Wool Blazer: Part 1

I have decided to start sewing my ‘English’ style blazer. I took my inspiration photo with me to the store and I found  a Simplicity blazer pattern that I think will work.

Im pretty sure the fabric is wool. Its one of the cuts that I got from the Denver Sewing Guild sale. I did a burn test and no hard plasticky bits formed so at least  I know its not synthetic. I know that the lining of a blazer needs to be slightly slippery  to help get it on and off and I was dreading having to use those awful polyester linings that Jo-anns has. It feels like wearing a plastic bag. Much to my surprise they now carry bemberg lining. I didn’t know what it was but it felt like a dream and is rayon so it should be breathable. It was $9.99 a yard but I had a 60% off coupon so I decided to spurge. It would be a waste to have such a breathable outside shell and stick a poly lining underneath.

When I got home I looked up bemberg, turns out it is the lining of choice for most bespoke tailors due to its durability, soft hand, and breathability….translation: I did very well.

So far I have spent a week on this blazer and I haven’t even started sewing yet. In order to make my standard waist lengthening of 1.5″ and arm  an lengthening of 1″.  I had to redraft 7 pattern pieces (darn princess seams). Then I cut it out. With the wool, lining, and interfacing we are talking 56 individual pieces. That took 3 days.

Day 4: Can’t get any of my chalk or pencils to mark on the wool. So I spent a day doing 72 tailor tacks.

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Day 5: Iron on all that interfacing. I decided to use the “Amazing Tip” from the pattern and add interfacing along the bottom of all the pieces and the neck as well. After all this cutting I want to make sure this turns out as best as it possible can.

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Whew..thats a lot of prep work. Hopefully I can start sewing it soon and see this thing come to life!

Fall time fun

The weather is starting to cool down hear in colorado and my fabric stash is looking quite autumnal these days.  That only means one thing. Time to make some season appropriate clothes! I was inspired by evergreens for this dress. Though yesterday we took a drive down Guanella Pass and now all the aspen groves are making me think bright yellow would be more apropos.

Its beautiful but I do still miss the multicolored fall colors from back east.

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I used Butterick 5813, I stayed a little more true to pattern then the last time. I love the “new look” silhouette  this dress has and all the little details.

These 3/4 sleeves have 3 elbow darts that give it a very vintage feel.

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The top is self lined so I was able to do away with the facings on the collar. The cotton I used seems fairly heavy so I think it will help to keep warmer in the cooler months. I did use some black batiste in the arms since they were a little tight and I didn’t want bulk at the joints.

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bah, I know it needs a good steam iron and a lint roller

I hand picked the zipper this time for a more vintage feel. It turned out OK, I don’t think I would do it for a center back zipper but I like it just fine for side seam.  From trying on the bodice mid sew I was worried the dress would be a little tight and I just didn’t want to fight with an invisible zip if it was. Turns out the dress isn’t tight at all but I am glad that I got to try a new-to-me technique none the less.

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Perhaps my favorite detail of all is one that I added out of shear laziness. I didn’t feel like making the trek down to my local sewing store to pick up thread so I just used what I had in my stash. It wasn’t the best match but all the seams are hidden and was close enough for a blind hem. Then I came to the collar and  I realized that I would have to top stitch it and then the thread would stand out. So since I knew the thread didn’t match I decided to use a decorative stitch from my Bernina so that the visible thread looked intentional rather then a mistake. I am chuffed to bits with the result.

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My only regrets with this dress is that it pulls a little across the upper bust if I raise my hand at all. I will have to do some research to see how you fix that for future sews.

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Fall is in the air

I stopped by Jo-anns to pick up some new patterns while they were on sale 3 /$5. Of course I wavered and ended up looking at fabric as well. For fall the had a huge selection of plaids in and I just couldn’t resist. At first I picked up 5 bolts but I was able to narrow it down to 2. The fist is a blue and black tartan plaid in brushed cotton. I intended to take a picture but it’s currently in the wash.  The second is a rayon plaid, its description says orange and grey but I think its more tomato red.

I just fell in love with the hand of this fabric. It is so soft and flowy which is a delight to wear. Unfortunately that means its a nightmare to sew. My biggest issue was that the fabric just seemed to grow and stretch and shift. I took my time and i’m pretty pleased with the result. I did add some interfacing to the pocket because I just couldn’t get it to sit still otherwise. Its a little stiff as a result but I think a few washes should remedy that. Since I was tired of making shirts I decided to add  an extra front yolk detail on the bias to change things up.

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Did you notice? I cut my hair…also I was so eager to start wearing it that I still haven’t gotten around to putting buttons on it yet. whoops. Unfortunately the grey buttons that I just put on Tony’s shirt would have been perfect for this one so its back to the store for buttons before this could really be called completed.