A Flame Called Hope


Welcome to my Sew Over It Lola Jacket, from their ebook Capsule Wardrobe: My City Break.

This gilt brocade has been scooped up by loads of sewing bloggers, if my Instagram feed is anything to go by. You can see why. It’s a fresh and modern print, reminding me of the resin jewellery you can buy in Oliver Bonas.

This jacket would look amazing with a statement necklace.


I bought my brocade for £3 a metre from The Man Outside Sainsburys, but it’s also been spotted in Goldhawk Road and other markets around the UK. I needed four metres. The Lola pattern eats up fabric, largely because of the self-faced waterfall collar.

I needed extra fabric for my pattern matching, too. I was keen that those waterfall collars vaguely matched. Though with this amount of drape and fluidity, the emphasis is on vague. Still, I know the matching is there.

The brocade means even the inside of your jacket looks pretty, which is important as this make isn’t lined. And no lining means super-easy construction, as long as you don’t mind paying attention to seam finishes.


The jacket version of this pattern doesn’t come with pockets, so I added patch pockets. I’d approach this addition differently another time and have pockets extend across either seam line of that pattern piece. (Difficult to explain; easy for me to visualise!)


This coat/jacket is made up of only six pattern pieces. It lends itself well to piece meal work as and when you can squeeze in half an hour of sewing. You need fabric with drape, or risk looking as though you’re wearing a tent.


I love my new brocade jacket and it fits with my new self-imposed colour scheme as it includes a variation on, um, mustard!

I’d definitely consider wearing this jacket as an indoor item or as a layering item. I thought it would be too Spring-like to take on my trip to Stof & Stil but I wore it this morning beneath my huge winter coat and it was fine.

Three notes on brocade:

  • It frays quickly. Overlock or otherwise attend to your raw seams.
  • It doesn’t crease, which makes this jacket perfect for throwing over the back of chairs or wearing beneath coats.
  • Brocade doesn’t give. At all. It wouldn’t suit a sheath dress or tight-fitting item. Not unless you want seams to strain and your tummy to hurt.



Sew this pattern – it’s awesome.

Buy some brocade – brocade is awesome.

Ooh, I’m being bossy today, aren’t I?

Okay, here’s one last bossy instruction.

Feel proud of yourselves. Something once-in-a-lifetime happened yesterday. I’ve always reassured myself that even in the pits of misery, I’m unwittingly sewing the seeds of future happiness. I could never have believed that same message could apply to a whole world of people wearing pink hats. But, guys! A flame was lit yesterday.

A flame called hope.

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21 Responses to A Flame Called Hope

  1. Love your jacket! And so agree on yesterday. Didn’t get to attend any march because we were visiting family, but it thrilled me to the bone. And pussy hats! I need to knit one, or more. BTW did you read Liz Gilbert’s post on instagram? Go find it (maybe it’s on FB too), it’s titled “without Voldemort Harry Potter is just a little boy” and talks about how darkness always brings out heroes. Let’s all be heroes!

  2. Becky says:

    Love your jacket! Looks good now, but probably will look even better in the spring. Thanks for referencing the women/people of the world coming together yesterday. I live across the pond, and it was so encouraging to see good people come together everywhere and speak out against hate and small mindedness! Maybe there is still hope that people will guard their rights. I hope so. It is going to be a long four years.

  3. Cynthia says:

    Love your brocade jacket. I’ve never sewn with brocade, but this jacket might push me to do so. Yes, the flame of hope on yesterday was both amazing and affirming.

  4. Jan Carr says:

    Finished my hat 10am on Saturday just before dashing to the march. It was AMAZING, brimming with hope and spectacularly POWER without force. The police where I was had very little except for occasionally very politely asking folks to stay on the pavement (round Trafalgar square). Thinking today that with a little bit of craftivism like the pussy hats we can come out in power anywhere.

  5. Jan Carr says:

    Love the jacket, Karen! btw 🙂

  6. What a great jacket! That’s a really interesting fabric there – I like how it is pretty on the reverse side too. When the world seems to slide backwards several decades, I feel comforted that there are those that stand up and say no. Sadly, I could only manage to be at the march in spirit yesterday.

  7. oona says:

    You always choose the best fabrics. I love it!

  8. Natalie says:

    What a lovely piece; both the jacket & the blog post. Thank you for the tips on using brocade, I’m very tempted to buy some now!

  9. Cherry says:

    I can’t see myself in brocade somehow tho your jacket looks lovely and spring like. However like you I am cheered by what happened yesterday and can feel a little idea for a pink hat coming on.

  10. Emily says:

    Gorgeous jacket! I used this fabric for a dress last year!

  11. esewing says:

    Love the brocade, maybe take a look at some , would look good in a blazer too do you think ?
    Together we can keep the flame of hope burning brightly.

  12. Thank you from across the pond – I hope we can keep that flame burning! I marched in spirit only, but hubby attended rally, and we are determined to be engaged. Love, love, love that brocade jacket.

  13. Michele says:

    You may not be aware, but many years ago the women of Iceland went on strike and shut the country down. They still mark the day each year. We could shut down the world if yesterday was any indication. Google it, it’s a facinating piece of history.

  14. Kathryn says:

    Ooh I’ve seen this fabric at the Man outside Sainsbury’s and wondered what I could make with it – now I’ve got an idea I think I’ll go back and buy some! Your jacket looks great and that’s good to know it looks nice on the inside too. I too felt so inspired and hopeful by all the marches on Saturday, even though I couldn’t be there I’m feeling inspired to be more active and involved in my local community.

  15. Great jacket and thank goodness for hope x

  16. Jan says:

    Oh wow! I love the jacket and especially the fabric. In fact I have been to TMOS this morning and purchased the rest of the roll 😉

  17. LinB says:

    Next step: the Lysistrata Strategy. Although, as I recall, that ended up being as much a pain for the women as for the men.

  18. What a beautiful jacket and that fabric is gorgeous. Very designer-looking and modern. The colours are really Spring-like. I was cheered too by the turnout on Saturday and all the lovely pink hats. Not so much about the news since then. It is like some sort of misogynist time warp and don’t get me started on the climate change and arts topics. Heaven help us all. Xx

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