I'm a bit late to the By Hand London Victoria Blazer party I'm afraid. So late in fact, that everybody's gone home and there are just a couple of passed out drunks left in the front room. Never mind eh?! I had planned to make it earlier, honest Injun, but the freakishly hot weather we've been enjoying in the UK this summer made it impossible to even think about sewing a blazer. So down the queue it went, but not too far down, as I knew it would make a fab autumn project.
It's now autumn, the days are rapidly cooling down and my jacket is finished, never say I don't stick to my plan! Shamefully, I showed absolutely no imagination with this make and just went for a blatant copying of Roisin's lovely red version. As soon as I saw hers, I knew I wanted a red one too, only in double knit (I got my double knit from Calico Laine. Mine has even got the same lining as Roisin's! After I enthusiastically admired her lining fabric, Roisin, angel that she is, promptly sent it to me! I love that girl. No honestly, I really, truly do!
Anyway, I may have blatantly copied the colour red and the exact same lining but I did do a few things differently:
- As wonderful as all the cropped versions are, I just knew a cropped jacket wasn't for me, so I went for the longer length - version A. Except on my midget frame it was a bit too long (god, make your mind up Jane) so I shortened it by two inches.
- Lengthened the sleeves to wrist length. I do actually like the cropped sleeves but sadly, my arms are T-Rex length and cropped sleeves can often make my arms look shorter than they are (if that's even possible?!)
Perfect length sleeves
- Changed the shape of my lapels from square to angled at the bottom, using this easy tutorial by The Quirky Peach.
- Tapered the side seams in quite dramatically (more on this later).
- Omitted the pockets. The jacket started life with pockets but they pulled down in a strange way, maybe the double knit was the wrong weight? So off they came.
Size-wise I made a UK size 8 - this is smaller than my measurements but I wanted to allow for the extra stretch of the double knit. As the whole sewing world has already declared, this pattern is a delight to sew. Really easy and straight forward and a perfect pattern to try if you're tackling your first jacket. And the sleeves!! Oh the sleeves were a dream to set in, they went in FIRST TIME, without a word of complaint. Lovely, lovely sleeves. I also understitched the lapel and collar seams to help them lay flat (a tip from Marie at A Stitching Odyssey) and sewed the shell and lining armholes together to prevent the lining from peeking out underneath the blazer shell (a tip from Sally at A Quirky Peach). I sewed the main seams with my overlocker and everything else on my sewing machine with a jersey needle, which worked a treat.
The original boxy shoulders and roomy fit were a BIG departure for me style-wise and once the jacket was sewn up, I had to admit, the style just didn't work for me. I absolutely LOVE this style on other bloggers, just not on me. Let's face it, if a boxy jacket didn't work for me as a teenager in the 1980's when I was in my prime, it wasn't going to do me any favours 30 years later. I wouldn't admit defeat though - no way! - a quick tapering in of the waist and the whole look of the blazer was quite a bit more fitted and 100% more me.
I love the result and I'm hoping that the addition of this jacket to my wardrobe will be a good first step towards weaning myself off my hard core cardigan habit. Actually, with the fitted sides, the jacket is now far more cardigan than jacket, as it only has enough room for one layer underneath. The finished product might not have the uber-cool edge of the original pattern but it works for me and that's what matters. x