the blogger boucle

Boucle Coat
One busy afternoon at Mood, The Police were playing. Kway and I discussed the awesomeness of this giant among rock bands. Greats bands are like a marriage, he said, some end, but after they’ve had kids. Then when it’s over, you say, yeah, they got divorced. But those are some beautiful kids.

I suppose that’s what it’s like with this boucle. Or at least, the idea of this boucle. We had an affair for over two months before I finally divorced myself from my original vision of it. Ruggy would catch me standing in the middle of the room, hugging it: what are you doing? Really what I wanted to do was drape it over a dressform and go ballgown crazy, but alas, I left my much beleagured and mostly useless “Uniquely You” on the curb in LA. Her NY styrofoam wasp waisted counterpart, Miss Fugly, also went the way of the dodo in the Great Move Up Down And Over Country of Aught ’12. With my hands on a dressform, I have no idea what madness I would have come up with.

Boucle Coat

So, maybe it worked out for the best after all. When I first laid eyes on it, all I could think was WIGGLE DRESS WIGGLE DRESS WIGGLE DRESS. The bolt had three and a quarter yards left on it, and I took it the whole shebang. YESSSSSSS. It was simply too deliciously bratty not to. As I pranced around the store with my treasure, happy shoppers stopped me every ten feet: Oooh, so pretty! What are you going to make? A jacket? Grinning, I would loudly chirp NO! I’M GOING TO MAKE A WIGGLE DRESS!

Like most of the suddenly panicked shoppers, the ever gallant Eric looked nervous, but he was willing to help. Make sure you really press those seams, he guided, flat open and niiiiiiiice and you have got to overlock those edges, maybe interface them, you want this to be tight!

Boucle Coat

This picture was taken back in OCTOBER, YO, by the wonderful Daughter Fish in a meetupwith Madalynne.  TALK ABOUT PROCRASTINATING.

As the weeks turned into months, everyone, and I mean everyone, saw this as a jacket. I pored over dress patterns, constantly turning contenders away: too many seams, tiny pieces that would fray, visions of voluminous arctic weather dresses closed in. I lost count of how many times I stopped in to Mood to discuss the boucle. A swatch was always with me, waiting for some unsuspecting solicited advice. I guess I was taking a poll, really. And finally, one day as I was sitting on the floor of our living room, boucle curled up next to me in my Mood bag, I looked up at Ruggy and sighed: it should be a jacket. Insert violins. Yes, babe, it should, Ruggy agreed.  And then I can wear it lots and lots instead of once or twice a season, right babe?  In his wisdom, Ruggy did not say I and everyone else in the rational world told you so. He just said Yes. Yes you can.

Boucle Coat

So, like The Police, I divorced myself from the past and looked to my old Burda magazines. Mostly because of Renee, she has such great success with those damn magazines!  Issue Sept 2008 had a nice, simple coat, dropped sleeves.  It went together quick like a bunny… I couldn’t believe it. All of the seams are indeed pressed flat open, and stitched with another tip from Eric: every inch or so, I backstitched for a quarter of an inch. This really helped the seams fall nice and flat when pressed open, flatter than just a regular run at it.

Boucle Coat

But! even with those seams lying flat as a pancake, the shoulders still looked odd.  Probably due to where the dropped seam sat. So, I used the leather closures intended for the front of the jacket on the arms instead, as a way to gather and distract from the offending bulk. Let’s talk about handstitching! I attached the little belt loops with my gorilla paws, as well as the toggles, AND the lining.

Boucle Coat

Oh, the lining. My original intention was to keep it unlined, I couldn’t bear to hide one bit of the brilliance of this boucle, but in the end, the green cotton binding looked Holly Hobby against this sumptuous fabric.  So, at eleven of the clock, the night before another wee blogger meetup, I grabbed some silk from the stash and got to going. It journeyed out for a preview day, as it needed a front closure anyways. An estactic Eric high fived me when I saw him. Exposed zipper? More Toggles? Leather ties? Peter suggested a quiet, simple hook and eye (and also politely suggested I hand tack the lining down an inch below the neckline, as mais non, it was showing.) Brilliant suggestions both, and ably carried out later by Suzanne and Wanett, who would not let me backslide to the land of zippers.

In the end, this is a jacket made of many pieces of advice, much like a good marriage.  If only The Police had had a few yards of boucle.

Editor’s note: Mood has a big selection of boucles online, if Oona’s jacket so inspires you. Shop here.

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Comments


  • MegtheGrand
    January 23, 2013

    Wonderful work, Oona dearest! It’s a lovely jacket and the toggles are divine! Love that you used my signature color for the lining – the boucle and orange are positively delicious together.

    • oonaballoona
      January 23, 2013

      i thought of you with that orange!

      • Amy
        January 25, 2013

        Agreed. Orange was a brilliant choice for lining. Also, I love your story about your path that led to this jacket after winding past wiggle dresses.

