After the plethora of Renfrews that have been popping up on this blog lately, I decided to switch gears a bit. My next project is a bit more meaty, a bit more challenging, and quite a bit more exciting: a fully lined blazer! YEAH BABY!! : ) Can you feel the excitement??
I decided to revisit Simplicity 2446, a classic-cut, fully lined blazer in Simplicity’s “Amazing Fit” series. And let me tell you, after an absolute saga of fitting adjustments that I had made for my first version of the blazer, I think the adjusted fit IS quite amazing. : ) It had better be after all that work, am I right?
I’ve been wearing my blue blazer a lot lately, and I always feel so classy in it. The only problem is that it’s quite long – perfect for wearing with slim-cut jeans (which is how I always wear it), but too long for wearing with skirts and dresses. I’d been dreaming of a white summer blazer for the last few months, so I decided to use my perfectly fitting pattern pieces to make a somewhat cropped version in a lighter color. I chopped off 4.5 inches from the hem, but kept everything else as-is. Summer Blazer, here I come!
For the fabric, I’m using this white, teal, and gray geometric print from Gather Here. I wanted something white, but not too white. Full disclosure: I wasn’t completely sold on this print when I picked it up off the shelf, but after unraveling the bolt a bit and draping it over my body in front of the mirror (yes, right in the middle of the store!), I was convinced. It’s exactly what I was going for, and it really does look great once you’re wearing it. At least I think so! With the blue and white, is anyone else thinking Miami Vice?
By the way, please tell me I’m not the only one to drape fabric across themselves and parade around the fabric store. : )
The lining is Bemberg rayon in periwinkle, from Vogue Fabrics as always. As you know, I love lining my garments in rayon. It’s affordable, breathable, easy to care for, and completely static-free. The yellow fabric is Kona cotton, which I’m using for some contrast piping on the inside of the blazer. I think the piping will really be the highlight of the blazer, and I’m looking forward to flashing it during wear.
It took me all of last weekend to cut out all the pieces – almost 50 in total! Not to mention all the time spent at the ironing board attaching the interfacing. The front and front facing pieces are fully interfaced to give the collar and lapel some structure, and the remaining parts of the shell have strips of interfacing at the shoulder, hem, and sleeve cuffs.
I spent a whopping 9 hours (yes, you read that right) adjusting the pattern pieces for the shorter length, cutting the fabric, and ironing on the interfacing. OMG what a saga!! Note that this includes an extra half hour to replace 2 front pieces that somehow acquired huge stains that wouldn’t wash out. Argh! Luckily I had enough fabric to re-cut, but I had to make an emergency run to the store for more interfacing. Still don’t know where the stains came from.
All right already, shall we get to the in-progress photos of the blazer? : )
So far I’ve got the shell fully assembled and the lining partially assembled, still waiting for its sleeves and collar. Below is a flood of photos with my intermittent ramblings, enjoy! [Click any photo to enlarge.]
The shell is essentially complete except for hems and buttons, and, of course, being united with the lining. I’m happy to report that the fit is great, thanks to all my work on this pattern from last summer. Yay for re-using patterns! You know I love doing that. : )
A few close-ups of the sleeve cuffs. I used light blue thread for the buttonholes as an accent, which I think will look nice with the silver buttons I picked out (sorry, no photos of those, oops). The sleeve plackets aren’t fully functional (as per the pattern), but I’ll still cut open the buttonholes so the buttons can go through. It’ll look like a real placket at least.
Like last time, setting in the sleeves on this blazer was kind of a nightmare. You can see above that my sleeve cap is a little puckered, although trust me, there are NO actual tucks along the seam line. I re-sewed the seam multiple times to make sure of that! Honestly, I probably should have removed some ease from the top of the sleeve cap, but I decided to fight with it instead. Argh.
And speaking of fighting, this 3-way collar seam intersection was a BEAR. That corner is just a bit wonky, but this was seriously the best I could do. It’s hard to explain exactly what’s going on here, but if you’ve ever sewed a notched collar, you’ll know what I mean. The vertical seam on the top is where the collar attaches to the neck, the horizontal seam on the left is the collar attaching to the lapel, and the vertical seam on the bottom is a dart on the front jacket piece. Complete craziness going on here.
Oooh, and here’s the lining! The front pieces are overlapping here, but the front does indeed open up. As I mentioned earlier, the lining is still waiting for its sleeves and collar… 3 tricky seams that I don’t have the energy to tackle right now. : ) But look how pretty it is!
The yellow contrast piping is inserted into the seam between the front facing and the side front lining. I made some 7/8 inch single-fold bias tape, basted it down the middle to stabilize it, and sewed it to the front facing edge. (I tried skipping the basting first, but got the dreaded drag lines. No thanks! Ripped it out and basted first.) The lining is then sewn on top of the piping+facing. The finished width of the piping is 1/4 inch.
Unlike last time, I made a vent in the back lining to allow plenty of extra arm movement. I’m so excited about this! I have a really broad upper back and can use all the extra room I can get. The top of the vent is currently basted in place, pending attachment of the collar. At the bottom, I actually sewed the vent shut for a few inches so that the lining hem will be the same width as the jacket hem.
To make the vent, I simply added 2 inches to the back lining pattern piece at the center back. Since the piece is cut on the fold, that’s 4 extra inches added. The finished vent is 2 inches wide, with each individual “fold” being 1 inch. LOTS of added room!
Because the jacket seams will get lots of strain, almost all the seams are sewn twice. I don’t want my blazer busting open
if when I pop a stitch at some point!
And finally, here’s a preview of the whole shebang:
Phew! If you made it to the end of this post, congratulations and thanks for indulging me. Stay tuned for more progress on this blazer, including poking out those lapel points and miles of hand sewing at the hems. Man I love these meaty projects.
What’s on your sewing table these days?