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Donegal tweed jacket

moira | Posted in Gather For A Chat on

I’ve been enjoying Rodezzy’s jacket making on another thread, especially as just last night a long-time friend brought me two lengths of beautiful Donegal tweed which she’d had in a cupboard for years. I think they will be very suitable for coats/jackets and as this is a garment I need for myself, I love the idea of finding a really nice pattern. The tweeds are in neutral colours, so classy and not about to stand out in a crowd. Any ideas for what I could do to give them a bit of life and interest, while still keeping the original character? What I want is a car-coat, easy to wear and definitely not double breasted as I’d often not button it up, and then I think the extra frontage looks untidy. Also, I’m just 5ft 3in tall, and heavyish on top.

Edited 9/20/2008 7:34 pm ET by moira


  1. katina | | #1

    Would the Soho Coat work? The reverse of the fabric shows, and tweed is good for this. But unlined it might be scratchy...?


    1. KharminJ | | #2

      Wow! and Wow! again ~ I want to make that coat!


      Moira - the yardage reqs is "below the fold" on that page.

      Looks like it could easily be lined by a creative seamster - pretend your lining is an interlining, before you add the self-fabric binding.



      1. katina | | #3

        Hi Kharmin

        Yes, it's a great pattern, and your lining idea's good.  Like me, Moira would have to shorten it quite a bit though. That's the sewing downside of being short; on the other hand we do save on fabric!


  2. rodezzy | | #4

    My first thought was a kimono jacket, as it usually does not have any fasteners in the front.  You can, however, add loops on the right side edge and the buttons on the other for a closure when you want it closed.  They flatter any shape and size person.  The clean lines of a kimono jacket (a full back piece, full front pieces and one piece sleeves) lets the fabric shine through.  That's why I chose it for the embroidered fabric I had.  The fabric was the show piece, not the pattern. 

    I've also looked around and found this coat pattern for you.  It has pretty clean lines, that I think would look good closed or open.  This is a McCalls M5718.  Would the collar be too high? 

    View Image

    On Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Vogue Patterns will be $3.99 and McCalls will be $1.99.  There's two Vogue coat patterns that I am going to get by Sandra Betzina.  V1060 and V1024. 

    View ImageView Image

    I just remembered the "Bog Coat" which was referenced some time ago here on Gatherings.  It's a good coat pattern for showcasing your fabric.  And it is very versatile, you can change to any length.  I don't know if you like things very fitted or loose.  That will help determine you coat pattern also.   http://home.nycap.rr.com/nancyschlegel/bog-coat.html

    1. moira | | #5

      You know, that jacket is a lovely shape, though I think I'd wear the collar down to prevent the itch! I'm a fairly plain kind of person so that idea appeals more than the bog coat which is a bit too trendy for me! Thanks for your interest. I'm looking forward to this project though I'll take my time about starting, just so I'm sure where I'm heading.

      Edited 9/22/2008 3:36 pm ET by moira

      1. rodezzy | | #6

        I believe you didn't understood my post.  I did not send a picture of the kimono coat.  The red coat in the picture is not a Kimono style coat.  It is a McCalls pattern that I copied to show another style I thought you might like. 

        Simplicity Pattern 4552 is the pattern for the picture below that I used for my kimono coat in corduroy.  I picked it for the shape of the jacket.  If you look at the fabric suggestions on the back of a pattern envelope, you can use fabrics that are not shown in the picture. 

        Also, when you learn the drape of a fabric, you can use fabrics that may not be mentioned in the fabrics list.  Just because they didn't mention the fabric, doesn't mean that you can't use the fabric that you want to use.  The corduroy that I used in my embroidered jacket is a very soft and drapey corduroy fabric.  The cords are very thin.  A thicker corduroy fabric would have been too stiff. 

        View Image


        You can make the "Bog Coat" (not pictured here) in only one fabric, it's the shape that I was trying to emphasize.  Not the colors or combination of fabrics seen in the pictures.  If you look for the structure of the pattern in the bog coat, it is a very simple, clean lined pattern.  You must look at the outline of the pattern, not the pictures of finished coats to get the idea of how it will fit your needs. 

