Deer, Doe and Low: The Pavot Jacket

Please forgive me for what’s probably going to be a very self-depricating post. It starts with some bad feels, a bad haircut, and a recently finished coat that I don’t love at all.

I know, I know, I can hear you saying – “isn’t that the case with almost ALL of the things you’ve sewn recently?” and the answer is, yes. Somehow I’ve gotten myself into a sewing slump, where I’m making mistakes on a few levels – the fabric may not be right, the pattern doesn’t suit me, I try some fancy thing I’m not ready for, or/AND I rush through it, not taking the time to execute the techniques well enough.

As a person, I’m very impatient. I talk fast and expect others to talk fast. I don’t like waiting. And in my sewing, it means I want to wear the item NOW, which has often lead to taking shortcuts (I have many a dress that never received a hem, because I wanted to wear it before it was fully finished and I hate hemming). But recently I’ve come to ask myself: if I’m just rushing through to the finish line, what’s even the point? If the garment fits like RTW and the finishing is worse, why don’t I just buy all my clothes? (I did answer this question when I walked into a shop last week and promptly had to walk out again, because the biggest size they sold was 14. DAMNIT I wanted some high waisted jeans!)

Mr. Guy and I have just done a big move – two days of driving (with a very well behaved cat and dog in the car) has lead us to Rawene, a small town (population 538 – now 540) where I’ll be doing a rural GP run for the next three months. Mr. Guy will be a “kept man”, puppy daddy (yes, we just got a new puppy :D), and do casual electrical work. I’m hoping to take this time to really slow down my sewing, and enjoy each step rather than dreading it (“oh, cutting out/basting/trying on/buttonholes/hemming is my least favourite bit of sewing” – sound familiar?). Plus I’m hours away from any fabric or notions shop (I’ll be using the Made on Marion mail service) so I can’t be crow-like, getting distracted by all sorts of pretty new things.

So – for the jacket (and the haircut. Ugh it is terrible – it’s like a bowl cut on the top and longer flicky bits at the bottom. DON’T TELL ME YOU CAN’T SEE IT/IT’S NOT THAT BAD)


I was pretty keen on the design of this coat when I first saw it, thinking it my ideal style for a coat, with the peter pan collar, a-line skirt and length. And I still do like the design, just not this version of it. It took me ages to find a fabric suitable for it (and actually I think this fabric is a bit too stiff). I stupidly didn’t make a muslin because I knew it would be big enough (are warning bells starting to clang yet) – however, it ended up quite a lot too big.




I know that coats should be a bit big/not form fitting, because they’re often worn over jumpers. However I think, given the general shape of the coat, that the size is unflattering as the waist should really nip in, and there shouldn’t be large caverns in front of my bosom.


I thought I would be a fancy lady and make bound button holes. My sample worked beautifully but unfortunately the interfaced fabric was REALLY stiff, and the button placket actually wasn’t big enough to accommodate them well. Then I got fed up and grumpy and just did machine buttonholes on the facing, which are ugly and don’t line up (the bottom two buttons can’t even do up). I did take the time to bind every seam so the insides look pretty cool!


As you can see in all the photos, I’m not so happy. I think this is the item that made me really think about what I’m doing, and realise that I DO love making my own clothes, and I’m most happy when the items are unique and very well made. So I need to force myself to slow down and take the time to make beautiful clothes that are better than RTW, at least for me.

This coat didn’t even get one wear – I only finished it so I could get it out of my sight (I gave it to Tough Chick but I don’t even think she really wanted it). I actually bought some emerald green wool felt last weekend to make another coat – this one I will muslin, and will likely base off this pattern but use patterns I know fit me well. I want it to be better than the beautiful locally made $400 coats at a local shop (Duncan McLean).


Gah, I hope you all still want to read my blog after all the crappy feels I’ve been putting out there. Does it help to provide a cute photo of our new puppy, Jessie?

This photo is from when we first got her at (8 weeks old, weighing in a 5.4kg). Only two weeks later and she’s already >8kg!


20 thoughts on “Deer, Doe and Low: The Pavot Jacket

  1. Jessie is as cute as can be!! Guard your shoes though. I am sad your coat did not work out but the green material sounds wonderful. Hair grows, don’t fret.

