Summer Blazer Part 2: lapels and sleeve cuffs

Summer Blazer progress 2 - compilation

My Summer Blazer is moving right along!  Today I have more in-progress photos for you, including construction of the infamous notched collar and finishing the sleeve cuffs.  I’ve been really enjoying working on this project and love all the detailed work, and I’m excited that this blazer is nearing the finish line!  Pretty soon I’ll have a classy jacket to pair with all my summer skirts and dresses.  : )

To recap, this is Simplicity 2446, a fitted, classic-cut blazer from the Amazing Fit series.  I cropped the length a bit compared to my previous version.  The jacket is constructed in a cotton print and fully lined in Bemberg rayon.

Like a proud mama, I took lots of photos of my baby.  Enjoy!

Summer Blazer progress 2 - shell and lining complete

To pick up where I left off last time, I finished assembling the lining by setting in the sleeves – a challenge in slippery rayon!  The pattern recommends using 2 lines of gathering stitches at the sleeve cap, which I’ve found results in lots of puckering.  Boooo.  This time, I tried Lauren’s method of using just 1 row of stitching exactly on the seam line (5/8 inch in this case), and it worked SO much better!  I feel so enlightened.  Friends, go forth and try this technique.

I also attached the upper collar to the lining, which was a huge pain in the ass.  There is SO much ease in that collar piece, and since it’s fully interfaced, it’s really hard to ease into the neckline.  UGH!  It’s done though, moving on!

Summer Blazer progress 2 - fully assembled

Here’s the blazer in its current form, wrinkly sleeves and all.  : )  After the lining was complete, I attached it to the shell by stitching along the front opening, lapels, and collar.  This is one of my favorite construction steps because it transforms the project into one piece.  It’s a satisfying milestone – no more loose pieces to attach!  Yeah!!

Summer Blazer progress 2 - piping peeking out

Oooh, I love that surprise yellow piping!  I can’t wait to flash it to people while I’m wearing the jacket, ha.  : )

Summer Blazer progress 2 - topstitching on lapel

For security, I topstitched all around the front opening, lapels, and collar.  I don’t want those lapel points popping back inside when the jacket is cleaned.  I increased the contrast in the photo above so you can (hopefully) see the white line of topstitching.  I think it came out pretty well!  I increased my stitch length to 3.0 mm, just for fun.  I didn’t use an edge-stitching foot or anything, just moved my needle over a few notches and aligned the edge of my presser foot with the fabric edge.

Summer Blazer progress 2 - collar seam puckering

Now for the tricky part.  See that corner in the seam above?  It’s where the upper collar is attached to the front facing, forming the lapel all the way to the right of the photo.  I didn’t take any photos while I was actually sewing the seam, but man, this was tough!  The ridiculous amount of ease in the collar resulted in some wrinkling – can you see it in the top half of the photo?  And the corner isn’t exactly perfect.  These imperfections kind of annoy me, but I’m trying to look past them.  Trying.  : )

Summer Blazer progress 2 - collar seam puckering at lapel

That stupid corner presents itself to the world even on the outside of the blazer.  Can you see the wrinkling above, right along the fold line?  Boooo.  It’s right near the lapel, which is the focal point of the blazer.  I really don’t understand why there is SO much ease in the upper collar.  Next time I’ll have to remove some before attaching it.

Anyway, moving on to happier places… the sleeve cuffs:

Summer Blazer progress 2 - sleeve cuff with buttons Summer Blazer progress 2 - sleeve cuff openI’m using shiny silver buttons with little crests – how fancy.  : )  As I mentioned last time, the sleeve plackets aren’t functional, but I did slice open the buttonholes so the placket could button properly.  The buttons are sewn on by hand using hand quilting thread – my favorite type of thread for hand stitching.  It’s a little thicker and stronger than all purpose thread.

Summer Blazer progress 2 - sleeve cuff lining hemmed Summer Blazer progress 2 - sleeve cuff lining hem pulled up

The sleeve hem is catch stitched, and the lining is slip stitched with a folded & dropped hem.  I used the same method as my previous blazer, described in detail here.  I’ll use the same technique for the jacket hem… just haven’t gotten to it yet!

Summer Blazer progress 2 - inside view of sleeve cuff

Doesn’t the inside of the sleeve look so inviting?  The rayon feels so cool against my skin.  This is what I love so much about sewing my own clothes — have you ever owned a RTW blazer that was lined in something other than polyester?  I haven’t!  Even John’s expensive blazers for work have polyester linings.  I find them so hot and sweaty.  Yay for all things handmade!

Summer Blazer progress 2 - inside out front Summer Blazer progress 2 - inside out back

The inside of the blazer is looking good, just waiting for a hem.

