Here's a quick review of my latest make - the Style Sew Me Patterns Nikki Blazer. This is a fantastic, relatively easy pattern and I love the blazer I made!
I used an old curtain (!) that I'd had for a while to make this. I used lining fabric from stash, considering several different options before choosing a plain navy offcut. This is why I keep my scraps! There is only a minimal amount needed because the blazer is only partially lined (no scary bagging out required).
I just cut through all the layers of the lined curtain, even though the material was really thick, and removed any pieces of lining afterwards. This saved a lot of time unpicking.
I decided on Hong Kong finish because the fabric was really loosely woven and was falling apart at the seam allowances. I would normally just overlock these edges, but since these will be seen because the jacket is only partially lined, I wanted to make it look good!
It was quite difficult right from the start, though. My bias foot is really cheap and nasty and did only a passable job. The pattern's seam allowances are only 1/2" (about 12mm) and because they were quite narrow compared to my bias tape it was hard to apply properly as the foot wanted to stay clear of the seam all the time.
Once on though, it does look good!
I understitched my collar as per the instructions, which made it lie much flatter than I was able to get from pressing alone.
Because the fabric was so thick, turn of cloth was a massive 3-5mm. I probably should have skipped the interfacing.
Also, because the fabric was such a loose weave, I trimmed it too close on several parts of the collar without realising and ended up with some flyaways. I fixed the worst of these later with a hand needle and thread.
Setting in the sleeves I found a little tricky at first. My front armholes had stretched quite significantly so the sleeves didn't fit at all. I should've stay stitched all the armhole pieces - the instructions doesn't call for it, but I should have known! After some pressing, I managed to get them back to the shape they should be. I still found there was only minimal ease on the sleeve heads. I didn't even bother gathering the sleeve heads, and they went in perfectly.
Here are some WIP shots.
I lengthened the back hem by an inch after trying it on - it meant the shape was a little less extreme but I think it's more flattering on me that way (covers more butt...).
Here you can see the sleeve heads look a little flat due to the minimal ease. It's not really a problem, just an observation. Note that the shoulder pads do stick out about 10mm into the sleeve and it's still looking a little flat for my taste (there is a great video on shoulder pad insertion here).
I hand stitched the hem and sleeve hems by hand with a hidden catch stitch. I find hand sewing quite a meditative process!
I found it easier to attach my collar first before sewing the hem. The instructions have you hem the blazer first and then sew the collar, which is correct, but I wanted to make sure that my collar fit perfectly - it has to be the perfect length and there is quite a lot of room for error on the overall length of the jacket because of all the seams. The collar has to be the exact right length for it to look good. So I pinned my collar on my unhemmed blazer and simply folded the hem up to match the collar length, and sewed the collar on first. Then hemmed by hand.
Here's the finished blazer on the model.
I really love the lines of this blazer at the back!
Here's the inside. The unfinished edges on the armhole are really bothering me, but I didn't want to bind them as it would crush the edge of the shoulder pad. I'm not sure what I'll do about that, I may gently hand overcast them or something.
And here it is on! I'm thrilled with it and can't wait to wear it.