My finished Sew for Victory jacket

Oh yeah! I introduce to you the best thing I’ve ever sewn.

That’s right, my Sew for Victory jacket is complete! Can you believe it? Be prepared for a bucketload of photos. Because let’s be real here. Internally, I’m actually shouting, “HOLY SHIT I CAN’T BELIEVE I SEWED THIS OMG!!”

It started over a month ago when Rochelle announced the 1940s-themed Sew for Victory sewalong, and with my crazy little idea that since I already sew a lot of 40s clothing for myself, I could challenge myself further and maybe I could even learn to sew my first tailored jacket from a 40s pattern. Sure, because that sounded like it made sense during the time frame of a sewalong, right? Riiiight.

There were so many things I had never done before! Tailoring techniques. Fully-enclosed lining. Sleeve cuffs and vents. Handworked buttonholes. Precision in places I am not necessarily usually able to be all that precise. I felt looney for even entertaining the thought.

I wasn’t sure that I could learn it all or execute it fast enough for the sewalong!

But I was wrong. Boy, was I wrong. Sometimes it feels awesome to be wrong!

I am so over the moon about this jacket, I can’t even tell you! I’m not even sure there are enough exclamation points in the world to punctuate it!

If you haven’t been following along my progress, this jacket was sewn from Hollywood Patterns 1678 from 1945. It was described as a battle jacket, modeled after a style of military jacket but also inspired by windbreaker jackets. What better pattern for a 40s-themed sewalong, right?

I used wool flannel fabric and rayon bemberg lining from Mood, and underlined the body with organic cotton batiste from Fabric.com. I also used vintage buttons and buttonhole twist to handwork the buttonholes. I love the wool fabric to wear but it was a pain to press (I even realized looking at these photos I need to steam the collar one more time).

It’s a heavier fabric combo than I bet the pattern thought you’d use, but it makes for a great warm jacket. Or short coat, whatever you want to call it. It was in the 30s when we took these photos and other than my hands freezing, I was toasty!

I really couldn’t be happier with the fit! It hits me perfectly below my waist but with room for the gathers, just like the original style of jacket (after taking about 1 1/2″ off the bodice length). That does take some getting used to, since there are no pockets to stuff my hands into (inseam pockets would have been too high to access).

I kind of like the little peek of lining you get from my sleeve cuffs, an unintentional side effect of not using matching lining, ha ha!

Speaking of the sleeve cuffs, I added 1″ to the width of the cuffs from my muslin, and now I can slip the sleeves on and off without unbuttoning the jacket. I also added back 1″ of some of the fullness I’d removed from the length of the sleeve so they’d gather nicer than my muslin, and they do!

I’m pretty happy with how the sleeves look from top to bottom. The sleeve heads and shoulder pads were definitely perfect for the final jacket even though I questioned the bulk along the way.

There’s some drag line action on the sleeves and I think it’s partially because they bunch up slightly. But that part is on purpose. The original sleeves on my muslin looked better but didn’t allow me to comfortably bend my arms without the cuffs riding up, so I decided I’d rather go for comfort. I mean, you do want to be able to move in your clothing after all.

Since I didn’t add the overlap on the bands at the front waist, I can wear it open just as nicely.

And I love the lining! I contemplated a pocket on the inside but with the (fully lined) patch pockets on the front and the short length, it was kind of like well, there’s really nowhere to put it.

Close up you can see I didn’t fold down the jump hem at the bottom and just left it as-is because of the gathers. I think it looks nice even like that.

But but but, stop the presses!

This jacket holds a secret…

I embroidered the back neck facing, making up a design based on V for Victory posters from World War II. I used fusible interfacing on the back to stabilize it. I love this little secret inside! Especially with the cross stitch on the lining center back pleat. This is one of my favorite parts!

And yes in case you’re wondering… I totally Photoshopped it out of all the pictures in my post on the lining. What a sneak, huh?? Well, I didn’t want to give away the surprise!

