FIRST for FALL — Men’s Camo-Print Wool Jacket!


This month I decided I was through with summer sewing and ready to create some cool cool-weather clothes.

Last winter, at Mood Fabrics in New York City, I had stumbled upon a wonderful piece of camo-print wool knit — the end of a bolt, alas, and only one yard. The fabric is soft and fuzzy (maybe some mohair in it?) on the right side and has a knit backing.


I knew it would be perfect for outerwear but it would have to be combined with another fabric so I’d have sufficient yardage.

I decided to match the camo print with a wool-cashmere blend navy blue coating.  I think the solid color sets off the camo print nicely: if I’d only used camo, the result might have been overpowering. And the result is also reminiscent of traditional men’s varsity jackets. (You can find similar wool knits at Mood online here and here; you can find solid navy wool coating here.)

The pattern I used for this project is a vintage Thirties Simplicity teen jacket pattern (1820 in a Size 18, equivalent to a men’s Small — 36″ chest).  I made Version 1.  The only adjustment I made was to shorten the torso and sleeves by roughly one inch, add inside pockets, and use rib knit for the collar (more about all that below).


To stabilize and strengthen the camo knit, I underlined the front and back of the jacket with cotton muslin.  (The shoulder seams are also reinforced with rayon seam binding to prevent stretching). I added two inside breast pockets which were not part of the original pattern: I love to have places to put my wallet, phone, and/or sunglasses. The jacket also has two single-welt front pockets, which are really only good as hand warmers. I cut my inside and outside pocket welts from my solid blue wool coating.



The jacket is lined with rayon bemberg, blue for the torso and tan for the sleeves. Rather than bag the lining, I attached it by hand at the inside waistband and cuffs.



Instead of cutting the collar from my wool coating, I opted to craft a navy rib knit collar. I think it gives the jacket a sportier look, don’t you?  In making this project, I overcame my fear of working with knit ribbing, something I had never really tackled before.



Little did I realize when I started this project earlier this month that camouflage is on-trend.  Subsequent research revels that there was a lot of it in the menswear fashion shows for S/S 2017.


My jacket is not unlike the Neil Barrett camo wool jacket below:



I’m thrilled with the way this jacket turned out — it’s quirky but still classic and easy to wear.  Men’s outerwear may just be my favorite thing to sew.






I may not be able to wear this jacket with any regularity for a few months but knowing it’s in my closet makes me look forward to the cold to come in the months ahead.

See you in September!




  • Marilyn
    August 16, 2016

    Wow Peter, I’m really impressed with how much your skill has improved since I last saw some of your garments (2 years ago maybe?). Mind you, you were always very particular and took the time to get a great result.
    This camo jacket is gorgeous!!
    Love all your tweaks and personalisation.
    This will give you many years of toasty & stylish wear!
    Top notch Peter.

  • Cheryl
    August 16, 2016

    I usually dislike camo but THIS has me thinking otherwise.

  • Kathy
    August 16, 2016

    Well done!

  • Nancy R, - Akron, Ohio
    August 16, 2016

    Awesome result… and I also just enjoyed the camp-dog coats as well.. Seasons changing, well starting to change! At first I saw ‘oversize houndstooth’ check not camo print. Love your jacket… Varsity Letter Jacket goes modern. HOME RUN! Now I recommend a giant S letter for you pick: Singer, or Sewist or SUPER DUDE.

    • Peter
      August 16, 2016

      It’s funny, Nancy, it IS a little houndstoothy, but the individual elements are scattered so abstractly that to my eye it reads more like camo — or somewhere in between. Thanks for your kind words!

  • oonaballoona
    August 16, 2016

    i’d hate you for sewing outerwear this early, if i didn’t love this so ridiculously much.

    • Carol
      August 16, 2016

      I concur! Everyone is jumping on the “Fall Sewing” I don’t want it to get cold yet! But, that jacket is the Shat!!!

  • Connie Turner
    August 16, 2016

    If you were 6 ft tall you would be in such demand as a model. You are ridiculously good looking. Of course, the jacket is really good looking too.

  • LoisAnn
    August 16, 2016

    I totally agree with Connie!

  • Jessica
    August 16, 2016

    I like yours better than the Neil Barrett one!! Superb.

  • Hélène Martin
    August 16, 2016

    It looks really great on you but it’s the insides I’m drooling over! Such a clean finish with super practical pockets. I love finesse!

  • Tanya
    August 16, 2016

    Absolutely fantastic! I think yours looks better than the RTW versions.

  • Manju
    August 16, 2016

    Wow Peter this is just gorgeous: I love the combo of fabrics and the attention to detail. Wonderful.

  • Karen
    August 16, 2016

    Wow!!! Striking and looks very cozy!!! Job well done! I like your custom adds.

  • Roberta
    August 16, 2016

    This looks amazing! So well-made and I love all the details.

  • Cennetta
    August 16, 2016

    Great jacket, Peter. Beautifully sewn right down to the smallest detail.

  • Lisa
    August 17, 2016

    This looks so cool. I love your fabric choices and the details you added to the inside. It’s really beautiful. I think yours is even better than the designer one you showed!

  • Debbie Cook
    August 17, 2016

    Love it Peter! And you’re looking so very stylish.

  • Amanda S.
    August 17, 2016

    I always love seeing your outer wear projects, and this one is no different. All the fabrics you chose look great together. Awesome jacket!

  • Karen
    August 20, 2016

    This jacket may be my all time favorite of your garments!

  • Rose Britton
    August 21, 2016

    Magnificent inside and out! Beautiful fit, delightful finish and detail.

  • Loree
    August 22, 2016

    Hubba Hubba!

  • Sandra Cunningham
    August 26, 2016

    Your jacket is nothing short of amazing. I follow and read your blogs regularly and I love your attention to detail on all of your garments. Your workmanship is impeccable.

  • Fiona
    September 1, 2016

    You have a real skill for picking unusual fabrics and using them to their best advantage Peter. This is so well made and thought out. The navy contrast was a great idea. What a great transitional piece