Saturday, March 19, 2016

The Wool Blanket Jacket

I may have a bit of an obsession with wool fabric. It started a year and a half ago when I bought my bolt of purple plaid wool. After making a capelet out of my purple plaid wool last fall and lining it with what used to be a wool skirt, I've discovered what a great fabric source thrifted wool garments can be. Now no trip to a thrift store is complete with out a wander through the skirts to see what wool beauties I can find. Occasionally I find wool in other areas too, such as the linens. A month or two ago I happened upon this wool blanket.

It being all wool, and plaid wool at that, I couldn't leave it behind. What would I make out of it though? A couple weeks later I happened across this blog post about making a jacket out of a wool blanket. There, that is what I wanted to do.  A jacket, with an asymmetrical front closure. I sketched out my idea then got to work.

I started cutting up my blanket and draping it around myself. Yep, I wasn't going to use a pattern if I could help it.

I'm working on making myself less dependent on patterns. Sewing is fun for me because I can make it as challenging or as easy as I want it to be that day. I'm always learning, always trying to get better at my craft and master new skills. Currently that skill is draping and drafting my own patterns. With this blanket only costing me $4, it seemed like a good canvas for me to practice on.

The body of the jacket was was easy enough to figure out. It required about half the length of the blanket. The blanket was just wide enough to make the front and back of the jacket. I cut the front diagonal as I'd envisioned and cut slits for the arm holes. Looking back I should have shaped the arm holes more, but at the time I was trying to retain as much shoulder width as possible (commercial patterns are almost always too narrow through the shoulders for me.)

I stitched up the shoulder seams and tried it on, it worked! Next up, the sleeves.

I made two tubes from the other half of the blanket. I added a little bit of shaping to the sleeve head so that my sleeves would fit right, then sewed them on, attached the lining, made pockets, and added some buttons. In one evening I had a jacket done, and I wasn't overly fond of it. 

(sorry for the wonky mirror selfies, there was no one around to take pics for me)

The jacket needed something else, like a hood. Yes! That was it, my jacket needed a hood, or a shoulder cape-like thing. Oh! It needed a shoulder-cape thing that turned into a hood, just like on Simplicity 1254, a pattern I've admired several times but never bought. At that moment I was really regretting never buying that pattern, despite being tempted to many times. I had no idea how to make a cape thing that could convert to a hood thing. I searched for tutorials online. No luck. I considered waiting until Simplicity patterns were on sale again, then buying the pattern and finishing the jacket. Hmm, no. I really wanted to get this jacket done, and I'd come this far without a pattern, surly I could finish without one. So I took my scrap. . .

trimmed off the fringe. . .

and started draping the fabric around my shoulders. 

I had to piece together all of my scraps, but eventually, I had it! 

A cape. . .

That converts to a hood. . .

With the help of a drawstring woven through little button holes around the edge of the cape/hood.

The cape/hood was just what the jacket needed! I love it now!

The jacket closes with two buttons at the neck, and a third hidden button beneath those. 

I lined the jacket in a soft purple rayon I found at a thrift store.

The only thing a dislike about the jacket is how the pockets look. They work well, but they could look better. I have an idea of how to fix them, I just need to take the time to try my idea out.

Even with the less than perfect pockets, I've been wearing this jacket a lot lately. Giselle approves of it!

Speaking of Giselle, she has been growing like a weed and is quite friendly! I'm so happy to have this daughter of Sombrita.

Whenever I go out to the goat pen she runs over to say hi. I can't wait to see how she turns out as she grows!

A wool blanket to a snuggle-y warm goat-approved jacket. I can't complain about how this refashion turned out!


  1. You did a beautiful job on the jacket. I love the way you used the fringed portion of the blanket for the hem. Well done!! Cheer, Michele

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks! Your goats are due in May, right? How's Lucky doing?

  3. I too love wool! I bought a wool blanket years ago with the intention of sewing something out of it, but I just can't bring myself to cut it up! So I use it around the house as is. :o) Your blanket turned out to be a cute jacket...I'm interested to see what you do to those pockets. Flaps maybe?

    1. Not flaps exactly, but something to draw a bit more attention to the pockets :)

  4. What an absolutely fantastic way to make a boring fireproof blanket . into something new and exciting....I love it!