I can make a tailored jacket in a week!

Though I don't recommend it.......to ANYONE!

Don't we look like some steampunk crime fighting syndicate?

The Tweed Pub Crawl was a hit! We all looked rather fetching and got a lot of stares. There were about twelve of us at any one time. It so happened the crawl was the same night of the LA Art Walk, which happens monthly, so we were in a sea of hipsters and getting a lot of looks and smiles and compliments. It was fun.

The crawl got to me early though. I only went to 3 bars, but the crawl ended at 4. I wanted to Ginness it all night, but the first two bars only had it in bottles (A SIN I TELL YOU!) and not on draft. At the third bar, I got a cocktail and there as I was looking to my right. Ginness on draft! *$#%!!!! The cocktail was good (I had a Sazerac).

But back to the jacket.

As I was finishing it yesterday and working on the button holes, I decided to change it up a bit and do worked button holes.

Now, that's just button holes by hand, but I used cotton embroidery thread for decoration. Because the tweed was a bit loose, I machine made the button holes for reinforcement first, then used the colored thread.

Each button hole is different. I wanted to mimic the flecks in the tweed, so I used about 5 strands of thread at one time.

They went fairly fast and now I don't have to worry about the button holes getting raveled or worn as quickly. I did a thread shank for the buttons and all was good in the world.

I'm quite proud of the jacket, and for my first time, despite some minor things I would change (The sleeves are a bit long on purpose, I hate cold wrists), I'm very happy with the fit. It will make a great everyday LA winter jacket. Its warm, small, and close fitted. I know it's nowhere near professional, and a pro would probably laugh at my effort, but I'm very pleased with this process and when I get my brain out of scrambled egg mode, I might make another one way, WAY down the line. :)

The book I used as a guide was quite helpful, but knowing that I like to make sure I do stuff right, I looked in a few of my resources.

My Du Barry sewing book was one, that's where I took the worked button hole idea from. I also looked in my big and VERY useful sewing book. This puppy has a nice section on coat making.

Also...after I finished the coat, I looked to my leftover tweed and thought, "Do I have enough time to whip up a hat? Alright, Ill just sew for three hours, and if it's finished, its finished."

Finished it.

Hat was a HUGE hit. One lady almost ripped it off my head! Just made it from my trusted altered beret pattern. Quick and easy. You have no idea how hard it was NOT to make this thing two-tone! I had to constantly NOT do it! It's a sickness I tell you, a lovely, lovely sickness.

So that's my tailoring adventure. I plan to have more final pictures of the jacket and hat on NVL in a day or so.

I sincerely appreciate everyone on the words of encouragement and such during this crazy never attempt again in a week process.

Do any of you have any questions about my process?
I'll answer them in another post.


  1. Shelley, you are a human dynamo! The jacket (and hat) turned out fantastic. I love your choice of different coloured thread for the buttonholes.
    I'm glad you had a good time at the pub crawl, wish I could have been there.

  2. Congratulation! Awesome jacket and the hat is wonderful.

  3. All right, this is where I come out of the woodwork and admit that I'm a pro (as in, been in business making clothes for others since 1997, been doing serious tailoring-zoot suits, etc- since 2006. Your jacket turned out fabulous. You look nice, and it sounds like you had a good time on the pub crawl. They need to have neat themed crawls out East here, darnit!

    I need to check your etsy, but please, please tell me that beret pattern from which you made that OMG NIFTY hat is available for the rest of us to emulate your awesomeness. :)


  4. Wow! I'm so impressed, that jacket would be an accomplishment if you took two months to make it but to finish in a week?? Amazing! It looks wonderful, and I love the matching hat!

  5. It looks great!! I cannot believe you finished it in one week.

  6. YOU LOOK GORGEOUS! Happy that you got noticed for all the effort you put forth, always makes a girl feel good, giggle, giggle... and the hat is to die for! Looking forward to your next challenge.

  7. Wow, that is some speedy and talented sewing. You're amazing! I have to draft/sew a fitted norfolk jacket for a plus-size friend and any tips would be appreciated.

  8. How fantastic, I've been watching and I have to admire your chutzpah. That's no mean feat, I love "extreme sewing" myself. Good work, looks great. I think I'll have to start organizing events like this where I live, so I have a reason to make cool stuff.

  9. the ensemble looks great on you!

  10. You look great!!! And I love your hat too! The complete look is lovely. Congratulations :-)
    I wonder If I could make a hat like taht but I´m afraid the weather is more likely to knit a big woolhat...
    Greetings from stromy Berlin, Catherine

  11. Truly an amazing effort and you look wonderful. I absolutely adore the hat- very natty indeed!

  12. Woooh! It looks fantastic and I absolutely love it with the beret cap! The button-hole detail is so cute! And the tweed goes so well with the blue of your dress/ skirt (?). Fabulous look, dear. Hard work but absolutely worth it!

  13. You look amazing! Great lipstick color, too. The jacket is awesome and I can see why someone wanted to snag your beret. Kudos on a job well done.

  14. Wow, that turned out fantastic. I can't believe that you finished that in just one week. Congratulations on being able to stick with your sewing plan!

  15. You're a rockstar! Way to be.

  16. Nice job! And the hat is great - is is fun or frustrating that the easy part gets the most compliments? :)

  17. Oh my gosh - you look fabulous! And that hat is perfect!

    But my favorite part are those buttonholes with a different colored thread on each! What a way to finish it off! (So many exclamation points, but I couldn't help myself. :-)

  18. Wow thanks everyone! I'm so glad you all like the work.
    Im never making a jacket in a week ever again, ever. EVER.

    -Beth, it's always the simple things that get the most attention. Thats life, right? :)

  19. It's lovely and the hat really makes the look. I'm amazed on what you did in 7 days and I know I would never pull such thing off.

  20. Huge success! Your new jacket is wonderful. I hope you enjoy it for many years to come!

  21. You're my sewing hero! It took me over a month to tailor a coat.

  22. Your jacket is fabulous! It was fun following your progress, too.

    I love your garment illustrations, btw! They are so fun :)

  23. Doing all the buttonholes in a different color is a great idea! Beautiful.


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