    • I keep telling my husband “The best way to protect your shoes is to not leave them out” but he didn’t listen – and now has several broken shoelaces, broken zip, and a tag eaten off another shoe!

  2. Okay… Now aside from the fact that you clearly said not to give you a load of it’s-not-so-bad about your hair, there would be no point, because if you’re unhappy with your hair it doesn’t matter what anybody says anyway, so even if i think it kind of cute i’ll keep schtumm. HOWEVER – hair grows and in the meantime I know you will find a way of styling it that you are happier with.
    Now for the coat. It looks like a lovely garment. I agree that – in these pictures at least – it is not the most flattering thing on you, but just as a thing I think it is really nice. With the first picture my initial thought was that it would be a great shape on you as a shirtdress. I think it would also look good over slim trousers. I am sure tough chick must be delighted with it, and I hope that is has not put you off coat making!
    Best of luck in the new place for the next three months. And keep the puppy pictures coming!

  3. Oh man, I know exactly how you feel! Bad haircuts are the bane of my existence. It’s like they see hair with a slight wave and their brains melt. Why always with the weird floppy layers?! Hair pins and a straightener and knowing it’ll grow back will get you through the next few months. (It’s not too bad to be honest) The coat however, is great, despite the fit issues, I love me a bound seam! I’m proud of you for attempting bound button holes even if they didn’t eventuate. Next time! Looking forward to seeing the emerald green version.
    Cute puppy! 😀

  4. Yay you finished your Pavot!! I know you’re not thrilled with the result, but just think about how much you learned sewing it. Something I’ve had to learn to accept in my seeing journey is that, every once in a while, we end up making a garment whose greatest value lies in what it taught us, not how much we love to wear it. My Pavot is *not* perfect by any means either – the front placket gapes because I didn’t use the right interfacing and the wool I used is pretty “squishy,” so it tends to stretch out along the stress points (I.e. Waist and boobs). But I learned a ton sewing it, so I still wear it proudly. Same thing goes for a lot of the sweater knits I’ve sewn – oy!! Those were a piece of work! So this was not a waste of time or fabric by any means. Be proud of your accomplishment! And yes, sometimes the best way to do that is to quickly give it away cuz we can’t stand the sight of that *#^%# thing. Keep up the good work!

  5. I have had a few fails this month too. The coat is well made, just too large. Hair will grow and you next coat will turn out better because of all the new knowledge that you have plus you have helped all of us if we try to make this pattern.
    Your puppy is super cute.

  6. I replied to your comment on my blog post about being in a sewing funk, but I wanted to post here too and make sure you see it because I think you need to 🙂

    Your sentiments about sewing are EXACTLY how I felt at the beginning of the year! I wrote a blog post about that too because I was so unhappy with everything I made in 2013:

    My Twelve Pattern Challenge was created to try and force myself to make just 12 things this year that I’m truly proud of. To force myself to slow down, take my time, and concentrate on fit. I was just wasting so much fabric and money and TIME to sew all of these things that I KNEW were never going to fit. But the amazing thing about recognizing this in yourself is you already know exactly what you need to change! So just do it! You can do it 🙂

    Taking a break from sewing blogs can really help, but don’t give up. You’re not terrible! You wanna know why? Because you made a jacket and I never never, ever even attempted one. Jackets scare me! You can’t possibly be terrible if you were brave enough to complete a jacket, and even if you’re not happy with it, that’s still a milestone you have over me 😉

    Now keep your chin up, pet that adorable puppy on the head, and go sew something you love ❤

    • Hey Lucille, thanks so much for your comment – I did actually read your post at the start of the year and it probably set some thoughts in motion for me.

      I just saw that you had bought a whole roll of muslin – that’s probably something I should do, to get all the cost out of the way (it’s quite off-putting buying $12 of fabric on top of your shell fabric) and hopefully encourage me to actually make muslins! I tend to bowl forward figuring it will be good enough and any small alterations I can do on the fly – however that means I don’t alter the pattern for next time!

