Deer, Doe and Low: The Pavot Jacket

Please forgive me for what’s probably going to be a very self-depricating post. It starts with some bad feels, a bad haircut, and a recently finished coat that I don’t love at all.

I know, I know, I can hear you saying – “isn’t that the case with almost ALL of the things you’ve sewn recently?” and the answer is, yes. Somehow I’ve gotten myself into a sewing slump, where I’m making mistakes on a few levels – the fabric may not be right, the pattern doesn’t suit me, I try some fancy thing I’m not ready for, or/AND I rush through it, not taking the time to execute the techniques well enough.

As a person, I’m very impatient. I talk fast and expect others to talk fast. I don’t like waiting. And in my sewing, it means I want to wear the item NOW, which has often lead to taking shortcuts (I have many a dress that never received a hem, because I wanted to wear it before it was fully finished and I hate hemming). But recently I’ve come to ask myself: if I’m just rushing through to the finish line, what’s even the point? If the garment fits like RTW and the finishing is worse, why don’t I just buy all my clothes? (I did answer this question when I walked into a shop last week and promptly had to walk out again, because the biggest size they sold was 14. DAMNIT I wanted some high waisted jeans!)

Mr. Guy and I have just done a big move – two days of driving (with a very well behaved cat and dog in the car) has lead us to Rawene, a small town (population 538 – now 540) where I’ll be doing a rural GP run for the next three months. Mr. Guy will be a “kept man”, puppy daddy (yes, we just got a new puppy :D), and do casual electrical work. I’m hoping to take this time to really slow down my sewing, and enjoy each step rather than dreading it (“oh, cutting out/basting/trying on/buttonholes/hemming is my least favourite bit of sewing” – sound familiar?). Plus I’m hours away from any fabric or notions shop (I’ll be using the Made on Marion mail service) so I can’t be crow-like, getting distracted by all sorts of pretty new things.

So – for the jacket (and the haircut. Ugh it is terrible – it’s like a bowl cut on the top and longer flicky bits at the bottom. DON’T TELL ME YOU CAN’T SEE IT/IT’S NOT THAT BAD)


I was pretty keen on the design of this coat when I first saw it, thinking it my ideal style for a coat, with the peter pan collar, a-line skirt and length. And I still do like the design, just not this version of it. It took me ages to find a fabric suitable for it (and actually I think this fabric is a bit too stiff). I stupidly didn’t make a muslin because I knew it would be big enough (are warning bells starting to clang yet) – however, it ended up quite a lot too big.




I know that coats should be a bit big/not form fitting, because they’re often worn over jumpers. However I think, given the general shape of the coat, that the size is unflattering as the waist should really nip in, and there shouldn’t be large caverns in front of my bosom.


I thought I would be a fancy lady and make bound button holes. My sample worked beautifully but unfortunately the interfaced fabric was REALLY stiff, and the button placket actually wasn’t big enough to accommodate them well. Then I got fed up and grumpy and just did machine buttonholes on the facing, which are ugly and don’t line up (the bottom two buttons can’t even do up). I did take the time to bind every seam so the insides look pretty cool!


As you can see in all the photos, I’m not so happy. I think this is the item that made me really think about what I’m doing, and realise that I DO love making my own clothes, and I’m most happy when the items are unique and very well made. So I need to force myself to slow down and take the time to make beautiful clothes that are better than RTW, at least for me.

This coat didn’t even get one wear – I only finished it so I could get it out of my sight (I gave it to Tough Chick but I don’t even think she really wanted it). I actually bought some emerald green wool felt last weekend to make another coat – this one I will muslin, and will likely base off this pattern but use patterns I know fit me well. I want it to be better than the beautiful locally made $400 coats at a local shop (Duncan McLean).


Gah, I hope you all still want to read my blog after all the crappy feels I’ve been putting out there. Does it help to provide a cute photo of our new puppy, Jessie?


This photo is from when we first got her at (8 weeks old, weighing in a 5.4kg). Only two weeks later and she’s already >8kg!


Houndstooth Hollyburn

This skirt has been in the making for a while. I bought the horsehair braid months ago (the first time I ever met Mrs. C, hooray!); the fabric 3 months ago; and made the bulk of the skirt probably 2 months ago. Then it has hung in my “WIP wardrobe” for a month.


The pattern is Sewaholic’s Hollyburn, with the front piece cut on the fold rather than with a seam. I initially made the Hollyburn straight waist band and interfaced with horsehair canvas. Did not sit right at all. So I unpicked that and made a curved waistband (the one I’ve made from my Ginger skirts). Again, did not sit properly – and the side seams didn’t match up at all, which I couldn’t really let slide.


So again, I unpicked all of that, and decided to just go for an elastic waistband. One month later (a week ago) I finally bought the elastic, and only this evening finished the whole thing.


As you can probably see from my face, I’m not totally sold. The elastic is crazy comfortable, and it fits well – a touch tight perhaps, but I’ll never need to actually use the invisible zip I put in. The pockets are comfortable. But I think I’m going to have to take out the horsehair – you can see from the photos that it ripples, meaning I pulled it slighly when sewing the hem down. I also don’t think it quite works with the fabric – I think it needs to be a bit stiffer to look right, or I need to hand-sew it rather than topstitching.



Otherwise I do really like the skirt, and have had a compliment already about the shape and hem, so there. We’ll see if I get around to ripping the hem out and stitching it down like normal.


This picture makes me want to make a million leotards so I don’t get those stupid lines on my bum from my tshirt/singlet showing through. Leotards with crotch snaps like when we did ballet as kids.