Blazer! Prequel

So. I made a blazer!

Such is my dedicated to my blog, Dear Readers, that I took these pictures outside in the dark and the cold.
Such is my dedicated to my blog, Dear Readers, that I took these pictures outside in the dark and the cold. Oh, and yes, that is my silk-cotton blouse underneath

It is not perfect (and this is where you will come in), but I did make it, and it is not completely embarrassing.

I used Style Arc’s Sara jacket pattern, with some modifications: widened the hips by about an inch, and broadened the shoulder by half an inch on each side.

I used fusible cotton interfacing, with the seam allowance snipped away first.

I also watched this Craftsy class–the whole way through, twice–in order to get a solid grasp of what I was about to do. And just in case you’re wondering, which you probably aren’t, I’d been tackling cutting out the jacket, lining and interfacing pieces over about 6 weeks.

One thing I learned from Ms. Howard was that fusible interfacing is not suited (ha!) to suits made from finer materials, and that I could expect bubbling or separation if I used a wool. This is a poly-wool, and there is definitely some separating, which is irritating. So next time, with the wool, I’m going to go for the full pad-stitching-with-hair-canvas approach.

My Blazer! has welt pockets.

Very bright welt pockets.
Very bright welt pockets.

It has an ease pleat in the back.

You can't see the ease pleat, but it's there!
You can’t see the ease pleat, but it’s there! Also, please excuse the weird colour change. It’s the camera, not the blazer.

It has jump hems.

blazer-3-1

It has vents on the sleeves.

The pattern calls for three buttons, but I'll be damned if every store I looked in failed to have more than four buttons in an appropriate size and colour.
The pattern calls for three buttons, but I’ll be damned if every store I looked in failed to have more than four buttons in an appropriate size and colour.

The shoulder seams sit on my shoulders. The waist and hips fit fine–and the waist would have fit better if I hadn’t mistakenly placed the buttonholes too far from the placket edge. Oops.

Accidentally super serious suit pose, in the dark. I figured if it's getting dark early this time of year, I'd just go with it.
Accidentally super serious suit pose, in the dark. I figured if it’s getting dark early this time of year, I’d just go with it.

The sleeves, however, are too long. Next time I’d have to take 1.5″ out of the sleeve length. How do I have such short arms?

And the bust is too snug.

See that pulling? Yeah. Not ideal, really.
See that pulling? Yeah. Not ideal, really. Also not comfortable.

Now this is where my Dear Readers come in:

HOW do you do a full-bust adjustment on THIS?

Very satisfyingly jigsaw-like front jacket piece, all interfaced and everything
Very satisfyingly jigsaw-like front jacket piece, all interfaced and everything

Bottom slit is for the welt pocket. You don’t want to change that at all. Top slit is the dart. This is where I need to add space. But where do I cut it too, and how do I remove the excess from elsewhere? Do I just turn the upper part of this into a princess seam so I can adjust that fit?

I also did not add shoulder pads. I hate shoulder pads, and normally they make me look like a linebacker. But I think it did affect the fit in the shoulders a bit. It all looks a bit more gathered than it would have with some stuffing in there. That’s ok; I can live with that. Or if it comes down to it, I can open it up and put in a shoulder pad. No biggie.

The pattern also suggests that you sew the entire jacket together rather like a large purse–lining to body all the way around, leave a small gap, and then turn it inside out and close up the hole. This I did not do. I followed along with the lining installation on Modern Jacket Techniques, which worked just fine. This means I ignored the part of lining sleeve construction where it tells you to leave a gap in the seam.

There’s only one thing I must complain about on this pattern, and that’s the notches on the sleeve lining pieces. They  make no sense.

There’s a notch on the lining undersleeve pieces that says “to side seam.” Dandy. But which side seam? There are two of them on each side. In another spot, there is a double notch that corresponds to nothing, as there is no double-notch on the armscye opening at all. I did my best to install the sleeve lining in a way that made sense, but it was still puckered in spots. It doesn’t affect the way the jacket fits or feels, though.

Everything else on the pattern worked out really well. All of the other notches lined up; the cut-out darts shaped things nicely; the welt pocket pieces all matched up well.

Overall, though, the bust fitting issues and the way the pattern is constructed leave me thinking that I may be better off starting over with a new pattern for jacket #2. The Sara jacket is really innovative and it was a fun puzzle to put together, and it works so well, but it’s not as adjustment-friendly as a princess seam. And sadly, I need adjustment-friendly.

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10 thoughts on “Blazer! Prequel”

  1. Well done. Seriously. I can’t even imagine. And even with the imperfections, it probably fits 100% better than off the rack. The advice from the fashionistas is to tailor everything you buy but it seems so expensive given the quality of most garments. Yours seems like a better way if you have the talent (which I do not!)

  2. Not embarrassing at all! Your blazer looks completely legit to my (admittedly untrained) eyes. And it’s a very good color. Could you turn the vertical dart into a princess seam and add do an FBA that way?

    1. Thanks. 🙂

      The dart-to-princess seam is one option. It’s just such a lot of work. For one, the dart is not under the bust apex–I’d have to move it. And then extend it to the shoulder. And then make a matching princess seam on the back. It honestly seems like it would be faster to start over with a new pattern that already has those worked in (and I already have one or two making their way to me in the same envelope as the sweater pattern you made up recently). So another muslin, but just a plain cotton one for fitting purposes.

      1. I’m working on a dress with princess seams right now and i had to do a small fba. The top part of the seam doesn’t change, you can stick the side front and center front back together after doing the fba, so you won’t need to add a princess seam at the back. Your dart will get deeper, and if the fba is bigger than say 1-1.5 inches, you can add a bust dart too. But the front will still be one piece. A lot of work, I know, but maybe less than starting over with a new pattern?
        I used Tasia’s instructions for the pendrell blouse.

      2. See, the thing I like about princess seams is adjusting the fit without needing darts. I find that on me, when I do a traditional FBA, I end up with something so close to a princess seam I might as well just slit the whole thing open and do it that way.

        I don’t think it’s visible in the photo, but the dart above the pockets isn’t in the right place for adjusting–it’s about 2-3″ to the side from where it should be. I think it’s going to be faster and easier to start over wiht a pattern that already has princess seams (and in fact I’ve already got one cut out and markered up 🙂 ).

    1. Thanks, Erika. 🙂

      Yeah. It was different. Kind of interesting to cut out and put together, with the front darts removed like that, but it worked really really well. Just not quite enough space. 😉

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