Saturday, 2 June 2012

The Fit For a Queen jacket

Hello my sweethearts,

I'm messing with the order here and popping a post in about a little project that I have been teasing those that follow me on Twitter and Facebook with.  I could only allude to what had been a foot because the commission in question was for charity and had to be kept under wraps.  Normal programming will resume as of tomorrow when I finally finish yapping about my participation in Me Made May 12'.

Enough of the preamble and just tell us what you've been doing Miss I hear you cry.  Well for those of you who don't know I worked for a charity called Macmillan Cancer Support last year in my other guise as a journalist.  I helped the media team by interviewing people who had been directly and indirectly affected by cancer.  It was a wonderful experience, which at times was sad but also incredibly life affirming because I learned how amazing and strong people are at what I can only imagine is the worst time in their lives and to hear how much people had been helped by Macmillan and how grateful they were.

It was during this time that I started to learn to sew and the rest of the team followed my making adventures avidly.  Fast forward a year and they got in touch to ask if I could create a jacket for the Pearly Queen of Hackney, Jackie Murphy who had received support when her husband, Micky died from cancer three years ago.

Jackie Murphy, Pearly Queen of Hackney (left) as pictured in the Islington Tribune

 Jackie in her role as a Pearly, which are London's second oldest charity and raises a massive amount of money for good causes wears a full Pearl embroidered suit that takes months to make.  You can read more about the Pearly Kings and Queens at The Pearlies website.

The only answer was an absolute yes so here is the story of the Fit for a Queen jacket.

The task was to create a Jubilee themed Pearly jacket using the charity badges above that are being sold in Poundland and are available to buy now.

These were the sketches I created that provided the basis for  final jacket design.

The plain old jacket.

Creating the traditional bejewelled Pearly collar.

Delilah and I made an ace team for this project she never moaned once when I kept accidentally pinning the badges to her.

The front taking shape and starting to get very heavy.

Halfway through and the front is finished with well over 500 badges pinned.

The wording on the back was the trickiest part of the project.  The B in Jubilee took numerous attempts.

 A diamond really helped the jacket sparkle :)

The final stage was to add a little bunting over the shoulders and down the arms.

From beginning to end it took about a week to make after all the fiddling and repinning, is made of over a 1000 badges and although I didn't weigh it my guess on trying it on was around 3 stone (19kg).  

Now you've seen how it was made over to Jackie to show you how it should be worn.

By royal decree: Jackie Murphy, Pearly Queen of Hackney as pictured in the Evening Standard (photo by James McCauley)

So there we have it a jacket fit for a queen.  I just want to say a massive thank you to Macmillan for asking me to help them raise awareness and funds for their amazing work it was my absolute pleasure.

Love Miss D



  1. Houseofpinheiro2 June 2012 at 21:23

    Fantastic work Hun x

  2. Yay, it's fab, what an amazing achievement - Jackie looks born to wear it!  I think Jackie was interviewed on BBC London recently - she sounds an amazing character, raising an astonishing amount of money for charity.  What an honour to make her jacket, Macmillan is a charity close to my heart so thank you! x

  3. That is so great!  What a fab idea and so beautifully executed!