i'm plotting a winter coat project but as it seems i'm in desperate need of outerwear, i decided to dip my toes in the water with a fall blazer. i've been eyeing knit blazers that seem to be all the rage and really fell in love with this one from gap.com:
i love the structure of the blazer, but the everyday wear of a knit. let's face it. my everyday life is more about shuttling kids around to school, dance lessons, doctor's appts, etc. this is perfect and allows me to feel put together even if all i have on underneath are a stained t-shirt and jeans.
|this is the lining, facing and upper collar|
so i was on the hunt for a blazer pattern. i wanted something slim and slightly cropped and after MUCH searching, i finally stumbled upon butterick 4610. the only thing i didn't like was the single button closure, and that is pretty easily remedied. pattern reviews were generally favorable, aside from some boxiness in the shoulders and wide sleeves. i measured a 10 in the bust and a 12 at the waist, so i went down a full size a graded from an 8 in the shoulder/bust out to a 10 at the waist. then i used the width of the size 6 sleeve and raised the armscythe by 3/4". i've always had issues being able to raise my arms comfortably and if you look at how low the armpit hangs, it completely restricts your mobility. no bueno. then i brought the shoulder in by 1/2" to eliminate the football player look. then i raised the stance of the jacket by about 2 1/2" so i could have a two button closure. my changes sound much more extensive then they actually are.
|same thing from the back|
i took a chance and didn't muslin this first. since i was using knit (sophia double knit from fabric.com to be specific), there was really no point. i compared measurements to jackets i already have and like and just went to town. i debated over how much of the jacket to apply fusible to. the pattern only has you do the under collar, the facing and... that's it. i went a little further and also interfaced the entire front, the top collar, as well as the hem and sleeve hem. i also taped the roll line and added an extra layer of fusible to the under collar so it would all roll properly and keep it's shape. of course, the roll line isn't included on the pattern, but it doesn't take much skill to figure out the placement of this.
|this is the shell, inside out. that diagonal line is a strip of|
fusible cut 3/8" short, fused while easing in the shell to fit. this
ensures a nice roll line for the collar.
|extra layer of fusible for the collar stand on the under collar.|
patterned under collar of course... :)
that may seem like a lot of fuss and fusing for a casual knit blazer. well it is, but i really wanted to keep the structure of a blazer. i didn't want this to just look like a sweater with a collar and end up all floppy.
i also discovered a nifty trick for setting in those sleeves! any proper jacket needs a sleeve head to fill out the sleeve cap, so i cut bias strips (2" wide) of regular old polar fleece and stitched it around the eased part of the sleeve head, pulling the fleece very taut as i stitched.
|see how the fleece pulls in the cap without gathering or puckers?|
|the sleeve practically sets itself in!|
once done, the bias pulls the sleeve head in and does all the easing for you! (fyi: i've also seen this done with regular bias tape for a non-jacket/coat application.)
|nicely rounded sleeve head... no puckers!!!|
i was stunned at how easy this made putting the sleeve in. the whole seam allowance (including the fleece) is pressed toward the sleeve, so i rounded the edges of the fleece to make sure i had no visible ridge when worn. then i cut shoulder pads out of the fleece as well. i have rather angular shoulders and don't like to give them much emphasis. in the future, i would probably add fusible to the upper portion of the sleeve to give it additional structure as well as ensure that all the sleeve cap business doesn't show.
all in all the work paid off and it has turned out amazing! here i'm only showing you the guts, but i have the entire thing done aside from some white trim and sparkly buttons! yay for everyday sewing!!!