HP Hemmingway Windcheater Muslin

Remember how I was obsessed with getting a pink scooter? Well, it’s not pink, but WE GOT A VESPA!!!

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We sold Jordan’s car (gas guzzling Chrylser 300), bought this blue Vespa pre-owned from friends and are now a one-car household. And, since Jordan has two coats, this one above that I bought him for law school graduation last year and an overcoat for work, I figured he could use something a little more casual for spring and running around on the weekend. Also, I have the same US Navy issue peacoat and we look stupid when we wear them at the same time (that said, I have like ten coat options to his one so I’m often the one who has to change).

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I picked up the Hot Patterns Hemmingway Windcheater to sew up for Jordan months ago on pre-order. I didn’t find the waterproof fabric until December when I was in New York . I figured I’d make this for his birthday or Valentine’s Day. Well, his birthday was last week and Valentine’s Day is this week and I’ve just now gotten around to a muslin.

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I made him take photos first thing in the morning. Hence the less than amused face.

As long as he gets it before our honeymoon/ anniversary trip in August, it’ll be a’ight. Why is our honeymoon the drop dead date? Because we’re going to Europe! We booked a bike + barge trip from Bruges to Amsterdam. Trena and I had such a great time when we did it three years ago. I wanted France originally and he suggested Amsterdam. I jumped on it before he changed his mind. Don’t worry, I’ve told Katherine in Brussels and Sigrid, Marta and Hilde in the Netherlands. As I booked the flights tickets, I have specifically built in an extra day for Kantje-Boord and sewing friends and have started saving for my lingerie shopapalooza. Get this, our Air B and B spot in Amsterdam is in Jordaan! Seriously, it was meant to be. But, I digress. Jordan really needed a casual jacket for the trip and I thought this would work well.

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Here’s his muslin. Minus the sleeves. I only cut out the upper sleeve and ran out of muslin fabric. So, this is it.

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It’s pretty good right out of the envelope! His measurements were a perfect L (large) I’m worried it’s a bit snug, but it’s a spring jacket and he says he won’t wear sweaters underneath. I like the fit  through the chest and back. When things fit his upperbody it’s usually too big in the middle and long. But, this is the perfect fit for him. Near as I can tell. What do I know about men’s clothes?

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I still need to track down some flannel for the lining. I tried a Hancocks a few weeks ago and they were woefully lacking. I’ll try to hit up Joanns this week. From what I recall, they excel in flannel.

Jordan rode the Vespa at night for the first time yesterday and I’ve been told he needs some seriously warm base layers. LOL. I may whip some Jalie boxers from the Under Armour Cold Gear I am hoarding or purchase some merino wool from the Fabricmart sale. Haven’t quite decided yet. I’m hoarding the UA Cold Gear because Gus Woolens here in Baltimore has closed shop. They are just doing suiting now via email. Sigh. Luckily, I have a bit of the cold gear left. But, not as much as I would like to have over a lifetime. Which, to me, seems a reasonable amount to aspire to.

* (I know I can order online but the convenience of popping into a store near my job cannot be underestimated).


  1. Oh Rene, what a photo..Jordon in a muslin and the doggie looking up….what was he thinking? It looks like a great beginning to a super jacket! Love the Vespa!

  2. Puppy has that “WTH?” look. Looks like it’s going to be just perfect. And that Vespa is sweeet.

  3. Looks like a perfect fit… good work! And right out of the envelope = pretty great. Your trip sounds fab .. what a memorable and fun honeymoon itinerary you’ve planned. Is the Vespa built for 2?. It sure is cute.

  4. Linus looks baffled! LOL! “Why does this new human need a doggie sweater?” Brokenhearted to hear Gus Woolen has closed up for walk-in business! I never got to visit and now I never will! (maybe they’ll sell you the stove from upstairs?) Good to hear you’re making another bike trip, I’ll bet you will have the time of your lives. 😀

  5. Renee, if I can suggest something — I always have issues with riding my bike in a jacket because my back is broad; I got a jacket that fit me but when I put my hands on the handlebars , it gets all tight in the back. You might want to think about splitting the back from the neck down and putting in a pleat for some extra room across the back. Just a thought.

