This little jacket was inspired by a girls’ dress we saw while flipping through a costume history book one evening. We loved the dropped waist and the sailor-esque collar with the side front closure. But when it came time to design our own coat, Melody and I agreed: it needed a few more elements to spice it up.
The answer? Work in another fabric from the collection. Melody suggested using the wool from the Adelaide coat to make a contrasting placket for the buttons — and, when we found these gorgeous Czech glass buttons, we knew they’d be perfect. Then I took it a step further and suggested a patchwork panel down the back.
We decided on a simple scheme: two sizes of squares, ‘en pointe’. We made the centers out of the wool, then filled in the design with corduroy squares; we rotated them 90 degrees one way or the other for a little extra interest. You can see the light playing off the rotated squares, thanks to the differing nap orientation.
Once we’d built the patchwork back, we continued with the rest of the jacket. When we got to the placket, however, we decided to not make traditional buttonholes. After all, we wanted seven buttons on each jacket! A more elegant solution? Seam two slender pieces of wool together, leaving slits for the buttons to pass through. I was quite pleased by how well it works!
Then, for good measure, we decided to hand understitch the collar. Understitching catches the lining and the seam allowance — but not the fashion fabric — to keep the lining from rolling to the outside. And, since I’d recently read about using embroidery stitches as understitching, I couldn’t wait to give it a try. It’s a subtle but luxurious touch, and well worth the extra effort.