Blazer construction = sewing heaven

Blazer progress 1 - entire garment

Blazer construction is in full swing here at Chez Allspice, and let me tell you, this is quite an adventure!  I’m so glad I decided to tackle a more challenging garment because I’m learning so much with each step.  Sometimes it’ll take me an entire hour just to pin a seam, but eventually I’ll get that enlightening moment where I say to myself, “Aha!  That’s what I’m supposed to be doing!”  Don’t you just love it when you achieve sewing enlightenment?  : )

I snapped a few in-progress shots to show you what I’ve been up to.  Please excuse the graininess – I took these at night with my crappy camera.  (My future fancy camera is only a PhD away, haha.)

I’ve got the entire outer shell of the blazer put together at this point, as you can see above, which includes my first set-in sleeves.  Whoa baby.  That is not a skill to be taken lightly!  My sleeves didn’t come out perfectly (sorry, I forgot to take a close up), but the second one did come out better than the first.  Baby steps.  Even the not-so-great one is still decent, so I’m calling it a success.  I noticed that I had to crank up the air conditioning in my apartment while I was setting in the sleeves due to a lot of nervous sweating.  Eww.  I was stressed out, what can I say??

Blazer progress 1 - peek-a-boo pink pockets

The pockets linings are pink – cute!  I sewed the pocket pieces to the blazer pieces with a 3/8″ seam, and then sewed the blazer pieces together with the usual 5/8″ seam.  That way, the pink lining is tucked under 1/4″ and doesn’t peek out on the front of the garment.  I re-used this technique from the skirts I made with Butterick 5613.

Blazer progress 1 - sleeve cuff detail

As per the pattern, the sleeve cuffs feature an overlapping placket with three buttonholes (and 3 buttons once I find some that I like).  Making the placket was surprisingly simple once I figured out what was going on… which took me a while.  The pattern instructions can be kind of cryptic for someone who’s never done this before.  There was a lot of head scratching and me mumbling, “you want me to fold what over what?  And sew where?”  But alas, I figured it out.  Oh Simplicity pattern writers, how I’d love to give you a piece of my mind!

Blazer progress 1 - pink bias tape

Now for the pretty part.  : )  The pattern suggests adding contrast piping in the seam between the front facing and the side front lining, on the inside of the jacket.  I loved this idea and bought some jewel-toned pick fabric just for this purpose (well, and for the pockets).  I made some continuous bias tape using this tutorial at Coletterie and played around with my piping cord, but I decided that the cording I bought was too thick and wouldn’t look right.  Instead, I just folded the bias tape in half and sewed the halves together, and I’ll use the bias tape without any cording.

Blazer progress 1 - bias tape in lining seamSee?  It works!  I still get the effect of a pop of color (which was the whole point of the piping anyway) without the bulk of my too-thick cording.

Confession: I’ve been admiring and petting this seam almost constantly since I sewed it.  So pretty!  : )

Lots more still go to, including assembling the rest of the lining, attaching it to the outer part of the jacket, and all the little finishing steps.  I’m loving this entire process though!  Sewing this blazer is my sewing heaven.  I plop myself down after a long day of work, make myself a tasty cup of cinnamon coffee, and bury myself in the millions of pattern pieces that will somehow all fit together.

Stay tuned for more progress!

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