Reversible Sydney jacket

In addition to my red raincoat, I decided that I wanted to take a regular coat on my travels with me, and I wanted to make it from fabric in my stash. I had some ponte in various colours and settled on black or ivory as both colours are really useful in the winter. But which colour to choose? OK, I wanted both, so a reversible coat was a no-brainer. Then came the pattern decision, and the Tessuti Sydney Jacket won the day.

Here is my coat being modelled outside Christ Church College in Oxford.


This coat is warm, comfortable, doesn’t crease, and is washable. Here it is in the Christ Church quadrangle.8deafa63-8f10-4ac5-82ea-ff49eb4cdc84

The Sydney jacket is an open coat, but I wanted something I could fasten. I made it before and fastened it with a clasp, but because this is reversible, I needed something more flexible. I decided to use some lovely snaps that I bought in Iceland.  be68b7a4-43e5-4b67-a226-68236f14dff4

I am sure that these are readily available everywhere, but I have never seen them before or since. They are perfect for this coat, and I have tucked them in under the collar so they are not at all visible. This building is the Radcliffe Camera which is a science library designed by James Gibbs in neo-classical style and built in 1737–1749b0c07c06-7084-4dd1-97b0-39ec1f4d88ef

A sort of back view, still in the grounds of Christ Church College.


There is a Harry Potter trail at Oxford, and we didn’t realise it, but we went to a few of the most famous locations. This is the great hall, which they used as inspiration for the Hogwarts dining hall.


I am gazing in wonder at portraits, but also some amazing stained glass. The window below depicts Alice in Wonderland (Lewis Carroll was a graduate of Christ Church). Can you see Alice and Charles Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll)? Can you see all the characters in the book at the bottom of the window? I thought this was extraordinary.


There is a door at Oxford which inspired Narnia, but sadly it was hidden by builders. I was so disappointed. However, this gorgeous staircase features in the Harry Potter film. How wonderful is that vaulted ceiling?


And the white side of the coat do I hear you ask? Well, I wore it for yet another visit to Blenheim Palace, and teamed with a cloche style hat, giving it a slightly 1920s air (or does it give it a slightly daggy air??)


I am posing in front of the Victory Column erected by Queen Anne in 1705 in honour of the 1st Duke of Marlborough.

All I did to make this coat reversible was to sew two coats and then sew them together. The issue is with the raw edges and keeping both sides level. I pondered this for a while as I am not the cleanest cutter, so I took the needles out of my overlocker and used the cutting blade to go round the whole coat, thereby creating the cleanest edge I could. It also had the effect of making both sides very level.

And a slightly closer view with the bridge in the background as the sun sets through it. I love that bridge! A bit of trivia: the bridge has 30 rooms in it, but Capability Brown flooded the lower levels to make the Great Lake even greater!


A side note on this coat – I can fit a lot of clothes under it, which is useful as it’s getting pretty chilly here, and I have gloves stuffed in the pockets, hence those bulges (they’re not me, I promise!)

And just to finish this post, I thought I’d put up a couple of photos of the grounds at Blenheim Palace; the light was lovely and created some beautiful photos.



And finally, Blenheim being dressed up for Christmas.4b5fa910-7504-4090-8328-5e242b83fe06

Note: both ponte fabrics were from Knitwit. I am wearing black ponte Stylearc Elle pants, fabric also from Knitwit.


30 thoughts on “Reversible Sydney jacket

  1. I am traveling with you in spirit- hope to take GD’s to Scotland to see where my Grandparents lived before they came to US & started their family. Both girls are big Harry Potter fans and have been researching sites we must see! Your coat is gorgeous, by the way!!

  2. You look very stylish . I have just been to Oxford too with my son and the highlight for us was a visit tonthe Bodlian library . Totally wonderful .next time I would like to go there for a few days and just mosey about all their wonderful museums. .your cot looks great . I am quite inspired . Are you saying that the raw edges are to the outside and that you used you unthreaded overlocker to cut the simultaneously ? Mem

    1. Oh, the Bodlian, yes! Yes, the edges are all raw and the blade of the overlocker cuts them really evenly (unthreaded). So much easier than using a rotary cutter.

  3. Lovely coat, Sue. You look very warm and comfy. How I envy you being in England. I was there last year, (one of many visits there) and I never tire of it. I’m sure I was born in the wrong country. 🙂

  4. What an enjoyable post. Your jacket looks gorgeous and the idea to cut the edges with the overlocker was inspired. My parents lived and went to college in Alnwick Castle, which is where most of Harry Potter was filmed. It’s an amazing place.

  5. What a great way to show some of your makes while your traveling. Two stories in one. Oxford and Blenheim are amazing places to visit. So much history and well preserved. Mark is doing a wonderfulp job as photographer.

  6. I love that coat, and have picked up some great tips in this post – thanks for sharing Sue!
    Blenheim is unbearably gorgeous when dressed up for Christmas. They had the busts wrapped in exotic looking fabric turbans with fabulous brooches when I was there. I am very envious of your travels and need to revisit some of these places.

    1. Thanks Kim. There is a very modern art installation on in the Palace at the moment, which isn’t to my taste, but it doesn’t really detract. Every day we’ve gone has seen an increase in the “Christmasification” of the palace. Gorgeous!

  7. Great idea to make your coat reversible…the two layers making it extra warm too. Such a great solution to use your overlocker blades to neaten the raw edges. I must remember this tip. Enjoying your holiday photos too.

  8. I love the reversible idea. Perfect for travelling and definitely ideal for the sort of weather we’re having at the moment. Enjoy your trip to England x

  9. Great jacket Sue. Love this being reversible. It gives you two coats in one! It means you pack only one coat and you still get to have a different look throughout you travel pix. Love the backgrounds too.

  10. Thanks for sharing all of this, the beautiful coat, the pictures and stories! It really looks like you’re having a great holiday, in a a great coat I might add. What a great idea to nake it reversible!

  11. Your coat is so chic, what a terrific idea to make it reversible! It looks lovely both ways. And thank you for sharing your holiday pictures too, such stunningly beautiful buildings, I’ve always wanted to visit England, one day I hope 🙂

  12. Love your coat and what a clever way to keep it closed.

    Thank you for sharing your holiday photos, the countryside and building are lovely to see.

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