With the Covid-19 pandemic, I find myself in self-isolation or, as we in the sewing community would rather call it, in Sewisolation. Working from home allows a little extra time to indulge ticking off those sewing patterns and using fabric that’s been in the stash for a while. Commuting and lunch breaks just got more exciting.
Sewisolation Project #1
I think I have found my favourite designer to date – Deer and Doe. My first foray into their beautiful collection is the Lupin Jacket.
The Lupin is a blouson-style cropped jacket that is fully lined, featuring wide-sweeping lapels, front princess seams and welt pockets. It also has optional shoulder epaulets, a set-in waistband, and gathered sleeves with narrow cuffs.
Deer and Doe have rated the Lupin 3/5 in their difficulty ratings. I’d say (after my 10 weeks of dressmaking) that I am a confident beginner and I got on really well with this pattern. I also find it so satisfying to just see all the pieces ready to go (thankfully we have a few other sofas in the house).
In many ways, this pattern is appealing to beginners – there are no darts; no collar; no front closures. However, I’m trying to choose patterns that test me a little each time by featuring something I’ve never encountered before. In the case of the Lupin, my learning curve came with the welt pockets. Now, the instructions on the pattern are grand and I may have been able to deal with them following the pattern guide alone; however, Deer and Doe have a wonderful photographic step-by-step tutorial for welt pockets on their website and I was grateful of it.
The only real difficulty I can attest to with this pattern came when topstitching the waistband and the cuffs because there are so many fabric layers built up. I think the pattern should come with stronger instruction to use *only* lightweight versions of traditional jacket fabrics as the average machine will struggle. I opted for a medium weight Italian wool blend – big mistake! It didn’t look or feel too thick until I started piecing it together.
At some points I was forcing the fabric where it simply didn’t want to go and there was a fallen soldier (I’m surprised there was only one casualty).
Saying that, I persisted. I wanted a black wool coat – I live in Ireland, after all. It’s a wardrobe staple. I will, however, make a light (in colour and weight) version for summer over the next couple of months.
Nevertheless, she persisted.
Another minor issue with the pattern was that I found the cuff opening to be narrow which is great for wearability – it looks and feels amazing – but is a bit awkward to sew. I might need to start looking into saving some earth pennies for investing in a heavy duty sewing machine because I have a suspicion I’m going to want to make a lot more outerwear.
I love the final product – I’m going to have to give it a final steam press but I tackled the ironing today so I’m avoiding the ironing board for the remainder of the afternoon and evening.
I think it was no coincidence that as I finished off the cuffs to this jacket that the postman delivered my sewing themed necklace from Lucy at Smile&Make – I’m going to wear it like a medal!
I have the Deer and Doe réglisse dress on the agenda next. Watch this space!