1930s Winter Plaid Jacket – Made by Me
1930s Brown Wool Crepe Skirt – Made by Me
1930s Navy Crochet Hat – Made by Me
1930s Navy Crochet Scarf – Made by Me
Brown Faux Fur Scarf – Helen Moore
Vintage Navy Leather Gloves – Had for years
Brown 1930s Style Handbag – Molly’s Den
Navy 1930s Style Shoes – Revival Retro
Navy Drop Earrings – Shepton Mallet Flea Market
Well, this post has been a long time coming! I talked about the process of making this jacket way back in November and finally got it completed just before the end of that month. It was perfect timing as I could then wear it to London for my annual Christmas shopping trip. I also wore it a lot over the winter, keeping me toasty warm, so it’s definitely lived up to its name. In January I was so thrilled to find out that it had been chosen as the winner in the Best Outerwear category from the Vintage Pledge competition. So, despite taking a while to show you it, this baby has already had quite a journey.
I’m showing it here in the two ways I generally wear it, with a wonderful faux fur scarf from Helen Moore and alternatively, with a made-by-me crochet scarf. The faux fur scarf has been an absolute godsend in the much colder weather as it adds a considerable amount of warmth to the jacket.
I’ve been after a Helen Moore piece for ages as she, not only produces the softest and most beautiful faux fur accessories, but also is a British designer who manufactures everything in the UK. This is something I will always support, so whilst in the process of making the jacket I decided I needed one of her golden bear asymmetric scarves to add an instant bit of glamour.
The crochet scarf was done using the left over yarn I had from the beret as I thought matching pieces would be very 1930s. I followed a random pattern I found for free on the internet that created a lovely texture and just guessed on the sizing. I wanted it to be narrow and fairly short to create a 1930s style scarf that would be worn like a cravat. I see this sort of look so often in my research of Autumn/Winter 1930s fashion.
The pattern I used for the jacket was an original 1930s one that had been beautifully reproduced by the wonderful Mrs Depew. It came with four different versions, and a separate cape pattern, and I instantly knew I wanted to do the double breasted one with the pointed lapel. I also knew that a belt was a must to give it a slight casual or sportswear feel.
The instructions were typically sparse and so I relied heavily on previous knowledge and my 1930s sewing books for techniques. The only thing that was a bit of a pain was that the lapel fold line wasn’t marked on the pattern and this was very much a guess. I still don’t know if I got it in the right place, but it seems to have worked okay.
The jacket was made using a medium weight plaid wool from Ditto Fabrics, which I bought when it was on offer. It was pretty easy to work with and most of the time behaved itself. The collar and lapel don’t sit quite as sharply as I would hope but I think that’s mostly to do with adding in the additional domette interlining. This added extra bulk when turning them back which I hadn’t really planned for.
It also added a little bit extra bulk to the shoulders so, as there are already shoulder pads in there, the shoulders are a little tighter than they should be. This generally is fine but it does mean that the jacket has a tendency to pull me forward, so I have to remind myself to push my shoulders back!
The only bit that really annoys me on the jacket though is the top button area. You can see on the photo above that it pulls a little bit, making the vertical stripes of the plaid skew. This is not to do with the button placing, which would actually make it easy to rectify, but rather how I held the fabric whilst hand sewing the button hole. I could try and unpick it but I’m worried I’d do more damage than good.
The buttons and buckle took a long time to decide on. I initially wanted to use brown leather football buttons (like these) as they’re a classic country style and would match the plaid really well. However, not only did I need them in two different sizes, I also needed a buckle to match and that wasn’t going to be easy to find. But that wasn’t all, unfortunately the real leather football buttons are quite expensive and would’ve cost me about £20 just for the buttons. The cheaper faux leather ones just pale in comparison and I didn’t want to spoil the jacket with inferior buttons. It was a dilemma.
I then had a eureka moment! If I could find a small piece of brown leather I could then get the lovely people at The London Button Company to make two different sized buttons and a matching buckle. And they worked out even better than I had imagined and a lot cheaper than what I would’ve spent.
I’m annoyed at myself that I didn’t photograph the best part of this jacket, and that’s the lining. It really is incredible. I used a very traditional paisley two-tone fabric which is often used in men’s tailoring but I chose the most amazingly bright gold/burgundy version from ClothSpot. It picks up the gold coloured line in the plaid perfectly and creates such a wonderful surprise when you open the jacket.
And talking about picking up the colours in the plaid, this jacket goes with so many of my skirts and trousers. It teams particularly well with my made-by-me mustard skirt and House of Foxy navy sailor trousers. However, this is definitely my favourite ensemble. It’s got a classic 1930s country look about it, particularly with the faux fur scarf. I’ve got a small amount of the fabric left over, so I’m now tempted to make a matching skirt and, if I can, a matching hat, although I’m not sure I’d wear all three together!