I’ve had the opportunity to wear the final jacket a couple of times since I finished, each time thinking, “I can’t believe I sewed this!” (or, you know, above-mentioned all caps shouting and swearing version).

You know that’s a great feeling!

It feels epic.

I have long coveted a short 40s jacket, and now I have just the perfect one!

outfit details

fair isle pullover: knit by me
beret: knit by me
Scottish tartan scarf: thrifted
trousers: Heyday
boots: Frye

Victory indeed!

Thanks so much to Rochelle for hosting the Sew for Victory challenge! What a great challenge it’s been!! ♥

Filed: Sew-alongs, Sewing, Vintage Wardrobe

Tagged: , , , ,

Golly, 117 Comments!

  • This is just fantastic! It looks beautiful and fits you so well. Great job Tasha!

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  • EEEEPPPPPP!!!! This is amazing! :D It looks so fabulous and the sneaky embroidery is to die for! Love!

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  • Wow! Your jacket is absolutely amazing! Congratulations on your sewing victory! In fact, I really love the whole outfit. So fun!

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  • Gorgeous – totally worth all the hard work you put in – Now I want to make one for myself!

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  • It’s beautiful! And so many great details I don’t even know where to start! I love the style on you, the back esp is just plain perfection, the buttons are adorable, and oh how all those fine, small areas of careful sewing works together and shouts “Quality!!!”.
    And the embroidery is the cherry on the top =) So cute, and what a cleaver surprise! I’m impressed and awed you took the time to photoshop it out.

    I know the feeling of wearing a garment that has taken so much time and effort to make, and the sheer bliss of having finished it. But mostly, it’s about wearing it. Confession: even after two winters (and winter is 6 months here) not a week goes by when I don’t have that feeling about my me-made coat. A real plus for sewing it oneself; the wow-factor is so much more lasting than for a bought garment =)

    Outstanding job! Congratulations on finishing (in time as well!) your amazing 40s jacket! And thank you for letting us along for the ride, it has been fascinating to see the details of the process!

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    • Thanks so much, Erika! I really appreciate the comment about the quality, I really did work extra hard on that with this project! And isn’t it funny– I love the back, too. lol

      I’m really glad to hear that about your winter coat, too. I’ll be perfectly happy for the novelty of my excitement to not really wear off. ;)

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  • Wow! I am seriously impressed. It looks really great and that little message on the inside is adorable.

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  • Speechless! that is one heck of a fabulous jacket, I’d wear it in a heartbeat! Love the Sew For Victory embroidery and the splash of red in your outfit, you gorgeous and talented lady! xxx

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  • Trumpets are blaring!!!! WELL DONE TO YOU!

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  • Oh my goodness Tasha, I’m literally lost for adjectives! This is simply stunning in every way possible (colour, style, finish, fit…..) and I adore all the personal touches. Just perfect really ;o)

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  • Aaaaargh…this jacket is just to die for! Well done! You make want to try and make the same, but jackets patterns in that style are unfortunately rather hard to come by…nevermind, maybe I’ll find one eventually!

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    • Thanks! And keep looking! I have seen similar ones pop up on Etsy and eBay both. Sometimes it’s hard to get the keywords right, but keep looking, they are around! :)

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  • It *IS* epic! Holy CRAP, that’s amazing. I can’t even…wow. This is so beautiful and amazingly crafted. Just wow. Magnificent!

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  • AHHHHHHH!!!! I was totally reading as fast as I could waiting to scroll down and see your SFV embroidery lol! wait for it… wait for it… waitforitbaaaaaaaaa OMG head explosion!!!!! You’re so freaking amazing. Like. Seriously. Seriously. I am totally blown away by your jacket and, I have to admit, a bit jealous lol. Amazing job, lady. I am so impressed.

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    • Thanks Rochelle!! I’m so glad your head exploded at the embroidery, I love that part. When I finished it I sat with the back neck facing sitting on the sofa next to me for about an hour, giddy. lol

      And you know I will be more than happy to help you create a version in the future, too! ;) ;)

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  • Tasha, your jacket is an absolute triumph, a TRIUMPH I say!! It’s one of the finest makes I’ve ever seen, I hope you’ve been doing several victory laps around your local area?! Hearty congratulations! x

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  • Fabulous!!! That looks so excellent and warm!