        After I see a pattern I may like, the second thing I look at is the line drawing on the pattern envelope, which shows the structure of the garment.  That is more important than the picture.  That is how I determine if I want to use it or not.  The number of pieces in the construction of the garment.  Your question to yourself is then:  Does the construction of the garment take away from the fabric design?  How do I want to showcase the fabric in this garment?  You also use that line drawing to help decide how it will look on you.    I have narrow shoulders and raglan sleeves tend to look better on me.  Or drop-shoulder construction.  More tailored sleeve constructions I will have to alter in the pattern.  Etc...

        I'm going to be very excited to see what pattern you choose and can you send a picture of the fabric?

        Edited 9/22/2008 2:06 pm ET by rodezzy

        Edited 9/22/2008 2:08 pm ET by rodezzy

        Edited 9/22/2008 2:08 pm ET by rodezzy

        1. moira | | #8

          I'm hoping I've successfully attached pics of the tweeds. The brown with the stripe is the one I think I'll use first, as it's more in line with my colouring. I think on reflection that the stripes would lend themselves to some creative seaming. More food for thought. . .Rodezzy, sorry I misunderstood your last post - I should of course have realised the photo wasn't a kimono style! But I did like that shape. I have a short holiday coming up so will have to put this on hold for a little while - though that's not to stop your input! I do plan to have this as an early winter project, among all the bridal work I have to do for other people. It will be my treat.

          1. rodezzy | | #10

            Very pretty fabric.  It should make a beautiful car coat.  The one with the obvious stripes will take a little more consideration for matching stripes (meaning more yardage if the pattern calls for exactly what you have in yardage you may have to consider another pattern.  Good luck with the project. 

            I understand what you mean about not being able to start now.  Most of our projects are in their conception right now, and will get done much later.  That's the creative process at work.  You are excited and doing well to give consideration as to what the final garment may eventually be.  Who knows, it may turn out to be a full length coat, a even a suit.  giggle.  That's the freedom of being able to create something from something else.  You are conceptional artist, fabric manipulator, design director, finisher and stylist all wrapped up in one.  It's an exciting process actually.  No matter what creative medium you take on.  Gathering your materials, tools and equipment together to create something all your own.  It's a wonderful thing! 

          2. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #11

            You Lucky Lady! Nice Fabric, Good thing the computer screen is upright or I would be drooling all over it! tee hee. I would have a hard time deciding what to do with them, so many options, so many ideas.... Cathy

          3. moira | | #12

            Yes, I'm getting to like these fabrics the more I look at them, and excited about what I could do with the stripes. I think there's plenty of yardage so I should be able to do whatever I like. I'll certainly keep you posted when the work gets under way.For a non-scratchy collar, any suggestions what to use? It used to be velvet. Maybe that's still the best idea, but I do want a contemporary look.

          4. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #15

            What about a leather or leather look for a collar? I always thought it looked classy and timeless. Velvet or velveteen is also in the same league, never really goes out of style. Cathy

          5. KharminJ | | #16

            Faux suede would make a comfy collar, too.

            Look in your favorite Home Dec department - the range of colors available right now is amazing - and you may find a remnant big enough for collar and cuffs, for far less than the usual $20-$40/yard bolt price.

            I'm excited for you - can't wait to see what becomes of that lovely stuff!

            Bright Blessings!


          6. moira | | #17

            I'm thoroughly enjoying all your ideas - leather, suede, velveteen, blanket stitching etc! I'm going to have far more to consider than if I'd been doing this on my own, and therein lies so much of the value of this forum. Keep 'em coming!

          7. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #18

            You could also consider a faux fur collar. As an add on accessory, it would be a changeable feature that could be updated or changed on a whim. Some of the other ideas as well. And a great scarf or shawl is another idea as well, prevents scratchiness, and is changeable in a moment, according to need. Cathy

          8. Ceeayche | | #19

            Here's my idea:  Purchase a length of tissue weight wool in a solid contrasting or matching color.  You could base the two fabrics together and treat them as one.  It would give the tween extra body and you extra warmth (if that's needed where you live).  You could then make a simple skirt, dress or trousers in the solid fabric and have a chic ensemble as one of your options with your new coat.  A coordinating sweater on top and you're ready to go.


