I bought this fabric a while back with ideas of turning this vintage Japanese wool Kimono fabric into many things. The ‘roaring tiger’ fabric really captured my imagination but as the width of the fabric was only 70 cm, many ideas quickly became unfeasible. However, I thought wouldn’t it be wonderful if I made a jacket instead. The loud and strong print can make a statement to my personal style. Don’t get me wrong, I was terrified to wear it at first as I felt it was too strong but I felt with good tailoring, it can work.
After taking ages to produce the pattern (single breasted, single vent, patch pocket jacket), hand canvasing the wool and sewing parts by machine and parts by hand, I eventually finished it last week and with the cooler weather, I wore it out to London. The result was a roaring success. I got a lot of attention; the odd giggles behind my back, the ‘ up and down’ stare but best of all, a lot of compliment from strangers. I could hear them whispering ‘That’s a great jacket’ and a few even approached me to tell me that.
I paired this jacket with a white shirt I made recently from Liberty Tana Lawn and a wool trousers I did last year. The tie and shoes were from Paul Smith. And the portfolio clutch was something I did a while back. Believe it or not, it’s actually my sewing bag.
When cutting the fabric, I decided not to match the print as I did not have enough fabric to do so. Instead, I tried to align the ‘tigers’ so they look like they were facing each other. The pattern that I made was based on a similar suit pattern I did last year but with several alteration, namely the length, vents and pockets.
I also employed a lot of traditional tailoring techniques based on the ‘Classic Tailoring Techniques, book I bought ages ago. I also did a lot of hand stitching on areas such as the lapel and pocket.
And the cherry on top of this cake was gold buttons. I thought that the print was strong enough to fight the gold off so, why not?
Overall, this jacket fits me perfectly. The fabric is very comfortable and the most important thing of all, it is very loud. I’m a very quiet person so I thought that this time I will let my work speak for themselves. I have just enough of this fabric left to make a quilted jacket. I am working on this as we speak so until then, please look forward to more tigers.
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