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VintageModern Design Challenge -- "Stop the Presses" Jacket

Added Mar 12, 2012

by nancy2001

Usa, United States






My entry for the Vintage Modern Design Challenge is based on Option One, using Indygo Junction’s Trench Topper pattern.

When Downton Abbey’s Lady Mary asked Sir Richard not to print her scandalous secret in his newspapers, she wore a magnificent, full length coat with a distinctive arrangement of buttons. For the VintageModern contest, I decided to update Lady Mary’s Edwardian classic for life in the fast-paced 21st Century.

I started with the Trench Topper pattern and redrafted the collar to resemble the original when buttoned up. Next, I narrowed the loose fitting silhouette, changing it to semi fitted, and I added thick shoulder pads and a full lining. Then, I converted the pattern’s one-piece bell sleeves into traditional, full length two piece sleeves with mitered sleeve vents. Finally, I shortened the garment’s length to hip level, making the new jacket the perfect partner for pants or a skirt.

I added the following design elements from the Downton Abbey jacket: a faux fur collar overlay, three functioning buttons and buttonholes at the center front neckline, two rows of decorative double breasted buttons just below the waist, and a 1.5” wide faux leather contour belt.

Material Notes

My jacket is made of a medium weight, 100% wool flannel in a rich chocolate brown, purchased on sale at Joann’s for just $5 a yard!. I squeezed the fur collar overlay using a tiny remnant of faux Persian lamb recycled from another project. Both the chocolate brown fabric and the faux Persian lamb collar trim were popular choices in the Edwardian era, and they are equally fashionable today. Chocolate brown is one of Pantone’s top colors for Fall/Winter 2012-2013. Faux fur, which has been a must have look during the past couple of years will continue to be a strong trend during the rest of the year.

The matte black, plastic 1.125” La Petite buttons feature a subtle spiral design that adds to the vintage look but does not overpower the rest of the jacket. The 1.125” buttonholes were machine made using the very same vintage Singer rotary buttonholer attachment that sewing expert Mary Brooks Picken would have used near the dawn of the last century.

I constructed the 1.5” wide, black contour belt and the accompanying micropiping using two types of genuine Ultraleather. I covered the belt’s square buckle with a black faux snakeskin trim from Simplicity. The square belt buckle was recycled from a RTW belt purchased on clearance from Walmart for two dollars. The shoulder pads were handmade using a self drafted pattern, felt and fleece interfacing. The full lining is made of black Ambiance Bemberg rayon. The total cost of fabric and notions (excluding the Trench Topper pattern) was less than $30.

I love my new Stop the Presses Jacket and plan to wear it often. I think it has a balanced, timeless look that combines charming, vintage details with up to the minute fashion and style.




Spring, Fall, Winter
Garment Type
Classic, Victorian, Vintage
Cashmere, Coating, Leather/Fur, Suiting, Wool


Indygo Junction Trench Topper Pattern

21 Comments Sign in to add a post

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    Mar 31, 2012, 01.59 PMby Anna Nguyen

    Your jacket and belt moved me to log in and leave a comment! Wow, what an amazing tailoring job! You got some couture fu! I am ESPECIALLY impressed by the sleeve caps: smooth, rounded, beautifully shaped. Good job!

    1 Reply
    • Missing

      Mar 31, 2012, 03.15 PMby nancy2001

      Thank you so much for your lovely compliment, Andy. I’ll let you in on a little secret. I cut the shoulders way too narrow and thought I’d wrecked the jacket. But instead of hurling it in the trash, I restitched the seam (including the sleeve caps) with a 1/4" seam allowance and that made all the difference.

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    Mar 23, 2012, 09.53 PMby AuntieStitches

    Does this count as a vote? Love the jacket, well done.

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    Mar 23, 2012, 09.43 PMby Podbod18

    This is stunning! Hope you win!

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    Mar 22, 2012, 10.52 PMby JDpenelope

    Lady Mary would look elegant in this unique, vintage jacket.

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    Mar 19, 2012, 06.18 PMby bohemiannow

    Just Beautiful!

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    Mar 18, 2012, 08.50 PMby neveenkarnes

    I love everything about this jacket. B E A U T I F U L ….

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    Mar 16, 2012, 02.44 PMby Stitchgirl78

    Love your version of this jacket. Beautiful lines, and very flattering. I want one!

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    Mar 16, 2012, 09.25 AMby joost52

    Wow. Mind blown

  • Missing

    Mar 14, 2012, 02.41 AMby nancy2001

    I’d like to thank you all for your kind and generous comments.

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    Mar 14, 2012, 01.34 AMby EdelweissPatterns

    Beautiful! What a classy jacket. I always love recreating something from a period piece, and you have done an outstanding job!

    Happy sewing,


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    Mar 13, 2012, 01.45 PMby bright-ideas-studio

    Beautiful work! I love how it fits the mannequin PERFECTLY without a pucker or wrinkle in sight.

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    Mar 13, 2012, 09.55 AMby martinK

    this is amazing and perfectly finished!!!

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    Mar 13, 2012, 03.06 AMby truebias

    ummm, amazing!

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    Mar 13, 2012, 02.12 AMby smallone

    wow! wow! wow! awesomeness!!!!

    your tailoring abilities are to be envied!!!

    ….and I also envy anyone who manages to get 100% non-synthetic anything at JoAnne – especially for $5/yard!!

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    Mar 12, 2012, 11.53 PMby olystyrene

    This is absolutely stunning! I adore all the button detailing!

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    Mar 12, 2012, 11.06 PMby CCCouture

    Just Wonderful! Love the interpretation and quality of your details.

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    Mar 12, 2012, 10.53 PMby merche

    Wow! It´s so luxirious! Amazing fit. I´m in love!

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    Mar 12, 2012, 10.39 PMby mojo elgin

    I’m in love with this jacket!

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    Mar 12, 2012, 10.06 PMby TailorFairy

    The jacket looks great and well tailored! Well done!

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    Mar 12, 2012, 10.06 PMby sophienissirios

    This is a great jacket. Very stylish and elegant. :-)

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    Mar 12, 2012, 09.13 PMby nookie

    the jacket looks amazing – nothing like the original pattern. i particularly love the placement of the buttons.

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