Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane

Linton Pink – WIP


The first Linton tweed combination has been cut – and hopefully you’ll appreciate that it takes a very deep breath and a lot of courage to do that, let alone the selection of pattern in which to make something fabulous because this signature and limited fabric requires careful consideration. You may not be aware but Linton Tweeds makes couture fabrics to order for all the best couture design houses. Three years after the designer ‘season’, the fabrics are released for public purchase. The fabrics are expensive but that’s what haute couture, exclusive fabrics are supposed to be. They are special.


This is not a very entertaining post but more methodical and about sewing. First of all I chose a pattern, Vogue 1527 a fabulous Paco Peralta design that I have wanted to make for a year or so but never had the right fabric to do it justice nor perhaps the occasion to wear it. My version of this suit makes the coat an outdoor layer.  So I took a very deep breath, pinned on grain and cut!


I do not have a finished item to show you (this is a deliberate and slow sewing project)  merely a work in progress which I am hopeful will be completed to a high standard.


You may gain some insight into techniques or tips on how to do traditional tailoring for the very best fitted and finished garment. You do not need to do what I did at every stage but the end result is totally unique. The Vogue pattern does not offer this option and to be honest I found the instructions somewhat confusing and out of order. I will list this later.





I’m using the checked pink for the coat and the herringbone for the skirt. Biggest problem of course is the check/tartan/plaid. Everything MUST line up.







Slightly offset the edges of the fabric so that you can see the bottom layer. Accurately line up the checks (or stripes) and pin together. Try not to shift the fabric around too much while pinning or cutting the pattern pieces. Cut one piece first, then using it as a guide, line up the side seams before placing and cutting the next piece. I have not cut the sleeves out yet as they will have to match the main body of the coat.

DSCN7827Every piece is underlined in cotton lawn. This stabilises the outer wool, gives structure and makes it so much easier to hide hand stitches because you sew to the underlining and not the shell. No dimples in this coat. It involves cutting each pattern piece twice and then tacking the two pieces together, which you now treat as one.

My colours are way off in the following photographs, the true colour is more like the top image above.

The wool frays. My chosen seam finish is a simple one. After completing a seam, press open, stitch down each seam allowance and then trim with pinking shears. Nice, flat not-bulky, non-fraying seams. These were then catch stitched to the underlining.


I used strips of selvage as stabilising tape on neck edge and shoulders.

Centre back seam from the outside


The herringbone was used for the contrast collar and pocket facings.


On the inside, after attaching the lining, I catch stitched the front facing seams to the underlining to make sure the facings wouldn’t flop. Then I ran a running stitch between front side lining and front side seam to keep the lining in place.


There’s a lot of tailor tacks and basting and tacking and stray threads used in this method of sewing. And they all have to be removed when no longer needed. Even this apparently simple job takes time and a pair of tweezers. I’m even making my own shoulder pads. On the left the pieces are cut out and tacked together. On the right the amazing effects of pad stitching are clearly in evidence.

There’s also a lot of pressing involved. I think I’ve gone through a least four litres of water. Wool is so malleable with steam – can be shrunk and can be stretched.

I’ve been watching Alison Smith on Craftsy / Bluprint the whole time –Essential Guide to Tailoring: Structure & Shape and Essential Guide to Tailoring: Construction and I feel that I have an instructor in the sewing room with me. Invaluable.


Instead of interfacing, I used canvas. This produces a much firmer finish although somewhat bulky in places. I wanted someone else to see all this work before it all disappears forever under the lining.

Now to my complaints about the pattern instructions.

Fabric cutting layout: indicates cutting a full front of sew-in interfacing. The front pattern piece indicates interfacing on the facing only.

Move Steps 20 and 21 to before 16. This is sewing the back lining and back neck facing together. The back lining piece is sewn to the back split first. Once this is done you are trying to manipulate the full coat at all times instead of just the lining. Sew the back neck facing on to the lining before attaching to the coat.


The instructions about the lining make it cumbersome. The back lining piece only is attached to the coat. Now you have to sew the sides and fronts to this already attached piece. It is difficult (nay impossible) to turn the whole thing inside out especially once the front facings are sewn to the lining. And you’re lugging the entire coat around between sewing machine and ironing board.


The instructions also tell you sew the shoulder pads in before inserting the sleeves! NO. just NO. You’d never get the sleeves in….

Personally, I like separate lining pattern pieces. I don’t like having to use the same piece and cutting bits off it for the lining.

The problems are not insurmountable but READ the instructions folks before doing anything. Make sure they make sense in your head before sewing, otherwise you may end up ripping stitches out and tearing your hair out in the process. Another reason I’m taking this one slowly.

There are not many finished V1527s out there. I found Tany – always brilliant, and Gorgeous Fabrics – who has made two. Read these accounts before starting.

At long last my lining is mostly in place, shoulder pads are positioned (not sewn) and now I have to manage to cut out matching sleeves and get them in.

