Category Archives: Coats and Jackets

Sorrento Jacket #2

Having already made a toile using ‘landfill’ fabric I was now ready to make another Sorrento jacket and this time it would be lined. Alterations to the pattern based on findings of the toile version: reduce length of the bodice by 1 inch. Reduce length of sleeves by 1½ inches.

Taking a note of Sian of Kittenish Behaviour’s vlog where she made her Sorrento jacket 2 sizes smaller than the measurements chart suggest, I have downsized from the original 22. I cut as size 20 at shoulders grading back to a 22 at the waistline. I shall wait and see how this works out before I ‘gung ho!’ and downsize to an 18/20 with a new length of floral printed suiting.

Also following Sian’s vlog I drafted a pattern for the lining by combining the various panels, overlapping at the seams to remove the seam allowances of 1 cm. For the main part this was fairly straightforward although I did find some difficulty with the shaping that is included in the panels.

I cut out the jacket from just 1.5 metres of Gold/Mustard stretch denim that I bought from Hot Pink Habberdashery. The lining was cut from this fabulous cotton lawn print purchased some time ago from Minerva.

In anticipation of the Sewcial Retreat organised by Purple Stitches, I prepared as much of the straight sewing of the various panels, pockets, pocket flaps,waistband tabs and the lining as possible including the continuous lap placket in the sleeves.

I wound several bobbins in the Terracotta thread and ensured that I had sufficient top stitching thread for all that was going to be required.

As I have made the jacket before I familiar with the various processes and continued with the construction with confidence. This pattern has been excellently drafted. All the notches match up and it is a joy to sew.

Rather than use metal ‘jeans’ buttons, this time I decided to use some ‘Bone’ coloured buttons from my stash. Also where appropriate, I used the keyhole buttonhole style e.g. the pocket flaps, the waistband tabs and cuffs of the sleeves. On checking the illustrations I noted that the buttonholes on the front bodice should be horizontal but due to the width of the front bands and as I don’t intend to do up the jacket, I worked the buttonholes vertically.

I estimate that the construction of this jacket takes me about 12 hours of concentrated sewing. Although at times I became a little overwhelmed with the project, vowing that I will not make another, by the end of the afternoon I had a completed Sorrento jacket of which I am very proud.

Project #16 completed 12th March 2022

p.s. I have now ordered some fantastic bold printed suiting to make a version for the Winter!

Sorrento Jacket

I have a Blue RTW denim jacket in my wardrobe but would really like another in a different colour. Enter Sorrento by Sew Over It. The jacket is part of the Summer Dreaming e-book released last year and is described thus;

The quintessential denim jacket, Sorrento is a classic piece in anyone’s wardrobe. Designed to pair beautifully with the other styles in this summer sewing pattern collection, the Sorrento Jacket is the perfect throw-on when the evenings turn chilly. Sorrento features everything you’d expect from a denim jacket including a front and back yoke, chest pockets, collar, cuffs, and waistband tabs – all finished with double lines of immaculate topstitching. With tonnes of classic details and a clever construction, Sorrento is an enjoyable, hugely rewarding project that you’ll love for years to come.

As I am currently losing weight I was not sure which size to make so would definitely need to make a ‘practice’ garment to check not only the sizing but also the various techniques involved in this type of garment. I elected to make a 22 across the bust and grade to a 24 at the hips. The only modification was to shorten the sleeves by 1½ inches as I know that I have short arms!

For fabric I raided my stash and came up with this charming heavyweight furnishing linen named Cockerel by Vanessa Arbuthnot. The fabric is gash roll ends from the printing factory and was originally intended to be landfill, but by a circuitous route it found its way to my bag-making stash. I added some Red printed cotton offcuts from my scrap bag for undercollar, lining the yoke, lining the pocket flaps, the pocket bags and placket bias strip bindings.

Although it was late at night I was determined to cut out the jacket so it was only in the hard light of day that I discovered I had cut some pieces on the straight grain and some on the cross grain. Still I powered ahead as I thought ”this is only a practice garment”.

The pattern instructions are excellent as they order the work in such a way as to minimise the number of times you have to change the needle and thread(s) from Jeans (for construction) to Topstitching. I also found that every single notch marking married up with its counterpart and that helped to make the sewing very speedy.

