Sew for Victory project finished!

Just over a week ago I was seriously concerned that I might not start, let alone finish, my Sew for Victory jacket by the end of April. But last weekend I knuckled down and started sewing, and today I wore it for the first time.

I don't wish to blow my own trumpet but I am really pleased with how this jacket turned out. It is the first piece of outerwear and tailoring I've done, and I can't believe how well it has turned out!

The pattern is the Suit Jacket from Gertie's Book for Better Sewing, and the outer fabric is wool herringbone tweed, given to me by a friend. The same friend who gave me the orange buttons for my last project. (Yes, she is an excellent friend, and has an equally excellent blog on her life in France.)

How did I find the project?
As with my last project form this book, I didn't like tracing the pattern pieces but I am getting better, or at least quicker at it, so that's a plus. I found the instructions on the tailoring techniques included in the book, and referenced from the pattern instructions pages, very detailed and quite easy to follow. However, the general pattern instructions are brief and do occasionally leave out some details which I found a bit annoying. For example, in the instructions for making the lining it never tells you to sew the darts - obviously I've done enough sewing to know what to do, but I do feel the instructions could be better.

What did I learn from this project?
Lots and lots of new techniques. I learnt how to roll and pad a collar, and how to use strips of hair canvas to set in the sleeves. I also got to practise my bound button holes, and my hand stitching.

Much to my surprise, as I'm not a lover of hand sewing, I really enjoyed pad stitching the collar, even though it took several hours. Never having done it before I couldn't really work out what the pad stitch would actually do, but being a good girl I followed Gertie's instructions and it really make a huge difference to how the collar sits. 

One of the things I found most challenging with this project was choosing what colour lining to use. In the end I went for some silver coloured lining with a floral pattern, which I think works well.

What changes did I make?
None, and I didn't make a muslin - given this I'm very glad it fits as well as it does, although it is a bit big across the chest and under the arms. I could have correct this if I'd made a muslin, but its not so bad a fit as to make it  unwearable, phew!

Would I make it again?
Yes, I would - with some slight changes to the fit, and I might even make a full suit next time with the matching skirt for the book.

This is probably the most technical garment I have made, with lots of layers of fabric and technique, but I really enjoyed making it. I've been planning to make a jacket from this fabric for a couple of years and, as with last year, Sew for Victory encouraged me to stretch myself and undertake a challenging project. 

This project, and the previous one, have reinvigorated my sewing, which had been flagging. Not for any particular reasons, but I was just going though a sewing funk. Not any more, I'm feeling re-energised and I have loads of ideas for new sewing project. My only difficulty is in trying to decide which one to start with!

After all the work on my jacket, I felt I needed somewhere special to wear it, so I was delighted when the boyfriend reminded me I had a gift voucher for Afternoon Tea in the Westin Hotel. We managed to get a table at short notice, and the Atrium in the Westin is where the pictures of my finished jacket are from. We decided on the Most Peculiar Afternoon Tea, which come with a gin cocktail in a tea pot and lots of yummy treats.


  1. Hello HazWool,
    That is a seriously fab bit of sewing. Lovely buttons and buttonholes and a great choice of lining. It definitely needs a skirt and blouse to match.
    Love from England,
    Muv aka Lizzie Lenard

  2. Wowser trouser! Just the jacket for that tea! Like the hair as well.

  3. You have made an amazing jacket, so many details, you should be very proud! Your afternoon tea looks fab too:)

  4. I have Gertie's book too, I did think I had recognized the pattern! You really did a great job, your jacket looks awesome!

  5. Congratulations!!! That is really fabulous. A big success and you did it in no time at all. I know a bit of what I speak because my mother studied and taught tailoring and made our lives hell with instructions for pad stitching and horsehair!! You look wonderful in your jacket and the tea is seriously grand. Thanks for the thanks ... and the link to the blog. I have a couple more things for your inspection whenever I can get them to Wales or Dublin.

  6. The coat is even more impressive than the tea!

  7. That is absolutely gorgeous! Gorgeous.

  8. Thanks for the comments everyone, its always nice to get your feedback and encouragement! I'm delighted with my jacket, and plan to get plenty of wear out of it :)


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