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  • I don’t like to throw around this word much, but yeah… that jacket is EPIC. Beautifully sewn, lady! I love the color and the fit is just perfect. And the embroidery on the inside collar made me gasp a little. I am definitely, absolutely going to steal your idea on that one :P

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    • Thanks Lauren! I rarely use that word either, so you know it must feel big for me to say it. LOL

      Please do steal that idea– it makes me want to embroider the innards of other things for fun, too! ;)

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  • Holy shit it IS freaking awesome! I bet you are so proud of yourself and you should be! I knew it would turn out beautiful. Way to go lady!!

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  • Wow, really beautiful work! Way to challenge yourself and be victorious. I LOVE the embroidery inside–what a great idea and special touch to a special project.

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  • Your jacket is amazing!

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  • I knew you were talented but you out did yourself! This is a masterpiece! I think its something every 40s gal should have! I beyond love it! You did an amazing job!!! xox

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  • I’m not sure I have seen a jacket that fits that perfectly. Amazing, doesn’t even come close. I love all the little details – the cross stitch and the buttons (absolutely cute!) You’re definitely an inspiration to push ourselves further with each project.

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    • Thanks Claire, I really appreciate the compliment on the fit! I sure hope it inspires someone else to challenge their skills, it was a major accomplishment to learn everything to do this and feels great. ;)

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  • It’s absolutely stunning. That wool fabric has a lovely glow to it and the finish is superb. But that embroidery – that is the cherry on the icing on the cake. I know how you feel. When I finished my Vogue coat I didn’t know whether to check myself into a hospital or run a victory marathon. I went for afternoon tea, instead! Well done, well done – brilliant work. And you did this all by yourself.

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    • LOL! I know exactly what you mean about checking yourself into a hospital or running a marathon, and I don’t even run! I contemplated cartwheels too, except I worried I’d break something (myself or my surroundings).

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  • Wowzers! You have every right to be proud – it’s just incredible! Really stunning!

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  • YOU’RE AWESOME!!!! Congratulations on a beautiful jacket; you wear it perfectly! I love the secret embroidery!!! I am usually a chicken when it comes to challenging my skill set – you are an inspiration to try something(s) new! BRAVO!!!

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  • HOLY MOLY! This is outstanding! I mean, really. You did such a phenomenal job in the construction and paid such great attention to detail!

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  • This is beautiful! I really really love the sew for victory embroidery.

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  • I scrolled through these pictures going ‘omg this is amazing!!!!’. Got to the secret embroidery and just about passed out. Unbelievable!

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  • Your jacket looks fantastic! You did such a great job and it suits you perfectly. It looks like you’ll have to find a perfect pair of warm gloves to accompany it!

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  • Um WHAAAAAAAAAAAT?!?!?!?!?! This looks incredible! Well done! And the embroidery– wow. Amazing!

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  • Wow, you look fantastic!

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  • This is a awesome outfit, and love the inside detail of your jacket. Those pants are fantastic!

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  • Beautiful!! No wonder you want to shout about it, it’s amazing! The embroidery is the perfect finishing touch. Well done!

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  • !!!!!!!!! All of your patience and hard work really paid off, the jacket is stunning. And I love that surprise inside the collar, such a cute reminder :) This is my favorite Sew For Victory make so far! xo

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  • Amazing!! What a completely fabulous job!!!!

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  • It suits you so well! Great job.

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  • WOW! Your jacket is amazing! All your hard work has paid off.

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  • Thank you SO MUCH everyone!!! ♥ ♥

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  • Great job Tasha!!!!

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  • Tasha, it looks amazing!