Conclusion: I enjoyed the whole process with a possible exception of installing the metal ‘jeans’ buttons. I had not used this type before and although they are OK, I am not convinced that I will use them on my ‘proper’ jacket. This jacket is oversized on me which will be useful for wearing over chunky knits in the colder months. However, I will be sizing down by at least one size so the next iteration will be a 20 at the shoulders and bust, grading to 22 at the hips. I will keep the sleeves at their reduced length as they turned out ‘just right’. I think that I will shorten the length of the jacket as this one comes to the high hip and I would prefer it to be on or only just below my natural waist.

Project # 74 completed 11th November 2021

Wearable Toile Jacket Kwik Sew #K4701

Simplicity #4032

Before I cut into the fabulous Mustard Boiled Wool that I bought from Rosenberg & Sons at Festival of Quilts thought it would be best to re-visit Simplicity #4032 to ensure that it would fit and that the alterations made previously on this version (made several years ago and since sold on eBay) were still appropriate.

Original jacket using the Simplicity pattern

However, when I tracked down the envelope I was disappointed to find that some of the pattern pieces were missing. What to do? I decided to try Kwik Sew #K4701 using some ‘wool tweed’ that was leftover from Christmas Gift projects made in 2015.

Kwik Seew K4571

I cut an XL, shortened the sleeves by 4 inches (next time only need to shorten by 3 inches) and shortened the body length by 4 inches.

I used my favourite technique for ‘boiled wool’ jackets and coats. For this method I straight stitch before overlocking the edges. For the piece that is to go underneath I straight stitch 1¼ inches from the raw edge before overlocking the raw edge, for the top piece, I overlock close to the 5/8ths stitching line. I then placed the top piece over the underpiece matching the pre-stitched seamlines before stitching through all layers. This method gives a neat, flat finish with all edges clean finished with the overlocker. I overlocked the entire outer edges of the jacket and skipped the addition of any pockets.

‘Wool Tweed’ Jacket
Kwik Sew #K4571

I now have a neat classically styled jacket to wear with dresses, skirts and jeans.

Having completed this wearable toile – next time I will cut as a size L at the shoulders and chest before grading out to XL for the bust, waist and hips. I will re-shape the lapel slightly and maybe adjust my ‘boiled wool’ seaming technique. Next time all seams will be straight stitched at 5/8ths before overlocking close to that stitching and this way it will reduce the bulk at the seams.

completed 1st November 2019

Sewing Plans

I have a few projects that have been hanging around for a while so I really must get those completed. So for January/February I have identified the following:-

There are a couple of stuffed toys/pincushions that I made last year that were stuffed but not stitched up!

Kitty Cat who looks more like a dog!
Nellie the Elephant – turned out much larger than expected

Then on the list is a Black Corduroy Pinafore Dress that I plan to decorate with some felt appliqué (similar to the denim jacket that I made in 2017).

Vine lines on front bodice
Vine lines on back bodice

There are a couple of small patchwork quilts that need binding and a ‘Jodi’ top by Tilly and the Buttons that just needs lengthening with the addition of a frill.

In addition to the usual dresses and some raglan sleeved tops I also plan to make a coat using the Vogue pattern V8346 that I received in my KB pattern swap.

Vogue V8346

The Pippi pinafore dress from Jennifer Lauren Handmade.

Pippi Pinafore Dress by Jennifer Lauren

some Piccadilly PJs by Nina Lee (to wear to the Sewing Retreat on the Isle of Wight)

and another larger version of the Companion Carpet Bag by Mrs H.

Small version of the Companion Carpet Bag by Mrs H patterns

That is it so far but you know how it is – the well-made plans of mice and (wo)men often go awry!

Top Twenty Makes in 2018

As promised, here are my Top Twenty Makes from last year. With the exception of the Ultimate Travel Bag that I made to take as Cabin luggage on my flight to the Caribbean, I am pretty sure that I will be repeating all these garments using fabric from my stash. So watch this space!

Dartmouth Hack by Cashmerette
Plantain by Deer & Doe
Plantain by Deer & Doe
Lady Skater by Kitschy Koo
Ultimate Travel Bag
by Annie Unrein
Simplicity 4032 hack
Kwik Sew 3736
Fraser by Sewaholic
Teddy by Style Arc
TNT Bodice & Gathered Skirt
Drunken Caribbean Birds
TNT Bodice with box-pleated skirt
Libby Blouse
by Sew Over It
TNT Bodice & gathered Skirt
Joni dress by
Tilly & The Buttons
TNT Bodice & gathered skirt
TNT Bodice & gathered skirt
Companion Carpet Bag by Mrs H.
TNT Bodice & gathered skirt
Collar from KwikSew 3736 hacked to TNT bodice & box pleated skirt

The Wedding Guest Outfit

It has been over a week now since I attended the wedding of my husband’s eldest grandson, Michael to his fiancée Lisa.

