A couple of weeks ago I went on a rather lovely day of fabric shopping with some awesome sewing people to Liberty and down Goldhawk Road in West London. The sun even came out for us!
And even though I was on a fabric buying ban (a lot of us were!), I ended up coming away with a couple of AMAZING pieces from Fabric House.
I got a piece of laser cut faux cream leather – perfect for a summery midi skirt. And I also got this beauty – a wool mix with a furry patched design across it.
It looked like Liquorice Allsorts!!!
It’s also probably the most expensive fabric I’ve ever bought but the girls (thanks Harriet and Rosa!) managed to convince me that it was worth buying! I went away 1.5 metres of the stuff with plans to turn it into a little bomber jacket.
When I got home I realised that the furry patches weren’t just random fluffy clouds. The reverse of the fabric showed that they were flowers!
I spent a while debating what pattern to use, whether it was worth buying a new pattern for it or just using one I already had! In the end I went with one I had in my stash and hadn’t used yet – McCall’s 7100.
The pattern is for an unlined bomber jacket with a ribbed cuff, hem and collar and options for two types of pockets. I made the option with the welt pockets. It’s a pretty standard bomber jacket!
The down side to using this pattern was that I knew I’d have to line the jacket. And that would be a bit more effort since I’d have to create the pattern pieces and figure out my own method of getting it in! (Note to self – do a tutorial on how to make up a lining…)
In the end, I just had to create a new facing piece and one new lining pattern piece to get it to work.
So this is one of the trickiest fabrics I’ve ever worked with. It’s got these really thick and stiff furry patches but the base fabric (a wool mix I believe) is thin and has quite a loose weave. I spent a while just staring at the fabric and puzzling out what to do about it!
After a good long think I ended up choosing to underline the fabric. I had some flannelette interfacing I’d bought for my Kelly anorak (for when I get round to making that…) and knew I’d have enough for this project too. I wanted it to give that loose weave a little more structure as well as adding a bit more warmth to the jacket.
Cutting the fabric was challenging in itself! I really should have cut it in a single layer but I was rushing and didn’t plan properly. I did manage to make sure the nap of the fabric was correct before hand though!
I basted each underlining piece to the corresponding fur layer and treated them as one when sewing them together.
For each seam I trimmed back the furry sections as much as I could to reduce the bulk before putting it through my sewing machine. (I still ended up breaking two needles…).
The actual pattern is really simple to put together. Very little fitting is required and it’s mostly sewing in straight lines!
I ended up lowering the front neckline of the jacket by a couple of inches. Mostly because I had an 18″ zip to hand and didn’t want to have to trek out and buy a new 20″ one…
I lined the jacket in the same way I lined my Wear Lemonade Rosa jackets – sewing in a facing first then attaching the lining to that. I hand stitched the bottom hem instead of bagging out just because my machine was not getting on well with the thick fabrics!
My lining is super messy on close inspection though. I didn’t realise the fabric had a lot of stretch in one direction so some areas ended up puckering quite a bit. I didn’t bother going back to fix it as no one else would see it but it’s something that could’ve been easily avoided with the right fabric!
All in all, I think it was a pretty successful make! I even managed to make it in time to wear to the Knitting and Stitching show last Sunday where I was stroked by an alarming amount of people…
I’m genuinely glad I splurged and got this fabric. It’s truly unique! And if you take into consideration how much a designer version might be, really I’ve saved a fortune!! 😂