Winter Sewing Progress

There’s been a moderately productive few months of sewing recently. I went back to Grafton Academy for a day a week between Halloween and Christmas and had a few projects earmarked for that. I also made a few other basics that were needed in my wardrobe.

The main project I embarked on at the Grafton Academy was a Jacket for my husband (Laurens). He hasn’t been able to find a good fitting jacket since I met him – the sleeves are always too short or its too tight across his back. I have yet to get some decent pictures of him in the jacket so I will write a separate post about that.


High Neck Top

During the jacket saga I drafted a pattern for a top with raglan sleeves and princess seams.


I drafted it for a woven fabric but of course I had to use a ponte – I really liked the colour of this Royal Blue. This resulted in me having to take in all the seams by 1 cm.






I put a zip in the right shoulder seam. I luckily had an invisible zip in the exact colour.  I’m not too gone on polo necks or high necks on me – I like them in theory but I think they make look odd. Anyway – I think it looks like a running top and it might get relegated to my walking/ workout clothing drawer but it was a good exercise in learning how to draft the raglan sleeve and the high neck.


Cashmerette Ames Jeans

When the Cashmerette Ames Jeans Pattern came out last year – I was impressed, I’ve made a few pairs of Ginger Jeans and I’m a big fan but in the interests of research I thought I should give the Ames a whirl. They start at size 12 and go up to 12 to 28, with interchangeable pelvis (apple or pear fit) and leg (skinny or straight) pieces. Putting my Ginger pattern on top of the Ames to see what size would be best (and based on my measurements) I decided to make the smallest size (never happens for me).  Now to put it in perspective I would be a 14 in the Gingers and a standard UK size 16 in the trousers dept. Then I added 3 cm to the centre back height and dropped the centre front by about 1.5 cm ( typical adjustments for me).  I made a short pair to try out the top in some left over denim from a previous pair of jeans (I went with the pear pelvis and skinny leg). I didn’t make any more changes and just went for it using this Super stretchy denim from our shop.

The result – I’m very happy with these – I made them as they were, with only my initial adjustments and they are very comfortable especially in the legs compared to other jeans. There’s something about my calves that the fabric usually catches  but not a problem with the Ames Jeans.






I highly recommend this Jeans Pattern and the option for the different body types is inspired.


Winter Coat.

Image from Toast Website

Over the Autumn I went through my ‘winter’ coats and decided it was time to retire them to the charity shop. Some had been rarely worn and the rest were worn to death. It was time to use my skills and draft a new coat since I had a lovely collection of boiled wools just arrived in store and a few nice pieces in my old stash.  I had a vague idea of a coat in my head earlier in the autumn and after scrolling through pinterest for ideas I found this one from Toast. I like the tidy collar, the A-line shape and the single button but I wanted welt pockets and for it to be more fitted than the original Toast one and I’m not a big fan of wide sleeves – too cold.

When I was drafting this I used the sleeve pattern piece from my blazer I made last summer, I should have added a bit of width towards the wrist as its quite narrow but I haven’t worn any big jumpers under it yet to see if its too tight.


I interlined the coat completely with Stay Flex interfacing – the good stuff I purchased in the Grafton Academy (hopefully a roll of it will coming to the website very soon).  Canvas interfacing was used on the facing and the upper back and collar.  You can see all this in the ‘guts’ of the first two photos.

Innards – Interfacing and shoulder pads

Practise Welt Pocket


After practicing the welt pocket on some scraps first and realised I really needed to keep a clear head while trying to pattern match (middle pic above). This was probably the most time consuming part of the construction – but worth it in the end!

Welt Pockets!

I lined the coat with the silky satin fabric from our ex designer section – it’s a nice heavy weight fabric – perfect for lining coats for an extra bit of insulation, I liked how the colours work well together. (The finished outdoor photos below show the real colour of the fabric)


The rest of the coat went together as normal. I had fully intended making bound buttonholes for this coat but I left it to the end. After reading a tutorial I realised it was too late – I should have done this part earlier in the construction. Instead of trying to finding enough suitable buttons and make buttonholes I had these big snaps in the shop and decided to use them and the one button at the top for decoration.

The collar is a bit bulky and it won’t sit down – my fabric is probably a bit thick for a narrow collar. I still love it though, it’s really cosy and warm and very easy to wear. Its only been finished a week and it’s already got lots of use.

Sewing plans :

Next up is the Lisa Comfort Cocoon Coat which I am hoping to finish today. Its the one from the magazine she recently launched. Its a well drafted pattern and comes together very quickly.

After that it might be time for a few easy wardrobe staples – t shirts, leggings, pj’s etc. Then it’s back to the drawing board for another go at Laurens Jacket Mark II…

Have a good week!



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