          9. sewslow67 | | #20

            ... It would give the tween extra body and you extra warmth (if that's needed where you live). ...

            This comment reminds me that it would be very helpful if we would all mention the general area where we live.  We wouldn't have to be specific if we wished to remain totally anonymous, but knowing the general location would help in giving feedback and sharing ideas. 

            Sometimes, of course, it wouldn't be necessarily relevant, but other times it would.  Just a thought for those who have left most of their profiles blank.

          10. Ceeayche | | #21

            An urban child at heart, I'm in Northern Virginia, 34 miles northwest of Washington DC in a historic town called Leesburg.

          11. sewslow67 | | #22

            I'll try to remember that for next time.  Still, if you'd care to add it to your profile, it would be great for those of us with "older" brains ...chuckle!

          12. moira | | #23

            I'm in the UK and so I had thought of adding a lightweight interlining, but not too heavy as I'm as likely to be in and out of the car as out for a stretch of time in the cold. I like the idea of making a plain skirt and/pair of trousers to make an outfit out of it. In fact I probably have enough fabric for a skirt to match.Sorry I've taken a while to reply - I was on holiday in Vermont and it was gorgeous! The Autumn shades make me really want to start this jacket soon. While I was away I noticed a nice jacket pattern in Vogue magazine which is along the lines I had in mind, and it's listed as 1023 preceded by a hash symbol (can't find the hash symbol on my computer!) but the hash must make a difference as 1023 on its own brings up a different pattern. Do you, or does anyone, know how to identify the pattern I actually want? It's a single breasted Vintage Vogue pattern with buttons, nothing like the pattern with the same number on its own.

            Edited 10/11/2008 9:23 am ET by moira

          13. sewelegant | | #24


            Is this the jacket that comes up?  I'm not sure what you mean by "hash" mark.  I just put in the patten number to see what you were referring to.

            View Image V1023    

          14. moira | | #25

            Yes, this is the one! The hash symbol is 2 vertical lines intersected by 2 horizontal lines, and then given a little sideways push! Anyway, this seems to be the pattern so I must take a good look at it online. The picture you posted shows the shape more clearly than in the magazine picture I saw, but I still think I like it.

          15. Ceeayche | | #26

            In the US use the symbol # to denote numerical codes-- so that you treat what follows as a number rather than currency or something to be added.  So "pattern number 1023" is also pattern #1023.

            can't wait to see pictures of your jacket!


          16. moira | | #27

            Gotcha! Thanks - that helps. So often I've seen that symbol on websites and I've never known what it meant. I've never used it anywhere except on my mobile phone (sorry, cellphone!)

          17. Teaf5 | | #28

            # is also called a "pound sign," and is one of the options on an automated phone answering system.  For the longest time, I couldn't understand the automated instructions to enter "an account number followed by the pound sign" until my ten-year-old explained that it's the bottom right key of the phone keypad!

            I've also seen this symbol in a hardware store, possibly for identifying nail sizes or weights?

          18. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #29

            Yes you have, and nails are sized by pound weight and length.  Cathy

          19. moira | | #30

            . . .while here in the UK we hear automated messages ending 'key in such-and-such followed by the hash key' - which is bottom right on the keypad. A pound sign here would be £ which means pounds sterling - though of course originally this referred to a pound weight of gold. I wonder if the symbol will read correctly on your screen. Language extends beyond plain words, doesn't it?Back to the jacket - this morning when tidying my daughter's bedroom (with her permission!) I found a bag of pieces of gorgeous leather off cuts so I'm going to ask her whether I could use any of those for the inside of the collar to prevent itching, and maybe some other place on the jacket as well.

