Now reading

Spring zippy jacket and Wendy Ward book giveaway.

Spring zippy jacket and Wendy Ward book giveaway.
Spring zippy jacket and Wendy Ward book giveaway.

During the run up to #MeMadeMay I get out all my handmade garments and RTW items and have an evaluation about what I wear, what I don’t and what needs mending. I tend to notice that I have a surplus amount of Me Made dresses and that all my RTW’s fit into two categories. Garments that are so simple that I find them a bore to make (like Breton tops and leggings) and things I either can’t make (knitted gear) and garments that I’m too scared to commit too such as coats and jackets.

I have watched many of you making coats recently, (My sewing support bra Rach Wain for instance just made a dreamy kelly anorak) and knew I wanted to take the plunge into the world of outerwear, but seeing as it’s MEANT TO BE WARM, I decided it was time for a little spring jacket.


Photo of Wendy by Julian Ward © Cico Books

If you haven’t heard of Wendy Ward by now you must have been hiding under a pretty big rock. She’s one of the organizers behind the #MIY march photo challenge over on Instagram, runs a very successful sewing workshop in Brighton, has two books (soon to be three) under her handmade belt AND most of all is a dog lover. 🙂  In anticipation of her new book ‘Sewing with Knitted Fabrics’  I’ve teamed up with Wendy who has supplied me with a SIGNED copy of her first book The Beginners Guide to dress making to giveaway and I couldn’t resist using my own copy to show off some of the talent hidden between the pages.


The zip jacket is exactly what my Me Made wardrobe needed. A throw-on garment that will keep me warm when it’s breezy, and can be folded up and thrown in a bag when it’s too warm (we can only hope). It doesn’t take more than a day or two to put together! That’s coming from a sewing snail! It can be sewn up in array of different fabrics such as woven, jersey and I also think Leatherette would work beautifully too. The patterns come on sturdy paper (doing away with any home printing) and are easy to trace thanks to the colour coding. Although they overlap, there isn’t the Burda magazine nightmare going on. Here she is 🙂 A majorly grown up and ‘could have bought that in Lou and grey’ jacket.



Fabric-wise I opted for squishy jersey as it will fold down nicely in my bag without creasing (I look like I’ve rolled in a hedge 90% of the time) and who doesn’t love jersey? Both these fabrics were from my stash and I’d been saving them for a rainy day. The quilted heart fabric was purchased in America the week I got engaged thus being super special to me, but I only had about 70cms left of it so I used a slightly lighter jersey for the arms, turning the print to the inside for fun. The jacket turned out to be a perfect stash buster!



I used a mix of my regular sewing machine with a walking foot and jersey needle, and an overlocker with a tiny bit of naughty coverstitch on the sleeves (although you definitely don’t need the overlocker or coverstitch to get a result). One of the things that wendy does best is design garments that are as truly well-finished on the inside as they are on the outside.



Look at those guts! I love this unlined jackets innards! Each seam is bonded with Bias giving the garment longevity but also making it perfect to wear open or hung over the chair of the bar so everyone can see it’s awesomeness.



My zippy jacket sits lovely over a range of my current Me Made wardrobe, and being slightly cropped means that I now have a go-to jacket and Cleo combination. I’d struggled with that previously and as I live in Cleo’s it’s pretty much a life saver!



Making the garment took me about 5 hours of unrushed and enjoyable sewing. After working with so many different patterns it was amazing to have the pieces fit together without any struggle or head scratching. All the notches met up instantly, the bottom of the jacket ended up being the right length and there was no unpicking or frustration. Just slow feel good sewing!

I definitely suggest this book to beginners as Wendy holds your hand through the hard bits with a very useful and well-explained glossary of techniques for the makes at the back of the book, but I am no beginner and loved it all the same. Sometimes it’s nice to have your hand held. Makes the process less lonely and makes you try new ways of doing things.  Wendy also encourages self-exploration of changing each of the patterns in the book to your own style. This is something I particularly liked. I, for instance, used a mix of fabrics, contrast zip and bias to make the jacket my own. I have plans to make a more rigid boiled wool affair for autumn WITH POCKETS. Maybe welt pockets if I can pluck up the courage!

