Hi, and welcome to the latest installment of “finally getting around to doing something with stuff that has been in my cupboard for about twenty years”. (First installment here, for those of you who need to waste time at work). Today’s episode showcases the exciting adventures of a jacket that my next door neighbour gave me when I was in high school. Originally it had an asymmetric front, sort of like a Mao jacket that had a diagonally closing flap with bells on it, but I took that off years ago to make it look like this.
I’m not sure where my neighbour got it, but judging by the embroidery on the pockets and the indigo-dyed, handwoven look of the fabric, I would say it is probably the work of Hmong people somewhere in Thailand or that neck of the woods anyway.
The embroidery is different on each pocket, but if you try to spot each difference you will probably go insane. Have a go anyway if you’re up for a challenge. (By reading this post, not only do you get to check out my sewing project, you get to play games too!! How many more ways to waste time can there be??!)
I loved the embroidery but the jacket was too big and shapeless and “proto sleeves” (as I’m sure I’ve heard some clever seamstress refer to sleeves made from rectangles rather than properly curved and set in to a garment) really don’t do much for anybody. I didn’t want to muck around too much though, as I was too lazy to relocate the pockets and also wanted to retain the cord-trimmed neckline. So I just sewed the fronts together to make a loose top instead of a jacket, then unpicked the sleeves and cut them half way up to use the decorated part of the cuffs. Then I tried on the top and made some darts along the shoulders to give it a bit of shape, gathered the top part of the sleeves to give them a little bit of puff and reattached them. Better, don’t you think?
As luck would have it, I found this Asian-style hat at an op shop for a few dollars a little while ago, so it gets to be in the picture too, along with my Lao earrings, even though I’m not usually into being all matchy-matchy.