Friday, August 9, 2013

Victoria

I just finished my first Victoria Blazer.  That darn thing took me three days!  I'm blaming my fabric though - it was a bear to work with.  Also:  yesterday I sewed while tired.  Don't do it folks!  I should have known better, and I ended up sewing on my second cuff inside out AND trimming the seam down to 1/8" before I realized what I'd done!  So today that had to come out and get fixed.

Grrrrrrr.

I bought the pattern a few weeks ago, and in my stash I already had fabrics for 3 potential blazers.  I decided to start with this very textured hot pink cotton.  I had bought this a few months ago to make that backless 1966 dress I love so much, but then decided it was too stiff and scratchy for a dress.  Good weight for an unstructured jacket though!  But man, this stuff frays like crazy!

For the lining, I used "Forest Hills Voile" from Anna Maria Horner's Little Folks line.  I'd bought this to make some PJ bottoms for the Pajama Party, and then decided I wouldn't be comfortable in woven PJ bottoms.  It goes perfectly with this hot pink outer fabric, and is so silky soft against the skin.  My favorite part of this design is what I like to imagine as tangerines on the tree - reminds me of my father-in-law's tangerine grove in Turkey!


So:  free blazer!  Because to my way of thinking, once a fabric has been in the stash for more than a month, its cost evaporates.  And patterns don't count.  For me, a project is especially free if I don't have to run to the fabric store for any notions - on this one I used up odd bits of thread in almost matching colors, so YAY!

On Monday, I traced out my pattern.  I went with a size 4 based on my bust measurement.  It works for this jacket because of the stiffness of the fabric, but I may go up to a 6 next time if I want a slouchier look - my broad back and shoulders make the size 4 look a little more fitted than I think is intended.

On Tuesday I really intended only to cut out my pieces, but I was so excited about those long darts that I started sewing after all!  Here are some in progress pictures I snapped:

The color here is pretty true.

This one shows the texture.

I drew in my darts to eliminate guesswork.

I ended up constructing the entire shell and most of the lining, as well as preparing the collar, lapels and cuff.  I'd planned to leave the sleeves unlined, but once I had the shell constructed I slipped on the jacket and I just didn't like the way the textured pink fabric felt against my skin. 


So yesterday I cut some sleeves out of my lining material, sewed them up and then proceeded to set in all four sleeves.  Because my outer fabric has almost no give, it was really a struggle.  I hand basted in each sleeve before stitching on the machine - this is my preferred way to do set-in sleeves.  It really helps me not get puckers in the seams.

Everything was going great and I thought I might be able to finish yesterday.  But I suddenly got very tired in the late afternoon, and because I didn't stop the above-mentioned Cuff Fiasco occurred.

So today, the first order of business was to pick the cuff out and redo it.  I found the cuffs really tedious to do on this jacket, because they're too small to fit on my free arm.  Sewing small tubes from the inside is one of my MOST hated tasks.  But at least they came out alright:


I really wanted to follow along with the instructions so I could report on the pattern, but I just couldn't make myself do it.  I did notice though that the wording on some of the instructions is very different from other pattern lines - seemed a little more confusing to me.  And I thought it was curious that no mention was made of clipping curves (except on the armholes of the vest) and grading seams.  I did both on my jacket.  This is really a very simple jacket to construct, and I think if the instructions were a little more thorough, even a beginner could knock this one out and have a great sense of accomplishment.

I know that a lot of people who have already made this jacket either understitched the lining along the front opening or edge-stitched all the way around the fronts to keep the lining from peeking out.  I didn't do either - I found mine stayed put just with a good press, and I can always go back and do that later if it bothers me.  I also chose not to tack the lapels down - I like how they look a little open.  With this heavy fabric, I think it works, but with a lighter one I might go ahead and tack them down.

lapel rolls to the outside, lining stays to the inside


And now I have a problem:  I'm really not sure what to wear this with!  Since this stash fabric was meant to be a dress, I didn't think about what else I had in my closet that would go with it.  So I'm going to have to have a good dig through my things to come up with some outfits before modeling it.  Or, you know, just make something else to pair with it!


34 comments:

  1. This jacket looks stunning - your eye for detail has definitely paid off in its construction! And I vote for making something else to go with it - any old excuse for more sewing fun...J

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    1. Thank you! I think I need a little reprieve first though with some knits or a little bag!

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  2. I love the hot pink and tangerine combo! How about either a hot pink pencil skirt or a floaty pink&tangerine one if you have enough fabric left over? That way you have a ready made casual summer suit...

