As summer goes, this was one of the best. I spent so much time away, visiting new places and trying a lots of new things. But when summer left, autumn did not wait to step in. The nights became cold and daylight seems to be ebbing away. I am not complaining though as I love the warmth of the duvet on a cold morning.
However, as usual, there seems to be a weird transitioning in the temperature going on. Is it cold or is it warm? It makes deciding what to wear so difficult. Wear too little and freeze to death or too much and swim in my sweat? It’s time like these where those ‘transitioning’ clothes comes in handy.
Going through my wardrobe, I realised that it’s too summer or winter heavy with very little in between. So I decided to make something but my mind drew a blank. In this situation, I made a cup of tea and caught up with my guilty pleasures. Watching catch ups of ‘The Repair Shop’ and ‘Garden Rescue’. After all, with all the things going wrong in the world, a bit of slow tv can soothe any worries.
Coincidentally, while watching ‘Garden Rescue’ one of the presenters was wearing a gilet that looked formal but was also a kind of work wear at the same time. It was a light bulb moment and I knew exactly then that’s what I wanted. I can’t stress enough how handy pattern cutting skills can be in times like these. Instead of finding where to buy it, all I needed to do was to quickly draft a pattern and alter it to my specifications.
In terms of the fitting, I wanted it to be loose but other than that, I wanted the same mandarin collar, slits at the side seams and pockets. It can be quite useful when you have your own pattern blocks as the pattern was done in a matter of hours, ready for it to be transferred.
When deciding on the fabric, I knew exactly which one I wanted to use. Years ago, I bought this very soft and beautiful forest green wool. As it was a remnant piece, I had trouble using it as it was always too short for big projects. On this occasion, this fabric was the perfect choice.
Sewing went smoothly until the very end. I always get my left and right mixed up when looking at it from a different perspective. I have a mantra that I repeat time and time again when sewing and it’s “Button holes on the left!” But guess what? I sewed it on the right! It took me half an hour to unpick all 7 buttonholes. I was just lucky that I saw my mistake before cutting the hole.
The gilet sewed really well and I really like how versatile it is.
As you can see, it has references to a suit from the pocket details. I also sewed in bluff pockets and knowing the trick really made it easy to create this professional finish.
I also lined this gilet as I don’t like that snagging feeling when fabrics catch against each other. In order to create a nice finish on the armhole, I also sewed armhole facings attached to the lining.
The slits also make it easier to access my trouser pocket.
The standing mandarin collar worked well with the gilet and wearing it differently also changed the look from formal to casual. For example, having the collar up looked formal.
But when unbuttoned, the collar can look casual.
I’m looking forward to wearing this when the weather throws up another strange one. With a looser cut, I can even wear a suit or sweater underneath it. The gilet may look a bit old fashioned but I’m into 40s fashion at the moment. After all, I am 40 this year!