Since then I have attended a Sewing Retreat day and a Patchwork & Quilting class. It was only today I realised I had not posted a picture of the final outfit that I wore for the wedding.

As you will see from the above photo, the wedding ceremony was held out of doors in a Bluebell Wood. Very romantic!

To get to the location involved a walk up a hill via a couple of fields and a wood. I therefore changed from my Silver stiletto shoes into ‘much more appropriate’ Cerise pink loafers.

The day was lovely and Mike and Lisa make a charming couple.

I shall be wearing my dress and jacket ensemble again in the future but do not foresee many outings for the fascinator!

Wedding Guest Outfit – The Complete Ensemble

Well, after yet more procrastination, here is the finished dress made up in the fabric choice of the Friday P&Q Sewing House Group. Listed as Stretch Poly/Viscose, I bought 3 metres from CheapestFabricsUK eBay shop at just £4.95 per metre (sadly now out of stock) and used my TNT hack of the Dartmouth top by Cashmerette.


This fabric is really fine and drapes beautifully, but is not for those new to stitching jersey fabrics. It slips and slides and is like trying to wrestle mercury! However, I persisted and have to say that I am now very pleased that I did as the dress is so comfortable to wear and looks really ‘classy’.

Most of the stitching was done on the overlocker but there are a few places where I have top-stitched by machine, partly to control the fabric! The gathered skirt was made using two panels cut 29 inches long by the full width of the fabric, so approximately 120 inches of skirt width. Two rows of gathering stitches plus clear elastic helped to control the fabric and ensure even gathers. For the hem, I plan to machine using a twin-needle but at the time of photographing the outfit, I did not have access to my machine (cat asleep on sewing chair!).

Every time that I make up the Dartmouth top, I have used a different jersey fabric. Each and every one has performed differently. On this iteration the crossover of the wrap has come out a little low, I may have to invest in a light lace-trimmed camisole to wear underneath.

Other accessories are a Silver Grey satin clutch bag trimmed with fabric roses and some Silver ‘crocodile’ textured peep-toe shoes. I will also have a pair of Silver-coloured mules to change into when the need arises!


Wedding Guest Outfit – 1st Garment

After so much procrastination, at last the first garment of the proposed outfit for the family wedding is completed. I used the KWIK SEW pattern no K3736 with just a couple of minor changes.

For this iteration I used the Cerise ‘linen-look’ fabric that I had purchased from Fabricland at £4.59 per metre.

As I had made the pattern before, see and or here

The minor changes were to lengthen by 1 inch, ignore the fold-back cuffs, take in at the side seams by a total of 2 inches and this time I also top-stitched all around the outer edge of the jacket. I used two strands both threaded through a 100 top-stitching needle and straight stitch length 4.

Other than that there is not a great deal to say. Once again I am pleased with the final result which I think will co-ordinate well with either of the two dresses that I plan to make.

The reason for two dresses is the ‘Great British Weather’. I shan’t know until the morning of the day what the temperature is like. In the past I have attended Ladies Day at Royal Ascot which is in June. One year I wore a floaty dress and was very warm, another year a wool suit and was very cold!

The 4 P’s

Planning, Prioritising, Purchasing & Procrastination

Now that I am well and truly back home and the weather has improved so that we are enjoying a very late Spring, I have to make my sewing plans.

I have been delayed from my first love of dressmaking as I insisted on completing the quilt top in memory of my Caribbean cruise. But now that is done, it is back to dressmaking.

Planning. I have lost weight since last Summer so several of the makes no longer fit. I hate making alterations – I would much rather make an entirely new garment. I have sold a few of last year’s dresses and have plenty of ideas, patterns and fabrics to make new ones – but which ones?

Prioritising. I have a family wedding to attend in just three week’s time – I cannot wear the same dress as last year’s wedding for two reasons a) it no longer fits(!) and b) the wedding will be attended by the same family members. I have a certain reputation to maintain – if I attended the wedding wearing the same dress, rumours would start that I was feeling unwell!

