Sunday, October 26, 2014

Self-drafted blazer!

See this blazer?  I designed, drafted and sewed it myself!  And since I'm no longer actually attending lecture (conflicts with my teaching schedule), I'm using the book and my professor's office hours to get the job done!  (By the way, here she is, walking through the construction of the jacket on YouTube.  She's an amazing sewist!)

This most recent project for my patternmaking class isn't due until this Thursday, but since I had all of last Friday to sew without kids or lectures to write,  I started and finished it in about 9 hours straight  + an hour or two making adjustments yesterday and today.
The pattern itself was based on a jacket sloper, which was based on a torso sloper that was altered from a bodice sloper of my own measurements.  Phew!  It was a lot of work to even get to the point where I could start making the jacket pattern (hence my radio silence over the past few weeks)!  I based my design on this much more stylish jacket from Boden.  I liked the armhole princess lines, flap pockets, and rounded hemline.  Clearly, getting my vision into a flat pattern is going to take a little work :)

The style itself has a two-piece sleeve with semi-faux vents and is fully lined.

As for the fabrication...well...for the assignment, we were supposed to sew the jacket in muslin, but clearly that wasn't going to be worth my precious time, so I sewed it up in some vintage 100% cashmere wool I purchased last year for a steal, and silk lining fabric from Britex.  The lining is a bit on the crazy side, but I kind love it.

The buttons are leather, slightly domed with a shank, also from Britex. 

I made some fit adjustments during construction, taking the shoulders in 1/2" on each side and reducing the princess seams all around by 1/4" each.  The fit could use some additional help (reduce the chest and shoulder width more, and I think the back, too, since it seems to have some vertical lines that I only saw in these photos!).
Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to meet up with some fabulous Bay Area sewists (I'll be adding a blog list of the locals soon).  Among the very talented group was Beth, from SunnyGal Studio, a jacket sewing expert.  She gave me some excellent tips for improving the overall look of the jacket.  So, when I got home, I unpicked part of both sleeves to make them more smooth (that right one could still use some work, sorry Beth!), added sleeve heads (made out of some loose weave linen) and "clapped" as many seams and hems as I could.  
Here is my make-shift clapping tool and sleeve press board.  Yes, that's a tunnel from my son's train set--the rounded top actually works really great!
Overall, I'm super pleased with my finished product and with a few more minor tweaks, I have a great go-to blazer pattern.  And, I have enough leftover cashmere and silk for a matching skirt!  You know, so I can really work that professorial vibe.
My littlest man was "helping" with the photos!
Next up for class is drafting trousers from measurements--I'll be making the sloper, instead of modifying one like usual.  Looking forward to it!

Sewing Resewlution 2014, October garment #1.  Wow, just got that in under the wire!


  1. Looks so great, especially with the new sleeve caps - Beth is such a wealth of knowledge! Glad I got to see that and meet you in person!

  2. WOW! What an awesome jacket!

  3. I agree, the sleeve caps look so good! worth the trouble to re-do. and that is such a good style and fabric for you, something you can wear equally well with a dressy skirt or jeans. And those wood blocks are perfect. those who sew are very ingenious, right ! Great to see you and looking forward to our next get-together, whenever that may be :)

  4. Seriously??? This is stunning. I can't imagine there'll be anything you'll ever need to buy again when you can sew this well.

  5. This is so wonderful. You should be so pleased and proud of it. A true original!

  6. wow you're so good. i want to learn to sew like you!!

  7. Looks beautiful -- good style for you. It was great to see it in person and to meet you in person as well!