    • Oh, I like this idea. I’ll have to think about it. He was so worried about it being boxy that if I broach adding extra ease in any way, I can see him revolting. He actually thought it was bad to even see the muslin! I was like, ‘I’m not putting all this work in to sewing without knowing if it will fit.’

      On Sun, Feb 9, 2014 at 6:09 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


        • Or do pleat/gussets on each side of the back, as in a Norfolk shooting jacket. I think that David Coffin’s Shirtmaking book has some good suggestions on the subject.

        • I really really love this idea, but I’m nervous / hesitant to do a draft for the pleat. I will check my shirtmaking book. Maybe it will take away my fear?

          On Mon, Feb 10, 2014 at 10:37 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


        • Ahhhh. I see! What if I add a center back seam and have a pleat that tapers at the waist / drawstring area? Would that do the same thing?

          On Mon, Feb 10, 2014 at 8:05 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


      • Yes, exactly–glad that he saw your way. Make a jacket–with an effing ton of topstiching–and no muslin for your first big menswear project? Out of $$ material? Oh yeah–you totally needed a muslin to save your sanity. He looks like he feels like all men should feel in the tailoring process–enjoying it. Great!

  6. OK, that muslin looks fantastic on Jordan. But is the hem the cutting line or the actual hem line? Because I’m thinking that length — finished length as it is right now on the muslin’s raw edge — is perfect on him! It’s not as boxy as the pattern illustration, and the real-life proportion is *much* nicer.

    • I was thinking the same thing! This is the raw edge. So, I’ll need to add 1.5 cm to the bottom to maintain this length.

      On Sun, Feb 9, 2014 at 8:07 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  7. The fit looks great but I’m wonder when the sleeves are on how will the closer fit impact movement and arm crossing, etc. Still haven’t sewn for my guy, better not let him see this.

    • I’m probably wrong here. I thought the same thing. But, decided that since it did fit across his back (which I assumed would be the fitting problem) it will work out. The sleeve cuffs can expand thanks to a gusset. I plan to make the sleeves a bit longer than called for so there is a bit of extra stretch so to speak.

      On Sun, Feb 9, 2014 at 8:15 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  8. yes – I do seriously own a Pink Vespa! And despite never having been a ‘girly girl’ kind of girl, I love her to bits! It’s more of a musky metallic pink, so it’s not TOO girly – more a kick arse shade of pink!

    Here is a website that sells great women’s scooter gear (& some guys stuff too) – well worth checking out http://www.gogogearla.com/

    Happy Scootering!

  9. The muslin is looking great, it will be a wonderful jacket and the Vespa photo brings a smile to my face.
    Went with Marta and Hilde to a Chanel exhibition last week and we talked about your stay here in August. We are looking forward to meeting you again.
    Btw: I checked Kantje Boord and they are not closed for holidays in August, which is good to know.

  10. For the flannel, Joann’s should have you covered. If the Maryland stores are out, I’d be happy to ship you flannel from the frozen tundra of Minnesota. The stores up here are staying stocked. Also, the Joann’s flannel shrinks big time in the first pre-wash and dry. Might want to get a bit more in case you have to piece at all.

    • That is so kind! After some google searching, I’m now thinking of a sturdy chambray for a lining. He kind of made a face about plaid (which is what I thought would be perfect). Chambray sounds a little more masculine preppy. But, I’ll hit Joanns this week and let you know!

      On Mon, Feb 10, 2014 at 9:29 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  11. Lined trousers. Regular old plain-front khakis, but lined with a thin flannel. You might have to go up a size to accommodate the extra fabric, but hey! Size is only a number. You’ve done zip-front pants for yourself. Menswear is easier, since men’s bodies are much more straight up-and-down. Roll up both layers together at the hem and topstitch, as in a jeans hem. Lightweight and warm, easier to wear than lots of layers.