            Edited 10/15/2008 9:54 am ET by moira

          20. starzoe | | #31

            I always thought the pound sign (for money) indicated a pound of silver, not gold. I was taught (here in Canada) that the U.S. was on the gold standard and Britain on the silver. I could be wrong, out of date, that was a loooong time ago! We don't have that sign here on the keyboard, and we also don't have the "cents" sign which is rather strange as both US and Canada still have pennies.

          21. moira | | #32

            Originally, yes, silver was the standard, but during the 17th century Britain underwent a shortage of silver, while gold was pouring into the country, and by the mid 1800s gold was accepted as being the legal standard. Our pound coins here in Britain are still gold in colour, while other coins are silver and bronze. I suppose that's why it took me a while when I was visiting the States recently, to work out what I had in my purse!

          22. moira | | #33

            I'm hoping you'll remember the discussion about my Donegal tweeds and the jacket I hoped to make. Well, it's done. I used the vintage Vogue pattern 1023, and made it up first in the brown stripy tweed. The stripes have worked out in some interesting ways, but in the end I didn't really like it altogether. For the black and white tweed I altered the pockets so that they sit at a slant and added a couple of inches to the jacket length. I found there was a lot of fabric around the chest area so have added a couple of extra darts, and I lined it all in a nice patterned silky fabric, and had enough to make a scarf.
            With the brown jacket I began with a faux-suede upper collar and cuffs, but I think because it was brown it just looked dowdy. So I ended up using the self fabric throughout on the black and white one. I've worn it a couple of times and it's cosy and feels smart. Thanks for your ideas back in October.

          23. moira | | #34

            I tried to attach photos but they didn't appear, so I'm going to have another go.. . .For some reason only one will attach. I'll try yet again to post the other.Edited 11/17/2008 6:33 pm ET by moira Sorry, too big. Try right clicking and opening in new window.

            Edited 11/17/2008 6:58 pm ET by moira

          24. moira | | #35

            I have another picture but just can't get it to attach. I'm doing the same as I did with the last one but the preview just shows script without the attachment. Any inspiration out there?

          25. User avater
            rodezzy2 | | #36

            Oh, I'm so glad I have this laptop, I would have never seen this picture on my computer at work. 

            Great job.  I love your buttons.  They give good interest to the jacket.  The scarf is pretty too.  Good job.

          26. moira | | #37

            Thanks Rodezzy. Glad you have your own at-home laptop. It's addictive, but also lovely to share the sewing bug with everyone here.

          27. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #38

            Very smart looking jacket!  Classic and classy.  Well done.

            Did you wait for the picture to finish downloading, it can sometimes take a long long time for them to download.  You have to wait for the little hourglass to finish before you can preview or it won't work. (I found that one out the hard way)  Cathy

          28. moira | | #39

            Thanks for those Kathy - both the compliment on the jacket and the advice about the photo! However I don't have a little hour glass showing so there's no indicator to tell me if I've uploaded it or not. It's just 'choose file', then 'press upload' then 'done'. I have tried it about ten or twelve times and haven't done anything differently from when I added the photo you've seen. Mysterious. But I don't know where to find a solution either.

          29. Ceeayche | | #40

            Moira, the jacket is wonderful!  I applaud your efforts, cause the result is very classy.  I like how the buttons alternate-- it's a subtle but effective nuance that makes a difference.  Congratulations!

            P.S. I can't wait to see the other jacket!

          30. sewelegant | | #41

            Moira, you appear to be a very talented lady with very good taste (or is it just because I love the scarf and buttons you coordinated with the jacket).  As an aside, I love to observe what the "news anchors" and all the other male talking heads on TV wear.  Some look so polished and others I can't believe the powers that be let them in front of the cameras looking like that.  My point is: you could be hired to dress those guys!  I can just see that tweed jacket and your scarf as a beautiful tie winning the "best dressed" award.

          31. moira | | #42

            I hope this time I'm in business. I've taken a couple of photos on Photo Booth rather than with the digital camera, and hope to attach them successfully. One shows the black and white jacket and its nice lining! The second is the brown striped tweed showing how I was able to use the stripes as a bit of a feature. I've added a felt flower brooch I made a while ago to brighten it up a bit.
            Most of my work is bridal and formal wear, so I enjoyed the tailoring aspect of these jackets, heavier fabrics, bound buttonholes and welt pockets.
            Thank you so much for your kind comments - I feel like a bit of a show off but I so love looking at other people's pictures of their work. I've enjoyed this project and your input.

