Pattern and wool coating fabric samples

Harris tweed love-fest

I’m itching to start on Mr Ginjer’s pea coat. The thing that is exciting me most is I will have the chance to work with some Harris tweed.

When we started discussing the project I had visions of a classic navy wool melton, and he offered a preference for herringbone grey. But the more I searched for inspiration and added images to my Pinterest board, our initial ideas seemed a little tame. Nothing wrong with a navy or grey pea coat, but why not push the boundaries a little further? After all, that is the advantage of a hand-made garment.

Pattern and wool coating fabric samples

Pattern and wool coating fabric samples

I found myself coming back over and over again to Harris tweed. The cloth offers so many options and, when I eyeballed it close up, so many colours in the weave.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. The starting point was to select a pattern. I was initially distracted by Vogue 8940, which is pretty stylish, but, on reflection, has everything (too much?) thrown at it in terms of design features. We then took a hard look at Thread Theory’s Goldstream pea coat, which is a little simpler, but still has a choice of design options with both classic and casual interpretations. Mr G decided the classic was the one for him, minus the shoulder epaulettes and the sleeve tabs.

I collected about a dozen wool and wool-mix swatches, ranging from heavy duty melton to dogtooth checks, plus multiple Harris tweed offerings. I had my eye on two mouthwatering examples. But would Mr G feel the same?

Harris Tweed - the range of colours incorporated into the weave is fantastic

Harris Tweed – hard to tell from these shots, but the range of colours in the weave is fantastic

I have also been searching for lining fabrics. Mr G’s brief was it had to be loud and he wanted something with a ‘60s vibe, in the style of the Beatles Sergeant Pepper album cover.

Crumbs! It’s tough finding really interesting lining fabrics at the best of times, never mind filling that brief! I hunted out regular linings, Liberty prints and even mulled over the fancy designs on offer from The Lining Company. Nothing stood out.

That is until I came across some designs Ozwald Boateng created for African wax print specialist Vlisco in 2014. Sadly these designs were a limited edition and I cannot find them for sale anywhere. But they have fired both our imaginations and opened up a new world of possibilities…..

First, though, Mr G had to select the top fabric. In the end it came down to two luscious Harris tweeds from Merchant & Mills.

Can you guess which one? I’ll give you a clue. It reminds him of his first proper suit, which was a Harris tweed with a fine gold over check. You can see it in close up image above right.

I’m going to have fun making sure everything matches. Layout and cutting may take some time.

The herringbone Harris Tweed wins the day

The herringbone Harris Tweed wins the day

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One comment

  • Mr Ginjer 10th March 2017   Reply →

    Mr Ginjer is itching for you to get started on this too. Any chance it will be ready for next autumn. I’m a little worried pea coats may finally go out of fashion before this project comes to fruition.

    PS: If you want the dining room finished, you know what you’ve got to do.

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