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  • Oh my god, this is so great!! I’m so incredibly impressed (and inspired) that you tackled a project with so many advanced techniques! It came out beautifully. And I CAN’T EVEN EXPRESS how much I love the embroidered detail on the inside and the fact that you photoshopped it out so it’d be a surprise! Love. Love. LOVE.

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  • OMG! Tasha that is gorgeous!!! I love love love the inside quote, you did a wonderful job on that jacket!
    I’m so sorry to haven’t done my homework for the Sew For Victory sew a long, but with a 3yo child isn’t so easy at the time. maybe next time. Hope you luck on the contest, because you deserve a prize!

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  • Ooohhh… Now that is just drool worthy :) Makes me want to sew a jacket myself. I have 2 original blouses in that design, but no jacket. And I have some lovely black cashmere fabric… Hmmmm…

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  • Amazing, the jacket looks gorgeous and I love the secret embroidery (very sneaky!). Those buttons are fantastic too.

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  • Oh YAAAAYYYY! I had such fun reading your post and looking at all of your lovely images of your new Ike jacket! It’s so perfect and fits wonderfully.

    That flash of embroidery on the inside is such a great touch too.

    I’m so happy and excited for you on conquering your first tailored jacket! Wooooot!

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  • It’s great! OH MY GOODNESS, LOOK AT IT! I can’t even believe how well it turned out, lady! The buttons! The sleeves! THE INSIDE EMBROIDERY AT THE COLLAR. You SHOULD be pleased as punch with yourself. I would never take that jacket off if I’d made something so glorious with my own two hands!

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  • This looks amazing! You my friend are one talented lady. I love the colour. It looks so great on you. A d yay for trying new things!

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  • It’s gorgeous! Well done!

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  • Your jacket is amazing, you are right to want to shout about it! It has been fascinating to follow your progress and I love the uprise embroidery.

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  • What a perfect fit! Well done, you must feel so relieved that it’s complete and you can let it out about the cute embroidery! haha :)

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  • I have always been impressed by your work, but I think my jaw really hit the floor today. This is just too fantastic for words. It fits beautifully and you picked a marvelous color as well!

    I absolutely adore the embroidery you did too!

    xoxo
    -Janey

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  • Beautiful job! It looks fantastic, and you know that when you’re 90 and barely able to move around in the cold, cold winters, you’ll still have a lovely, well made, warm coat to pull on to rug up with…

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  • It looks incredible and I can see it being used in many different outfits. Oh I have got to start practicing my sewing. :)

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  • Oh, Tasha! This jacket is a dream! Reading how excited you are about it makes ME excited about it! I know the amazing feeling of succeeding in a project that you weren’t sure was going to work out…it’s so satisfying. You deserve to be AMAZINGLY proud, this turned out UNBELIEVABLE. I can’t get over the embroidery, that makes the whole thing for me. You’re a very talented lady, congrats!

    xoxo,
    Tina

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  • This is truly, truly amazing!!! What a VICTORY for you!

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  • LADY, that is spectacular!!!! Those trousers look slam min’ on ya, too. Really, just the whole ensemble is incredible!!!

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  • WOW! I am soooo amazed! I was definitely not expecting this much awesomeness from all the preview pics – you did a great job of not giving anything away (with a little help from photoshop)! The embroidery is TOO AWESOME! And I know you are going to get a TON of wear out of that jacket! Not something that can be said for everything made from 1940′s patterns :) Congrats!

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  • Stunning : ) And I LOVE the embroidery at the neck, that is just inspired. Hopefully the generations to come will love and adore this piece the way we love the original pieces of this era. Maybe it will end up in a museum somewhere with a note that explains what you did and why : )

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  • This is just incredible! You are super amazing! Everything about this jacket is so wonderful. Congrats on doing an amazing job! Your whole outfit looks simply darling, you beautiful thing, you!

    xo,
    Em

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  • Wowzers! What a clever lady you are – the jacket is perfect!!!!!!!!!

