I’m not sure if you’ve noticed that I have a tendency to make myself matching garments to the pattern samples on my website. It’s a bit of a chicken/egg situation. Sometimes I fall in love with our samples so much that I end up making myself an exact copy. But most of the time it starts the other way round. I’ll make myself a garment during our internal testing phase that I love so much that I know I want to make an exact copy for our final samples (see here, here, here and here. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve almost worn an exact matching outfit to a photoshoot! This lovely linen Hovea was the very first fit sample I made, and I love it so much. As with all my makes – it fills a hole in my wardrobe. A summer jacket shaped hole. Let me explain ;)
I like to joke that since I was born by the ocean and have lived in sunny coastal areas almost my whole life my body simply cannot cope with the cold. Even in summer I often need a jacket. A slight chill in the wind and I’m done for! When the Fremantle Doctor rolls in after a hot day, I’m reaching for a lightweight layer even though the cool wind is such a relief. I’m not sure if anyone else can relate, but it’s something my mom and I have in common. To be honest I often wear it to pick up kids from school even when I’m not cold, just to protect my skin from getting sunburned. This is my most worn Hovea because it fills that summer jacket hole, and as a result is shoved into my handbag, or a picnic basket or the backseat of the car and basically goes with me everywhere 3/4 of the year.
Since I make so many samples during our development and testing phases, I try really hard to choose fabrics that are not my best fabrics, but are nice enough to be wearable muslins. In this case, I did not do that. I started sensibly. I didn’t jump in and make a full quilt coat for my first fit sample and very sensibly decided to make a light linen version. But then I got very excited and whipped out this beautiful blue linen i had been crushing on ever since it arrived in the studio. It has washed up so nicely, and after 18 months of solid wearing it’s developed a beautiful worn in antique look and I am obsessed. I used to hate my clothing fading, and it’s amazing that the more I sew and mature, the more I appreciate how my clothing matures and ages with me. It shows it’s story on it’s face, as I do.
So when it came time to make our final samples I knew I wanted to make another blue linen Hovea just like mine. And yet somehow, they look so different to me. What do you think? There are some subtle differences between my version and our final sample which really make them look very different to me – but maybe I’m just justifying making the same jacket twice hehe. For one thing my sleeves are a bit shorter. After this first version we lengthened them to make it easier to cuff them – a decision I’m really happy with, because dang those cuffed sleeves are cute! The collar on this first sample is also a bit wide. I experimented with lots of different widths and re-sewed the collar on this jacket more times than I’d like to admit. And lastly there are the ties! After wearing this version I really felt i was missing a closure, and am so happy with our final ties. Oh and of course there is also the little matter of lining – mine is unlined, and our final is lined with a beautiful cotton voile.
This summer jacket has been such a welcome addition to my wardrobe (infact I’m wearing it as I write this blog post!) and I have been so excited to share it with you! Hovea is of course a quilt coat and jacket first, but the lined and unlined views are also pretty darn special. If you’ve been feeling the same need for a lightweight jacket when there is a bit of a chill in the air I hope this encourages you to give it a try! Though I’m obviously a huge advocate for linen – it would also make a wonderful sun cover up in an even lighter fabric.