wardrobe essentials 2023 - the Ilford jacket

Last summer after the Great British Sewing Bee, I was looking for a particular fabric and ended up finding it in an online stop called Stitch & Ink. I signed up for the newsletter to get a 10% discount on my purchase and I have been receiving those ever since. One of the newsletters alerted me to a kit with fabric and the pattern for the Friday Pattern Company Ilford jacket, which I had on my list of things to make at some vague time in the future. The kit was cheap at £35, containing 2.5 metres of a dusty pink cotton twill, the pattern, buttons and thread. It was irresistible. 

Then life got in the way and I forgot about the kit. Until I did some serious tidying in my little beautiful all purpose room at the back of the house. I traced the pattern, washed and cut the fabric. Then I spent a week sewing it, one seam at the time. It came together quickly, an easy project that I think would be suitable for a confident beginner. 

This unisex pattern has several options. I chose a short version with the boxy sleeves. If you use Instagram, you could search for the hashtag #ilfordjacket to see just how many different looks can be created with the pattern. I made hand-warmer pockets because I like big pockets with a "side entrance". I might make Richard a shirt with a cobalt blue linen that I know he would like (but haven't bought yet). 

I decided to bind the seams rather than finishing them with my overlocker. I made bias binding with the fabric that I used to make the keyhole blouse earlier this year. After finishing the shoulder seams with the bias binding, I was already bored with this technique but I had started now so had to see it through. It does look rather nice and I glad I persisted. I am fussy about the insides of my garments and like a neat finish. I made a hanging loop from the same fabric. 

It was £35 well spent. The pattern alone costs £14 and the fabric is a good quality and feels nice and soft. I didn't use the buttons but added them to my button jar, replacing them with metal buttons from the same jar. I didn't like the thread that came with the kit. It is a brand I am not familiar with, Scanfil. It felt a bit stiff, like waxed thread you might use for hand-sewing. There was not enough of it either, which is always annoying. I looked it up online, Scanfil mostly sells organic cotton threads. The thread in the kit was an all purpose polyester, which I couldn't even find on the company's website. The only stockist listed from the UK was Stitch and Ink but the shop hasn't got any threads listed for sale. I had to choose a shade from my own collection and it was not perfect. I am really quite obsessive with matching thread.... I don't think anyone would notice but I know. 

It is of course too cold now to wear the jacket but once the cold spell is over, I'll be sure to rotate it with my shabby mended lightweight padded jacket. I am also planning on making a denim jacket with Cone Mills selvage denim. I haven't had a denim jacket since I was a teenager. 

Thanks for you good wishes for my sebaceous cyst removal. Neither the GP nor I were traumatised and we both agreed we enjoyed the opportunity to chat while he was dissecting the Cadbury Cream Egg sized cyst carefully. It took a while. The stitches are coming out tomorrow, all six of them. 

As always, thank you for visiting 😊


  1. Hi Christina, the jacket looks fabulous and that was a good price for a kit, a bit disapponting that there were bits in that you didn't use but still kits are usually a lot more than that. A pattern that you will use again is a hit. Glad the removal of the cyst went well. Have a good week. x

  2. Your jacket looks good Christina, I enjoy seeing your projects. I'm glad the cyst removal went well, that does sound big! Cysts have been the bain of my life, with breast tissue riddled with them that have been drained frequently for decades. Also 1 in the skin under the breast, twice that filled and needed antibiotics, it was larger than a small cocktail sausage. Thankfully it burst and I was able to ease it out empty... gross.
    If anyone reads my comment about lumps in breasts, please get checked. Mine have all been simply sorted.

  3. Fabulous jacket Glad stitches coming out My drop out ones still at 5weeks lol

  4. Is this Illford connected with the company that makes film or used to? I don’t know if they’re still active.

  5. Love that jacket! The bias binding is such a lovely detail. I'd be tempted to wear it inside out! Good to hear the medical procedure was stress-free. Have a great week.

  6. Your new jacket looks fabulous, Christina, and sure you will enjoy wearing it once warmer weather arrives, which from the blooms you have shown seems sooner than here. Glad to read about the successful cyst removal and the comparison to a Cadbury egg was timed well with the approaching holiday.

  7. What a great jacket Christina. At £35 it seems a bargain for the pattern and materials even if you didn't use all of it. It looks fabulous now with all the details and the binding you added.
    Glad alll went well at the Dr's.

  8. Love your jacket, it looks great. I would not be brave enough to make a jacket for myself in such a light colour I feel sure it would be stained if I looked at it let alone wore it. I do love your detailing it looks wonderful.


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Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment, I love to hear from you, I really do. I sometimes reply by email but I am not all that reliable... Christina xx


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