Granny Gerard

Sown Brooklyn The Granny Wool Gerard Pattern ::Manteau Gerard Fabric :: Wool from my late grandma's fabric stash. Also- flannel for interlining and a yellow penguin print crepe for the lining.

This coat is special.

Sown Brooklyn The Granny Wool Gerard Pattern ::Manteau Gerard Fabric :: Wool from my late grandma's fabric stash. Also- flannel for interlining and a yellow penguin print crepe for the lining.

Not just because it’s my first. Not just because I feel super accomplished for having gone back to an old WIP. Or feel a little smug about how quickly I completed it while still high on the fumes of moto jacket success.

Sown Brooklyn The Granny Wool Gerard Pattern ::Manteau Gerard Fabric :: Wool from my late grandma's fabric stash. Also- flannel for interlining and a yellow penguin print crepe for the lining.

It’s not the new techniques and skills I applied (flannel interlining, complex collar construction, roll lines and bagged linings a-go-go) that make it special. Or my willingness to unpick and redo better (or just correctly) a second, and sometimes third, time.

Sown Brooklyn The Granny Wool Gerard Pattern ::Manteau Gerard Fabric :: Wool from my late grandma's fabric stash. Also- flannel for interlining and a yellow penguin print crepe for the lining.

It’s special because this wool, this beautiful classic herringbone wool, belonged to my late grandmother. I inherited it when she passed away. The anniversary of that date is fast approaching and I’ve been feeling uneasy for weeks.
But, working on this coat, feeling the fabric, smelling that old-stored-in-an-overstuffed-closet smell I will always associate with my grandma’s hoarding, thinking about wearing it and how it’d be like getting a warm hug every time…It was glorious.

But wearing it is even better.

It’s the Granny Gerard.

Sown Brooklyn The Granny Wool Gerard Pattern ::Manteau Gerard Fabric :: Wool from my late grandma's fabric stash. Also- flannel for interlining and a yellow penguin print crepe for the lining.

This is the third time I’ve worn it. It’s the perfect thing for Brooklyn’s current crazily varying temps. Cool in the morning, humid in the afternoon, bone chilling in the evening. It’s ideal for chunky sweaters and running around all day with kiddos. Which is what I was doing when these photos were taken. They pretty much think I’m a sewing rockstar now that I’m making jackets and coats, lol.

That’s the exact kind of thing I always wish I could share with my grandma. She delighted in hearing stories about them and I loved to share them. This is the thing I miss most, late at night when I imagine her reactions to their antics. 

Sown Brooklyn The Granny Wool Gerard Pattern ::Manteau Gerard Fabric :: Wool from my late grandma's fabric stash. Also- flannel for interlining and a yellow penguin print crepe for the lining.

I also imagine she would think that it was silly to use this old wool for a coat. And would certainly have thought that pdf patterns (in French no less!) were some kind of lazy seamstress witchcraft, lol. I know she’d be pleased at the overall cost of the project, though. Current fabric prices scandalized her. But scoff at my having paid for the buttonholes 😉

Sown Brooklyn The Granny Wool Gerard Pattern ::Manteau Gerard Fabric :: Wool from my late grandma's fabric stash. Also- flannel for interlining and a yellow penguin print crepe for the lining.

Would she like this lining? I dunno. Maybe. 

Sown Brooklyn The Granny Wool Gerard Pattern ::Manteau Gerard Fabric :: Wool from my late grandma's fabric stash. Also- flannel for interlining and a yellow penguin print crepe for the lining.

Think this contrast under collar a little ridiculous? Signs point towards yes. 

Sown Brooklyn The Granny Wool Gerard Pattern ::Manteau Gerard Fabric :: Wool from my late grandma's fabric stash. Also- flannel for interlining and a yellow penguin print crepe for the lining.

Would she have still said good job and been secretly pleased that the grandchild most like her also inherited her skill and love of sewing?

Hell yes. 

Pattern :: Manteau Gerard

Fabric :: Wool from my late grandma’s fabric stash, flannel for interlining and a yellow penguin print crepe for the lining purchased ages ago from Fabric.com. The under collar fabric is a scrap from Mood.

Notions :: Buttons from Mood (buttonholes courtesy of Jonathan’s)

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23 thoughts on “Granny Gerard

  1. I love this coat, but I really love the story and sentiments behind it even more. I think this is one of the most beautiful things about sewing – we’re not just creating things to put on our back, but garments that contain a story and a history that’s personal and sometimes sacred. Wonderful job Nettie.

  2. You are a sewing rockstar! People who make their own clothes understand that some garments are so much more than just the clothes on our back. Great make.

  3. What a wonderful sew and tribute! I was super close to my grandmother, Jojo, and have worn her silver cuff almost daily since she died in 1976. I can still hear her talking me through a challenging sew. I bet your granny is wondering what took you so long to sew that up, and whose idea was it to unpick and resurrect that ufo, anyway? Love it..

  4. Someone beat me to it– you ARE a sewing rock star. 🙂 My granny, like yours, could sew anything (for example, her daughters’ wedding dresses), and just whipped up complex Aran sweaters on her knitting needles in her spare time to keep out the cold Irish winters. I’m working on the latter– if I ever get good at sewing, which I’m pretty mediocre at (basic kids’ Halloween costume, anyone?), I’ll figure she’s putting in a good word for me up there. :). Loved your post.

  5. A gorgeous coat and a beautiful story of love and carrying on a creative tradition. I inherited my grandmother’s sewing stash, too. It’s always more special for me when I can use something from those special boxes — buttons, hem tape, anything. And when I sew for my daughters, I feel that love moving forward through the generations.

  6. Great tribute to your Grandma. I love the whimsy of the lining and the color. Nothing like brightness in the early dusk of fall. I’m sure your Grandma would approve. She sounded like a shining star and was obviously a great example to follow.

  7. I love it! I love that you’ll get warm hugs from your granny every time you wear this. And that you have such lovely memories of time spent with her. I am sorry for your loss, and pray you will feel peace and comfort as the anniversary of it approaches.
    The coat looks very well made. Congrats on so many firsts with the project!

  8. The story really makes the coat. She would be proud. My Grandmother taught me how to sew as well, and still gives helpful tips and tricks. Lucky to be able to turn those things into memories Nettie!

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