Horse riding anyone?

If you have read any of my posts you will know I love making shirts and jackets. Tailored jackets give me a lot of satisfaction. I enjoy the amount of work involved including the large amount of hand sewing that is required for a decent tailored jacket. Up until now though, most of the jackets I have made, have (selfishly) been for myself. So it’s time to make a jacket for someone else….that someone being my wife.  Last week we popped to the local fabric shop and yes, you guessed it, autumn is coming! Gone were the lightweight summer fabrics and a new range of lovely autumn fabrics had be stacked all around. 
Now I must stress that, normally, Lu isn’t that keen on following me around the fabric shop; watching me contemplate how I could use any of the huge selection of fabrics on offer: She carries Harry around in her arms, whilst I rummage through the rolls and rolls of material (Harry does quite like the colourful fabric though). Well this visit was different! The autumn collection of fabrics changed everything and I ended up ‘carrying the baby’. Lu was the one rummaging through the new fabric stash. And boy did she rummage! We finally left with at least 8 different fabrics in preparation for me to make her a multitude of clothing. One fabric that caught her eye and mine was a lovely wool, just right for a tailored jacket.
So this brings me on to the title of this post. No I do not ride horses (I’ve tried and didn’t much care for it) and Lu hasn’t ridden for years but this wool will make a beautiful ‘riding’ jacket. I know horse-riding folks wear different types of jackets when riding and I’m thinking the showy type they wear: The tailored jacket with twin vents, cinched waist, high lapel and nice welt pockets type of thing. Something like these.
Now I am sure my equine loving friends will be able to tell me exactly what style these jackets are and why you would wear them, when on your steed but suffice to say, this jacket will be made to wear out and about and not whilst galloping across the fields of Devon!

This is the fabric chosen.

It is a medium weight wool so won’t be too heavy but will be warm for the coming autumn/winter months. Now I don’t know about you but I’ve not seen many patterns for this style of jacket so I shall be drafting my own, based, of course, on Lu’s measurements. I am pretty confident in drafting the pattern but will I get it to look like any of the pictures above? I really like the back shown in the 3rd picture with the curved seam either side of the vent going to the arm seam. Is that a real vent or is it a pleat? 
I am really looking forward to this challenge as, unlike a tailored jacket for a man, a jacket for a woman is a different beast: More curves, more shape, less ‘boxy’ and definitely more discreet touches.
Well wish me luck and I will keep you posted as the make progresses.
Until next time……
Happy sewing!

8 thoughts on “Horse riding anyone?”

  1. I just went looking for some fabric. They had some nice heavy weight knit jersey in taupe, alway a safe color for making a multitude of clothing. I typically like to do fabric shopping by myself since I don't feel hindered by others, or keeping other people waiting. However, this time my mom came with me and I was shocked she actually picked out 11 meters of home dec fabric for curtains and pillow covers for her family room. Of course I am the one who has to sew them up since she is hopeless on a sewing machine.

    As far as riding clothing, I use to make and wear jodhpurs. I still like them, the big roomy hips and crotch area. I have a few patterns for them and also for riding jackets as well. I still have to venture and make myself a traditional Scottish fancy dress outfit including kilt etc. I can't believe how much they charge for a complete Scottish highland outfit about a 1000 gbp so making it will be much more affordable and give me the opportunity to source outstanding "family tarten" directly from Scotland.

    Jamie, have you ever thought about putting together a "collection" for yourself or wife? Meaning 10-12 runway looks combining fabric, color and knocking off looks from other designer's rtw shows? I must say this is my goal for sewing. I would love to be able to reproduce a Chanel collection of clothing at 1/4 to 1/3 price point or for that matter take the best of each collection and make it up for clients.

    1. Hi Corey. Yes a Kilt, now that is some real skilled, time consuming sewing but beautiful when finished! I have thought about putting a collection together and I will be giving up my career as a teacher at the end of this October to become a 'house husband' to look after my son Harry. I am hoping this will give me a bit more time to focus on my sewing. Fingers crossed!

  2. I was a western horseman, so can't tell you about the English jackets, but I do love the look of them. Especially the ones with the velvet on the collar! I think that style of jacket is so feminine and flattering, and really love it. I gravitate to that style in the fall, as well. Lucky Lulu!

  3. Jamie, i hope you take your time before just giving up your job.

    Make sure you have saved at least 12 mth of income and also money set aside so that you can get yourself some professional equipment for sewing, including a used industrial sewing machine, a good domestic 2-3-4 thread serger (i don't recommend an industrial serger), coverstitch machine, upgraded domestic sewing machine (like a bernina for great buttonholes) and maybe a blind stitch machine.

  4. Can't wait to see your jacket, Lu is a lucky woman! I left the teaching profession last November after 20 years of service, money can be tight but we have a Lidl within walking distance and 'all' non-food items can be bought for mere pennies at car boot sales. Good luck!

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