I made a Victorian-inspired tailored jacket using wool tweed and real tailoring methods. These include using hair canvas, pad-stitching, lots and lots of basting, prick-stitching and pressing. This has been something I have planned of doing for years but I was unsure whether my skills were up to it. Now I decided to go for it and I took my inspiration from the lovely red jacket that the famous YouTuber Bernadette Banner wears.
Making the mock-up(s)
I bought my pattern, Marfy #1989, several years ago when I first started planning this jacket. However, after writing that post and making my first toile, I got scared and gave up. This was because I was so disappointed with the fit of the pattern and I didn’t know what was causing all those difficulties I was facing. My mock-up seemed to be too small at the back and too big at the front and it was twisting and pulling and… well… looking awful.
I buried the mock-up and spend some years making all sorts of other things. So it happens that, even without digging out the old jacket toile, my fitting skills had improved so much that I knew exactly what was wrong with the original toile I had made. So, when I started again, I made sure to correct the shoulder slope to correspond to my square shoulders even before I cut the toile fabric. With that simple adjustment, the toile fitted pretty well! I only needed to make small adjustments to the hip area!
I wanted my tailored jacket to have a small puffed sleeve. I remember this Burda jacket I made several years ago and decided to use it as a reference as the sleeve had just the right amount of volume.
For the fabric, I found this amazing red wool tweed from Materials Helsinki which is one of my favourite fabric stores in the Helsinki area. In fact, I had been visiting and stroking those tweeds for a while just waiting for a reason to buy! I don’t remember exactly how much I bought, perhaps 170 cm? I know that I didn’t buy any extra fabric and I still had to plan my pattern placement very carefully.
Making the jacket
Here is how I made the jacket:
Buttons and buttonholes
My jacket deserved real horn buttons. So I got these beauties from Nappitalo, Helsinki:
I was pretty proud of the buttonholes I made by hand. For once the stitches look pretty even. Progress!
Useful books about tailoring
Here are links to the Amazon.com for the books I used for tailoring reference. I can highly recommend both of them:
- Roberto Cabrera: Classic Tailoring Techniques – A construction guide for men’s wear
- Harris: Authentic Victorian Dressmaking Techniques
It took me about three to four weeks to make this tailored jacket but about three months to edit over the 8 hours of video footage I had! I hope you found the video inspiring!
The finished jacket
I have been now wearing this tailored jacket of mine for a few months. It is very warm – too warm to wear indoors. However, it is a perfect jacket to wear with my walking skirts when the temperature is around zero degrees. Here is a snapshot of our recent walk at the beach. Not that many swimmers around yet, we only saw one!
Thank you for reading and watching. Please consider subscribing to my blog and the YouTube channel if you haven’t already done so! Happy sewing!