This little 1930′s Simplicity pattern has lived in a quiet place in my mind since I found her last November. I’m working on several projects at the moment- updating the Kimono Wrap Top, making another pattern for Craftsy, finishing the hack for May (it’s actually finished, the gussets look great, I just need to do the imaging work!), and a pants project I’ll talk about tomorrow. At least the Duchess Top is finished… Of course it makes sense to throw a 30′s blazer into the mix, right?
For me it does. I used to try to force myself to finish one project before moving to the next. It never quite worked, and I’d get stressed out. Eventually I learned I just don’t work that way. Instead, I work in waves- waves of inspiration followed by pattern and prep work, followed by construction, followed by finishing. Sometimes the waves overlap, but right now I’m working on heaps of “pattern-prep” work and loving it.
I altered the pattern using another jacket pattern some time ago and made a muslin- which I discovered this morning while cleaning out part of my sewing room. When I put it on and saw that the fit isn’t that bad, I decided to go ahead and finally make the blazer. Besides, I really like making jackets.
I’m a sucker for nice wide lapels. The finished lapels will be somewhat narrower than the muslin (seam allowances!) but they’ll still be rather dramatic. I like the deep neckline- it will show off the blouse underneath and it helps to break up the bulk I carry in that area. The CF closes with two linked buttons and two buttonholes, but I think I may try a little tab feature a la Downton Abbey:
Isn’t Lavinia’s coat charming? (No! Must focus!)
The back is fine, too. I like the lines of the darts. There’s a little wrinkling through the waist, mostly caused by the way I’m pinching the front closed. My muslin fabric is a horrible polyester suiting that won’t press, but I kind of like the rippled effect below the waist. I went back to the pattern and gave the lower CB more flare, and I’ll sew the darts as tucks below the waist.
Once I tweaked the fit, I went back to Sherry’s excellent RTW Jacket Sewalong Archive and worked on my outer shell pattern as well as the facings, collar and lining pieces. The pattern work went much quicker this time than I remember. Sherry’s sewalong was amazing- I made a WW2 style corduroy jacket. She covers everything you need to know for a great finished jacket. In fact, it turned out so well that when I took it out for this year’s chilly weather it looked brand-new even though I wore and abused it constantly last winter.
This is fabric choice #1. It doesn’t photograph well, and it’s pretty yawn-worthy in person- a plain smooth charcoal. Ever notice that the most boring fabrics often become very useful and versatile garments? That’s the idea here. It’s a medium weight wool with 5% Lycra. Does that work for tailoring or am I setting myself up for failure? I bought this length for a skirt some time ago, but it’s pretty perfect for the blazer…
Fabric Choice #2 is another gray wool- lighter weight with no Lycra. It’s pretty, but I don’t know if it would look as “classic” as the other wool, and I’m certain it won’t wear as well. On top of that, I’m afraid it’s just barely too lightweight to tailor well. But… It’s so pretty!
Either way, I’ll use this for the lining. It’s some random pink poly jacquard from a friend’s de-stash. I think it will look pretty inside the serious gray blazer, and it has enough “slip” to do the job.
I’m also quite pleased because when I re-read the pattern instructions, I realized it shows a new-to-me way to make a single welt pocket! I can’t wait to try it out.
What do you think? Do you tend to work on several projects at once, or do you finish one thing before moving to the next? Button tab or no tab? Dark and practical wool, or the slubby pretty stuff? Oh dear me, and there’s buttons to think of…
Tomorrow: kicking off the month of Perfectly Fitting Pants… I’m on a mission to “crack” the Colette Clovers, then make some crazy ridiculously seamed pants that won’t leave my imagination and I’ll take copious notes. So- some muslins, some detailed pattern work, one normal pair of stretch skinny legs, and one weird-as-can-be pair that I have already named “Golden Lotus.”