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 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 😊