Tello Jacket challenge

When I caught up with my friend Hélène in New York she asked me if I would participate in an international challenge with Suzy from @sewinginspain. The challenge was to make the Pauline Alice Tello Jacket which sounded easy, except that I was going to have six days at home between trips and I would probably be battling jetlag. But how could I refuse the lovely Hélène? Challenge accepted!

I didn’t have the pattern ready, so I had to print and tape, and oh yes, my machines were being serviced and had to be collected, so now I was down to five days! I also had no idea what fabric to use, so I trawled through my stash, keeping in mind the style of jacket, choosing and rejecting. The description of the Tello jacket is as follows:  “a classic utility jacket, unlined and with many pockets. It features a topstitched collar, one-piece sleeves with dart, one vertical zipped chest pocket with lined interior and one patch pocket, large hip pockets and six button closures.” and then I found this funny jungle green cotton drill from Spotlight, which I suspect I bought about five years ago and which seemed to fit the brief of utility jacket. I didn’t have a green zip so went with a brown one and had a lovely time choosing the buttons, which are from my vintage collection. Every component of this jacket came from my stash.


I had some bias binding I made previously from a recycled dress that I didn’t like, so used it to bind all the seams, and used a piece of plain grey cotton for the zipped pocket lining.


In spite of my panic, the jacket came together really quickly and I was done within a couple of days.  I packed it for my trip to Tasmania where it has proven to be the perfect layering piece.

I wore it several times, including a visit to Cataract Gorge in Launceston.


The back view as I bravely look over the fence.


This jacket has pockets for every occasion and I struggled to keep my hands out of them!


This is a lovely jacket to wear out and about, and I wore it to the gorgeous Arthur’s Circle in Battery Point.


Finally, for the challenge Hélène and Suzy suggested that we create fun photos and synchronise our IG posts across our various timezones. The synchronisation was easy, but I’d already taken my photos and they were really boring. I engaged Mark’s help and before I knew where I was in high heels with various props making a spectacle of myself in front of passersby. Mark produced a bicycle built by Archie which was many sizes too big for me – I couldn’t reach the pedals from the seat.


then he dragged the rocking horse out of the house, complete with my riding crop, and there I sat in my utility jacket doing utility sorts of things. It was all a bit of a laugh really. IMG_2629

In spite of the fact that I really like this jacket, I was treating it as a bit of a wearable toile and I think I will reduce the width of the shoulders for the next one. I do have some lovely winter fabric for another one, and I’m already looking forward to making it.



33 thoughts on “Tello Jacket challenge

  1. I really love this jacket!!! All the components from your stash built a great little jacket that you’ve shown easily goes everywhere well. And those pictures!!! Isn’t it fun how the ‘taking of pictures for the blog’ creates a wonderful time in and of itself. (With the exception of a very high bar on a bicycle?!!!!!) I want to make this jacket now!!!! P.S. Thank you again for sharing your gorgeous travel photos. Gorgeous scenery!

    1. I totally agree about the blog photos. I am constantly thinking about what might be good and it was such fun to do the bike and rocking horse photos. I might need to do fun photos more often!

  2. Beautiful photos, both in Tasmania and in Perth, where Mark was clearly inspired! Now, this challenge was just too easy for you despite your very tight schedule between two flights. Suzy and I knew you would nail it and I remember you even finished yours before us, speedy Sue! But how fun and exciting was it to exchange e-mails, ideas, tips and everything. I agree that this is a perfect little pattern for a utility jacket and I also plan to make one for our summer when you make yours for winter xx

    1. It was such a fun challenge Hélène and I think we need another one soon! I love this jacket and can imagine that I’m going to be wearing it a lot as the weather cools down. I so enjoyed all the planning in the collaboration, so thank you so much for including me. xxx

  3. the jacket looks fantastic, perfect fabric and color for a wear with everything casual jacket

    1. Thank you Abbey. I think this will be a really useful jacket and I’m looking forward to cooler weather so I can wear it constantly.

  4. What a great post and I’m glad the jacket has proved so useful. I visualise mine for travelling too. Your photos are amazing…that gorge! Glad to see Mark enters into the spirit of things…Westy is usually unenthusiastic about photos, but he got quite excited about the chainsaw one. We will have to do another little challenge together, maybe in the autumn.
    Suzy xxxx

  5. It’s always good when you get an unexpected winner lie this – and well done getting it made in short order 👏😀

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