Time to put the finishing touches on this polka dot blazer! I have a few more in-progress photos for you today, showing off the buttons in their final locations (as you can see above) and how I finished the jacket and lining hems. Let’s dive in!
After thinking it through, I decided to topstitch the collar, lapels, and front opening of the jacket. These areas had been turned inside out, and I had to poke out the lapel points with a knitting needle to get them nice and crisp. After attaching the lining, how was I ever going to get in there again after washing the blazer? The topstitching provides some security and keeps the most prominent edges of the jacket looking sharp.
Now for the jacket hem. This was my first time doing this type of jacket and lining hem, and I think it came out pretty nicely. Woo hoo! I seriously couldn’t figure out what the pattern instructions were telling me do to here, so I referenced my trusty Readers Digest New Complete Guide to Sewing for some much-needed instruction. The pattern uses the more modern “bagging” method of attaching the lining, while the book uses the more traditional tailoring technique (which I prefer). Here’s what I did:
- Hemmed the outer jacket with a catch stitch.
- Trimmed the lining so that it extended 1/2″ beyond the finished jacket hem.
- Pressed the bottom of the lining up 1/2″ (so the folded edge exactly meets the hemmed jacket).
- Pinned the folded edge of the lining 1 inch above the finished jacket hem (see photo above).
- Slip stitched the folded edge of the lining in place.
- Hung up the jacket, allowed the lining to drop, and pressed the newly-formed fold in the lining.
This results in a 1/2″ drop in the lining, which sits 1/2″ above the finished hem of the jacket.
Above you can see the finished hem, with the fold of the lining sitting 1/2″ above the jacket hem.
And here I’ve pulled up the lining so you can see the fold. Pretty cool huh?? : ) I love how professional this hem looks… just like a RTW blazer!
I ran into a bit of a hiccup where the lining meets the front facing (where the pink stripe is in the photo above). This was due to the discrepancy between the pattern’s “bagging” instructions and my choice to go with a traditional hand-sewn dropped lining. I had already sewn the lining to the facing all the way down to the bottom of the jacket, so I didn’t have the wiggle room to make the dropped lining in that area. Grrr, should have figured this out earlier! Oh well.
Solution: I created a diagonal transition zone between the dropped lining and the pink stripe. And by “transition zone” I mean I just fudged it. : ) It looks like something is wrong there, but I don’t think anyone besides me will care or notice!
Since I couldn’t do the fully dropped/folded lining here, I made a few hand-sewn tacks (see above) along the length of the diagonal area to hold the lining in place. I tried to make them above where the lining would naturally hang to create a mini fold in this area. It worked out all right. Live and learn!
Moving on to the sleeve. I attached my 3/8″ buttons over the buttonholes, sewing through all thicknesses (except the lining). Since the sleeve placket isn’t functional, I didn’t even cut open the buttonholes. I just sewed the buttons on and called it a day!
Finally, I finished the sleeve lining hems the same way that I did for the bottom of the jacket. Above you can see the dropped/folded/pressed lining…
At this point you may be wondering what’s left to finish on this marathon blazer-sewing adventure. Well, nothing! My polka dot masterpiece is complete as of tonight: hemmed, buttoned, and patiently awaiting its photo shoot. : ) You may have noticed the particularly crappy photos throughout this project, as this color is super difficult to photograph indoors in low light… so I’m going to attempt to do a proper outdoor photo shoot this time. Stay tuned!
When you finish a garment, do you catch yourself sneaking little glances at it, lovingly petting it, and generally being overwhelmed with sewing euphoria? Yeah… me too. : )