The cold weather has been relentless this year. British summer time has already begun but it is still so bitterly cold. So cold that I was tempted to make a winter jacket even though winter was technically over weeks ago. I decided not to let my heart do the thinking but rather put some sense into this temptation. I wanted something to wear when it is cold indoors but something lighter to wear outdoors when the weather eventually turns milder and the obvious answer was a gilet.
Let me rationalise my thinking for you as I’m sure some of you might wonder why I can’t just put on a sweater. I have in my possession, a metre of Liberty fabric that was given to me last year by a friend, some left-over wadding, a box of press fasteners I bought last year and not forgetting my pattern for a quilted jacket. See where I am going here! Everything was enough to make a warm quilted jacket, minus the sleeves. And all I needed to get was some lining and bias binding.
I started this project on Friday as I wanted something to wear on Saturday (I have a serious case of impulse making). As usual, I tend to give myself unrealistic deadlines but when I am on the mood for making stuff, more often or not, I achieve it. This time, I started in the morning and finished everything, including the quilting, before dinner.
I have to say that this gilet is so comfortable to wear mainly because it not only kept me warm but gave me more movement in my arms. Prefect for work. I was so impatient to wear it, I arranged a whole list of early morning activities in London so I could go out earlier in it.
My outfit for the day was the piano shirt, a vintage wool Haori (that I just recently acquired) and my baggy trousers. And where better to take a picture of my look than the amazing Wallace Collection in London (apologies for the grainy picture as it was taken on my phone).
I really like the gilet not only because of the print but also because of its versatility. I just wondered why I had never thought of making one before this.
UPDATE: Just found out that this Liberty Print is called Strawberry Thief by William Morris, so called because of the thrushes which frequently stole the strawberries in the kitchen garden of his countryside home, Kelmscott Manor, in Oxfordshire. Always interesting to find out the story behind the print.