Sparkle Ponte Grainline Morris Blazer

Grainline Morris Blazer

Sorry that some of these pics are a little blurry. It’s been raining all weekend so I was forced to do indoor photos. Black fabric is hard to photograph anyway.

Grainline Morris Blazer

The Pattern: I’m a little late on the bandwagon for Grainline’s Morris Blazer. Better late than never. I was drawn to this design ’cause it’s a simple, unlined jacket that I thought I could make quickly. I wasn’t wrong. This pattern came together in just a few hours.

Grainline Morris Blazer

The Fabric: Some weird rayon poly blend ponte with tiny metallic threads running through it. Bought it at Joann Fabrics which has been surprising me lately with some good fabric finds.

Grainline Morris Blazer

The Changes: I didn’t exactly follow the directions very well for the hem facing and that point where the lapel meets the hem facing had about 70 layers of fabric in there (and this fabric is thick). I tried to trim some of the seam allowance there but only ended up with raw edges sticking out at the point.

Grainline Morris Blazer

Then I kind of half-assed whip stitched the points down and now they look ok (you can’t see the hand stitching). Next time I’ll do it the correct way.

Grainline Morris Blazer
Also, I can’t really tell but I think I might need a small FBA on this jacket. The fabric wants to roll back on itself at the front shoulders.

Grainline Morris Blazer

The Results: I’m hooked on this pattern now. I gotta make, like, a dozen more. I don’t have many blazers that I wear regularly but I can already tell this is going to be a popular one this winter. Another Grainline winner for me!

Grainline Morris Blazer

Pattern Anthology’s 8 Days a Week Collection

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Oooh, two garments in one post! I was lucky enough to participate in Pattern Anthology‘s last womens-wear collection blog tour earlier this year and now they’re back with a new collection of mix and match garments that will become staples in your wardrobe.

In case you’re unfamiliar with the Pattern Anthology concept here are the deets: 8 Days a Week Collection is a new collection of women’s sewing patterns by Pattern Anthology. This collection includes:

  1. The Neptune Tee: A casual tee with optional triangle cutouts at the front and back neckline as well as the sleeves.
  2. The Marigold Dress: A button down dress with elastic waist, long or cap sleeve options and even a peplum option.
  3. Go To Knit Pants: 3 styles of knit pants including leggings, straight leg pants and relaxed fit pants options.
  4. McCartney Jacket: A zip up jacket with fun options and lots of style.

Pattern Anthology sells their collections for a limited time at a 40%+ discount. You can purchase this collection now through October 6th. Get more details HERE.

  8-days-a-week-bloggers

So, which designs did I make? Let’s start with the Marigold Peplum Top from Blank Slate Patterns:

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The Pattern: Melissa, the designer behind Blank Slate, is also from Austin so I got a sneak peek at an early version of this pattern at sewing meet up and was immediately like, “YES PLEASE.” The Marigold is quite versatile. You can make a dress, skirt, or a straight or hi-low peplum shirt.

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The Fabric: I used a silk/cotton blend from Form and Fabric in Austin. It has this pretty, abstract, brushstroke style print. I bought this fabric before I knew about this pattern so I didn’t have enough yardage for a dress so I made the top with short sleeves.

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(I wore this top two days in a row so needless to say it’s pretty wrinkled…)

The clear crystal-like buttons are from my stash.

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The Changes: None, really. With no darts and a blouse-y shape fitting is easy peasy.

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(My friend Susan was nice enough to take pics of me outside of The Common Thread at our last sewing party. The store is next door to a bridal salon. Wedding dresses for a backdrop? Why not!)

The Results: Loving it! I can definitely see this being a TNT pattern with all the variations available.

And next: The McCartney Jacket from Shwin Designs

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The Pattern: A nice bomber-style jacket with rib knit cuffs and hem band (love rib knit details like that!).

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And it’s got sweet welt pockets, too!

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(I’m calling this my “It’s way too hot to be wearing a jacket in Texas in September” face)

The Fabric: Ok, so this pattern is drafted for wovens but I had this gray panda print sweatshirt knit from Girl Charlee I had bought ages ago and I really wanted to use it. It was very stable and hardly stretched at all so I felt safe using it.

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The lining is a woven, however. It’s a purple rayon lining fabric that I starched within an inch of its life because that stuff is slippery!

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(I realized later that I didn’t take any pictures of the back of the jacket, oops. So here’s a random picture instead!)

The Changes: The pattern calls for self and lining fabric for the collar but I wanted to use some more rib knit so, yeah… I used that instead. :p

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The Results: As hard as I tried matching my panda-stripes they’re a little off when I zip the jacket up (shhh… if you won’t tell anyone I won’t…). And I think I could have sewn one size smaller for a tighter fit but I don’t mind the size.

Besides – PANDAS! Pandas win everything. This is going to be such a fun jacket later in the year when I can actually wear it, lol!

Now go check out what all these lovely ladies made from the collection then go and pick up the patterns for yourself at PatternAnthology.com

Rachel from House of Pinheiro
Melissa from Melly Sews
Stacy from Stacy Sews
Abbey from Sew Charleston

The Dixie Victoria Blazer

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Two things of note before we begin today – 1) In case you didn’t know, my middle name is Victoria! 😉
and 2) I’m completely convinced that “blazer” is the most awesome name of any garment. I mean just say it – “Blaaaazzzzeeerr!” It’s blazin’! Blaze!!! Fire and lasers!

