“Elementary my dear Watson”

Here I am channelling Dr Watson, but I seem to have misplaced Sherlock

It’s indie pattern month and this is my first make from a Papercut pattern, the Watson jacket. I’m ecstatic about how well it turned out. I had my first outing in it today and it think it is probably the most complimented garment I’ve ever worn. It’s a gem.


The pattern was an absolute dream to work with. I’m a standard block size in the big 4 so I’m used to being able to make my size out of the packet without alterations and this pattern was no exception, I made a size small with no changes. The pieces went together beautifully, it’s such a well drafted pattern. It was a very quick make for a jacket, the absence of pockets and fiddly details made the pattern quite simple.

I made a few changes to the construction, my rebellious nature won’t let me stick to the rules entirely.

I used a fusible interfacing on both the centre and side front panels, rather than just the centre as recommended in the pattern. I normally interface the entire front and side front when I’m making a jacket, it stabilises the front and helps it to sit smoothly, and details like pockets sit better on an interfaced fabric.

I made the sleeveless version, mainly because I didn’t have enough of the fabric which I purchased at Fabric-a-brac a couple of months ago, but I also think the jacket is better without sleeves because my fabric is so busy.

I’ve got eight buttons instead of six, because why use only six when you have buttons this cool? I totally ignored the button placement on the pattern and put them where I thought they looked best (actually where my 18 year old fashion stylist told me she thought they looked best). My front is pulled in a little more that the pattern specifies, I lined up my front edges with the princess seams because I wanted to avoid breaks in the continuity of the plaid pattern lines of the fabric.

For the collar I cut the under collar on the bias and interfaced it with horsehair canvas. I normally do that for coat or jacket collars, it probably wasn’t necessary with this collar because it’s cut to sit very flat.

Horsehair interfacing on collar


Trimmed and clipped curve
Lighter weight interfacing on front facing
Interfacing on front panels


The fabric is wool, which I would always shrink before cutting out. I use pretty time consuming methods, either the London shrink or just spraying the fabric with water and then steaming the crap out of it with my iron suspended above it. I thought I’d try the dryer method with this to save a bit of time because it wasn’t a fabric I’ve spent a lot of money on. The method involves putting your dry fabric in the dryer with hot wet towels, then running the dryer on hot for a while. This didn’t work at all for me, I don’t know what I did wrong, my fabric was virtually exactly the same size when it came out as when it went in. I thought perhaps it just wasn’t going to shrink but then when I used my normal spray and steam method on it it shrunk up like crazy.

My fabric’s long and fruitless joyride in the dryer


Oh look, it’s a sarcophagus, perhaps Sherlock is in here

In case you’re wondering what all this marvellous art I’m surrounded by is, I’d like to be able to tell you that it’s all at my house, but unfortunately it’s not, it’s actually the David Trubridge exhibition at Pataka gallery. He makes some seriously gorgeous furniture, jewellery and lighting which is available worldwide, or if you’re in New Zealand you can come ogle it at Pataka. You can also listen to David being interviewed on Radio New Zealand National recently here. His holiday home is featured in the current issue of New Zealand House and Garden and he’s also written a brilliant book So far

What are you doing up there Sherlock?
David Trubridge lampshades in the Pataka spine


21 thoughts on ““Elementary my dear Watson”

  1. Saw your post on The Monthly Stitch and had to pop in to comment. Your jacket looks lovely and that fabric is perfect. Thanks for the tip about preshrinking wool. I am only getting serious about sewing with wool and have studied this a bit. Nice to know that dryer trick doesn’t pass muster.

    1. Thanks so much Ramona. I could be doing the dryer trick wrong. When I googled it people said it worked really well for them. I’m hoping someone might read my post and tell me how to do it properly 🙂

  2. What a fantastic jacket – you look great in it and it looks like it’s exquisitely made. Must pop up to the Pataka gallery soon, I love David Trubridge’s work. But great job on the jacket and thanks sharing the tip about pre-shrinking wool (even if it didn’t quite work out for you).

    1. Thanks, the background does help with the photography, the lighting is particularly good in the gallery. It’s a bit cheeky of me to use the gallery for my photos, people aren’t supposed to take photos in there, but there have to be some perks of the job.

  3. This looks really lovely! Sorry I’m a few months late, but I only just found your blog by searching for some tips on this pattern – I’m currently making a toile and I’m having real trouble following the instructions as I’ve a feeling some of the notches may be wrong on the cape! Did you find this was the case? It doesn’t seem like you had any issues with it, so it must just be me 😉

    1. I didn’t have any problems with it, I’m pretty sure the notches matched up for me, but I remember that Sophie-Lee had trouble with the cape being much bigger than the part she was attaching it to. Here’s her blog post where she doesn’t actually specify what went wrong, it sounds like it was rather traumatic though http://www.tworandomwordsblog.com/2013/09/papercuts-watson-jacket-a-love-hate-relationship-mostly-love/ She might be able to shed some light on your problem. I kind of ignore notches if they aren’t matching up and I can get the pieces to go together in a way that looks ok to me without them matching up. I can’t pull the pattern out to check unfortunately as I have lent it to someone.

      1. I’ve just been having a chat with Mel from thecuriouskiwi.wordpress.com, she talked to Katie from Papercut about a common mistake people make with the Watson jacket. When you sew the front and back cape pieces together the top edge of the front is about 1cm below the back edge. A lot of people stretch the front to make the edges even but you’re not supposed to do that. Is that where you were having a problem with the notches matching? Mel said it’s the first or second instruction in the pattern so have check back and see if you did that right 🙂

      2. Ah! Ok that makes more sense! Yes I was going wrong there and really struggling as the instructions seemed to suggest that but the pictures looked different so it confused me. Thank you so much! I’m starting on the real thing today – luckily I was doing a muslin first to try and work it all out! Thanks again, really appreciate it 🙂

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