Secret Squirrel - Jan 2014

I can't stand to hold it in any longer - Ms. Maelstrom is the lucky recipient of my Secret Squirrel January 2014 project, and I must say, she wears it well :)

The Secret Squirrel series is a year-long sewing journey created by An from Straight-grain and Suz from sewpony. Read all about it here. January acorns were supplied from Asmita at Elephant in the Study and they were: 1. coloured pencils 2. a long journey 3. pomegranates 4. stripes and 5. paisley

colour pencilslong journeysearch-1search-2images-1

So I'll start with "a long journey."  I immediately thought of Bilbo Baggins, so I settled on a waistcoat.  I used a beautiful 100% wool in a deep blue, almost black.  The pattern is based on a New Look pattern that I had to alter to fit my long, lean one, but it wasn't anything too troublesome.  

The next acorn was "Paisley," which was an easy pick as the lining for the waistcoat.  What wasn't easy was finding a paisley that the long, lean one would accept.  I finally found a subtle print with only red, black and white.  

Next was "Stripes," again pretty easy as the pocket lining.  I created functional welt pockets - trouble, but only because I was a bit sauced on wine when I attempted the first run (lesson learned and I made things right) and an interior pocket as well with the stripes.  

The next two acorns were a major stump.  Okay, first the pomegranate.  I used the Google machine and my mind took off.  I read and read and read and I slid down tangents of all kinds, but the slide I liked the most was the etymology of the word "pomegranate" 

noun: pomegranate; plural noun: pomegranates
  1. 1.
    an orange-sized fruit with a tough reddish outer skin and sweet red gelatinous flesh containing many seeds.
  2. 2.
    the tree that bears the pomegranate, which is native to North Africa and western Asia and has long been cultivated.
Middle English: from Old French pome grenate, from pome ‘apple’ + grenate ‘pomegranate’ (from Latin (malum) granatum ‘(apple) having many seeds,’ from granum ‘seed’).

and where it lead me to.....grenade

noun: grenade; plural noun: grenades
  1. 1.
    a small bomb thrown by hand or launched mechanically.
    • a glass receptacle containing chemicals that are released when the receptacle is thrown and broken, used for testing drains and extinguishing fires.
mid 16th cent. (in the sense ‘pomegranate’): from French, alteration of Old French (pome) grenate (see pomegranate), on the pattern of Spanish granada . The bomb was so named because of its shape, supposedly resembling a pomegranate.
This lead me to more reading and the discovery that there is a position in the United States Navy called the Aviation Ordnananceman, who's patch is...wait for it....a winged grenade with flames atop the shape of an old school vintage grenade, which resembles a pomegranate :D  Turns out this old style "pomegranate" grenade has a place in a lot of different military/police history.  The French Armed Forces also use it as a symbol and if you search about the "pomegrate" grenade, you'll get a plethora of soldier's stories on the development of the "little bomb."  So I managed to find the patch to the US Navy AO Officer at a Navy Supplier and this is what I used as my "pomegranate" acorn. 


The last acorn was a major wall - I must admit I was pretty stumped with "Coloured Pencils."  I agonized over how to incorporate "coloured pencils."  I mean, the acorn wasn't about the colours of "coloured pencils" and I had already took the easy route of fabric prints with "paisley" and "stripes," so I felt like I really needed to use "coloured pencils!" How oh HOW do you use "COLOURED PENCILS" in a SEWING project?!?  Ah-HA!  Secret inside pocket!!  And I am so stoked with how this secret pocket turned out :)  I took little (2" tall) coloured pencils from the art store and made my own little 2.5" square paper pad and stuffed the striped pocket with "COLOURED PENCILS!"  :D 

Seriously, seriously happy with the results.  Cannot wait for the next acorns to be published....


  1. Awesome!! Thanks so much for sewing along!!


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