Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Dorr Mill Plaid Hoodie

At long last I present to you my late 1930s Dorr Mill Plaid Hoodie! I actually finished this earlier in the spring but it wasn't until recently that I was able to get some decent photos. This jacket counts towards my 2015 personal vintage pattern sewing pledge. In these pictures the jacket is worn over the blouse (Hollywood 1530) and slacks (Simplicity 1306) that I made last year for the Reading Air Show. It was very warm at the airshow this year but around 7:30 in the morning it was just cool enough and comfortable to wear the jacket. The first day of the airshow I wore my new yellow Du Barry suit.

Several years ago, probably ten now, I purchased this wonderful wool plaid from the Dorr Mill Store. They sell a lot of supplies for rug hooking and rug braiding but you can also purchase their lovely wools by the yard. If you like working with natural fibers like I do, a trip to their physical store is a real treat. The wool for this jacket was originally intended for a cold weather Civil War era dress. The fabric was from the remnants bin so I had to purchase three separate pieces to get the yardage I wanted. I got as far as making a simple petticoat, which I wore a few times for 18th century and Civil War era events, but that's about it. That's a good thing because a) I almost never get to wear my 1860s stuff any more (sad face) and b) if I had cut into the fabric to make a bodice of any kind I most likely would not have been able to use the fabric for another project. Fortunately when I made the petticoat I simply seamed together two panels of the wool and pleated them to a fitted waistband. The third unused panel was left untouched. I was able to cut all the jacket pieces except the sleeves out of one panel. Because I wanted to be able to match up the plaid I had to take apart the petticoat to cut the sleeves.

Yep, early spring in New England! You can see the mountain of snow outside my kitchen widow, a chilly contrast to the bright red tulips and tea pot on the table. That particular evening was spent drinking tea and eating brownies while putting the finishing touches on the jacket.

The cutest tea pot ever!
The sleeves are cut with an upper and lower sleeve section and are slightly gathered at shoulders. The jacket back is cut in one piece on the fold. The jacket fronts are made from two pieces each. And of course the hood, also cut on the fold. Hooray hood! The whole jacket is lined with cotton muslin. I was hoping to use white flannel as a lining to make the jacket a little warmer but couldn't put my hands on it in the stash. I know it's around somewhere, probably hiding with the red and black check flannel I picked up at the same time for another project, boo.

The hood on this jacket is HUGE! And I love it! :)
The whole jacket is gathered slightly to a wide fitted waistband and closes with buttons up the front. The buttons appear to be shell. I added a snap to the very bottom of the jacket. One of my favorite things about this jacket, aside from the hood that is, is the way the front is constructed. It was a little fiddly but I'm happy with the result. I did restitch one front section because the fabric shifted causing the plaid stripes to be off set. I flat felled the seams for a neater finish.

And here is proof that my friend Jason and I were at the same event! Jason is the man behind those awesome Greater Boston Vintage Society events like the White Lightning Ball (see my posts here and here) and the Roaring 20s Lawn Party (see my posts here and here.)

Summary of the Pattern
Fabric: 100% wool from the Dorr Mill Store, cotton lining
Pattern: Simplicity 2823
Year: late 1930s
Notions: Buttons, thread, one snap
How historically accurate is it? Very. Plaids were pretty popular in the 30s and 40s for outerwear.
Any tricky parts to the pattern? Fitting the gathered front sections to the waistband and jacket front. Not too difficult just a little fiddly.
Did you change anything? I reduced the size just a touch and added a snap to the bottom front.
Time to complete: About a week, I'm guessing 8ish hours? I'm back at keep track.
First worn: Earlier this spring, first good pictures taken June 7 at the Reading Air Show.
Total cost: I can't remember what I paid for the fabric because I bought it so long ago. I'd guess with the pattern the cost for this project would be in the $30 to $40 range.
Notes: The jacket fits great over a dress as intended and works well with 40s high waisted pants. If I were to make this again for modern wear I would lengthen it a little bit.


  1. It's SO cute! I love the seaming on the front with the gathers, and you did a great job matching up the plaid!

  2. Oh my GOSH that is CUTE! It looks so comfortable and quite fashionable for today (I love "secret" vintage you can wear with modern clothes and nobody knows it's from the '40s, haha). I may have to hunt down this pattern somewhere. You look so perfect!

  3. Scratch that - the pattern number's been used many times again and I can't find it. *Cries*

    And correction - 1930s, not 1940s, sorry, lol!

  4. Fabulous jacket! As an aside, I love your tulips - I may have to try this myself next spring.

  5. That is such a cute outfit!

    I love, love, love that the 1930s actually had hoodies!! I'm still hanging onto my (terribly practical!) hoodie as I haven't found a vintage-y replacement yet, much to my sister's chagrin... ;-) I'll have to be on the lookout for a similar pattern so I can finally live up to my sister's exacting sartorial standards! ;-)

  6. This is SO CUTE! I'm bummed I didn't get to see it in person, (next year I'll try to get in touch and find out where you're camping so we can come say hi!), but I love Dorr Mill wool and this is such a cool piece :)

  7. What a fabulous jacket, it looks super on you! The fabric is lovely.


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