As my readers will have concluded, I enjoy wearing bright and colourful clothing. So, for this wedding my colour choice is Cerise Pink. I have the fascinator and will make a little jacket in the same colour.

Purchasing. The fascinator hat was purchased new from The British Heart Foundation charity shop in Winchester. The linen-look fabric for the jacket was bought from Fabricland in Salisbury. I plan to make another version of my ‘hacked’ jacket from KwikSew 3736.


Whilst the design of the dress will be a simple fitted bodice with an almost circular skirt (from the Lady Skater Dress),

the fabric choice for the dress is almost limitless.

Procrastination. I have been buying lots of jersey fabric. Whilst at Fabricland I fell in love with this ponte roma that coordinates very well with the Cerise ‘linen’ for the jacket but the ladies of the sewing house group deemed that it was not sophisticated enough for a wedding.

Alternatives that I have purchased:


Scuba from Fabric Styles

Although the floral print would be fine unfortunately on closer inspection I found that the colour in the tassels print clashes slightly with the Cerise ‘linen’. Finally, the ladies were unanimous in their selection of this fine jersey from CheapestFabricsUK who sell through eBay.

I have to agree that this delicate print is fabulous. I only hope that I can do it justice. To take advantage of the great drape qualities, I may well opt to make the wrap front bodice- a hack of the Dartmouth top from Cashmerette.

Other plans were inspired by a visit to the Joules store on board ship during my recent cruise holiday. I was particularly taken with these striped jersey tops.

 I could use the Fraser sweatshirt pattern from Sewaholic – or draft my own dividing lines for the different prints. 

From an eBay seller I bought some lovely ponte roma in White with a narrow Navy stripe and plan to combine with some floral print as a yoke across the bodice and sleeves.


The floral ponte roma came from the CheapestFabricUK.

I also plan to re-fashion the Neenah shift dress (now too big) that I made with the Navy/White version of Ponte Roma and use some of this bold-coloured floral printed fabric (purchased from Minerva Crafts) for the yoke.


So that is just 3 garments – possibly 4 that I plan to make in the near future.

If I can just stop procrastinating and get on with sewing the outfit for the wedding then I can pursue the exciting projects that I have planned for the Summer. I will write and tell you of my progress and finished garments next month.



Faux Fur Gilet – Hack of Simplicity 4032

Well I have thought quite long enough about this project. Now it is time to stop looking at the fabric and get on with the project. First step was to trace off the pattern from Simplicity 4032.

I used the back, side front, front panels and centre panel/facing/collar pieces from view D. To remove the hem flounce I added 3+5/8th inches to the length of the pieces whilst retaining the gentle curve at lower front edge on the centre panel/facing/collar pattern. I adjusted the centre back by 1 inch for my sway back and added extra width at the hips – ‘just in case’ it was required.

I am pleased that I checked out the faux fur and discovered that there was a definite nap, all pattern pieces were laid so that the pile was going down the garment.

I used some spare fabric to run a couple of stitching tests. Was I going to have the fur on the inside or the outside? I decided to have the faux fur on the outside so that the smooth knit was next to my other clothing and would reverse at the collar giving my face a frame of the Cerise Pink colour.


I tested out seam finishes. Option 1) Lapped seams with all seam allowances overlocked in the Cerise Pink thread – preferred. 

Option 2) a straight forward seam with Right sides together – not good as that left a lot of raw/fluffy seam allowances on the inside of the gilet. 

I threaded the machine with a Light Blue Grey in the needle and a Cerise Pink in the bobbins. All seams were stitched from the Right side.

For the first fitting I pinned all the seams to check the fit. After some adjustment of the seams I then stitched each one twice. First to secure the top layer in place and secondly to secure the under layer and prevent it from flapping about inside the garment. This method gives a nice smooth finish to the inside of the garment thus making it easier to put on and off.

For the armhole finishing I simply overlocked the raw edge and then turned the knit side to the outside before hand basting in place. I changed the top thread to Cerise Pink before zig-zag stitching the turnings in place.

The front panel/facing/collar piece was also applied using a lapped seam and finished in the same way as the other panel seams. The entire outer edge was then overlocked to finish the raw edges.

The gilet is big enough to lap right over left and could have a button or snap fastening but for now I will leave it as is.

A very comfortable gilet which has provided me with the new experience of sewing with faux fur. Now I have to vacuum the sewing room which is awash with Grey fluff!