Blazer: DIY Simplicity 1006 | Fabric: Gorgeous Fabrics (sold out), Faux Leather (Joann's)
Let's skip the pleasantries, ladies and gents, and get right to it. This blazer kicked my ass in the patience arena.
I have had this pattern a year and a half and purposefully avoided it because I was not trying to deal with the million pieces I knew were waiting on me inside of the envelope. I like to get projects done quickly and I knew this was not going to be that.
Then, it happened. I got the perfect fabrics and the perfect idea. Still, I avoided this pattern another couple of months. But, it kept calling me (Pookie voice).
So, I cracked it open, heaved a heavy sigh, did a little lot of cussing and attacked it. Let me say that the skill level isn't difficult. But, I wouldn't recommend it to a beginner for a few reasons. With so many pieces and a lining, there is a great possibility of achieving a better fit, but also more possibilities of error. So, if you're new to sewing patterns, then you may want to press pause on this one for now.
First, I cut out my pattern, made my known length adjustments that I always make, then cut out and marked my muslin. I applied the fitting techniques I learned in Pam Howard's Jacket Fitting Techniques on Craftsy.
Let's pause here for a second. This class was very good, especially if you're new to jacket fitting. I believe Erica Bunker blogged about this class a while back so I knew I had to add this class to my wishlist. Essentially, many of the techniques I learned in this class, I now apply to many other projects outside of jackets. So, now that I've purchased it and taken it myself, I DEFINITELY recommend you add this class to your stash. If you're struggling with quality, this is for you.
Back to this damn blazer.
I promise the entire time I kept telling myself, "push through, you're going to be fly as hell when you're done" the ENTIRE time I was going through this process. I really hate billion piece patterns. Like, I need you to understand. Patience is not a virtue of mine.
As I made my muslin of the shell of the blazer and went through my fitting adjustments, I saw it coming to life. By the time I was done with fitting, it looked nothing like what it did straight out of the envelope, so I knew making a muslin was the right thing to do.
- Cut a size 16 C cup
- added 1.25" length between the waist and hem all around the body of the blazer
- subtracted 1.25" length between apex and waist all around the body of the blazer
- Added .75" to upper and under sleeve length
- Added diamond darts to side back seams to give more of a contoured fit
Once I finished pinning out my adjustments, I sewed them and marked my new stitching lines. I then took my muslin apart and added my new seam allowance where needed. These became my new pattern pieces. I cut and marked my wool fabric using basting thread. I marked my faux leather using tailor's chalk. And proceeded to sew per the usual.
Also, I have to say that the instructions were not that great. I've made a blazer before from Simplicity and it was a breeze. But, this one was a struggle. There are two views, A and B. I made view B with the yokes because I wanted to add faux leather yokes. The written instructions take view B only so far then it refers you to view A instructions to complete the blazer. This is not unusual.
The problem with that is that the illustrations didn't match view B enough to understand some of the more intricate details that I had questions about. On top of the merging, there were many steps that were not included in the directions. I'm sure it was for the sake of being concise and conserving paper for printing costs, but there were steps that I needed a bit more help on.
Since this pattern comes with a video tutorial on YouTube, I went on over there thinking that the video instruction would supplement the written instructions. It didn't, unfortunately. The lining was skipped completely up to the point that you have to attach it to the jacket. There was also no instruction for closing up the blazer with the lining, hand-stitching, or buttons. I didn't need that instruction, but if you think you do, you won't find help there.
Overall, this experience just missed the mark for me. I do plan on conquering this jacket, just to say I did. And I really love the design and possibilities and plan on tackling it again.
I am happy to say that it survived as I wore it to church and these photos were taken right after service. So, I call that a win.
Photo cred: Hubs