves are sewn on the inside which does require a wee bit of fabric manipulation and 3D mental rotation but there are no raw edges on show.  All finishing was done on the serger/overlocker.


And then the realisation hit that while I had plenty of fabric for trousers I had very little for coordinating tops etc. Christine sent me to EmmaOneSock…..a mega amount of dollars lighter I’m hoping to complete some of these outfits in time for winter. Of course, I completely adore and appreciate everyone’s advice, suggestions and information -and I know Chris was trying to help and be a good sewing friend however, I do have a mortgage to pay and while I still own a dining table, I need to put food upon it!!! Mind you, hopefully, I’ll look damn good serving.

And we if can’t afford heating, I have a cosy jacket (or two) to wear!

37 thoughts on “O1 Jacket

  1. love love love the jacket! I think the added length was a very good call, I think it is more flattering on you. Great tips on finishing seam allowances on double sided fabric. Thanks. Now I’m off to see if I have double sided fabrics in stash.

  2. Fabulous look and construction. U look great! Thx for sharing. Seam info is invaluable.

  3. You’ve developed a very strong sense of style and your sewing skills are impeccable. Well done! BTW, your new hairstyle suits you very well.

  4. Pingback: 20 Years Waiting | fit for a queen

  5. Apart from the lovely fabrics and good descriptions , what I really like about Emmaonesock is that they charge a realistic price for postage ( to the UK ). Most US fabric companies postal charges are prohibitive. Not sure if they still do this, but they used to send swatches free of charge as well. I used to find this pretty amazing given that some UK firms charge for both the swatch and postage.

  6. I really love that jacket! I am working towards something similar at the moment, with Vogue 9140, I want to make the pocket with a welt in the main fabric for the one side, and a draw string-patch pocket covering the welt on the other side. Suddenly reversible knits are ambushing me from all sides when I venture into fabric stores…

  7. Absolutely gorgeous coat but I am very interested in the jeans you are wearing and would love to make them. What pattern did you use please?

    • Ahh Lois, I wish I could claim these were my own jeans but no – they are at least 20 years old, a very old Marc Cain pair that I’ve only recently rediscovered in my wardrobe. Sorry but thanks for asking anyway.

  8. Amazed by all the seam work required and the two way pocket. I’m following the O collection with interest as I like the Oska look too.

  9. It’s a great look, the 2011 vs now definitely show how much more polished and individual your style has become. And yes, I have recently also become to appreciate just how much difference it makes to tweak the hair to the right point whilst having your hairdresser on the same page.

  10. What a fun jacket, beautifully finished and styled. I think one of the benefits of blogging is seeing yourself more objectively over time and making the tweaks that feel just right. That two way pocket has piqued my interest, too.

  11. Great jacket Ruth and a useful post about double faced fabric,thank you. I think you can embrace both the layered looks and more fitted styles-I do!!😁

  12. I’ve appreciated your O look for the past few years 🙂 But now you look more relaxed. Clothing can’t do that on its own, so I’m thinking something else has shifted for you. If so, it must be good to produce this result. Congrats!

    • So, how come you knew I was an Oska client, when I didn’t even know it myself??
      Isn’t it strange Felicia how we see ourselves and then think how others see us?
      Thank you so very much for your candor and continued support and guidance.
      I think you and I could swap wardrobes……..

      • I didn’t know the term or brand “oska”, but I was a bit puzzled when you announced it as a new look you wanted. We have very similar wardrobe tastes, yes, partially. You’ve alternated the last couple of years between the looser, draped “oska” look, and a more “womanly” dressy kind of look. I’m afraid I wouldn’t wear those latter sorts of clothes 🙂 And about others’ perceptions…. I’ve had an occasional student (when I taught college) inform me of some student perceptions of me and found them quite disconcerting.

  13. Very much enjoyed these Oska posts, and thank you for giving such detailed info on the seams. I’ve seen others describe some of ‘the sewing workshop’ patterns as Oska-like, but don’t recall if you have tried them? Looking at those photo’s you seem to have grown into yourself over those years, and your hair is great!

    • Thanks Su. I’ve been perusing the Oska-like patterns but I think I have enough in stash before I fully commit.
      Funny how we change over time, hopefully for the better….

  14. I absolutely hear you on the hairdresser. I recently just found one who does the best I’ve ever had and I want to kidnap her and lock her in a cupboard so I never have to go elsewhere again.
    The knit collar is just a fabulous idea – I’m not surprised Shams came up with it! I also love how the other side of your doublefaced fabric shows up when you roll up the cuffs, and think this actually does a great balancing job of the oversized-ness of the jacket.
    Seeing the changes and adaptions in personal style is one wonderful thing I love about blogging and reading others’ blogs 🙂

    • Poppy, the hairdresser is crucial. and I’d take her with me anywhere except she has a family and a life of her own – I mean, I need her and how selfish – LOL.
      Also, what would we do without Shams?
      Thank you.

  15. Wowsers! Your jacket is brilliant! It took me a minute to realise that the collar is actually knitted knitting – that is genius. As are the pockets, and I take my hat off to you for all the hand sewing in the seams.

  16. You know this is fabulous don’t you?

  17. I would hardly of recognised you in the older photo, you look lovely but now you look fabulous. It is about a personality shining through and it just goes to show we can look better and better as we get older! I hung on to wanting long curly hair for 30 years, but actually I’m finding the short hair liberating and I think it demands a braver style, which is developing for me. When I had it cut I was wearing a baggy dress not my usual waisted one and I thought that’s the right style for this hair, and that totally matches with your oversized look. Great jacket, love the use of a knitted collar, it’s set me thinking! X.

  18. Hmm, I’m going to have to take a look at some of my past photos. 🙂 I love this outfit. The idea of a reversible jacket really intrigues me. It must be warm and cozy. Thanks for the flat felled seams and pocket education!

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