Hot! Vermont Valentine

Please forgive the quickie Hipstamatic shots, and don’t let the sunshine fool ya. It was mighty cold, and we were cut short when Mushka went walrusing for a mallard duck. Had to get her back inside so her fur could thaw out!

Fabric: wool/nylon/angora (50/30/20) Kors jacket w/rayon lining, part of a suit bought at Goodwill last summer; $20 for the suit

Pattern: none

Year: now (formerly 90s)

Notions: thread, snap

Time to complete: 5 hrs, maybe less? A fair share of hand sewing, and mind-changing then hand sewing again, along with distractions.

First worn: February 2012

Wear again? Does a bear poop in the woods?

Total price: $10, considering there is a skirt that came with it, which needs letting out.

When it comes to Valentine’s Day, I could take it or leave it. I’m not jaded or cynical about the holiday, but I also don’t long for obligatory roses, chocolate, dinner and all that jazz. However, I do have a dreamy, romantic side and am known to wax nostalgic. Especially when it comes to a certain wooded acreage in northern Vermont, where I spent idyllic summers and school vacations with my Dad. If you know anything about the Green Mountain State, you know buffalo plaid and rugged work wear abounds. It’s a way of life. Daddy always sported a plaid jacket and wool crusher hat while feeding deer (practically from his hand!), keeping the spring thawed, knocking down icicles before they got dangerous, bringing in wood for the fire, sledding, you name it. See, look at me getting all romantic.

I saw this Kors suit in Goodwill last summer and there was no question it was coming home with me. The clerk thought I’d scoff at the $20 price tag. Please. A fine deal if I ever saw one. Beyond the 90s¬†designer example of ironic silliness (still found in urban hipsters wearing rugged workwear and expedition gear for the tough city streets) was a piece of sincerity. For me, at least. That crazy silhouette had to go. I could squeeze into the skirt, but walking was… difficult. Letting out the seams will be a quick fix. The jacket took a little more thought. I took in the side seams above the pockets. Then unpicked the shoulder seam to find what made the shoulder pads so massive: layers of cotton batting stitched together. These weren’t your typical shoulder pads encased in a lining fabric – they were so lofty. Checking out the innards of high-end RTW was fascinating. Anyway, 3/4″ was trimmed off the pad & armscye and I hand stitched the sleeve back on. Shortened the sleeves, shortened the jacket length. Originally I had it curving down in the back, but the mullet hem wasn’t doing it for me. Not the rural look I was going for ;)

And yes, I’m now that urban hipster wearing red wool plaid. With complete candor, pride and a wool crusher on top.

Valentine’s Day is all about idealism. So, I suppose, are fantasies of childhood. Here’s to Vermont. And here’s to the man who never, ever missed a chance to make me his special Valentine. :*



Lavender has sewing in her blood. Raised by a working seamstress, she was always surrounded by the craft, but defiant when it came to learning the proper way to do anything. After years of hacking up t-shirts, jeans, vintage finds and selling tie satchels (gasp!) in a local shop, she packed up her machine. A few years ago, she dusted it off, determined to learn the right way 'round a machine & pattern.


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  1. You are always posting the cutest stuff. Love it!

  2. You are the Queen of Refashion. Nuff said.

  3. Huge improvement to a really ‘Of-its’time’ piece. wow – those shoulder pads!

  4. Great job, I’d never have the confidence to do that, love it

  5. What a great job in “ReFashion”, it’s a must wear now!

  6. That looks great, it suits you really well.

  7. As a long-time lover of country chic (Filson, old school L.L Bean, etc.), your jacket makes me swoon. Also love your hats. You could make a cool hat from the skirt if the skirt doesn’t work out.

    • Ooh, that’s a grand idea!!! You’ve got me thinking now. My dad was very pro classic LL Bean, as you can imagine :) Have you seen their newish Signature line? I love it. I’ve also been longing for a Filson bag for ages.