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  • I just love how excited you are about this project – and you should be, because its gorgeous!!! And I may well borrow that embroidery idea one day… I’d just need to teach myself how to embroider… :)

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  • Beyond lovely! You really have something to be proud of there. I’m working on my secondish garment now (Butterick B5708, a retro repo pattern from ’53) & your jacket progress has been loads of great inspiration for me. Even though I’m not using the same techniques, it’s really inspiring to see someone with such a careful, persistent, yet patient hand challenging herself to go well beyond her comfort zone. Marvelous!

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  • I don’t even know you, and I am proud of you. Tremendous job! This is why we sew through the tears of the project that don’t work. Congratulations.

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  • Amazing job Tasha ~ your jacket is simply divine!! You have done fabulous work putting it together, and it suits you to a T. I only wish I could sew that well, but I’m sure I’ll get there one day. Practice makes perfect right? :)

    xox,
    bonita of Depict This!

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  • Absolutely love the jacket and particularly the embroidery. A perfect addition to a beautifully constructed project. Has made me even more determined to get sewing again!

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  • It’s really lovely! And I know it’s been a lot of work. I’ve recently finished a winter coat too and I can’t count the hours I spent making it. Congrats, you look beautiful!

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  • Bridget Loraine March 27, 2013 at 10:54am

    Wow! I have just started following your blog and think your style is fabulous. Totally love this jacket – what an achievement – and really loved the detailed blogs on how you did it. I am a life-long sewer but have never even considered trying a jacket … perhaps I will now (but I will be referring back to your posts non-stop, I expect)!!! Thank you!

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  • incredible, it’s so beautiful !!!
    And you wear it with a lot of elegance
    A real pleasure to see

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  • I Love it! That color is so pretty and it suits you perfectly. I especially love the embroidery at the neck. I’m soo going to need a jacket like that as well :)

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  • HOLY MOLY! That is so clever!
    This post made me smile several times – I totally share your happiness. I’m a seamstress too. I also love lining and embroidering little details inside. No one needs to see it (except on the blog, that is ;)) but it takes the whole feeling of the garment, when you wear it, to another level. Just because you know how detailed it actually is.
    Once I made a shirt for my boyfriend and I embriodered our initial letters in a heart with an arrow and + sign between, on the inner neck piece. No one sees it, but it’s there! :)
    It has been lovely to follow this all along, and I want to thank you for sharing that inspirational stage you’ve been into. Also I want to say thanks to you for writing so clearly and understandable – I think my english skills improve just by reading your descriptions of textile matters whether it’s sewing or knitting.
    I’m so glad I came across your blog.

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  • congratulations, it’s amazing like I knew it would be!

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  • It think it looks fabulous, I love it!

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  • WOW! It looks sooo good! Well done! And the embroidery is just perfect – love the idea!

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  • WOW! WOW! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW!!!!!!!!!!!! This is EPIC!!!!!!!! Amazing work – and I LOVE the “Sew for Victory” embroidery! *high FIVE!!!!*

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  • Amazing!! The jacket looks incredible, congratulations! PS: I am just learning to sew and you are inspiring me ;)

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  • I must say that I really looked forward to seeing this jacket finished and that I am not disappointed. It’s awesome, you should be proud of yourself. Congrats!

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  • Tasha, it is simply, timelessly incredible. You did an amazing job and look gorgeous in your new jacket. The stitchery on the inside collar is truly an unforgettably wonderful touch.

    ♥ Jessica

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  • really really wonderful!Congrats to You! I like the beret, too! Ines

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  • Amazing! What a fabulous jacket – I bet your proud as punch – it looks like it has come straight out of the 1940s – lovely :)

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  • What a lovely jacket; it looks amazing on you. You are so clever.

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  • It’s fabulous you are too clever for words. Would you fancy making me one now?

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  • Wow, it’s perfect, you can be really proud of yourself. I would dance in front of the mirror all day if I were you.
    And I really like the fabric you chose, I can’t imagine it would look that elegant in a thinner fabric, as you mentioned the pattern was suggested for.
    Are you planning to sew a matching skirt like on the pattern envelope?

