Saturday, June 6, 2009

Can't find this on any ordinary rack

Second Sleeve photography Zaquan Moore age nine

Thank you, John Galliano and Alexander McQueen for sharing your genius; obviously, this gratitude extends to the other 5 designers on that have shared their ideas freely, as well. Listen laddies: walking the plank is worth two weeks of endless threaded labor because John Galliano's 2001 pirate jacket is a magical timeless treasure. I made this jacket because this jacket is designed for who I wanted to be when I grow up. Any human can download this DIY pdf via

August 1, 2009 is a deadline for a Somerset House contest for UK students to create any one of the seven patterns showstudio hosts. Personally, I meet none of the criteria except that I have made two garments. Having just completed my Master's degree of Transformative Art in March 2009, I am entitled to wave my skills blasting cannons that bellow I am a professional artist. However, I am scribing this journal entry so that those who choose to have the gall will be wearing an original Gall-iano. Besides it has been almost ten years since Galliano designed the jacket Disney's third pirate movie says repeatedly, " Take whatcha can, give nothing back... It is just good business!"

Sewing my sails to embark on this trip me maties began with the Alexander McQueen Kimono, I mention this because it is a fantastic exercise transforming rectangles and letting go of making sense. The sleeves and the collar are typical kimono shapes. But, the body is a variety of angles that assemble to make a very comfortable shirt/jacket. What drew me to both of these pieces were the sleeves. Daft like Daffy the Duck, my love stinks. Thus, I love the armpit not being attached. Also, the Galliano Pirate Jacket was a must considering that I am a forty year old rocking a mohawk. I am a size 12/14. I started making this jacket willing to accept that it may not fit me. However, I was optimistic because the kimono fits me.

The first thing to get past is the amount of pieces. It can be overwhelming that it takes 72 sheets of paper and the results are 60 pieces by the way about 20 pieces are duplicates. The 20 duplicates are different sleeves for the one sleeve. If one is a real student one would glance over 2003 group entries discussing their process. Although, the basic answers one wants to hear are not loudly or clearly answered. Like how much fabric? I believe their is some suggestion of 3.5 yards. That does not include lining. I used around seven different pairs of jeans. My jacket is not lined excluding the front panel, v shape and the tail in the back. I knew the denim would hold enough weight alone. I lined my interior using grosgrain ribbon, which I hand sewed first in the seams. Then, I top-stitched the outside. I knew serging a lot of pieces would blow out my serger. Funny, because I am such a know it all yet, I blew out my serger later towards the end of the project making a sleeve. Sleep deprivation can make one do really dumb things. The grosgrain was excessive for me because of my lining a total exceeding 22 yards: 4 colors and 2 widths but, on the outside I used around 10 yards: 6 yards of turquoise and 4 yards of navy. The inside has two dark green narrow ribbons; one is velvet the other is grosgrain. I believe a wider ribbon is typically folded over the front flaps edge. I used navy for the wide accents on the back and a narrower turquoise for the front; everything is sandwiched together flat. I attached the ribbon after I assembled the coat, which attributes to play using frayed edges.

The pattern begins starting with attaching piece numbered one to number two matching notches. After piece number ten it got really blurry for me. Yes, red rum came to my mind. But after a stiff drink of confidence and liberty that no company was over my shoulder I made two duplicates of the piece before the last piece and the coat fits. Oh, I cut the sleeve .5 inches bigger around except where it connects because the arm hole fit me but I knew the sleeve would be too small. This was a cut, fit and sew project. My snaps are placed slightly different. There is a curved piece that I made into a belt because I had no idea where it went. And another piece I didn't use, I have no clue where or what it was. I have the elastic side pieces covered because the white was an eye sore and it had no functioning purpose. Thus, mine tie and are wider because the elastic is encased. There is a lot of room for play since there are no instructions. One does not need to be an expert. One just has to have made a basic pattern, that had sleeves and zippers and, studied a bit how clothes may be assembled. Setting the cap of the sleeve is easy if one gathers the sleeve edge first. That is the hardest task. The zipper is flat and simple basting helps keep it straight. Most of my top-stitching is sewn super straight some places are sloppy; it happens no one is perfect. They are not clearly visible.

The X that marks the real gold is actually being smart enough to make the other sleeves for this jacket. It is quite simple because all one has to do is turn over any one of the patterns sleeve combination pieces to cut a mirroring right sleeve. The sleeve zips 90 percent of the length. This means getting a longer zipper or more eyelets for lacing. The sleeve laces quite lovely underneath the elastic cap sleeve. I pushed the immaterial is immaterial and made a total of three sleeves. These three sleeves with some minor modifications because the zippers are not all the same; zip together to make a wonderful pirate skirt. Or the pieces can be laced in as tails. This is how my tale ends. Oh yes, one last thing there are no pockets in the pattern. My jacket has 6 hidden pockets. One in the rear and five between two sleeves. I had no idea how to use or attach the shoe lace. My jacket uses seven 18.5 inch army green laces.

This is my favorite piece of clothing. I felt like I fell into Galliano's dream making this jacket. I used 4 spools of thread. I broke one hand sewing needle. I spent over $50 dollars on everything excluding the fabric because I recycled pants. And I broke my serger which was estimated as $135.00 repair here in Berkeley. Worth ever penny and seriously two weeks straight sewing all the time everyday. Why? The results are owning and wearing the sweetest coat/ensemble in the Universe. This delight is unmeasurable! And the rewards are keen eyed compliments given endlessly. JohnGallianoPirateJacket Mantra: I Surrender to the Nth of Nothing into Something! SEE MORE PHOTOS BELOW...


  1. This blog is beyond belief...

  2. Carolyn, as your anonymous best friend I have to ask: Why did Somerset House request that you send the garment? This makes no sense, since you said you aren't eligible?

  3. Seeing is believing my dear friends, and I believe my modifications required custom display... I'm a size 12 not a size 2. The jacket was made to be worn by me not exhibit my sewing skills. There are several technical sewing errors and those weiry efforts slighted my chances(2 weeks doing nothing but the jacket). The truth is this: everything is illusions. The story this jacket carries IS very bizarre yet R-E-A-L!