It’s been a while, and those who follow me on Instagram know the truth: I’ve been busy with blazer sewing in the last 1 and half month.
When I started to sew 1,5 years ago, I tried to make a suit at my 4th or 5th attempt, LOL, such naive thought, I was thinking I could make it work with ambitious mood. Well, hell NO! 🙂
Deep in the roots of Instagram you can see the outcome: two weeks of suffering and throwing the fabric into the trash bin.
Let’s start at the beginning… back then I bought Burda sewing pattern at my local sewing machine store, you can order patterns online, choosing the one you like from a big catalouge (these are not in the magazine!).
I didn’t watch too much videos, read tutorials or blog, instead I thought with the description I can make it. I fell for tweed, but the original is so pricy – I bought a cheaper blend.
I had a little Facebook help, my classmate from college, who is a professional designer now helped me trough Messenger, a little Q&A. We talked about making it together but it didn’t happen.
Burda is not ready-to-made for me. I fit in the sizing chart but still a lots of tweaking would be necessary, which back then I did not know. The details are a little cryptic, although the little pictures can help you a lot.
All in all, I hated the blazer I made, it was ugly, didn’t fall properly at all and I was so nervous by the time I made the lining, that it literally fell apart when I took it on, because I was so distracted when I stitched the lining together it became sooo small, I ripped the whole thing. At this point I threw it into the trash bin.
Although I did make the skirt, lined it, but eventually wore it once – I felt so old lady like in it.
Of course I haven’t given up my dream. Yes, it was my dream to make a blazer for myself. Alexander McQueen 2006 F/W collection still inspired me with those beautiful suits, blazers, jackets.
Steffani Lincecum, the instructor comes from the world of costumes and knows awfully lot about the classic jacketmaking techniques.
No “sticky interfacing” and “sew this in 3 hours” stuff, but there is a lot of skills learning, just like taking a look at some deep, precious, old book full of beautiful knowledge. A lot of handstitching, haute couture techniques and she grabs you by the hand, indeed.
So I bought the class for 19.99$. It is superb! You can take one step at a time, your access lives forever, you can replay it a 100 times if yu need, and there is an open Q&A section where the teacher answers all of your questions.
And also, as ordering Vouge, Butterick patterns could cost you a thousand bucks with shipping cost (here, in Europe), Craftsy sends you the sewing pattern for free, the Butterick B4610. Isn’t it amazing?
So I started to sew in April, but I wanted to spare some… well, it was expensive to be honest, but I chose a cotton blend, a stiffer one to the outer fabric, but after all it was a little bit stretchy and I didn’t like how the sleeve hung. Also the sewing pattern wasn’t fitted enough for me, it was a little boxy and didn’t fall properly on me (yes, I made a muslin but I lacked the proper sewing alterations’ knowledge). So, when I set one sleeve I left it unfinished. Of course, in a deeply sad mood.
Then fall came and I still wanted to make a blazer SO MUCH! I knew the best blogs, tutorials, descriptions and I found Lekala. They turned out well so I merged the Craftsy video class and the Lekala sewing pattern and as the saying is: “Three of the Hungarian justice” for the third attempt my Lekala blazer was born. I used Lekala 4162.
I didn’t spare, the gorgeous, forestgreen wool fabric was around 35$/meter, I bought 1.5 meter. I had hair canvas left and also I had the lining from the previous project – so far so good! I used linen and batiste on the inside, to strengthen the wool.
- I steamed the wool – no ironing, just pressing through some cotton batiste, because ironing makes the fabric shiny! You can only dryclean it.
- I made bound buttonhole.
- I bound together the hair canvas and wool by handstitches, basted them at first. The diagonal way the handstitches lay helps the lapel, gives structure and there is some stretchness in the stitches too. There is twill tape on the outside of the collar.
- I basted linen and cotton batiste to the wrong side of the wool on the back and side parts.
- There is hair canvas on the upper collar too, fixed with hand stitches.
- I sewed the body together, clipped into the SA, ironed it. A lot of steam needed – wool is really pleasant to work with steam!
- I midered the sleeve vents, and I screwed it up a little… but it’s slightly visible, I’ll do it better next time.
- I set the sleeves in, put shoulder pad and sleeve head which cause the amazing shoulder areas! I used regular fleece instead proper sleeve head, got the job done.
- I sewed the lining with the collar facings together.
- At first I sewed the wrong part of the upper collar to the lapel. Back then I put plus 10 cm fabric to the middle, resew, but then at the facing I realized it doesn’t work… OMG. I had to redo the whole process, I catchstitched the SA at the collar area like 3 times.. And one side of the notched collar is still not the best, I will try to do it better.
- This is the hardest part, the notched collar: 4 corners meet at that point. You have to stop sewing at one side, make a knot, continue sewing and you can’t trim the whole SA, you have to leave some to give it some body, but not too much… ahh.. next time better.
- This was my low point in the whole process – I was working on it for a month then, and I have to let it go that it will be perfect. It won’t. Maybe none of my garments will ever be perfect. But I can’t be a person with decades of experience after more than a year of sewing!
- I sewed the lining and body together, steamed, ironed the blazer. I topstitched the lapel and collar, feather stitched the lining, I tacked the roll line, handstitched the lining to the body at the facing, handstitched the sleeve lining to the lining body, handstitched the sleeve lining at the wristle etc etc… 🙂
I gotta admit, I’m totally proud of myself, because I didn’t give up, I could let go some weaker parts, let them be – and I didn’t start another project (It’s so hard when IG is full of makes, makes, makes…) – okay, I knitted socks and a cap! 🙂 – and I really hope this blazer will be something which will be my partner for years, or even decades. I feel that the work invested is worth, and I love it much more than the quick-and-easy projects.
And don’t get me wrong: I do know the imperfect parts, but all in all, I love it anyway.
I learnt so much and I think it’s really worth to buy Craftsy classes if you lack the time or money to go to sewing classes. I already bought the coatmaker, Chanel jacket, corset maker and couture classes.
A long project like this teaches you humilty, patience and endurance. It made me want to dive into advanced projects, like coat making and using more handstitches, couture techniques. Slow fashion is about quality, not quantity.
Who needs the 100th shift dress, like real?
Let me show you some pic about my knitted hat, it is made of Drops yarn, Garnstudio pattern.
It is a mix of alpaca, mohair and silk – I used two different yarns.
After one and half year, I also had a success at sock knitting. It turned out that my burden was the sock knitting needle set… 5 needles? Not for me! I LOOOOVE circular needles, and the magic loop technique is so great for sock knitting as well.
Yarn: Drops Eskimo