Silver Needles P45 – Lady’s Jacket: finished

This post was in the making for a while, mainly because my camera has been super uncooperative, and won’t give me any good photos at all 😦 In the interest of science (so to speak), though, I’ll give you what I have. Please do accept my apologies for the appalling quality of the shots – these are the best out of several dozens I took. I kid you not.

After all of the fiddling with the muslin, the final finish of the jacket went pretty smooth.

The arms fit a lot better:

P45 arm detail

The back turned out pretty good:

P45 back


P45 front tension wrinkles

It’s alright as long as I keep my mitts out of the pockets, but as you can see, there’s something fundamentally wrong with the tension on the right front panel (left in the photo). I suspect that the lining is a tad too short (which would make sense, as this side of the jacket is also a teensy bit longer than the other side) and that causes those weird wrinkles.

Clearly the way forward is to take it apart and sew the lining back in, shortening the outer roughly an inch, and hope that will solve the issue.

Which is a bit painful, as this was my first hand-picked bias finished seam:

Hand picked bias hem finish

On the other hand, it also means that unpicking it will be a lot less painful 😀

Overall, a good pattern with a few quirks – I still can’t get over the fact that it turned into a short-ish coat despite the fact that I cut the jacket length (according to the pattern). And the armscye/sleeve cap mismatch … but I learned a few things, and I totally came away with a wearable fall/spring jacket. A quick test run seems to indicate I still need a proper winter jacket, but that’s for another post 😀

Preparing to get started

After some fairly excessive lamenting in my last post, a lovely commenter put her finger on the spot: stop whinging and get on with it (not that she used those words!).

So today, I pulled the fabrics I had in mind for the muslin out of my stash. Surprise no.1: what I remembered being some light woolen fabric turned out to be (I think) gabardine.

Grey Gabardine
Grey Gabardine

Now, that’s not a bad thing. In fact, it’s very possible this is the perfect fabric for the fall/spring (and most times in winter when it’s neither pissing down nor storming) jacket I’ve been missing forever (okay, since I gave the last one to charity).

The irony of me raving about the last Burberry collection and now discovering that the fabric I’m going to use apparently was invented by Mr. Thomas Burberry is not lost on me.

Also in my possession: a rather huge length of black flannelette.

Black Flannelette
Black Flannelette

Together, those two should make a fairly cozy jacket that can put up with some wind and rain and the roughly 13C that seem to be the yearly middle over here. (And by that, I mean the temperature deviates roughly 5C up or down … )

The flannel was prewashed, but the gabardine was not. It’s now drying 🙂

So I used the time to prepare my pattern. To my delight, all of the pattern pieces are present, if slightly discoloured.

Pattern pieces
Pattern pieces

As you can see, the pattern is uncut – yay!

The instructions are a bit on the short side, but I think I can make it work, since there are no great challenges and the pattern appears fairly straightforward.

Instructions in their entirety
Instructions in their entirety

One thing I’m not sure about are the mock pocket flaps, which are created by folding part of the pocket over, and topstitching it in such a way that the opening for the pocket is behind them, not underneath. Does that make sense at all??

Anyway, I’m wondering if I want to change them to proper flaps. I’m reasonably sure I want to add an inside pocket, maybe with a zipper. I like to have a pocket I can zip up for keys, and cards, and other things you don’t want to lose .

While reading through the information in the leaflet, I noticed the following:

Technique Cards?
Technique Cards?

I have had a hard time finding anything useful on the internet about it – does any of you vintage educated folks have more information? The pattern states it’s from “Silver needles” – I’m beginning to wonder if that was a magazine, like today’s “build your own Frigate in 30 steps”, only for sewing? I’m dying to find out more!

Dior sketches

I know, I know – I said there’ll be no fashion related post today. But then I didn’t know that I’d stumble upon these … Dior fashion sketches on flickr. You should totally check them out – although some of the ladies look a bit anatomically challenged, I have to say.

This dress, however, is adorable:

Dior Trapeze Dress


Do we call the Seventies vintage?

After going on about the impracticability of vintage dresses in my last post, today I’d like to present to you – vintage patterns!

Or I think they are, anyways?

70ies patterns

Do the Seventies already qualify as vintage? I guess so – but then, I’ve heard anything from 20 to a minimum of 50 years of age as the dividing line. Either way, these patterns are copyrighted from 1972, which means my mom could have worn them when I was a wee little one.

