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.
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?
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.