Papercut’s Watson Jacket; a difficult beginning, but a lasting friendship

I can’t remember when I first saw this pattern, but I do know I fell in love with it instantly. Papercut is designed in Richmond, only half an hours drive from my home town of Nelson. Most of her pattern’s are not quite my kind of thing (designed for waifs, or at least styled that way) and are a tad expensive for indie patterns (priced, I think, for the international market? Or because it’s expensive to create/live in NZ). It took me a while to get around to actually buying it and buying the fabric – and then tracing all 15 pieces – and then a bit longer to build the courage to start making it.

It’s classed as an “expert” level, which I’m not sure I agree with – I’m no expert, and I found it fine EXCEPT for two places. Firstly, there was an issue with the notches not being plentiful enough, and some in the wrong place (although this may partly be due to my tracing). Then, the instructions. I had a full blown tnatrum when making this jacket – I’m going to leave the bulk of explanations for another post where I explain what to do so you don’t spend an hour wailing to your husband and sister in law; but know that there was tears, and uncalled-for yelling at my husband. This post will just be about the jacket.

And, what a jacket.

It’s made from a 100% wool from The Fabric Store, which I bought under pressure (the last day I could go to their 50% off sale) and I hated as soon as I left the store. I think Mrs. C hears me complaining about stuff a lot more than I would like, and she heard me lamenting straight after. Woe is me. But once made up, it’s actually rather nice – think school blazer texture. And the colour is a lovely… raspberry red colour, maybe? Not BRIGHT bright red, but red.

It’s lined from 100% silk lining, also from The Fabric Store. It was weird, but good to work with – very stringy, and because I used my rotary cutter (for the first real time) the strings got stuck in my self-healing mat.

The only fitting I did was take some room out of each side seam – but I think I took out too much, forgetting that it was a coat and so shouldn’t be fitted. Next time I’ll put some of that back in and would probably have the buttons as decoration only – as you can see it pulls a bit over the bust even though there’s definitely enough room in there.

I’ve worn this twice in public (not counting walking to work) and got several comments on it each time, woot! It is rather stunning, and an awesome unusual design. The capelet is rad.

The design of the pattern is really good, and other than a couple of issues that I’ll detail in another post, well drafted. It has two collar pieces, one slightly smaller than the other so the undercollar rolls under; the back lining has pleats instead of darts so it has more room to move; it has a hem facing; and it has a bum flap which is flattering and comfortable!

The wool is a lot drapier than the lining, so it bags a bit. I’ve been advised that this is one of those “noone will know, ignore it but improve next time” elements, and I should have made an overlay at the bottom before topstitching (so the shell fabric rolls under by 1cm or so)


Pattern: Watson Jacket by Papercut Patterns, $39.95 from The Fabric Store ($35 from her website with free shipping)

Fabric: Red wool, $16/m (originally $32 with 50% off), 2.8m = $44.80

Silk lining, $6/m, 1.7m = $10.20

Notions: Interfacing, $12/m = $12. Thread 2x $3.8 = $7.60. Buttons, self-covered, 2x $5.90 for 3 = $11.80

Total = $126.30

Yikes! Here’s when it’s good to add up all the costs, not just the shell fabric which I would have done. I never would have started out being happy to pay that much for a coat – but I think it’s worth it. The cheapest RTW coats you could get would be >$100, and they wont be wool and silk!!


22 thoughts on “Papercut’s Watson Jacket; a difficult beginning, but a lasting friendship

  1. Totally worth it! Your jacket is gorgeous and you get bragging rights about a) having made it and b) having it made of wool and silk. I had a shock when I made my teal chantilly and realised how ‘spensive it was, but then decided the work and the fabric quality made it a bargain; you’ve got the same here! As a side note as well, I was in Witchery admiring a beautiful dress, and checked the price tag. $250. Huh. Checked the content: 100% polyester. My response was a silent “F**k off!”…. making really is best πŸ™‚
    PS – I love your blog, the photos are so awesome and fun!

  2. Yay! Red Watson!! I loves it. πŸ˜€

    This pattern is so high on my to-make list. Really must get onto it sometime soon!

    And I’m with Juliet – loving the crazy fun photos! πŸ™‚

  3. i love this… it makes me want to make one… i will add it to my list of to-sew one day. The colour is amazing and you could never buy a coat for this price.

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  5. I love your version! A just love a red winter coat, I love how it colors the streets during those dreary months when everybody seems to be huddled up in black or beige or gray… I love mine too, although I haven’t been able to wear it yet, ’cause it is still 25ΒΊ out here… The only thing I had trouble with, were the squareness of the shoulders of the capelet but you don’t seem to have that problem, so I guess it must be my shoulders… And it would be great if there were pockets… Because a jacket without pockets, especially a jacket you can’t comfortably wear a handbag with, is just not 100% practical, but the unusual design makes up for everything!

  6. I saw your post over on the Monthly Stitch and had to pop over to see more. Wow! I have loved this cape ever since I saw the pattern and it is just fantastic on you! It looks completely ‘expert’ in it’s execution, you did such a great job of sewing it up and lining it in lovely silk! I’m very impressed, great colour too. It is far too advanced for my sewing skills, but it is definitely on my list of ‘what i want to sew when I have more skills’. Thanks for sharing. And, I’m also following your blog, had not heard of it before, so am excited to see what else your mad skills come up with. πŸ™‚

    • I’m pretty sure I sewed this up much more expertly than I usually do – I think because I was expecting it to be really hard, I took my time with it – and it didn’t end up being as hard as I had thought, I definitely recommend it!

  7. This looks amazing on you! I can’t wait to see it in real life and now I want to pull out my pattern and make it up RIGHT NOW! But summer is coming and I want dresses, lots of dresses.

  8. Love it! Almost all of my projects end up being more expensive than I expect them to be, but I try to remind myself that I usually learn something, and I didn’t have to pay some one to teach me. lol. Free classes included?

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  10. Wow, it looks great! I love the colour, it really suits you. I’ll be interested to see your post about the construction – I wrote the post about my coat about a year after I had made it so I forgot most of it! I do remember the lack of notches – was it on the sleeves that it really annoyed me – not following the standard two notches for the back, one for the front of the sleeve? I also get the same problem with silk or very fine fabrics with a rotary cutter, I think because the fabric is so fine it gets pulled into the cut you make in the mat, resulting in fraying. I use scissors instead – but next time I’m going to try the two-layer tissue paper trick (

    • My main issue was with the cape seams – I don’t think there was any notches, or at least it wasn’t clear that the seams weren’t supposed to match (and that there should have been a 2″ overlap at the shoulder). I really should get around to doing another post, but it will require me to make another Watson jacket – which I would love, but is a bit money and time investment!

      For slippery fabrics I tend to cut them out on a towel, or on the carpet as they grip on to it. It doesn’t allow you to use a rotary cutter but hey, I use scissors anyway (and I don’t want to use my scissors for paper)

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  12. I m at the yelling & tears stage- basted it together and it just doesn’t go. I don’t understand the bit at top of cape/joining shoulders with placement/notches at all.

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