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  • What a beautiful, perfectly-crafted jacket! Congratulations, what an achievement.

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  • Oh my gosh! I love it! It looks just like an Ike jacket! Well done and congratulations. I would love to see it in person. I also adore your personal touch on the inside. :)

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  • I’ve not been reading your blog for long, but am definitely a fan. This jacket is a work of art, and you have every right to be immensely proud of it. The embroidery made me laugh with delight, and everything else had me squee-ing. Good stuff!

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  • Oh well done Tasha :) It looks FAB! You were definitely sneaky about that embroidery- what a lovely surprise :) It makes me smile! And you certainly deserve to rave about your success in making this!

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  • Amazing! Love the details like the buttons and the embroidery is just perfect!

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  • It looks great! I have to admit when reading along with the making of the jacket I was thinking that you’d scared me off from sewing forever but I still think it must be such an amazing feeling to make something for yourself that comes out so fantastic!

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  • OMG this is AMAZING!!!!! I just LOVE it!! The embroidery is a fun secret surprise!! I can’t wait to see it in person!!!

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  • You are really talented. I think you are ready to try out for Project Runway, and I would totally root for you!

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  • Amazing! The effort you’ve put into this shows. I doubt I’d ever have the time or the ability to produce something like this, and you deserve to be super proud. The embroidery is divine too!

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  • It’s insanely gorgeous! Perfect to every last detail – the length, the color, the buttons, the embroidered lining. You are my hero!

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  • Wow fabulous and then some!!!!!!

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  • I am a little late to the party but WOW!!!!

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  • That jacket is flat out amazing!! And I love the Sew For Victory detailing you did!! GREAT JOB!!!

    -Amy (www.thatssewamy.com)

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  • Wow! I am so very very impresed. That jacket is amazing inside and out!

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  • Hurrah!!!!!! It’s turned out AMAZING!!!!!! Massive congrats xx

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  • This is such a beautiful little jacket! It looks so impeccable and it fits you so well. You did an amazing job. Oh, and the Sew for Victory embroidery is perfect. What a nice finishing touch!

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  • Wow Tasha, epic is the word. That’s a truly lovely jacket, well done!
    x

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  • So cute! Wonderful color on you. Sewing perfection! This is so inspiring to see…thanks for so many pics to see it from all sides–you can never too many pics! :0)
    Many compliments to you and your skills. Your detailing is admirable and a joy to view!

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  • What an accomplishment! It turned out great and I loved seeing all the different shots <3.

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  • This is just so perfect! The buttons, the colour, the lining. Just wow. And I love the stitching in the collar. Well done!

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  • I have a similar jacket pattern that I’d love to get around to making sometime. I ADORE that pullover, by the way. I’m so jealous of your knitting abilities. I haven’t quit worked up the courage for a full fair isle sweater yet. It’s just beautiful!!

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  • […] first time I hand worked buttonholes was for my Sew for Victory jacket. Since I was doing it on a jacket I spent a whooole lot of time researching the topic. I read […]

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  • […] check out Tasha’s jacket here at “By Gum, By Golly–”those are some beautiful sleeves.  Her’s is one of […]

    Reply

  • I am SO INSPIRED by this project! It’s amazing, and sparks a fire in me. You’ve done a beautiful job, I would love to emulate it, and I hope I can find this pattern, seems unavailable right now. I love Love LOVE the website, and your fantastic vintage style. This site brightens up my month, for sure. Thanks for all the fantastic effort.
    Cheers!
    Renee

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  • […] The bodice is lined with turquoise rayon bemberg. Not exactly the right choice to go so contrasty, as I think when I move you can see down the back of my dress and see the crazy lining, but at least it’s cool, right? This was my first time lining a bodice, outside of my Sew for Victory jacket. […]

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  • […] With Rochelle having recently announced Sew for Victory for the second year, a lot of us are eagerly planning our 1940s-inspired sewing projects. (Me? Not sure what mine will be but I can guarantee it won’t be as ambitious as last year’s project!) […]

    Reply

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