  12. The muslin looks really good, especially for right out of the envelope!! *However*, I would add a smidge more room in the back. Especially if he’s going to be driving with his arms in front of him on the vespa. He’ll need every bit of that full range of motion for safety and maneuverability, and even if he’s not planning to wear a bulky sweater, sometimes it just happens. No need to go hog wild, just maybe an extra inch or so–go with your gut.

    • What if I did a broad back adjustment? Would that increase range of motion without needing a pleat? And, I’m going to add an inch or more to the sleeves so he can have reach too.

      On Mon, Feb 10, 2014 at 3:15 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


      • I don’t see why it wouldn’t. I’d sew the sleeves on before I got too adjustment happy though, just to see how much you need to add. If it’s a major adjustment, you might be better suited to just blend between sizes on the back or something.

      • Hmm, does the Slapdash Sewist have some advice on a BBA for bike-type riding? An inch in total would be a very reasonable 1/2 per side BBA. Sounds like a good call, and no need for an inverted pleat. Nice idea on lengthening the sleeves for reach.

  13. I’m SO glad you’re doing this coat! I also got the pattern on pre-order. I love that it has everything I want in a coat. Hood, big pockets, snaps, good length. I even bought some chocolate colored waxed canvas for it. I’m planning on lining it in a windproof fleece, and lining the pockets in regular fleece. I’ve got a great techy fabric store in town. Spendy, but it will be a nice coat.

    • I’m so in love with how the muslin looks I’ve already picked a variation out for myself! I’m going to go with buttons instead of snaps only because I’ve yet to read a happy story about home snap insertion. Do you mind if I ask where did you get the waxed canvas? That was my original goal. I found a water repellent navy blue twill at Mood. What I love is I can use this pattern as a good base for a wool fall coat too! I’ll just change up the pocket style.

      On Mon, Feb 10, 2014 at 3:38 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  14. Oooh, I love this coat style! I’d make this for my husband if I didn’t already owe him a tie, multiple shirts, a pair of jeans, and suit pants (EEK!). It looks super cool and will be perfect for Vespa-ing around! Congrats on the Vespa, too! They’re so fun, and my gas expenditure is around $4/week!

  15. Another blog I wont be able to read when my husband is around! I applaud you sewing for Jordan – men are (I think) easier to fit. I try to avoid any ‘major’ projects for my man but may have to try if he sees this! It is looking good so far- only a few suggestions that may help him to be able to wear it on that fabulous Vespa. Great fun!

  16. Loving the photos of him in the muslin 🙂 It’s looking pretty good! I think the others are right… guys surely must be easier to fit? Very much looking forward to seeing how this turns out 🙂

  17. Hi Renée, we’re looking forward to your visit! Brave of Jordan to pose in a pinned muslin online (and ride a scooter in Baltimore–go ecolo!) Great that you are crafting for men again with a ring on your finger 🙂 Hey, I checked and Kantje Boord offers bra sewing classes, M & W from 10-12 for two days for € 15 for two persons! Maybe I can call them and see if we can come and do one for four hours on one day, before and after lunch? I speak enough Dutch that we’d understand everything. Yes? No? Maybe we should email!

  18. I can’t wait to see how this coat turns out. Looks like a great pattern! The fit does look really close but I notice there are what appear to be drag lines running in a v or u shape from shoulder to shoulder across his chest, especially in the picture with the hood up. I wonder if he needs a slightly adjusted shoulder line? It’s almost like his shoulders are sloping up a bit just at the neck. The result looks like his chin is pushing the fabric down a little while his shoulders are pulling up? This is really only noticeable with the hood up, though, so it might be a moot point.

    • Thanks! I noticed this too, and this it goes away a bit when his hands are on his hips. I’m going to do a broad back adjustment and add shoulder pads too. I noticed in his peacoat (which fits beautifully) it has shoulder pads. I think it will help with the lines and also give the jacket a bit of structure. I told myself I would also cut out sleeve muslins to make sure this all works too 🙂

      On Fri, Feb 14, 2014 at 10:23 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


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