Ms. Darcy


I usually have a guideline: I don't wear a new garment out until David and I have done the photoshoot and generated some bloggable images. I've never thought of this as a hard-and-fast rule; more as something that makes me feel better to have done. A sort of coming-of-age ritual for the garment, if you will. I never considered that I "need" to do things in that order...but apparently, I really do, since this jacket has been done for a solid MONTH and we only just got around to taking pictures the day before yesterday.


I was putting the finishing touches on this jacket (Kim Hargreaves's Darcy design, from the Dark House Collection) as I rushed out the door to drop all of my Family Trunk sweaters at Twisted for my two-week trunk show there. I wasn't really anticipating the degree to which removing all of those sweaters from my wardrobe for a fortnight would leave me with NOTHING TO WEAR, and suffice to say, my Darcy has been in heavy rotation ever since.


Long story short: I love, love, love this jacket. Love the pattern, love the design, love wearing it. Love the vaguely Edwardian shape, which is especially evident when paired with long skirts and while riding my retro Flying Pigeon. Love how the yarn (Manos del Uruguay) knitted up, with maximal heathering and minimal pooling. Love the seed stitch texture. Love the body and warmth of the finished fabric. Love the matte, dome-shaped black buttons that we ended up finding, and how they reflect the nubby-ness of the fabric itself. Love.


Regular readers will remember that I wrote a little appreciation of this pattern, and Kim Hargreaves's style in general, a few months back. I continued loving it, although I was adapting the pattern for a larger yarn, so as I progressed I deviated more and more from the written instructions. The sleeve caps, in particular, required a bit of tweaking, but nothing very extreme. I think the end product looks and feels wonderful in a slightly heavier yarn; I'm so cold-blooded that if I'm gonna make an equestrian-looking riding jacket, I want it to keep me warm! And this one does, quite nicely. I also modified the collar instructions, adding about eight more rows to the top of the collar in order to get it to fold over the way I envisioned. I adore the result: I've also worn it with a knotted scarf, cravat-style, which accentuates the Edwardian appeal.


These photographs, by the way, were taken during an extremely welcome burst of late-Autumn sunlight, at the gorgeous Lone Fir Cemetery, a heritage graveyard near our house, which is also a favorite destination for a scenic meander. In keeping with the Halloweeny season, I think the story for this shoot has something to do with a country schoolmistress who, cycling back from her single-room schoolhouse one fall afternoon, comes upon a mysterious cemetery she has never noticed before...


I'm sure a litany of spookiness ensues, but at least she's sensibly and attractively attired in a wool jacket and seasonally-appropriate full skirt. :-)

All in all, this was a great project, and I think that giving myself a little brain-break as I put the finishing touches on the Accessories Collection was the right decision. Coming up soon: some stuff about my own designs, and a very special (and somewhat nerve-wracking) sewing project. Stay tuned!



  • Love the jacket, love the outfit, love the photos!

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  • Lit'rally leaves me speechless! This is such a fabulous jacket, and it looks great on you! I've been thinking of something similar for men, and now this has my mind-grapes bubbling with new ideas!

  • Oh, Emily. It is simply stunning!!! There really isn't anything else to say!

  • It's beautiful! I don't know anybody who can pull of this style as well as you do (I never could), but you do it so well. And I always love your photos and the stories behind them. Oh, for a boyfriend who actually understood how my camera works!

  • That looks GREAT on you!

  • gorgeous! the pictures are just fab, and the jacket even more so! this project never really appealed to me (though i love the dark house collection), but you're giving me second thoughts...

  • The jacket, of course, looks beautiful. I also enjoy seeing pictures of you on your bike! It suits you and your style quite well.

  • That is absolutely beautiful! I really love your bike, too - and the colours even match! :)

  • Oh my gosh that is adorable! I especially love the back.

  • Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! The photos with all the color of fall leave...very well done.

  • I love it! It's as super-awesome as I thought it would be!

  • Emily, it is simply impossible that you could finish such an exquisitely tailored garment, and THEN have the perfect skirt and boots to match. Impossible. What is this life you are living? Perfection, I tell you. The jacket is to die for in its flattering fit. Bravo team Kim and Emily :)

  • Hi Thanks for the post. I am halfway thgrough my own darcy, unlike you I am syicking to the pattern and the cotton thread, although it is very heavy and quite tough on the wrists to knit. I am a little worried abut it being very fitted but yours seem like a good fit, so fongers crossed!


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