Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Jimmy's Irish Cloak Coat

Hello Readers. How are you? I am freezing. I am in the middle of a cold snap that my area of the world doesn't usually get. So, we freak out, bundle up, and generally whine until it warms up again. That will happen in a few days. In the meantime, this is a good time to make a warm winter jacket. 

I found this pristine red wool cloak at a clothes swap in the Fall. It was made in the Republic of Ireland by Jimmy Hourihan of Dublin. I don't know the company or Jimmy personally, but he makes a beautiful cloak. I am Irish, so I figured it was fate. This refashion was destiny. It is made of new wool, lambs wool and cashmere.  I decided to look up the different types of wool and learned more than I can share here. Basically, this fabric is top quality and very soft. This was a great find.

Here is the simple problem with this cloak, it's just too big and there is too much fabric for me to wear. I am lost in here.  I couldn't carry a purse or more importantly, care for my little guy. He is an active toddler, I need to be able to use my arms to catch him when he runs away into traffic.
As beautiful as this cloak is, it just doesn't suit me.
If I were taller, it would look stylish and chic. On me this cloak makes me look like a hobbit or an elf taking a ring to Mordor. My kids liked this look and wanted me to keep it, I didn't.

But it is so pretty, that red fabric was so gorgeous, and look at this built in scarf. Someone decided to give this gem away so it's mine now. Let's get to work.

I love red, this is going to be great!

I used a coat that fit well as a guide.

I used chalk to mark the fabric for cutting. The arms and body need to be full and loose to fit over layers of winter clothing and I hate tight jackets. I marked the fabric and made it larger than the coat. 
 The front is a little too open to keep me warm. I was worried about that.

There is only one button closure at the neck. I moved it over about an inch. That pulled the two sides towards the center and the fabric over lapped. I thought that would help, but it needed to stay closed around my body and I wanted more shape through the jacket. It needed a belt.

I started making a belt to tie the waist closed. I used some of the fabric I had cut away earlier. I thought it would be easy. 

The belt turned out too thick and the whole coat looked like a bathrobe. Ugh! I used a thinner belt and pinned it on to see how it looked. The thinner belt was much better and I decided to shorten the jacket to hip length because I thought that would look less like a robe and it would be easier to throw on with jeans. I gave it a quick hem around the bottom.

I left the built in scarf untouched. It is the nicest, warmest scarf I have ever had. The arm length worked out perfect all by itself, I told you it was refashion destiny. Thanks Jimmy Hourihan!

This jacket is really light weight but is nice and warm. I am in love. The design and shape was very basic, that lets the color and fabric to be the star of the show.

Thanks for reading, now go make something fun for yourself.


  1. This is so gorgeous! You did it proud :) And wool is SO nice and warm.

    I would be very nervous to attack a project like this. You should be so happy with your courage and the results!

    1. Thanks Jenny_o. I was nervous but the material was to pretty to resist.