Happy Sunday makers! I’m just on the tail end of a New England trip, enjoying the colours despite the massive amounts of rain. I stayed a few days in Boston with Jenny and got to spend some quality time with Norma, Jen and Carrie. I bought some delicious Wool People yarn at gather here and am now plotting my next sweater project, this breathtaking beauty. Then I hightailed it over to Portland, Maine where I’ve been teaching a Ginger Workshop at A Gathering of Stitches, a massively inspiring maker space. It’s been a much needed trip, and I’m feeling creatively recharged and rested. Next week I’ll be launching into a number of Kelly Anorak tutorial posts if you’ve been wanting a little guidance.
And here’s what you’ve been up to.
Smitten with this romantic floral maxi dress from Mokosha.
Happy Sunday makers! It’s rainy and overcast today so we’re staying inside while G makes boeuf bourguignon and I click clack away on my laptop (endless reruns of Friends probably playing in the background – we’ve been on a Netflix tear). I hope you’re warm and cozy wherever you are. Here’s what I’ve been oohing and aahing over this week….
Did you see this INCREDIBLE anorak that Morgan made for Matt over on Thread Theory? Such beautiful craftsmanship (and they are stocking a few waterproof and breathable performance fabrics perfect for Kelly – I especially like this navy option).
Today I want to talk fabric for your Kelly Anorak. There are lots of options, so it’s really up to you to decide what kind of jacket you want. Something soft and cottony that will get nicely broken in over time? Something waterproof and sporty? Something structured and a little more stiff like a waxed cotton? I’ve gone ahead and done a little legwork for you already; here are some great options.
Cotton twill is the obvious choice for this pattern and it’s affordable and easy to source. The biggest consideration is getting something with a decent heft. I ordered a zillion samples when we were developing Kelly, and I think Robert Kaufman makes a twill with the right weight for this pattern. The line is called Ventana and they have over 60 colours on fabric.com; above are some of my favourite colours. Isn’t that olive green perfect? Twill is soft and will get broken in like a great pair of jeans over time. If you want something waterproof, you can also try waxing it with a coat of Otter Wax.
I started creating kits for our patterns because I wanted to remove as many barriers as possible when it comes to making the the things that excite and challenge you. I think most of us want clothing that looks at least as good as ready-to-wear (if not a whole lot better), but sometimes tracking down all the finishing touches that make a project look really professional can be a challenge, especially if you don’t live in an area with a lot of brick and mortar sewing shops. While it’s definitely possible to source snaps and grommets at your typical big box fabric shop, I’ve always been a little disappointed with the quality. For our Kelly hardware kit, I’ve sourced really high quality, rust-proof spring snaps. These not only look much prettier when installed than the typical snap buttons you might be used to, but they’re a little gentler on your clothes, since the snap action isn’t quite as intense as the heavier duty ones.
In addition I tracked down elegant cord stops and locks to finish off your drawstrings with a little bling. The kit also includes a 26″ YKK separating coat zipper, cotton drawstring and grommets. All metal is in a beautiful antique brass finish, while the zipper and cord are in black – I’ve found this coordinates with most colours and fabrics very well. Even a lighter coloured twill looks great with a little black contrast.
This time around I intentionally left fabric out of our kits since the fabrics I recommend for this pattern are generally easy to source (especially high quality twill).
The Kelly Anorak was so much fun to design since a good jacket is the sum of its details (something I talked about in greater depth on instagram last week here and here). Like usual, this pattern had an extensive secret Pinterest board, but the real genesis for me came from really paying attention to what stylish women were wearing on the street, and trying to find that balance between chic and utilitarian, practical and covetable.
I like the casual easiness of an anorak with sneakers, or pairing it with skinny jeans and ankle boots for something a little more polished. The choice of fabric has an impact as well. Soft twills look lovely and broken in (especially with wear), while a performance fabric like Goretex or nylon ups the sporty factor. We’ll be talking about appropriate fabrics later this week, but in the meantime I hope these provide some styling inspiration for your own Kelly.
Happy Sunday makers! It’s been such a busy, happy week around the studio and I’m thrilled by the response to our new sewing pattern, the Kelly Anorak. My favourite thing to hear from you is “I’ve been looking for this pattern for so long!”, and we heard that a lot over the last few days. It means we’re serving you the way I dream and hope to, which is finding those holes in your closet and filling them with thoughtful, wearable garments that make you feel great.
It’s also Canadian Thanksgiving, and I am spending it with a group of friends and Harry while Guillaume is in France for the weekend. I’m spatchcocking a turkey for the second time (I dry brined it last night) and I have a feeling it will be my best ever. I hope you’re having a wonderful, productive and/or lazy weekend as well!
I live for pattern launch day, especially when it’s for a pattern I love as much as this one. I’d like you to meet Kelly, the jacket of my/your dreams.
I’ve been planning the Kelly Anorak for two years, and it’s destined to fill a major hole in your closet. You know, that practical, utilitarian and yet stylish jacket that you want to wear every.single.day. The one that just gets better with age, that transitions you from the hot summer months into the cooler autumn ones, that has enough pocket space for your keys, the dog treats and the kitchen sink, that looks as great layered over a cozy sweater as it does with a simple tee. The “Where have you been all my life” jacket. She’s right here.
Style meets function with the Kelly Anorak; a classic shape with a modern cut, this simple coat is the perfect choice for transitional weather.
Lightweight and unlined, it features a two piece cuffed sleeve, optional drawstring waist, gusseted flap pocket and a zipper placket with snap buttons. View A will keep you warm and dry with a roomy three piece hood, while View B features a classic stand-up collar.
Kelly is just right made up in light to medium-weight woven fabric such as twill, gabardine, and linen, and will make the ultimate rain coat when sewn with a waterproof fabric like ripstop or goretex.
This is my version of a simple coat. It’s all straight seams so even a beginner could confidently tackle it, while there are enough unique design details to make it appealing to more advanced sewists.
You know how you have those patterns on your must make list, but then you keep adding things to said list until it becomes so long and overwhelming you end up feeling a huge amount of guilt and FOMO everytime you look at it? Tell me I’m not alone.
Well, the Myrtle dress from Colette has been on that list for a long, looong time. I loved it so much when it came out; not many knit dress patterns make me think “glamourous”, but Myrtle is the exception; there is something about a draped cowl neckline that makes me feel like a real fancy lady. So, when April Rhodes asked me to participate in her new Observer Fabrics blog tour, I knew just what to make when this spectacular fabric arrived.
April Rhodes is one of my favorite fabric designers these days; she has a real knack for prints and this fabric is no exception. Paired with this pattern it kind of reminds me of the newsprint dress Carrie wore in Sex and the City, and I will take a SATC fashion reference any day of the week (I am embarrassed by how many times I have seen that show from start to finish, even though I would like to throw the second movie on the ashheap of history where it rightfully belongs).
I’ve said it before (here, to be more exact), but Art Gallery Fabrics makes the finest cotton spandex, ever. It’s extremely soft with a nice amount of body and is an utter delight to sew with. If you’re used to paying under $10 a yard for knits, the price may seem a little high but it’s absolutely worth it (I actually just bought a few more yards in different colourways off Fabric.com because I can’t get enough of it).