I really should be working on my pea coat. Winter has come, it is cold. I need a warm coat. I’ve made a little Peacoat Progress, but that was ages ago, and I really need another push. I’ve ordered the last of my notions and I’ll be ready to move on soon! In the meantime, I thought I’d (literally) warm up with a jacket. I’d fancied a bomber for a while, and I really fancied a ‘tweedy’ bomber, so it was a mix of smart and casual. Sort-of-half-inspired by what’s his names tweed jumpsuit in the film Kingsmen II.

(Although, out of the three looks, I think it’s the one I’d be most uncomfortable in!)

The main fabric is a wool that I picked up from Rainbow Fabrics in Ventnor on my recent trip to the Isle of Wight. I had some nice lining in ‘the stash’. And for the contrast/ jersey, I used the leftovers from my current favourite jumper.

The pattern is Pattern S from Men’s Clothes For All Seasons. The patterns in this book are great for me. I love the simple basic styles, and they all seem to fit me pretty well without too many adjustments. (I check the finished measurements against the measurements of similar garments I’ve made from the book, generally I just have to lengthen the sleeves and body a bit.)

When it comes to the instructions, the photos are clear, but the photos and google translate will only take you so far. I tried my hardest to translate the instructions for the pockets, I scrutinised the photographs, all to no avail.

In the end, this is how the pockets went in…

I marked the placement and interfaced the jacket and the welt before sewing it in place.

Then the ‘front lining’ piece went over the top on the same stitching line…

I trimmed all the excess back, then, with some careful placement, a bit of origami and some guesswork, I positioned the pocket linings to the top marking.

For this technique, it’s important that the two rows of stitching are the exact distance as your welt. Mine ended up a little deeper and shows some of the pocket facing in the gap, that’s why it’s a good idea to make the back piece from the main fabric… I’m not going to lose any sleep over it.

So then you cut it open to the corners and poke everything through. Give it a damn good wiggle and sew the triangles down. Any puckers – make sure you’ve snipped right to the corners, and a good press should sort the rest out. (I should take my own advice here and get the iron out!)

As I also wanted to include a lining, I didn’t really bother with the instructions at all after that. I cut sleeves and a back out of lining fabric, then, using the front pattern piece and the facing piece, I drafted the front lining piece too. So here’s the order I went through…

  1. Pockets.
  2. Shoulders, stitched, stay taped and topstitched. (Main & lining)
  3. Sides, stitched (Main & lining) & topstitched.
  4. Sleeves assembled. (Main & lining)

Now, I recently discovered ‘easestitch plus‘ and was excited to try the technique out on a heavier fabric. I have to report that I didn’t really get it to work, but I didn’t really need it. Wool is so much more malleable than cotton, that I didn’t find the easing a problem anyway. So there you go!

5. Pin on the collar, then sew the main to the lining along the fronts, round the neck and down the other side.

6. Make the waistband, attach the front corners, then snip the seam allowance to sew the rest together on the inside. Then I bound it with a bit of bias tape.

7. Sew the cuffs on,

Then I had a mini brainwave… I’ve noticed a couple of fluffy bits coming out of the overlocking after repeated washings on a few garments – so I made my stitch a bit narrower and I went round the cuffs once, trimming and finishing. Then, I switched the blade off and went round again for good measure.

Apologies are in order as I made most of this late one night, and it’s practically impossible to get a decent photo in my flat at night without totally changing the set up from sewing room to photography studio each time (which isn’t going to happen). So that’s it for construction shots.

I did try out a technique I haven’t had the opportunity to try before, and I stitched a little roll of fleece into the seams at the sleeve cap. As it was my first time, I was wary, so didn’t put too much in, but I can definitely see the benefit – the shoulders look a bit more structured without looking padded out.

I was going to put poppers all down the front, but at the 11th hour (I literally switched to a zip at 11.15pm!) I realised I only had three left in my stash. So I basted a big zip in place. I planned to swap it out later but decided instead to put two poppers at the bottom, and one at the top. The zip kind of renders my label placement ridiculous…

Pre poppers…

And here, I’ve put the poppers on the front but not the back yet. I’m keeping the zip but I’ll unpick the basting and move it over 5mm before securing it fully. This will give me a bit more room for the under side of the poppers ( and a chance to reposition my label!)

Ta-dah! My Tweedy Bomber!

And, here it is in action on a walk along the Thames on a sunny Autumn day with my dear friend DrD…

Happy sewing!

Notes to self;

  • I forgot to put a pleat in the lining, must remember next time. In the meantime, don’t cartwheel in this jacket!
  • There must be a better way of attaching the waistband. Try bagging it and turning through a gap in the lining…?
  • If I want to get it back under the machine, I’ll have to take it off first!
  • It’s really warm with just two layers of fabric and a little interfacing – pare down the peacoat lining plans!