Inspired? Excited? Want to sew up your own zip jacket and plan more MIY makes? Then enter the giveaway to receive a fresh signed copy of Wendy Ward’s “The Beginner’s Guide to Dressmaking”. Simply leave a comment below about this project or your feelings about Wendy’s upcoming book, your contact details (email or instagram name) and you will be in with a chance of winning! Don’t forget to sign up to my blog so your the first to know about more giveaways coming this month.


This Competition runs from now until sunday 7th May  23.59h and is open to UK postal addresses only.
No PO box addresses or accounts solely used for giveaways will be considered.
Winner will be chosen by random name generator and contacted directly.
No cash alternative or modifications to the prize will be made.
Giveaway book provided by Wendy Ward but my own copy was purchased. Words and thoughts are my own.







Written by

  • Georgina says:

    Love this jacket. My aim by the winter is to be able to make a jacket and a pair of jeans. This zippy jacket looks like the perfect stepping stone project.

  • Jo says:

    Your jacket looks great. I love the colour of the bias for little splash of fun on the inside. I’m not a beginner as such but the idea of having my hand held through tricky bits sounds like a good idea. I would love to win the book. X

    • I love having a go to book or resource even now as my brain likes to get fogged up! Was I meant to be understitiching or underpinning and what does that EVEN MEAN??
      :)🙂 Good luck. Winner will be announced this sat xx

  • Wendy Ward says:

    Elle it’s gorgeous thanks for your lovely words 😊 now, can you just whip up another in that same fabric combo for me please??!!!

    • Of course! I just need another trip to america to pick up the fabric….. say you need a dogs body on your world book tour and i’m on it 🙂 So much love for your book and jacket going on here xxxx

  • Sophie says:

    Oh….. I saw a snapshot of the inside of this jacket and loved the fabric instantly. I want it! it’s fab. #sewingenvy

  • Carol (knittycarol on instagram) says:

    Not that keen on the jacket but love the fabric, wouldn’t mind making the dress which is more me.

  • Marta says:

    My favorite is the contrast neon bias, so cute 🙂 and looks very comfy too!

  • Ooh what a perfect spring jacket!

  • marylou24 says:

    Such a lovely jacket! I was hoping you were going to say you’d got that gorgeous fabric from somewhere in the uk, oh well…! @sewmarylou

  • Nici Daniels says:

    You look amazing. The jacket is fabulous. I’m a beginner but would love to try projects like this. You don’t learn unless you try, right? I’m sure Wendy’s book could help me with this!

  • Love your jacket, especially the inside. I’m looking forward to Wendy’s knits book, I have tbe Beginners Guide to Skirts and it’s excellent.

  • Liberty Hall says:

    I love that turquoise binding, what a great jacket. I’d love to make one in black with orange binding.

  • Pecia @mini.adventure says:

    Great jacket Elle! Love your choice fabric and bias xx

  • I love the fabric you chose and the colour of the binding you used on the seams – fabulous! (@archiewonderdog on ig)

  • Pilar says:

    I love everything about your jacket! It’s totally right up my street, sporty but feminine at once! I may pinch it when you are not looking 😉

  • This zip jacket is perfect for the coming warmer months and the fact it takes not as long to make with maximum impact and a brilliant staple item for my wardrobe is of instant appeal to me. Love your fabric choices. I’d make one in a variety of fabrics, colours and contrast bindings to go with most outfits. How cool would that be! I can see them now in my wardrobe!

  • Sam Chandler says:

    This looks great. I am by no means a beginner but get frustrated when patterns don’t include linings or a nice finish such as this on jackets as nothing screams homemade more than when things aren’t finished properly and this seems to be Wendy’s strength as a designer. My wardrobe is lacking a jacket that isn’t my much loved denim for something relatively casual & I especially like the blue sample in the book – I have some wool that colour just waiting to become a zip jacket. Looking forward to her new book ‘Sewing with Knitted Fabric too’.

