In another life Max used to travel to Hong Kong and China on business and on the last occasion he bought me back some silk. "I thought you could make a nice jacket on that sewing machine of yours. It needs an outing."
Well, it needed an outing because, apart from the odd curtain and a bit of mending (only when urgent) I didn't sew. I never had the patience for it and just didn't "get it".
When I started my upholstery business that obviously had to change. Cushions, piped and zipped, became a simple job that could be done in my sleep if necessary. Lavender bags were made in a trice for the occasional Christmas Fair. I changed a zip on my old jacket (not sure why as the jacket died soon after). And so it went on. My sewing machine, now 30 years old, became a useful object that I was able to enjoy, rather than something I was suspicious of. But I still didn't dare to "run up a jacket" made from gorgeous Chinese silk.
Then things changed, rather suddenly. A student in the autumn made me realise that if I could stitch a straight line and follow instructions designed to help beginners, then I could sew clothes. In addition she offered to draw a pattern for me of my favourite jacket so that I could copy it. Another friend was off to Thailand and offered to bring some silk. I was inspired.
Before the pattern arrived though I rediscovered the original Chinese silk. I found an old pattern for a tailored jacket and I set to. This is the result. It is fully lined and about an inch too big around the waist. However, it is big enough across my shoulders which is always a problem for me. It doesn't look great over jeans but heck, it is FANTASTIC!
For my second project (!) I am working on the re-drawn pattern. I've chosen some rather fun fabric for the first one so that I can get it really perfect for the Thai silk. We've been invited to two weddings in the early summer and I can't wait!
The frogging came from Crafts eshop and are beautifully made. They arrived almost before I had finished paying for them - talk about good service.
The next jacket will be posted as soon as I have figured out a small problem around the arms. Watch this space!