Portrait in White

Early 1960s Butterick 2145

Early 1960s Butterick 2145

My list of “to make NOW” patterns is growing!  A large box containing 32 vintage patterns & a number of pieces of fabric arrived for me from a friend in the US before Christmas, & another with 34 patterns & more fabric arrived this week!  This fabulous vintage jacket & dress pattern was in that first box & I knew it would be going on the top of the pile I already had on my sewing table!

Now I absolutely adore a portrait collar, so naturally I couldn’t wait to make this jacket.  One of the pieces of fabric in that first large box was a yellow & white cotton gingham check.  Perfect for the dress!  I rummaged through my stash & found a piece of white linen with a decent weight for a summer jacket & this project was underway!  I cut it all out in early December but am only now getting it all finished.

Portrait in White

Portrait in White

There was a “little” discussion on twitter this week regarding “fashion-style bloggers” and “sewing bloggers”.  It seems to revolve mainly around taking of pretty, this is what I made photos as opposed to ordinary this is what I made photos, together with pictures of the “ugly insides”.  Now I like a good photograph, afterall, first impressions count, no matter what people like to say out loud.  For me, it’s the content of the blog that counts, photos are the icing on the cake!  However, good photos showing off a well made garment need not be dismissed as “not authentic” in the sewing world.  I don’t have “ugly insides” in my garments.  I took & taught City & Guilds sewing courses – ugly insides would not have cut the mustard with my tutor!!  🙂  For those of you who’d like to see the “ugly inside”, here’s a collage of the construction details.

Bound buttonhole, inside & out, clean finish seams & snap

Bound buttonhole, inside & out, clean finish seams & snap

The jacket is interfaced with cotton fusible on the facings & self cuffs, but I used a sew-in thicker cotton for the collar.  It needed the support to sit properly.  The seams are finished with the “clean finish” technique.  I usually like to finish seams in an unlined jacket with bias, but the white would have shown a colour through.  Also, matching white is rather like matching black, the other fabric you have is never quite the same shade as the one you’re using!

Butterick 2145 in white linen

Butterick 2145 in white linen

The shell button is a vintage find, I’ve had it for years & think it may just have come from my Grandmother’s tin…  This is another jacket with a bound buttonhole, at least with linen you can iron it all in place & know it’s going to stay where you’ve put it!  I interfaced the square of linen for the “lips” with cotton interfacing, as well as the area behind the buttonhole to give the area more stability.  The snap on the centre front line near the hem helps to keep the front shut.  I think maybe the pattern could have squeezed in another buttonhole, but 2 looks odd.  Better with 1 or 3.

I have taken step by step photos of the buttonhole procedure, stay tuned while I figure out how to create a useful & good-looking tutorial!


The dress is under construction & will hopefully be finished this weekend.  The two together will make a fabulous summer outfit for someone!  The pattern is for a bust 38 inches, another beautiful pattern that is too big for Belle & too small for me, so it’s available for purchase in my Etsy shop.



13 responses to “Portrait in White

  1. This is just gorgeous. I LURV sewing with linen, and this jacket takes the linen cake! As for the little-discussion-that-wasn’t, I like pretty pictures, too, but I also like all the dirty little sewing deets. There’s a middle ground somewhere, and I think you’ve nailed it. 🙂

  2. Your finish is always outstanding and an inspiration and this jacket is no exception.
    I’m just planning a project that may include my first ever bound buttonholes…

    • They really aren’t as devilish as everyone seems to think. As long as you’re accurate with your measuring, sewing & cutting, they will turn out fine. Good luck! And maybe my tutorial will be done in time for you to find useful 🙂

  3. I have never sewn with linen. I think about those wrinkles and shy away! What do you think of linen? I LOVE the jacket. It is most beautiful in white with that wonderful button.

    • I wasn’t in on the discussion so perhaps I’m misunderstanding the gist of it, but frankly my preference is for good sewing illustrated by good photos! Obviously taking good photos is hard – and hard for everyone I’m sure, but it’d be crazy to assume that just because someone expended effort on their photography that their sewing wasn’t decent! Anyway, photos of the insides can look good too – like yours in this post :).

      Enough of the ranting… I love this jacket – such beautiful lines, and I’m sure the dress will be equally beautiful. You’re an amazing sewist, and both your sewing and photography inspire me!

      • Thank you Gabrielle! I must be honest there is no pfaffing with my photography! I coerce Belle to tidy her hair & make-up, put something on that goes well with what I have made & we tootle into town to stand her in front of an old timber garage door in a seldom used alley way. I try to get enough shots of the whole garment so everyone can see the details form all angles, then I upload them, maybe put a filter on & correct the exposure. I have a point & shoot digital camera, so absolutely no fancy tricks! 🙂 I just like everything to look as good as it can, afterall, if you’re going to do a job, you might as well do it to your best ability – that’s what I think.

    • I LOVE linen! I live in linen trousers in the summer, with cotton tops or t-shirts. The wrinkles are part of what linen is, embrace them! 🙂

  4. This jacket is lovely and you’re right about the single button, and clean insides! I’m still learning about the outside of the garment but frankly you can’t sew that without learning about the insides too, right? So clean in and out kinda come along hand in hand. Besides I’m too fussy!

    I have a lovely piece of soft linen blend which I’m going to make up into slouchy trou shortly. We have just enough summer left for it to be worth while I think.

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