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May 10, 2019

Oye, Poppy!

Friends, have you ever sewn with fabric that had such a bold pattern that halfway through your project you just couldn't look at it anymore and began to question whether you liked it in the first place?

That's what's been happening to me.

I was really into this this "Wizard of Oz" poppy-pattern quilting cotton (a retired design by Timeless Treasures), which I purchased on eBay a few weeks ago.  You can read about the genesis of this project here.

My original idea was to make an anorak with it.  But then I remembered that I don't like outerwear I have to pull over my head.  The anorak I made a number of years ago is one of my least-worn me-made garments and not because there's anything wrong with it.  I just don't like pulling it over my head and not being able to open it all the way.

So instead of an anorak I decided to make a work jacket like this one, which I do wear quite a bit.

Just like before, I'm using a pattern from the Japanese Pattern Book "Men's Clothes for All Seasons."  That's the work jacket on the cover.

Since the quilting cotton is too soft and drapey for a jacket like this, I decided to underline the entire thing with a lightweight tan cotton twill I bought a few weeks ago in the Garment District.  This meant I had to cut out the entire pattern twice in two different fabrics and then baste them together.

Even though both the poppy fabric and the twill are relatively lightweight, together they're a little bulky -- perhaps a little too bulky, frankly.  But I started this jacket and now I want to see it finished.  Hopefully I'll be done sometime this weekend.  I plan to buy some fun buttons and have my buttonholes made tomorrow-- if not, then early next week.  (I also hope this jacket won't be too warm for this time of year.  It just might be.)

I had forgotten how much topstitching is involved in this jacket.  And I haven't started to make the four patch pockets.  I'll have to topstitch those too.

But most of all, I hope this is a garment I like when it's finished.  Right now I'm just a little tired of looking at this poppy print.

Which means it's time to stop sewing and take a break.

Have you ever been "all patterned out" by fabric you were sewing?  Please don't tell me I'm alone in this.

Have a great day, everybody!


  1. Your poor eyes must be so tired! That jacket is going to look amazing, though. If it's too warm for the season, it can hibernate until autumn; by then you will have had a proper break from staring at that pattern and you can wear it with joy.

  2. I had a nearly identical experience a few years ago, Peter.

    Had great plans for a kimono-style dressing gown but chose a flimsy cotton with a smallish geometric red, black and beige pattern - which I then decided to underline in a lightweight beige cotton. Basted all the pieces together then, halfway through assembling it, decided the pattern was way too much. So I cut my losses and bailed out.

    Happy ending though: I covered my desk chair seat pad with the patterned fabric and used the beige cotton (underlining) for the backing. So I'm very happily living with the pattern ... under my bum where I can't see it all the time :)

    But I like the way your jacket is shaping up and do hope you finish it.


  3. I bought a striped shirting once that would woogle out on me in certain lights. It was SO hard to sew. it gave me eyestrain. (And forget photography).

    Other than that - I have learned the lesson that sewing is pleasurable only when I love the textile.

  4. I have never gotten tired of looking at a very bright print, but was ready to pitch the makings of an eight foot long cotton batik scarf out the window before I had finished hand hemming the sides and fringing the ends by pulling threads. I had to finish it because I had to wear it in a few days. But you can take a break, and your jacket will look much friendlier in a few months.

  5. I see on IG you've taken it in for the buttonholes, so somehow you have put on your sunglasses and forged ahead.
    I love novelty prints, but there have been a few that I had to set aside from visual exhaustion. And a few of those that have traveled from the UFO to the done/donated pile. If I can't look at it, I shudder to think of the people I work and live with and their eyeballs. There is a Liberty lawn stripe that I slashed into yards of bias trim, where it's hypnotically nauseating pattern makes a sharp, very slender visual hiccup on a seam.


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