          32. Ceeayche | | #43

            OOOOh that lining is snazzy and I like the way you bring that brown tweed alive with the orange.

            You have it "going on"!

          33. User avater
            rodezzy2 | | #44

            Yes, you did use those stripes to their best advantage.  Gives the jacket a smart look.  I love the color orange with it also.  You have a great imagination.  No plain ole' striped jacket for you.  Good job!!!!!!! Don't you just feel special when you wear something great that you've made with your own two hands.  Wonderful feeling.  Just awesome.

          34. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #45

            Moira, I am impressed!  Both jackets turned out beautifully!  I love the uniqueness of the brown jacket!  The stripes you have used to a wonderful advantage.  It fits you to a T, and is both flattering and stylish.  I love the wonderful splash of colour the lining provides.  What a wonderful surprise inside a lovely jacket.  Well done on both!  Cathy

            I hope you change your mind on not really caring for the brown jacket!  It is really very nice on you.  I think it is maybe because it is a little different from what you might usually wear?  C

            Edited 11/18/2008 9:47 pm ET by ThreadKoe

          35. Josefly | | #46

            Moira, I like both your jackets. The lining in the black one is especially nice. The brown striped tweed - you did a great job with the stripes forming the chevrons in the sleeves. Nice work.Concerning questions about attachments and photos, and other things - there's an expert on this forum called "SYSOP" accessed in a place called the Sandbox. You get there from the "Welcome" page, the first page you get to after you log in. On the right side of the page, there's a box that says something like "Practice forum skills in the Sandbox" and you can click on that. That takes you to a page similar to the Welcome page, with a column on the left side listing several topics and a "Start Reading" box at the bottom of that list. Click on that and it takes you to a page like our Message pages, with topics listed along the left side. One of the topic categories as you scroll down that left column is called "SYSOP" and there you can post questions about problems you're having. I've just spent some time looking around there myself. There are lots of techniques to be learned... for instance, I'm trying to figure out how to embed a photo directly into my message, as some others have been doing here, so the the picture can be seen without having to click on the attachment icon. I haven't been able to do it yet, but I did see a thread there in the Sandbox-SYSOP which addresses the subject.

          36. moira | | #48

            Thank you for this info about attachments etc. I'm saving it so I can refer to it in future - I don't know how you found out about it but it's just what I need. And thank you too for your encouraging comments about the jackets.

          37. moira | | #49

            Katina, Josefly, Rodezzy, CHL and Threadkoe - thank you all for your positive feedback. Your encouraging comments give me a lift!

          38. katina | | #47

            There's a world of difference between showing off and letting others appreciate and enjoy your beautiful work. We are here to learn from each other, and to be inspired. Your jackets are not only smart and well-made, but are so practical. You can dress them up or down for all manner of wear. I've greatly enjoyed seeing them - thanks very much for going to the trouble to share with us.



          39. MaryinColorado | | #14

            Those fabrics are lovely!  What do you think of blanket stitching the edges with a heavy thread and maybe some leather or wood buttons? 

            You could even put the heavy thread in your bobbin, bypassing the tension, and sew with the wrong side up. 

            I think I saw some fabric similar to yours in Threads made into a dressy tailored jacket, lapels, and some black fringe but can't remember which issue.

            I'm sure you will find just the right pattern for this special gift.  Mary

      2. User avater
        ThreadKoe | | #7

        Threads issue #87 dealt with Bog Coats. It will show much better how versatile and simple this coat style is, especially with a tweed. Cathy

        1. moira | | #9

          I remember that article Cathy. I'll look it up again and check it out.

      3. Gloriasews | | #13

        You could put a brown velveteen collar on the coat - that would take care of the itch at the neck.  The striped tweed is really nice & very different - I've never seen it like that before.


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