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    1. I also LOVE hot pink and orange together - I have some adorable shoes in just those colors! I might have enough of the pink left for a little skirt, but it's going to be a while before I want to face working with that fabric again!

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  3. Really pretty! Agree with Sabs. It'll also be amazing with dark denim! Nice work.

    Sewing while tired is a disaster waiting to happen - always!! I luckily have my husband to thank for rescuing me from myself. He'll lovingly tell me that I'm tired.

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    1. Thank you! I agree with the denim - and the shoes I mentioned above - but I need to figure out a top (or make one). I've already found one possibility in my closet :-)

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  4. How about the navy polka dot dress you just made. That pink belt looked so good with it, this might work really well too. Great job.

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    1. It does actually look pretty good with yesterday's dress! I tried it on yesterday while I had the dress on. Also maybe the plain navy blue one, with the pink belt.

      Hehehe - you guys are all doing my figuring out work for me!! Thanks!

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  5. Oh wow, the texture of that fabric is gorgeous! Can't wait to see it on you!

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  6. I like how you're all "ugh, it took me 3 days!" Hello, I'd be proud if I made this in 3 weeks! Gail, you're giving me an inferiority complex! Lol! This looks super cute, omg I LOVE linings that match in colour but have a cute print. Jealous of your skills and stash lady!

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    1. But I didn't change the fit or do a muslin! And don't forget - I'm an old lady. I have YEEEEEARS of experience on you, LOL!

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    2. Haha. I know it's wrong to compare myself to others. It never makes me happy! You're so funny Gail but you're definitely not old ;) you're way too cool for that word!

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    3. true true :)
      lately I've been more and more into matchy matchy (or perhaps for some less loaded terms we could call it smart, polished, or put together) But having said that I really thing this blazer would look great with some dark skinny jeans, knit tee, long necklace, and cute flats!!
      have fun figuring out how to style it, whether that means working from your closet or scheming something new :)

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  7. I love how vibrant it is. Such a happy color.

    I cannot wait to sew this pattern up. I've been wanting a blazer for ages.

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    1. Thank you! Yes, I know you've had a blazer on your list for a long time! I think this one would look very cute on you!

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  8. Looks so good! That lining fabric is so adorable! It just looks buttery-soft, even in the pictures :) I think I'm going to fully line my next VB also - just feels better!

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    1. Thanks, Sally! Yes, these AMH voiles are dreamy. I felt a little bad at first using it on the inside, but not any more!

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  9. A blazer in only three days - you are such an inspiration! A very catchy color and the lining is so cute and perfectly matching. Can't wait for the modelling session :)

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    1. Hehehe - thanks! This one is truly easy though, as there's no tailoring to be done! And when I say three days, what I really mean is a couple of hours on each of those three days. I doubt I spent more than 8 hours on the whole thing, and I'm a very slow sewer!

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  10. Cute blazer and love how it's lined. Grey is always good along with black or blue.

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    1. Thank you! I think I'm going to have to pronounce hot pink a neutral - at least for me! I found tons of stuff to go with it!

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  11. Very cute. Now you have an excuse to make something new to wear with it ;)

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  12. this looks so great! i agree it would be cute with the navy and polka dot dress or with just about any casual tee and jeans! i'm so ready for fall sewing--been itching for a new blazer!

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    1. Thanks! I am a tiny bit afraid to wear it with the polka dot dress because the blue rubbed off on my arms! I'd be gutted it I got blue ink on this jacket!

      I'm hoping to make a "real" blazer (i.e. tailored) this fall. The list just keeps growing!

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  13. Oh, I love this. I immediately thought of pairing it with dark denim as well. The lining fabric really makes it special, it coordinates so well!

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    1. Thanks, Kelly! I originally had a different AMH voile from my stash in mind for the lining, but then I saw how great this one went with the hot pink and it was all over!

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  14. This is so cute! What a fun color!

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  15. I'm with the other commenters who suggested dark denim...it would really pop. And it's such a gorgeous jacket it really needs to be star of the show.

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  16. I've been offline and just now catching up on all my blog reading. Your jacket is gorgeous!!! I love that you found so many great pieces to go with it too. I also really liked your polka dot Ballet Dress. I have the Lady Skater dress and will probably need to do a sway back adjustment for that. I've never done one before so we'll see how it goes :).

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    1. Thanks, Shar!

      In terms of the sway back adjustment - I think it's one of the easiest adjustments to make, so I wouldn't worry about it! My hesitation was purely psychological, LOL!

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