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.
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.