I scored them on ebay, for 99p each, so I snapped them all up. As far as I can see they’re unused and complete if a bit tattered around the edges.

Mostly I was looking for something in particular, and I got (I think), but since they were so … urm, reasonably … priced, I couldn’t resist to buy all of them.

One by one, we have:

Raglan Sleeve Top

I can see myself making this – raglan sleeves work well with my square shoulders, and this top has a little button in the neck to fasten it, so it works with wovens, and I’ve been looking to add a few woven tops to my wardrobe.

Ladies Wrapover Jacket

Maybe, maybe not … I’m not too keen on jackets without proper closure, as I’m always cold. I do like the cut with the huge collar somehow, tho …


The very day I find myself in need of a maxi night gown, I’m on it. Until then? Probably not.

Lady’s Raincoat/Jacket

This is the one that I had my eyes on. A coat with a zipper! I’m leaning towards the jacket right now, but can see the coat as a light summer coat maybe? Either way, I love the zipper. I might have to fudge with the pockets a bit, but then, my all time favorite winter jacket had very similar pockets, and I just loved them.

Construction details are a bit sparse:

Construction details

I think I should make a muslin.

Has anybody ever heard of a pattern company called Silver Needles, or even worked with one of their patterns and can give me tips? I searched the pattern review website, but there’s not a lot to find there about this company …

Happy Birthday to “The Very Best Jumper”

I was convinced that my baby was born in July 2011, but alas, my brain’s a sieve and all that and I just missed my blog’s first birthday. Happy belated Birthday, dear blog.

Traditionally, an anniversary is a good opportunity to look back and take stock, but I’ll go a slightly different route.

My friend over at Kim-ing told me recently that she had been wondering why the blog was called The Very Best Jumper, and it dawned on me that I never explained it.

When I started blogging, I had just discovered the Trove – a wonderful online newspaper archive with a stunning multitude of freely available vintage patterns (and loads of other tidbits of vintage life – if you’re just a teensy bit interested, check it out, it really is a treasure trove!).

My intention at that point was to knit and document vintage patterns from all kinds of sources. I wanted to focus on the 1920s, as that is the era I feel most drawn to when talking vintage. Now it’s not too easy to find knitting pattern from that time, and naturally I was delighted when I discovered the Trove.

And guess what I found? A super cute jumper pattern from 1921, called – you guessed it – The very best jumper!

The Very Best Jumper

And that was it, really. My blog had a name, I had a project (which, I have to admit, I still haven’t knit!) and now you know how it all came about.

If you’d like to see the full pdf, I have uploaded it to the patterns page 🙂 And if any of you are inclined to knit it, I’d love some partners in crime and do a little KAL – please leave a comment if there’s any interest in such a crazy untertaking!

Queen Anne’s Lace cardigan

This project I started in early September, as a welcome opportunity to use up some Rowan Classic Fine Merino yarn that had been gathering dust in my stash for more than a year.

It’s a top down, all-in-one pattern, which is something I meant to try for the longest time. Did I mention that I’m not a huge fan of sewing things together by hand? Well, meet the unremarkable sweater – it’s been sitting on my table, patiently waiting to be joined together for about 6 weeks now. Seriously. That’s how much I love joining. Not.

Unremarkable sweater
Unremarkable sweater

However, the cardi is coming along nicely, I’m working on the arms now and should be finished within the next week or so. As usual, work may interfere … as our project is soon to be launched, and things usually get a wee bit crazy around launch dates.

Queen Anne's Lace cardigan
Queen Anne's Lace cardigan

Sunday Shinies – Mother of pearl button with intricate collar

Sunday Shinies - Mother of pearl button with intricate collar
Sunday Shinies - Mother of pearl button with intricate collar

Another find from the 1920s – a button with an intricately formed collar holding an inlet of mother of pearl. The photo does not really do it justice, and the only grief I have with this button is that I only have one 😦

Now to find a project that brings out one single button perfectly … maybe I’ll have to re-think capelettes?

PS. Yes, I’m too late again … because I genuinely thought most of yesterday it was Saturday. I have that, day confusion … but since we have a bank holiday today, it’s not as bad as it could have been! Just imagine, forgetting all about Monday … oh, the horror!