Summer Blazer progress 2 - back lining pleat at neckline

Somehow I managed to screw up the top of the back vent just a little bit.  See how the 2 folds don’t quite meet in the middle?  I had a row of basting stitches above and below the seam line, so I really don’t know how the folds shifted during sewing.  Just goes to show how slippery that rayon is!  The collar seam was SO tricky to sew with all that ease that there was no way I was unpicking it to fix the vent.  I do value my sanity, after all.  : )

Summer Blazer progress 2 - unfinished jacket hem

And here’s that hem waiting for some hand sewing.  I pressed up the hem allowance (1.5 inches) and tried to ease in the excess fabric.  The pattern has you baste along the hemline during construction, which really did make it easy to press up the hem at the end.

And now, are you ready for a modeled preview??

Summer Blazer progress 2 - preview on model

Ooooh, exciting!!  So crisp!  So classy!  : )  It needs a good press, but I’m really happy with the fit.  I suspect my next blazer post will be the big reveal, so stay tuned!  And as always, thanks for indulging me with all these photos.

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As a side note, have you noticed the sewing blogosphere trending heavily toward marketing lately?  I can’t say that I’m a huge fan of it.  Here at Allspice Abounds, my goal is to share my sewing and crafty pursuits in a friendly and collaborative environment, without pushing an agenda or trying to get you to buy anything.  This blog is purposely ad- and sponsor-free, with the exception of ads associated with my free WordPress hosting account.  Just wanted to get that off my chest.  🙂

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Happy sewing, everyone!  Are you working on a juicy project these days?

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22 thoughts on “Summer Blazer Part 2: lapels and sleeve cuffs

  1. What an awesome blazer. The print on it looks super fun and casual– I can definitely see it being dressed up and down! I personally haven’t started dabbling in any outerwear yet– so I’m super jelly for all your skills! Keep up the great work!

    • Thanks! I really like the print too – it’s white but not too white, and just a little bit interesting. I learned all my jacket-making skills from this pattern. Once you dive in, you’ll pick up tons of new tips!

  2. Your “baby” is lookin’ goooood! I love the fabric chosen- nice & crisp & cool! Congrats on mastering the notches & the collar/ jacket corner joins. Here’s an idea for easing the sleeve http://www.lolitapatterns.com/sleeve-head-tutorial/. Also, I took a look at Part 1, and was surprised to see that the top 2-3 inches of the CB is not permanently stitched closed. Usually it is because of the stress & weight of fabric at that seam. It is also the ideal place for embellishing with embroidery stitching or decorative machine stitches to help anchor that area and add a unique touch before the pleat opens! 😉
    Lastly, I’m with you 110% on the promotions/monetization etc. I’ve gravitated away from some blogs because they just aren’t authentic to me.

    • Thanks for the tips, Ellen! I had seen that sleeve cap tutorial a while back and completely forgot about it. I’ll definitely have to try this next time, especially if I have another cap with soooo much ease.

      As for the top of the CB pleat, I didn’t even think to anchor it in any way. I was winging the entire thing, so it didn’t even occur to me. Great ideas though. I’ll be curious to see how that area holds up during wear. Right now I’m hesitant to sew it closed just because I really need the extra room for my broad back, but we’ll see! Things to ponder. 🙂

    • Thanks so much! I had never attempted a jacket before this pattern, and I just dove in head first. I think you’ll surprise yourself how much you just pick up as you go along!

  3. It looks very good so far!
    I suppose if there is a way to make money from your blog many people will be tempted. I’m not a huge fan of it either.

    • Thanks Emmely! And I’m glad I’m not the only one turned off by all the advertising, subtle or otherwise. It’s just not what I’m looking for when reading blogs.

  4. New commenter here! Your blazer is gorgeous. I love the fit, the color and especially the lining. I wish I had no fear of notched collars 🙂

    • Hi Uta, and thanks for stopping by! 🙂 Thanks for your kind words as well. Just to clarify, the fact that I’ve sewn a notched collar doesn’t mean I’m not still afraid of them, haha. 🙂

  5. I really like your jacket, and love the lining.

    I completely agree with you about the marketing trend. I don’t like it either. It’s as if there is some not-so subtle messaging to buy this pattern or fabric or gadget. It’s very tiresome.

    • Thanks Meigan! The lining really makes the jacket look professional, at least I think so. 🙂 And well said about all the marketing – very tiresome indeed.

  6. I love this! You’ve done such a good job and it looks so neat! The fabric is gorgeous. I’m not sure I would have ever matched a blazer pattern with this fabric, but it’s perfect! Can’t wait to see the finished jacket.

    • Thanks so much! Yes, that seems to be the consensus – this fabric is kind of a surprising choice. I even surprised myself when I picked it off the shelf! 🙂 But I do like the (almost) finished look, and I think the print will camouflage dirt a little better than plain white.

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