A fleece alternative

I’ve been away on a Fibres West retreat and a couple of days before I left I decided I needed some jackets that weren’t fleece. I had a small wool remnant  in my stash and made the Itch-to-Stitch Lisbon cardigan but wanted to hack it like this one.



I was thrilled that a zip I bought in a closing down sale in Montréal proved to be absolutely perfect. It’s plastic but painted to look like metal.

I was in the throes of making this jacket when Sarah, my patternmaking teacher, came by for a coffee. I’m a terrible person and asked her advice about the collar and before I knew where I was we were making it, and she even did some of the unpicking, which seems to be an ongoing feature of my sewing! I think this goes above and beyond the call of teaching…


Anyway, I managed to get it finished in time and even grabbed some photos before I left.


I had finished the whole thing, tried it on and then realised that there were no pockets. It just didn’t occur to me until my hands went looking. So the side seams were opened, and a single layer of pocket inserted and sewn to the front. With the coverstitch, of course!

The zip veers off to one side so that the collar becomes asymmetrical when the zip is done up fully.


The massive collar means that my neck and ears stay warm.


The jacket is very fitted so that it keeps me really warm. I duly took it off to Muresk, which is a really cold place, and it totally did its job. Here I am looking sartorially elegant hanging out near the dye pots. IMG_5096

Please note the handcrafted name tag. This is the best I can do – a bit of electrical wire bent into shape and glued onto card. All of this is from REmida, our local recycling centre.

And here with my head in the pot checking on my stuff. IMG_5093 2

I am really pleased to have a wool jacket that functions like a fleece. I did try to finish a second jacket before the week away, but just couldn’t quite finish it.

The wool is from Knitwit and they still had some today if anyone local wants to get some.


36 thoughts on “A fleece alternative

  1. Great jacket, you are brave to wear it near a dye pot! The seam ripper is needed a lot when I sew,

  2. Such a great make! I love the collar and so clever to add the pockets! Looks really really cosy! Though I can’t imagine that it gets so cold even in winter down under.

  3. I am glad you found such a brilliant way to use this zip bought in Montreal! Your fleece jacket really looks fantastic on you, and so do your leggings. Cool outfit ✌️

    1. Thanks Hélène, I still think that zip was ridiculously cheap and it’s really nice. We have nothing like that on the shops here.

  4. Fantastic jacket! Hard to believe the pockets were after thoughts as they figure so prominent in the front design detail. Looks fun to wear yet oh-so-chic. 🙂

  5. What a beautiful fabric! So sad I live so far awqy, otherwise I would try to get my hands on a few meters of it! I really like how you’ve hacked this pattern and every time I see another version, I want to give it a try too.

    1. Yes, it’s great fabric but I’m sure you could find it somewhere near you. The Lisbon is a terrific pattern and I reckon you would do something really creative with it.

  6. Such a gorgeous jacket Sue and it was so lovely to meet you at Muresk. I can’t decide though if I’m envious of your beautiful hand sewn garments or your experiences with the dye pot!

    1. It was totally lovely to meet with you too Frances. Such a small world! I have been having a blast with the dye pot since I got home. More on that soon!

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