What seems like many weeks ago Lara emailed me and asked if I’d like to make her Menthe Jacket and participate in a blog tour about it. I said yes, although I felt some trepidation as the instructional videos were all in Spanish! How hard could it be though?!
I checked out the pattern drawings and liked the lines very much, especially the princess seams, with the integrated pockets and the back sleeves.
Then the hunt began for suitable fabric. I was determined not to buy any, and eventually found this pure wool upholstery fabric that I had obtained free at Remida, our local recycling centre. The fabric was in three pieces and I wasn’t sure that I had enough, but some finagling later and I had it cut out.
The jacket is supposed to be lined, but I couldn’t find anything in my stash that I wanted to line this with, given that it would show in various places, so I decided to treat this as a wearable toile and forego the lining.
The fabric frayed dreadfully so I bound all the seams with binding made from a couple of Mark’s old work silk ties. I thought this one would be perfect.
Unfortunately one tie wasn’t enough, so a second tie was sacrificed.
The making of the jacket wasn’t too difficult, I looked at the videos here and there and even understood a couple of words, did some head scratching, and I got the job done. I made a size 40 but I think the 42 would have given me just a bit more room to wear a jumper underneath. However, I think this is supposed to be a fitted jacket so I didn’t stress too much.
Then came the question of how to finish the edges and my lovely friend Sarah from Pattern Union suggested that I roll them and blanket stitch them. Great idea! I rummaged in the thread drawer and then decided that if I drew threads from the scrap fabric and used them, the match would be perfect! The gold looked nicer than the blue so that’s what I used. This was a lovely thing to do whilst watching tv in the evening, and it took four evenings to finish the various edges.
I tested a variety of buttonholes and decided that they might not stand up to much wear and tear, so I made these little rolled bundles, frayed the edges, and bound them tightly with the drawn gold threads. I sewed them on at what I hoped was a jaunty angle and then sewed on silk covered snaps underneath.
This photo shows the snaps, and also my silk tie bias binding. Also my unpressed top!
Getting photos of me in this jacket was extremely problematic as it’s been so hot and I had no desire to stand around in a wool jacket and coordinating clothes! However, I finally suffered for my art and got these photos, although I’m still considering what to style the jacket with once the cooler weather makes an appearance.
The pockets are really lovely but I feel that they distort the lines of the jacket when I stick my hands in them, hence the hands on hips pose in other photos.
The sleeves are supposed to be turned back into cuffs, but I couldn’t quite work out how they went and the sleeves finished up too short when I folded them back, so I’ve left them turned down. I don’t mind this look at all. The photo below shows one of them turned back. I think they are supposed to be buttoned but I couldn’t find the instructions. I’m not very good at watching videos I’ve decided.
The obligatory back view. It took a lot of pressing and clapping to get the seams to sit flat. There’s quite a lot of precision sewing required in this jacket, with seamlines converging.
I think I’ll tweak the seams a little bit if I make the jacket again. It’s easy to adjust the fit as there are princess seams front and back and the raglan sleeves are in two pieces.
I really enjoyed making the jacket and it was fun to interpret the Spanish. Relax though, Lara is releasing English instructions.