    • There is nothing worse to me than unfinished seams or a non hard wearing garment! Why would I take all the time to sew something that will fall apart? I hear you! :)🙂 Good luck. Winner will be announced this sat xx

  • Victoria says:

    It looks great! My daughter wore a jumper in pink hearts today-lovely fabric.
    I’ve been looking for a shift dress pattern, so perhaps I should try Wendy’s.
    I love the detail of your blog post-so informative.
    Victoria (Vicky.carrie on instagram)

  • Navneet kaur says:

    I love your jacket Elle. The fabric is perfect. I’ve never made a jacket before so would love to give this pattern a go. Thanks for the giveaway (

    • I thought it would be terrifying but it came together really quick! I am now considering a full on coat! :)🙂 Good luck. Winner will be announced this sat xx

  • Caron says:

    I love this jacket and it will be on my todo list and looking forward to trying the bias seam Portlandcaz

  • Lisa says:

    I adore your jacket and Wendy’s new book is on my wish list as I am not very confident at sewing with knits. Great giveaway 😁

    • Elle@sewpositivity says:

      Can’t wait for the new book! I used to be scared of jersey, but I promise it’s easier than you think. Good luck xx

  • Kirsty says:

    Another gorgeous project as always! I am scared of outer wear too but this project is tempting! Your jacket looks stylish and comfortable totally winning! I would have to make one in mustard yellow I think! @kirstyspeich

  • Robyn says:

    This looks like such a fabulous book. I’m slowing gaining confidence by using the brilliant Tilly Buttons patterns and this looks like it could help me broaden my range a bit.

    • Elle@sewpositivity says:

      I love tilly’s book too! These patterns are definitely more relaxed and different techniques are explored. Good luck xx

  • Charlotte says:

    Your jacket looks great. I like the angled zip, a bit like a biker’s jacket 😉

  • Nicola says:

    Fabulous jacket. Thanks for the giveaway, I have Wendy’s skirt book and love it!

    • Elle@sewpositivity says:

      Have you made any of the skirts? I’m really looking forward to the jersey book. Good luck xx

  • Robyn says:

    I would love to win the book. Just decided to begin making my own clothes (after many years making clothes for others) so my wardrobe NEEDS this book! Love the zip detail and I would forever wear it open to show off the coloured bias, great idea to finish the seams!

    • Elle@sewpositivity says:

      Thank you Robyn. You’re right! Your wardrobe does need this book 🙂 Good luck xx

  • Jools Crory says:

    This is such a lovely jacket! I’ve not been brave enough to sew clothes using quilted knits but I love them for blankets. I might be inspired to take the plunge and just go for it 😍

    • Elle@sewpositivity says:

      It’s so easy to sew with quilted knits…. in fact easier in a way because they layers make it sturdy 🙂 Go for it!!! Good luck xx

  • Naomi Sews says:

    Such a lovely jacket. I’m a definite knit fabrics fan too. I’m not sure I have made anything all winter that wasn’t in a knit. Now I just need some more knit inspiration so that I don’t need to stop into spring and summer!

    • Elle@sewpositivity says:

      HA! Winter is my favorite season just so I can wrap all the jersey over by body 🙂 Good luck xx

  • Hannah Munro says:

    What a fabulous jacket, I need to find time to make this. Fingers crossed for the winning book 🤞🤞

  • Amy says:

    Your jacket looks great Elle – the fabric😍 I’d love to win a copy of Wendy’s book☺️

  • Claire says:

    This book looks like such a good basics builder – just what I need. I could live in those tshirts and I’d love to attempt the jacket.
    Instagram @yellowpurplezebra

    • Elle@sewpositivity says:

      It’s a perfect wardrobe builder and the Jacket sewed together so quickly 🙂 Good luck xx

  • Nicola Garner says:

    I love the jacket. I’d love a copy of Wendy’s book as I need some hand-holding to increase my confidence to start dressmaking. Fingers crossed!

  • corrineappleby says:

    I love your jacket. I would have to blatantly copy it should I be lucky enough to win, especially as I have some quilted Jersey languishing in my stash! I’ve not really looked at this book before because I don’t consider myself to be a beginner either but I love Wendy’s simple style. I reckon this book would be well used!

    • And we would be jacket twins! The book is really great for us seasoned sewists. It’s why I love it so much. :)🙂 Good luck. Winner will be announced this sat xx

  • Elizabeth Connolly says:

    Love your jacket. I need one in my life. Already spotted fabric in Guthrie Ghani. Thanks for inspiration. Please enter me in the draw. Thanks

  • Sairz123 says:

    I love the bias to cover the seams. This book looks lovely – fingers crossed! @sairz123

  • Jayne says:

    Your jacket looks fab!! I’ve seen quite a few of Wendy’s patterns made up in the flesh and keep thinking how lovely they all look. I’m also excited about her upcoming book as I think there will be quite a few patterns I’m looking for there.

