The pirate jacket

My boyfriend and I are currently saving up for the mortgage deposit to buy a boat (a huge barge, not a tiny narrow canal boat) to live on starting this winter. We don’t want your average housewarmi- sorry, boatwarming party, so we’ve already decided it’s going to be a full pirate fancy dress theme. And if you’re throwing a fancy dress party, you’ve got to be the best dressed ones there!

For him, I bought Simplicity 4923 and have very slowly started to make the jacket portion out of a gorgeously thick, black silk velvet I scored at Walthamstow Market for £3/mt (by rights, it should’ve been at least £20/mt). He picked out some very nice hemispherical antique brass buttons from MacCulloch & Wallis plus some dark gold braid for the accents.

The only parts I’ve really done so far are the pocket flaps, because I keep working on other projects in between, and the velvet is such an arse to work with that it frustrates me really easily.

Reasons to avoid velvet:
1. You can’t iron it, or you’ll crush the pile
2. Since you can’t iron, you’ve got to steam the seams and finger press them open (owww)
3. Since you can’t iron, you’ve got to use iron-on interfacing
4. Because of the deep pile, the layers like to bunch up and slide whenever you sew them right side together, so you NEED to use a walking foot (I learned this the hard way, thankfully, in scraps)
5. You have to roll the fabric, as any creases in folds will create permanent wrinkles

Keeping all of the above in mind, it’s no wonder I’m not any further along than I am, but I’ll keep you updated.


I eventually finished the velvet pirate jacket – Read about it here!

And then later I sewed up a super-quick version of this pirate jacket for a friend, too!

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