All Zipped Up


Don’t cha wish your jacket was cool like mine! Only kidding! I’m sure you all have very stylish and beautiful jackets of your own, before this make however I did not. In Ireland we have two types of seasons, rain in the dark and wind with sun. Occasionally it can be just sun, but not often. To accommodate for this most people have a few different types of coats or jackets. Last year I made a coat for the prior season, however it is wool and once the sun starts to come, it’s far too warm. So then I move out the beautiful grandfather coat, to be replaced with my hideous anorak. It’s good for the rain as I rarely have an umbrella with me, but it just doesn’t have any other good features. It makes me dread summer cold and I hate carrying it around, as I glare at those who have those beautiful, stylish jackets that work with everything… So this was born!


Of course I knew from the ‘get-go’ I wanted something quite simple, lightly tailored (semi-fitted) and something using this gorgeous wool I got in Paris. I even put together a little bit of inspiration. In the end however I saw some biker style jackets, and decided I wanted a zip. And so I finalised a design! Making that design was another story. I spent three days making the pattern fit perfectly, but I’m glad I spent the extra time.


The jacket now, quite literally, fits me like a glove, with just enough extra room to sneak a jumper underneath! I already mentioned how I had bought the brown wool in Paris, the black wool was purchase from my ever faithful Murphey Sheehy’s! It was another one of my lots from my work experience there. A good thing about working there is that you get to discover the little treasures hidden in the shop. The week I was there was just after their Christmas rush so I got to help roll and organise the fabrics, so I got to see most of the fabric in stock, I saw this and had to buy it. The lining is also a cute liberty print from Murphey Sheehy’s as well, and the sleeves are lined from the leftover lining of my coat. The trickiest thing to source in this jacket however was the zips. The zip selection was ok, and since I live on an island shipping can get very pricey very fast. My first stop was Cloth Shop, or rather my only stop! I got the pocket zips there and an open-ended black one that turned out to be too long. I was distraught, the whole look of the jacket depended on the front zip, It simply couldn’t be too long or too short. I looked in a ‘sewing’ homewares shop to find they only had horrible plastic ones. I was heading to my nana’s so there was no time left for zip hunting.


My nana, being sewing savvy understood my dilemma. She miraculously took me up to the attic, where we proceeded to hunt for a bag of zips. Once found, I looked inside. I felt like crying because there was the perfect zip, in colour, length and style, not only that but there were many of there, spares as I liked to call them! Other fun attic finds included my mum’s graphic design portfolio and my aunties fashion portfolio and college work! I also got a cute liberty remnant and some stunning cotton lace, and you know my obsession with lace! A fun day!


The pockets are one of the more interesting features of the jacket. How did I insert them with no seams, with careful sewing, cutting and guidance from my teacher. The rest was plain sailing. Overall I’m super happy with my new jacket, a bit of French chic with some Scandinavian minimalism! Or at least that’s how I think of it!


Well now I’m off to stroll in my new jacket!



  1. crab&bee · June 24, 2013

    Wow! Your jacket looks beautifully and thoughtfully made. The design is really cool, I can’t wait to read more about how you did it.

    • bluesewncat · June 24, 2013

      I wasn’t thinking of doing a post on how I made but I can go into more detail on some of the finer pieces of the make. Thanks so much for commenting on the design as that was my main goal in making this!

  2. kathryn · July 3, 2013

    This is gorgeous, and so stylish! I always found it a problem when I lived back in Scotland as well – what to wear in the summer – here in London I definitely get more wear out of light summer blazers than I ever would back home! I love your combination of the two wools and am so impressed that you designed this yourself.

    • bluesewncat · July 4, 2013

      Thank you, I wanted to try a more interesting design, glad it paid off. Yep Ireland’s weather is really temperamental, I could be wearing this with shorts or jeans depending on the day!

  3. Rachel W. · August 2, 2013

    Ooh, this jacket looks so sharp! I’m just starting to learn some patternmaking, and while I’m ridiculously ignorant, I have a vague idea of how much patterning and careful sewing this must’ve taken. It’s really impressive!

    It would be lovely to hear more about how you worked up the design and pattern, should you make something like this again: a wool zip-up for an Irish summer sounds like the perfect winter jacket for my Florida home! 🙂

    • bluesewncat · August 2, 2013

      Thanks you! I’m trying to work on a more in depth post but I’ve only been pattern drafting for a year so I won’t have tons about the actual pattern, I made this off my suiting block and then made a few small adjustments such as adding a few centimetres to the sides and making it asymmetric. I’ll have something soon, thanks for showing so much interest!

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