43 thoughts on “Linton Pink – WIP

  1. This is enormously helpful and inspiring. I’m fascinated although my skills are nowhere near this level. The lining fabric looks slightly ribbed? Or maybe textured? I’m looking for something along these lines and haven’t known what to search for……


  2. Oh, the match on that back seam is a thing of glorious beauty!
    This whole project is IMO v demanding. I may never make a coat myself but it makes for fascinating reading to see all the different stages. Thank you.

    • Thanks Anon. I have now completed all the seams and I think they might all just match up if you don’t look too carefully – LOL!
      Believe me, you WILL make a coat someday – it’s inevitable and unavoidable for a home sewer.

  3. So nice to read this Ruth. Thanks for sharing your experience and knowledge. I absolutely love tailoring but I have never made shoulder pads. Your experience makes me think I must.

    • Thanks Kate. No shopping weekend in London this year unfortunately but sometimes the sewing slow method is relaxing and meditative instead of spending money….

  4. It’s going to be a fabulous coat! I’ve made coats for others, but never for myself. I need to change that!

  5. Your coat will be a masterpiece ! Thanks for detailing the instructions.

  6. Very inspirational post! I learned how to do tailoring in college, and loved the process and the smell of steamed wool. But, alas, I don’t have much occasion to wear tailored items, so haven’t done it in years. It’s nice to be reminded of how to do it. I can’t wait to see you in this- you are going to look amazing!

    • Yeah Ann – wet wool = wet dogs.
      Do we sew for specific occasions, or do we sew for fun/learning/experience?
      I have made a few things that really and truly do not fit into my lifestyle but if the situation ever arises – I am ready!

  7. Beautiful work, Ruth. And a delightful use of the two fabrics. This will be stunning.

    • Ahh thanks Elaine.
      I was hoping for a paid training weekend away this year, either London/Manchester/Birmingham but it was not to be, so I spent the entire day yesterday sitting online… Maybe next time…

  8. It is such a pleasure to read of your careful work and to see the results of that care. You will have some beautiful clothes with these garments.

  9. Beautiful work, befitting beautiful fabric. I love that you’ve combined both fabrics in one garment. I had not thought of that at all.

  10. Thank you so much for continuing to post. You are a real inspiration and looking at this beautiful work it’s not hard to see why. I’ve never quite understood interlining, makes sense now. Thank you for sharing.

    • Thanks Anon,
      I started this blog many years ago in order to give back to those other sewers who helped me, so if I can do the same then I have achieved my objective.
      I hope you and others are inspired and helped by these relatively informal posts.

  11. Hi Ruth,

    Enjoying reading about the making up of the lovely Paco’s pattern.
    It was because of you, that I made my first ever Chanel Style jacket, with all the correct couture steps…………….mind you, made for my youngest daughter, not me!! I have promised myself that I will make one for myself in 2019.

    I have made my own shoulder pads in the past, but after doing so much research, I have now forgotten which pattern/instructions I used. Would you be kind and share with us how you made your shoulder pads; they look wonderful.

    As ever, you are a total inspiration to us all. Your Linton fabrics look wonderful and I know your coat will be a total triumph. As you have shown in the past, these items, couture made are indeed a labour of love and so worth the end result.

    Hope you are keeping well.

    • Oh no Marysia – you don’t have a Chanel for yourself???
      You have my permission to take total selfish time and make one for just you!

      I showed the shoulder pads in the next post.

      Thanks so much

  12. Beautiful.

  13. The back is a beautiful! A seam that is a work of art!

  14. Making a coat is like sewing a car. Good notes on the construction; it helps to read the instructions first, think them through, and then make notes on them (or photocopy them and rearrange them in a collage!). Looking forward to the finished product.

  15. I know this is going to be fabulous and I will be following your progress closely. I will also make sure that I save your blogs as I have this pattern too.

    • It’s a great outfit Christine. The instructions are pretty useless in places but I’m blaming Vogue and not the designer.
      Any other issues I find with the instructions I’ll document them here.
      Thank you

  16. You can take expensive fabric, work your magic and precision with plaids, and voila’ you have a custom creation that will get compliments every time you wear it!!!

  17. Oh my goodness, this is going to be awesome!!! I’m a big fan of Alison Smith’s classes too, and shall look forward to seeing this when it’s finished.

  18. I love reviewing Craftsy courses before, or during, my sewing. I haven’t worked my skills up to those yet though! This fabric is exquisite! I would be afraid to cut into it! You are taking such care with each cut and each seam. I’m looking forward to seeing more.

  19. This is absolutely gorgeous – not just the fabric, but the care you are taking with the construction. Thanks for sharing your process.

    • MY pleasure Ellie and I hope you or anyone else might be inspired to have a go at tailoring or high sewing techniques – they really are so satisfying.
      Thank you

  20. Pingback: Linton Pink – Complete 1 | corecouture

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