    • So excited about the jersey book! I live in jersey. I also keep seeing some lovely skirts from her other book. @rhiannonbrum for instance! . 🙂 Good luck. Winner will be announced this sat xx

  • Masha says:

    I love the fabric you chose for the jacket as well as the binding color! On IG as @itinerantseamstress

    • Elle@sewpositivity says:

      Thank you 🙂 The fabrics have MADE this jacket for me. 🙂 Good luck. Winner will be announced this sat xx

  • A massive thank you to all who entered the competition. The winner has been chosen using a random name generator and it……DRUM ROLLLLL….. Archie The Wonder Dog! Your owner wins a signed copy od The Beginner Guide to dress making to sink their teeth into.

    Although I know the rest of you will be disappointed, fear not! I have another set of giveaways coming up over the next few weeks so don’t forget to stay tuned, sign up and keep sewing till we meet next.

    elle xxx

    Edit: I’ve found out the Beautiful Archie passed away last week. I hope we can all support Archies owner in her time of need and I’m super thankful the book goes to someone who could do with a sewing hug. Waldo sends doggy hugs. xxx

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Follow @Instagram
  • ❤️️ Thank you. To each and everyone of you who supported me positively on my last post. Contrary to belief, I can be incredibly negative and the last month I've been in crisis with my depression over my failing physical health. To read I'm not alone (so much love to those who experience chronic illness), to know my mobility aids won't scare you off and that when I'm low I can read your words and feel comfort.... it means more that I can say. Life saving in fact. Thank you for not turning your back on me. #thisgirlcan ❤️️.
#babewithamobilityaid #disabledandcute #sewingsavesmysoul #chronicallyfabulous
  • I have to admit that I'm very nervous about posting this photo. Today on my blog I'm sharing a personal side to my sewing whilst reviewing @fehrtrade's new book 'sew your own activewear' and looking at adapting patterns for my disability. I have for a long time hidden my walking aids behind the photographer and found it hard  to come to terms with how by body has changed. Although the temptation  to photoshop this image was strong, I have never doctored my pictures because this is my reality and I can't pretend otherwise. I'd really appreciate you popping over to have a read of my LYCRA loving journey. I feel like I've learned so much and hope that you can see that even if you're not a gym bunny, you can still have a bit of @fehrtrade in your life. ❤️️.
Fabric and zips from @stoffstil. Woolly nylon threads from @sewessentialuk. Rad blurple walking frame from the NHS. .
@sewandsouk #sewyourownactivewear #memade #memadeeveryday #isew #sewcialists #sewing #instasew #disabledandcute #imademyclothes #slowfashion #stoffstil #stoffstildiy #sewessential #ehlersdanlossyndrome #thisgirlcan #bodypositive #chronicallyfabulous
  • As I feel that my poor long suffering partner has been lumped with me, this card means an awful lot today. I'm spending v day in hospital getting MRI scans, which to be fair are probably the most expensive v day gift I've ever had. LOVE YOU NHS. .
I hate v day, so sending bitchy supportive vibes to all those who do to. DOWN WITH THIS SORT OF THING! Careful now!
  • Final sneak before my blog post. These coverstitch decorative details have an actual purpose... want to have a guess what it is? .
Also If you overlock/coverstitch you're going to NEED this fluffy nylon thread from @sewessentialuk. It's made a massive difference to my make.
Fabric from @stoffstil ❤️️.
Pattern: @fehrtrade sew your own activewear. #sewyourownactivewear #memade #isew #coverstitch @sewandsouk
  • Sexy sexy details are sexy. Can't quite believe I've made a functioning panel pocket IN  SHINY LYCRA. To think once I couldn't even use jersey and thought you had to interface the whole fabric so you could cut it 🤔 yep. I don't know either 🤗 also, do any of you have to wash *themselves before trying on newly finished garments? Or is that just me... .
Fabrics: all from @stoffstil. Contrast neon thread (more to come on that front) @sewessentialuk. Pattern: from @fehrtrade 'sew your own active wear' ❤️️#sewyourownactivewear @sewandsouk
  • Of course I choose to do my first ever exposed zip on fabric that is pretty much water 👍😂 thanks to @tillybuttons excellent tutorial it went swimmingly 🏊🏻‍♀️.
. sneak peek of my blog post for @fehrtrade new book using fabric and zips from @stoffstil.
#isew #sewingactivewear #stoffstildiy #stoffstil #sewing #sewcialists #exposedzipper @sewandsouk