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Ok, on to the real reason you’re here. No doubt you’ve seen this pattern on other blogs by now (why am I always the last one to finish?), it’s the Victoria Blazer from By Hand London. I love these girls. My Elisalex dress is one of my faves and most worn dresses.

The fabric is an organic cotton twill from Organic Cotton Plus.

The Goal: I really like wearing blazers but I don’t often do it, because Texas, so then I thought *light bulb* white blazer! This is great because it won’t be as hot as darker fabrics and I can wear a tank top outside and pop on the blazer when I go indoors to keep me from dying of air conditioning hypothermia. It’s a win win!

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The Pattern: This is my second By Hand London pattern I’ve made and I love that they’ve applied what they’ve learned from their first two patterns into making an even better pattern. I like their style – chic and with a modern twist on classic styles. This boxy blazer shape reminds me of the 80s but at the same time it looks like it fits perfect in 2013.

More things I liked – the fact that they tell you to stay stitch parts, like the center front, a place I wouldn’t have thought to do but it makes sense when you’re attaching the collar and lapel, you don’t want that area to have stretched out.

I liked the dart that you can’t really see while wearing the jacket but it makes a little bit of shaping while also serving as a collar stand in the back.

The pattern calls for French seams at the cuff which I thought was a clever option.

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Oh, and one thing I appreciated was the note about sleeve ease. I liked that the ladies explained the extra ease in the sleeve cap so I was prepared when I went to sew it in and I found that there wasn’t as much ease as I thought there’d be. I think this is nice because a lot of sewists have trouble with adding sleeve ease (I know I used to). Have you ever tried to insert a sleeve cap that had so much ease you gave up and just gathered the top so you didn’t have to deal with it? Having this extra info made me go into that part of the assembly with confidence and better expectations. It was just a nice consideration.

And that’s just an example of the fun, encouraging way the instructions are written which make sewing this blazer fun.

The Fabric: This is a 7oz twill weave from Organic Cotton Plus and I’m glad they give weights on a lot of the fabrics because I really think this is the perfect weight for this pattern. They have lots of other colors (and fabrics!) as well in case white’s not your thing. Also I was really impressed with the quality of this twill. I’m used to getting plain old twill from Joann and this stuff is much nicer and feels great. They have a lot of undyed fabric, too, which makes me wonder – anyone up for a turmeric dying session??

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The Changes: I cut a cropped version in a straight US 10 and didn’t have to do any fitting changes. The only thing I did differently is that I didn’t line it. I just didn’t want an extra layer of fabric when it’s so hot here. Instead I made some bias tape with the same fabric (I love making bias tape now!!) and used it as a facing to enclose the raw edges of the collar and lapels. Then I serged the bottom edge, folded it under and hand blind hemmed it. Looks pretty good! I also tacked down the top and bottom corner of both lapels but I left the collar loose.

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The Results: This is a really cool little jacket and I’ve already gotten lots of compliments on it! Win! Also, this pattern came together surprisingly quick. I finished it in a leisurely few hours over two days. On a side note, these are the sweatiest photoshoot pictures of all time. It’s soooo hot! This was a very forced smile. Love the blazer – hate the heat!

Self Drafted Sweatshirt Jacket, or In Other News, I now have Purple Hair

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I made this jacket partially as a contributor challenge on the Sew Weekly (in case you haven’t heard yet, the Sew Weekly has opened up the floodgates and is allowing anyone to contribute a project for each weekly challenge!) but also because from my Closet Catalogue I knew I needed (and wanted) more jackets! So excuse me is much of this post is taken from my Sew Weekly post.

This jacket was originally inspired by a stylish friend’s heather knit jacket but it has since morphed into something else entirely.

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I began with a sketch, started piecing bits together here and there and kind of making it up as I went along. I changed pieces in places in mid sewing – like the angle of the lower pieces on the front. Since I really didn’t know what I was doing I made several mistakes, especially in trying to figure out how to put in those darn pockets. This all resulted in much hand sewing!

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The extra long cuffs along with extra buttons were made out of necessity. See, I had a bunch of this sweatshirt material deep in my stash but I had very few big sections. Luckily I also had a failed dress and a shirt that I had previously made with this fabric so with everything together I had enough to cut out all the necessary pieces.

I didn’t have any piece long enough for a full sleeve so I chopped off the quarter length sleeves from the old shirt and added these  long cuffs.

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The body of the jacket itself has princess seams with sections at the bottom that have pockets hidden into the seam.

Since the knit fabric was so bulky I couldn’t for the life of me get my automatic buttonhole foot to work! It ended up stretching the fabric instead of moving it so I had to use a regular foot and manually make all 8 buttonholes. After all that work I just made the buttons on the pockets decorative. 😉

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And in other news – I have purple hair! I thought that might be something fun to do this year. I probably won’t have it purple for too long so I want to enjoy it while I can.

And in other other news – I just wanted to say how much I appreciate all you readers who have been coming to my blog or following. I don’t always get the chance to respond to every comment but I want you to know I do read them and often I visit your blogs, too, even if I don’t get the chance to regularly share the comment love at your place. Anyone with a blog reader list, even one that is relatively small, knows how fast that reader can explode with posts (I can never seem to catch up!) so know, that even if I don’t comment often I do follow a lot of your blogs and read regularly. And thanks for reading here, too.