  • Lauren
    January 23, 2013

    Ah, lady, you look amazing! Never would have thought that bright green would flatter anyone as much as it does you… it’s like that fabric was made for you. Love the bright lining and LOOOVE the sleeve treatment.

    • oonaballoona
      January 23, 2013

      the green is like, magnified by the camera lens! i have no idea why. but four different cameras proved it so. it’s actually a bit warmer in tone… you’ll have to see it IN PERSON!!

  • Caroline
    January 23, 2013

    Gorgeous! It’s very “you” but also a new look and shape for you. I love the sewing tip, is the backstitching for loose weave fabrics or for any fabric?
    Excellent fabric choice!

    • oonaballoona
      January 23, 2013

      thank you! i agree that it’s a very different shape for me. i feel kinda classy :)

      i’m not sure about it tip-wise, but this was a very thick material if that helps…

  • Denise Leffers
    January 23, 2013

    Oona, I love your style and the creative use of the toggles. Rock on! Denise

  • Mary
    January 23, 2013

    I was actually at Mood when you were there, and was oggling your top–it is adorable, and I am so glad I can tell you so!

    • oonaballoona
      January 23, 2013

      ack mary, i wish you’d have gven me a holler! although the racket we were creating might have been off putting :) ))

  • MB@YarnUiphoneApp
    January 23, 2013

    Sweeet! I like the leather straps (Belts?) on the sleeves. I’ve seen belt parts locally here, and now I’ve an idea that if I found matching belts I could do something like this in a jacket, boucle. In any event, you should get plenty of wear and compliments out of this jacket, Oona!

    • oonaballoona
      January 23, 2013

      i like that descriptor, they really are belts on the sleeves!

  • Amanda S.
    January 23, 2013

    What a great looking coat! The fabric is DIVINE! I have fabric from Mood from August that I have yet to use so don’t feel bad about that!

    • oonaballoona
      January 23, 2013

      man, it eyed me from that bag FORVEVER. do you tiptoe past your august fabric, hoping it won’t catch you?

  • Cidell
    January 23, 2013

    I’m a Burda influencer! And, back in 2008 they were waaaay easier to trace! I remember when you had this sample. Looks awesome.

    • oonaballoona
      January 23, 2013

      yes you are, and i’ve got a whole year’s worth of mags…

  • bajjmayer@aol.com
    January 23, 2013

    Love love love it!! SO creative to use the belt closures on the sleeve in–what inspiration it gives me!!!

    • oonaballoona
      January 23, 2013

      thank you!! i hooe you’re putting that inspiration to use right this minute :)

  • Carolyn
    January 23, 2013

    OMG she says with a sigh of relief. You’ve been carrying that sample and married to a wiggle dress for so long that I’d about given up hope that you would finally make the fabu jacket that you have! The toggles on the sleeves are P-E-R-F-E-C-T!!!

    • oonaballoona
      January 23, 2013

      YES! no winnie the pooh dress!

      • Carolyn
        January 24, 2013

        LOL! I’m nevah gonna live that comment down!

  • Mood Sewing Network
    January 23, 2013

    This would look great over a turtleneck with pants or jeans. Wear it the next time you come to Mood so hopefully I can see it! –Meg

    • oonaballoona
      January 23, 2013

      i’m hoping to do exactly that, the second winter becomes bearable again!

  • Ginger
    January 23, 2013

    LOVE this on you– so glad I got to see it (and pet it) in person! What a fun jacket!

  • Jennifer rozens
    January 23, 2013

    COVET that jacket! Absolutely GORGEOUS! Now I’ll be looking all over for something just like it!

    • oonaballoona
      January 24, 2013

      ah, thank you! if some huge fashion house comes to me and wants to give me millions to make a run of them, you’ll have the first one :)

  • Lori
    January 24, 2013

    amazing jacket, the closures on the sleeves are perfect.

    • oonaballoona
      January 24, 2013

      thanks lori! i was pretty thrilled about those sleeves.

  • Erica B
    January 25, 2013

    Fabulous jacket! Love all of the details! The orangelining is every single thing!

    • oonaballoona
      January 26, 2013

      how much do I love that comment!

  • Erica B
    January 25, 2013

    Fabulous jacket! Love all of the details! The orange lining is every single thing!

  • Sandra
    January 26, 2013

    I love the fabric, both outside and in – I look at the jacket and immediately think ‘where can I buy that’. I also love the way you have styled it over a dress with boots. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE.

    • oonaballoona
      February 5, 2013

      :) )) that is such a great compliment. thank you!!

  • Cissie
    January 27, 2013

    Fab jacket — inside and out! Love the orange silk lining and the toggles on the sleeves. Brilliant!

  • Jacqui
    February 2, 2013

    Love the sleeve ….you just gave me an idea to rescue a jacket I just made that seems dowdy to me….this sleeve idea may just do the trick!

    • oonaballoona
      February 5, 2013

      ah, wonderful! the sleeve trick works wonderful…