The Warmest Icicle in Britain

That’s me. I was hemming a dress in anticipation of spring and then whoosh, in comes the Siberian snow and sub zeroes, and it felt plain daft to be sitting, a little chilly, and working on something where even trying on to check the hem was far from appealing. So, I went for Plan B. After all, we need to adapt to survive.

Some time ago I bought 2m of Icicle Blue Chunky Herringbone, and the last 2m of the ice blue candy floss wool. I had an idea for a warm cuddly jacket, mostly to wear around the house, since it is about as flattering as a puffer jacket to the figure. However, since central heating turned up high is costly, and at times you are alone in the house it feels a bit silly spending oodles when you could simply wear more layers, I wanted to throw fashion to the winds, bar the colour, and go for cosy, cosy, cosy. The pattern is for a loose jacket, where the front facing is turned back and makes cuddle soft pockets—ideal to warm up chilled typing fingers (Simplicity 1319).

Photo 1

It is designed to have the facings in the main fabric and be lined, in the normal way. I wanted to use the candy floss snuggly as a lining and the facings. Yes, that makes it bulkier, but wow is it cosy.

I pre-washed the fabrics, mostly to see how they behaved. They take up a lot of water and take days to dry but it is possible (cool hand wash only). The main thing is that if there is ever a disaster with a coffee or something else potentially staining, I will not feel nervous about getting the fabric wet to get out the marks (no rubbing, but I do recommend normal hand wash liquid and a little warm water.)

The chunky herringbone has a loose weave, so I played safe and went down each seam either side of the join to give both structure and security. Do make sure you do this on the seam from shoulder to wrist before you do the under-arm seam, as it is far easier than pushing fabric around that is trying to bulk up around the machine needle. For the underside of the sleeve that is inevitable, but worth the effort. I actually think the additional stitching looks rather good on this sort of fabric. This is the inside of course.

Photo 2

The pattern has fusible interfacing on the facings, but I found that this made the snuggly ice blue candy floss too stiff and removed it after trying one cuff. These fabrics do not need it. However, so remember the lining is thicker than usual so make sure you actually make the curve under the arm start a little further into the fabric than the pattern shows, or else the lining sleeve will not let the main sleeve reach full extent and pull the outer fabric out of shape. Other than the time doing the extra seams, it is a doddle of a pattern, and I am really pleased with the result.  Note that it ought to be three quarter length sleeves with plenty of turn back, but I have gone for full length and just a narrow facing showing, for warmth.

Photo 3

If you want to make this jacket in the normal way and rather more chic, you could make it in the Icicle Blue Chunky Herringbone, or perhaps mint humbug or even the rich wine coloured ‘Carnvale Bardolino’ donegal style herringbone, and line it with something less bulky, but I think too satiny a lining with this loose look might make it slip too much. How about a smooth cotton instead? You could either keep the facings in the main fabric or perhaps just boost a monochrome with facings in a bright mohair or Crystal Clear Cobalt Bouclé? For the Carnvale I might try a black facing.

I have finished this jacket whilst it is still -12˚C outside, and have been wearing it over the weekend, feeling very snug, and the warmest icicle in Britain!

Elizabeth Binns


Elizabeth Binns

Hello. I recently made a coat out of the blue herringbone I bought from Fabworks with interlinning that was actually a brushed cotton sheet and ordinary satin viscose linning. I can’t attach photo to this but if you e mail me I will attach photo of coat and pattern that I had to alter.

Elizabeth Binns

Glad I spotted this article!
I’ve had my eye on this fabric for a while and I’m going to use it as curtains in one of my new B&B rooms. So I have just bought it in case you sell out – that has happened to me before :(
From tomorrow a big package will be looking at me accusingly as to why the sewing machine is not already out. So many jobs to do!

Elizabeth Binns

Indoor coats are essential! I made a ‘blizzard top’ during the snow days last week, from the blue and grey double faced wool – it’s oversized and has a big polo neck. It’s the warmest thing ever and I’m already worrying about what I’ll wear when it needs a wash!
PS. Love your blog posts! :-)

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