Hi, dudes! Hope you’re all well!
I’m going to be honest: this project was a bit of a slog. After I finished my Ginger jeans, I’d planned to move on to more fun autumnal sewing, but I made the mistake of peeking at my UFO pile. I felt guilty and decided to finish up some projects before starting something new. I muslined this blazer back in April for an event I wanted to wear it to, then realized after cutting it out that were too many issues for me to make the deadline, so I bagged it and forgot about it. Do you ever do that? I’ve found that last-minute deadline sewing usually results in a UFO for me (read: the swimsuit that I cut out the night before I left for Iceland… yep, that’s still unfinished), so I’m trying to avoid it from here on out. It never ends well!
The pattern is the blazer from Simplicity 1430. I’m not surprised that it hasn’t popped up on many blogs (or even on Pattern Review!) – if you look at the pattern envelope, the details are obscured by the print the jacket is made up in, and they’ve filled in the line drawing with the same stupid print so you can’t tell what’s happening! Silly!
I cut out a size smaller than my measurements indicated since this style is so relaxed and made a quick muslin. I liked the overall fit, but the sleeves were really baggy, so blended from the size 10 at the underarm to the size 4 (the smallest size). Here’s where I got annoyed: the blazer is unlined (not a huge deal, but I don’t love drafting), and doesn’t include a back neck facing (um WHAT?!). The instructions want you to clip into the collar, turn the edge under between the clips, and turn under the neck edges of the front facings and topstitch all that down. I can’t for the life of me figure out what the benefit of this finish would be. It’s weird and ugly! When I figured out I would need to draft so many pieces, I jumped ship on the project and moved on.
Once I picked this back up, it wasn’t very hard to draft front and back lining pieces. I added a 2″ pleat at the center back for ease of movement, and a 1″ jump pleat at the hem edge. I’m always nervous about ripping my linings! I drafted a back neck facing and then sewed it all up like usual. Since I cut out all the shell pieces so long ago, I didn’t remember that the collar and undercollar are cut from the same pattern piece. If I sew this again, I would cut a two-piece undercollar on the bias, and I would shave off 1/8″ for turn of cloth. I didn’t think to do this and it annoys me, argh! I also didn’t consider the fact that there aren’t any pockets in this pattern until I was too far into the project to bother with them, but I wish I’d gone back and added them. They’re just nice to have in a blazer, and when I wear this, I keep reaching for imaginary pockets! One final weird thing is that the instructions tell you to understitch everything to the facing below the waist, but the jacket wants to roll open, so you end up with visible understitching. Strange.
Let’s move on to a happier topic: fabric! I almost certainly would’ve left this project for dead if it wasn’t for the special fabric. It’s silk noile, and it was a gift from Carolyn. We were at Mood together one day, and I was admiring a wool crepe in a similar color when she offered to send this to me. She included the matching lining (it’s so pretty, ack!!!) and it makes me smile and think of her when I see it. I’d never seen or worked with silk noile before. It has a slubby texture, almost like a raw silk, but it’s kind of spongy instead of slick or slippery. It’s really fun and super easy to sew. It has a relaxed hand, and really works well with this slouchy silhouette.
I really like the shape of this blazer, but I’m still kinda irritated by how much work had to go into it to make it wearable. But, I did get it in a $1 sale when I passed a Jo-Ann’s in my travels, so I invested much more time than money in it. I bought two copies so if I ran into a major sizing issue, I could just cut into the second one and I’d only be out a dollar. I didn’t need to do this, so I added the second one to a swap pile and Suzanne picked it up and made an AWESOME buffalo plaid blazer that I really wish I could have (it’s unblogged, I think, but you can see it on her Instagram, @sewyorkcity). So there’s great potential in the pattern, again, if you don’t mind doing a little work.
I’m not 100% certain how to style this, and it’s definitely not my favorite garment (it’s kind of plain, but not plain in a goes-with-everything way). But I’ve been wearing it and I’m just glad to get it out of the UFO bin! I’ve been guilty of some major sins in that department in the past, but I’ve just finished up some mending and repairs and now things are pretty manageable. Phew! Now I can start in on fun stuff!
Tell the truth: do you have a pile of unfinished garments haunting you? Or do you finish everything you start? Any tips for those of us that struggle to finish things?