The last time I started a new job I got it into my head I needed to sew myself some work dresses. Never mind the fact I hadn’t sewn in years and years- who needs practise when you have a burning desire to create something and a massive G&T to help you on your way? Needless to say my attempt at the gorgeous Macaron pattern ended up a red hot mess and I put sewing aside for a ways again. So when I recently found out I had secured a super rad new job no one should be surprised that I spent my week off before starting sewing up a storm. Five days. Three dresses. One blazer. A lot of Parks & Rec. I present to y’all my Victoria Blazer!
Totes kicking it work appropriate style!
I’m more than a little happy to say this bad boy took me one evening of tracing and cutting and one day of sewing to pull together. And if I may share a dirty secret? I didn’t toile this sucker at all. With it’s simple silhouette and the awesome fit I had from my epic Elisalex I trusted the By Hand London ladies to not lead me astray.
I went a grey cotton sateen for this bad boy figuring the weight would lend to some nice structure. The lining is a simple black and whit polka dot poplin that I always seem to grab a metre of if I putter past Lincraft. I was tossing up whether or not to go contrast collar, lapels and cuffs for this but in the end only went cuffs as it is for work and I wanted it to go with a bunch of different outfits. I never thought I would see the day where practical overrode prints in my world. What is happening? Someone should hand me a giant French 75 and a handful of cookies STAT!
Phew. T-rex arms make everything better in Amanda-land!
The idea of actually trying to make a jacket was completely freaking me out. I was having images of pad stitching and crazy bound button holes and all kinds of major skillz of which I am yet to master. So let me state clearly- Victoria is a blazer for jacket scaredy cats. The craziest thing about the whole business are some super clever shaping darts that end up making your collar sit like a dream. And once you have a wee gander on the ole BHL sewalong page they become a piece of cake. I mean, check this collar out. If I can do that a drunk marmoset trying to sew on a beach ball can do it.
The only thing about this pattern that I would change up front is to line the sleeves. As I hadn’t jacketed before (totes made up a new word- yay!) I wanted to follow the instructions to the letter so didn’t go there. But now I’ve made it I am ready for the glory of the lined sleeve. I am still thinking I may Hong Kong seam the armholes- they currently have a serged lining which is slip stitched onto the shell seam. Some pink binding could be a super cute feature now I come to think of it…
I had some problem easing the sleeve head in as the sateen would not stretch. I wrangled that bad boy for a good 20 minutes but in the end I eased the whole way around the armhole. As a result there isn’t that fantastic shoulder silhouette but hey- it still looks rad!
And the back silhouette is pretty cool- even if it does look like I’m flashing the wall… Awkward…
But more importantly. Can we take a look at the cutest cuffs ever. Gah! These things are like little slices of polka dotted perfection!
But enough swooning over teeny tiny polka dots…
What I liked about this pattern:
- The clear and well illustrated instructions in the book were fabulous! In saying that, I am a lady who likes me some further deets on things so the step by step sewalong was my main resource for this make. Laziness win!
- The fancy collar dart thang. It is super stealth yet helps give the collar great structure and polish.
- How simple it was. I was able to knock the sewing together on one day which was a plus 😀
- Line the sleeves like a boss.
- Go a contrast lapel and collar combo as well. I’m loving all the versions I’ve seen!
- Ease the sleeve head in properly to get that really defined shape. If I’m rocking an 80s inspired blazer I want to be all up in it Dorothy Zbornak style. Those shoulders need to POP!
To the left: epic sleeve head fail.
To the right: owning the sleeves head like a boss.
Hell yeah you own that sleeve head, Dorothy! I like to think had I remained in classroom teaching I too would have developed the almighty power of the Zbornak stare. Sheer. Majesty.