And because that photo doesn't really show you exactly what the blazer looks like, I give you this:
This one is made of Essex Linen in Ruby, and what I thought was cotton ikat from my stash for the lining. The Essex Linen is a fabric used by quilters - I'm using it in my Featherbed Quilt. It's 55% linen and 45% cotton, and a little heavier than quilting cotton. It feels a bit scratchy against my skin, but it has a great combination of linen look and cotton ease of use. It also comes in lots of colors and is pretty inexpensive, so I would definitely use it again.
The lining fabric is a piece I bought a couple years ago from Vogue Fabrics. I intended it to be a blouse, but then never found a pattern I thought would be a good match. But when I bought the Victoria pattern, I immediately thought it would make a great lining and contrast collar and cuffs. (I did struggle for a while though, trying to decide whether it really should be a lining, or whether it should become another Archer shirt.) The fabric was labelled as cotton on the bolt, but we all know that Vogue's forte is not labelling. This time it worked to my advantage: I'm pretty sure (after working with it and doing a burn test) that this is actually silk/cotton - and it cost me $5 a yard! Several months ago, I saw this same fabric at another local fabric shop for twice that price, so I'm patting myself on the back for having picked it up when I did. It has a very soft hand and a subtle sheen that of course my camera can't pick up.
I knew that I didn't want this jacket to be cropped, but I also didn't want it to be the full length. So I ended up taking 3" off the bottom, which happens to be exactly where the bottom notch for the pockets is. I didn't want my jacket to have pockets because I find in-seam pockets to be a nuisance, so it worked perfectly for me. It hits me mid-hip, which is just what I wanted for this version. So if you're 5'4" and want this length too, 3" is your magic number!
I left the sleeves unlined on this one, partly because I didn't want to be too hot and partly because I was hoping to save enough of my lining fabric to squeeze out a tank top. I was already on my way to having a bad cold when I was finishing this up, so it may have been sinus-brain, but the directions for finishing the lining at the armhole didn't make a lot of sense to me. I ended up stitching around the armhole of my lining at 1/2", then clipping and folding it under before catch-stitching it to the seam allowance of the already set-in sleeve.
Because the sleeves are unlined, I needed to finish the seam. And because I was already starting not to feel great, I didn't want to get my serger out to finish them as I normally would. So instead I turned the seam allowances under and stitched. I did it this way because it was the path of least resistance, but I really love how it looks! I'll have to stop avoiding this in the future!
Now here's a confession: on both of my Victorias, I was unable to get the cuffs to meet exactly flush on the outside. You can see the little gap here:
So on both cuffs of both jackets, I did some tiny, invisible stitching to close that gap. I enjoy hand stitching, and little gaps like that really drive me crazy. I can't see how it's avoidable either, the way the cuffs are attached. Are you guys getting yours to meet up perfectly? I often go back to clean things up with some invisible stitches, so I just wanted to throw it out there. A year ago I would have thought I was cheating and that I should have done it "right" in the first place, but now I feel like, hey - whatever gets the job done! Also, when I'm hand-stitching, I like to pretend that I'm a couture seamstress . . .
This jacket was on my mind for about half the summer, so I'm glad I finally got it done. And I think the weather will start to be jacket-appropriate any day now - I still haven't been able to wear my first one! I have high hopes for the weekend though, when we'll be getting together with some visiting friends.
I really like this one, but I did feel a little conspicuous at the grocery store this morning. This shade of red is not for the faint of heart! But later I had a meeting to go to, and the lady I met with said, "I love your style!" So that was very encouraging - honestly I do question my fashion choices sometimes. Doesn't stop me from wearing some crazy stuff, but at least I'm aware it's crazy stuff!