I have learned many things while researching my next project, The Jerkin.

For example, as reader Rachel helpfully pointed out, a jerkin is a 16th-17th Century men’s doublet, as sported here by Queen Elizabeth I’s loverboy, Lord Dudley:

And as far as the Interwebs are concerned, jerkin is first and foremost a dance craze started here in the SF Bay Area, to wit:

But the term has continued to be used for clothing beyond the 17th century. Egon Schiele painted one of his groovy attenuated self-portraits wearing one:

Self Portrait In Jerkin With Right Elbow Raised


But most relevant to this project, the term is frequently used on sewing patterns of a certain age to describe a woman’s pullover vesty-thing.

And don’t ask me why Egon, Duds, and Bishop Model are showing up this gallery but I am sick to damn death of trying to force them out.

The most important thing I have learned about jerkins is that I do not like them. I think they look like the bastard child of a sweater vest and a boxy jacket — two things I do not wear, ever. Forgive me if you stumbled upon my page on a google search intending to start the ‘I heart jerkins’ facebook group.


Here is what I am excited about in this chapter’s learnings (have I mentioned that Miz B does not have lessons but ‘learnings’? Whatevs): I want to learn to make a v-neck that has a V, not a U. If you don’t sew you might not know that getting that V right is hard.

So here is my non-jerkin pattern selection:

B5415  Butterick Patterns

If I put the facings on the inside of the dresses this is a pretty good match. And I say dresses because I think I am going to sew this twice, since Miz B covers both kinds of facings in the jerkin project (that is, a neck facing and armhole facings, like the v-neck, or one massive facing that covers the neck and armholes, like the other one).

You have already met the fabrics I will be using — the crazy green paint stroke print and the brick colored mystery fabric.

But I have to finish my kid’s Jenny Linsky costume by Friday, so try not to be too brokenhearted if instead of Bishop Method posts I spend the next few days blogging about fleece paws, fake fur tails, and flannel red scarves.