Hello! Does this look familiar?
It should. Here’s a refresher from Benin in case you forgot. It’s jacket #140 from the December 2012 issue of BurdaStyle magazine – my very first Burdastyle issue, by the way! The jacket was dyed and sewed in Benin – the problem was the reversible zipper. They just did not exist in Benin. So I put it off for London.
When I finally arrived in England, I winterized my Adjovi dress and got ready to head into London to find a zipper.
PS I added pockets from the Colette Parfait because I deemed them necessary.
Then I was ready. Off I go!
Frances took me to… I forgot. She took me to a lot of places. This was a place with two floors somewhere near Berwick St. The back story is that I looked first in Paris for a 76cm reversible zipper. I found it. In black. And for 15 euros. That is 20.23 dollars. And it was a color that was completely wrong! NO I said, I’ll hold out for London.
Ding ding ding! I’m pretty sure I did a little dance and gave Frances a hug when I found this. The price? 5 pounds? 4.50 pounds? (I forgot, it was so reasonable I don’t remember it.) 7ish dollars. AND it was in the off-white I wanted – Take that Paris, you and your overpriced notion shops!
In London Frances kept me busy enough so I didn’t install the zipper at her place. Instead I went back to France to visit yet another sewing friend, Mélanie, who lives in Quimper.
First we ate. Sewing on an empty stomach is a big no no. Sewing on a stomach full of lasagna leftovers, that is good and improves sewing abilities.
After we cleared the table she pulled out her little baby, a husqvarna viking!
Though there was a little sewing machine vs. cat for the table space. I may or may not have pushed the cat off the table.
Mélanie threaded the machine for me.
Mélanie makes her own pin cushions. I wanted to steal this… but didn’t. Maybe next time I visit.
Then the zipper was installed! Well one side only as I needed to slip stitch the other side.
Except… it wouldn’t unzip. My zipper was indeed reversible but it was not separable! I didn’t check when I bought it, I just assumed.
Huge mistake. So in the end I had to pull it over my head to get it, not fun. I also couldn’t lower my arms as I had on a thick fleece, t-shirt, and long sleeved tee underneath – too thick for this jacket to handle.
So close! So close! But not there. I had Mélanie and Mr. Mélanie try and open the zipper end, but no go – this zipper did not separate.
Rather than mope about my unfinished jacket, we went to the ocean.
Don’t need an installed zipper to be happy!
Being with these two was my real purpose for going to Quimper, not to sew a zipper.
When I got back to the USA I ordered a reversible separable 76cm white zipper from Rockywoods Fabrics – this time scrutinizing the description to make sure it was what I wanted.
My new zipper arrived!
Except… it looked exactly the same as the non separating reversible zipper.
What. They looked the same, except for the color.
The only difference was that one opened, and one didn’t.
I became suspicious. I yanked my former zipper hard. As if I wanted to break it and I was angry at the world. And then it opened!!! Uh… did I feel dumb or what. So in the end it was separable, it was just stuck and needed a good yank.
I reattached it to my jacket, then slipstitched the other side.
And ta da! The jacket was finally done.
Look at those cuffs!
Moment of suspense: will it unzip all the way?
The answer is YES!
Time to take it off.
Flip those sleeves inside out.
Put it back on as dramatically as possible.
And zip up.
And DONE! Yeah my border print fish aren’t placed very well near the edge. But who says fish swim at 180° perfectly anyway? My jacket is a more realistic interpretation of a school of fish.
The sleeves are super long if you want to hide your hand, or you can roll them up for cuffs.
Oh that zipper is beautiful. Though I forgot to add pockets to the solid side, so I prefer to wear it on the print side as it’s more convenient for me. But both sides still work!
By the way, I’m in Texas, and I’ve switched photographers yet again – this time it is is Ashey!
She’s also modeling her cuff.
By the way she’s a sewer too (aren’t I lucky?) and the skirt she’s wearing is RTW but she did hem it herself.
We stopped by Texas’ oldest dance hall in Gruene.
If the John Travola movie Michael looks familiar, it should be… because this is where a scene was filmed.
But in my honest opinion, no movie can top Ashley posing. I much prefer Ashley than John Travolta.
Later on I swallowed Ashley in a huge hug outside an Antique mall because…
…I hit the pattern jackpot! An entire box stuffed full of patterns from the 50s-60s for only $15.00 had my name written all over it. I took it home, naturally.
Ashley then made dinner.
Mr. Ashley says hi!
My jacket says hi too.
Chili soup and homemade cornbread? YES PLEASE.
The next morning I hung out with her dog. She also has a fantastic baby fabric stash with some really ancient patterns gifted to her by her mother-in-law.
In the afternoon we went on a fabric adventure… with who else than Susan of Moonthirty!? HAH bet you weren’t expecting that!
Proof! We visited three fabric shops but this one was the last one we visited, Texstyles.
Ashley bought some chiffon to sew a dress. Daring much? Good luck!
Susan got something sparkly and I got something stripey.
Then we had dinner with Miss Lulu before I drove back to Dallas. Bet you weren’t expecting to see her either! Surprise surprise, but I had to say thank you in person to the people who sent me fabric all the way to Benin. And that’s it for the adventures of this batik jacket. Finally finished and completely wearable for all sorts of not-too-cold weather. Thanks to Frances, Mélanie, Ashley, Susan, and Miss Lulu for helping me out with outfit photos for this jacket.
Fabric: Dyed purple batik from Benin
Pattern: BurdaStyle Jacket #140 December 2012