      I think I’m slowly getting there. Hopefully this year we’ll both get to the point where we’re really happy about almost all of our garments 😀

  7. F*cking bad haircuts. That is the worst feeling ever! Yours does look like it will grow out well, though! Bright side! I bet that within a month, you hair will be back to its usual awesome state. In the meantime, I’m a big fan of strategic hair pins, alcohol, and loudly cursing the haircut gods.

    Also, I’m so sorry your Pavot didn’t turn out to your liking! Coats seem like the very devil to fit – they’re supposed to be a bit big, to accommodate sweaters, but there’s a fine line between roomy and feeling like you’re wearing a tent. I love how beautifully the collar and waistband on your Pavot turned out, though! I’m sure Tough Chick will end up loving the coat. I can’t wait to see your emerald one! Are you going to attempt the Pavot again or switch patterns?

    Congratulations on the new puppy! She’s so, so cute, Soph. Hope you’re settling well into rural life!

  8. omg tell me about bad hair cuts! I feel your pain, but it will get better. I am growing mine out right now. My former hair dresser decided I needed plenty of short layers all over, like all over, they were shorter than my bangs and on the inside and outside……and my hair is long. Take this time to experiment with it – can you blow dry it straight?
    I really like how your coat turned out, I think the waistband is flattering. But, you have to like it enough to wear it. Is there a pattern you have made before that you love an can make again to get out of your sewing slump?

  9. I think sometimes those big projects can go a bit awry as there are so many techniques involved (and making a muslin just seems like another to add to the list). But I reckon your next coat will go way better as you’ve just practiced loads of stuff and all the tricks will be fresh in your mind. It’s good to hear about your big move north – nice that you will be catching the tail end of summer up here. It’s definitely good that your guy has lots of time to spend with your gorgeous new puppy too. We have a 5 month old pup who has been a lot of effort and definitely needs that daily walk (yesterday I just just discovered cycling alongside him which is awesome!). Good luck for the next project!

    • Far out, I’m glad it’s only the tail end of summer, it is SO HOT up here! Yet to go for a swim (though I did put my feet in at Snelling’s Beach, just above Auckland) but we’ll get there soon – metservice said the sea is 20 degrees!

      And yeah, I’m going to take the next one niiiice and slow, making sure I don’t make the same mistakes as last time

  10. Aw, darn, sorry to hear that you are not liking too much lately. I think the jacket looks very nice, just add a nice belt, maybe in a bright red? BUT, my goodness, absoloutely impossible to be sad, mad, upset or any kind of negative with that Jessie FACE looking at you. Look at her little blurry wagging tail???? So cute!!

    • Mum said the same about the belt – but really, you could probably put a pair of oranges in the bust and it wouldn’t look odd, it was that big!
      Haha I hadn’t even noticed the blurry tail. She is super friendly and loves to please – and has learned what “no”, “come” and “sit means”, and we’ve only had her for two weeks (which I figure is impressive, I don’t actually know). She is NOT toilet trained yet though!

  11. Sorry to read about all the things that are going wrong. And you’re right, the hair doesn’t look awesome. But luckily, hair grows back. Or, you can get another haircut making it even shorter, but maybe more to your liking…
    Too bad the coat is too big. The idea of the pattern is cute and nice, and at least you have a neat finish on the inside. I’m sure whoever ends up with the coat -if not tough chick- will get a lot of wear out of it…
    Now it’s time to enjoy your kept man -when I read kept man, I read dinner on the table by the time you get home, although I’m a kept woman, and dinner is rarely waiting on the table by the time Husband gets home- and your lovely new puppy and start a new project with fresh courage and patience!
    And I’ll keep reading your blog, thanks to your cute little puppy! 😉

    • Haha yeah I doubt I’ll have dinner waiting for me most days – plus I finish at 4.30-5 (olordy, regular hours for once!) so can’t reeaally sit around expecting him to cook.

      That’s how I feel – the idea of the coat is good but I just didn’t pull it off THIS time. And with the hair – I’m just waiting for it to grow out! I imagine it’ll look good then.

  12. I’m so sorry you didn’t like the way the coat turned out. It does look very nicely made if that’s any consolation 🙂 Also just spent most of my sunday increasingly frustrated at a make which kept going wrong, seam ripper is all worn out so I can sympathise.
    Puppy is SUPER CUTE!

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