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!