Thursday, September 12, 2013

Finally: Victoria II

I finished my second Victoria Blazer a week and a half ago, and only today did I have the right combination of wellness, time and weather to take some pictures.  Honestly, it was a little warm for this by the time I got home from my errands, but it was almost cool enough for it first thing in the morning!  I took a page from Ginger's book and wore it with jeans and a graphic tee:


And because that photo doesn't really show you exactly what the blazer looks like, I give you this:


And 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!



30 comments:

  1. Not crazy at all, gorgeous! I love that lining fabric. The way you finished the sleeves is how I finish any seam that I don't French or pink. I usually cut the seam allowance down to .5 inches or less and then stitch. It's the technique that was suggested in my very first commercial pattern and I still use it when the fabric is thin enough. A good pressing and it's good to go.

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    1. Thank you, Lisa! You're brave for cutting that seam allowance down - even at 5/8" I sometimes felt like I wasn't catching it all!

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  2. I love the fact that it's so bright and bold, it looks perfect for you! I've been thinking about a light jacket and even though I'm not sure about how a blazer would look on me I think I may have to give the Victoria a go... Yours looks great!

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    1. Thanks, Sabs! Do try the Victoria if you like this style - it's a really fun pattern, and you don't have to mess with all the tailoring bits of a normal style blazer!

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  3. that used to be my seam finish of choice, pre-serger! it does look nice and is pretty quick to do. and this jacket is great, not crazy at all! love the red, and love the lining. we had a taste of fall weather last week, i'm ready for the season change!

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    1. I used to do the zigzag seam finish, and I was never happy with it. I don't know why I never tried this one! It's like pretend Hong Kong finish!

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  4. I really love this! The red looks fabulous and really suits you, always looks good with denim too. I reckon do whatever it takes to get your garment how you want it. You can rip out over and over, pulling your hair out, or just do the fix that makes life a little easier. I go with easier!

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    1. Thanks, Jillian! I had a hairdresser/makeup artist once tell me that because everything about me was "medium" (hair color, skin color, eye color) I should wear bold makeup and clothing colors! I'm a little old for bold makeup, but not for clothes, LOL!

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  5. Fabulous! I think this is one of my favorites of this pattern that I've seen made up -- I love the contrasting collar and cuffs, of course! And I love that Essex stuff too, very much. I think that it's the linen that feels a little scratchy, because it has softened up for me over time.

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    1. Wow, high praise indeed! Thank you! Good to know this stuff softens up. It was actually softer before the pre-wash! I think once the sizing was gone, the linen fibers got all prickly. I LOVE the look though, and the color selection.

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  6. Ooooo that lining fabric is absolutely perfect! I can see why you snagged it - for the WIN :)

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  7. You chose a great contrast of colors and material. That is a nice pop of color on you.

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  8. Love the color!! You pull it off fabulously!

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    1. Thank you, Pam! My husband always says the same thing - he loves me in red!

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  9. I'm glad to see you've been continuing to sew gorgeous garments for yourself. Your work is always an inspiration, Gail!

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  10. I love the contrast lining!! And isn't is nice to be able to pull out some of our fall things? The seasonal change always makes me feel like I have a brand new wardrobe.

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    1. I'm having the opposite reaction! I keep thinking, "I need to wear that (fill in the blank) before the weather turns!"

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  11. I love blazers and shoes in that colour red and this one is perfect with the navy contrast fabric. Another work of art!

    Your sense of style is always fun...it looks like you are having a good time and enjoying playing which is always a win.

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    1. Thank you! I actually do have a pair of shoes in this color (of course!) but I didn't wear them because I thought it would be a little TOO much red, LOL!

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  12. Another beautiful blazer, and a good call on the lining - it's a perfect match.

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    1. Thanks, Carmela! I was so pleased when the red fabric was such a good match for the red bits in the ikat, because I ordered it online! You can never be quite sure what you're getting!

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  13. Oh, me likey! I've been thinking about focusing on work clothes this fall so I'll have to keep this blazer in mind. I'll pick your brain re. fabric choices over e-mail.

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    1. I saw one version where a lady did the cropped blazer and a pencil skirt to match - it looked so chic and business-like!

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  14. Oooh, I love this! Your fabric combo is great, and the red is a really nice color. There's a sudden chill in the air around here, so I bet you'll be into blazer weather very, very soon! RE: the cuffs, mine didn't line up perfectly either, so I just stretched the cuffs a teensy bit to get the ends to sit flush, but hand stitching is probably a nicer finish.

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    1. Thank you! I'm glad I'm not the only one whose cuffs didn't meet up! I can be so lax about some things, but stuff like that really bothers me - my eye is always drawn there and I can't let it go til I fix it!

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  15. How cute! And sassy. I love you in red. Believe it or not I have a similar fabric to your lining saved for my second Victoria blazer. Now, if only I get get that first one finished. I'm so close!

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    1. Thank you! Can't wait to see your blazer. Are you using your similar fabric as inner or outer? Either way I think it will be very cute!

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