Here we go, my first outerwear sew, and my first lined garment. It’s far from perfect, but not bad for a first try I guess. It is of course the By Hand London Victoria blazer, which is rightly hugely popular in blogland at the moment. I didn’t pounce the minute this pattern was released, but when I saw ponte knit recommended as a fabric choice I suddenly realised it could be an excellent wardrobe filler.
I bought the ‘mushroom marl’ ponte and the gold lining from Truro Fabrics, who have a great online range. They even threw in a reel of matching mushroom-coloured cotton thread for free, which was handy for topstitching. The ponte is the loveliest fabric I’ve worked with so far: baby-soft and smooth, yet thick and sturdy. I’m not sure I did it justice to be honest, but it was so nice to sew with. I liked the look of the reverse side so much I used it as a little contrast on the cuffs and collar.
The pattern’s construction was fairly challenging to me, despite initially seeming pretty straightforward. The instructions are well written, in a pleasingly chummy tone of voice, and I was very glad to have By Hand’s online sewalong to refer to as well. Still, I made a muddle of nearly every step, from the neckline to the french-seamed cuffs. I found it particularly hard to stitch the lining in place without distortion – probably a peril of stretch meeting non-stretch fabric. It’s still rather puckered after my fourth or fifth try, alas, and that right front corner just will not lie flat.
I removed the side pockets along the way as I thought they added unwanted hip bulk, and also shortened the front lapels – admittedly mostly because I accidentally cut the size for the cropped version and thought they would do fine. The whole blazer also ended up shorter than intended due to my inability to hem in a straight line and aforementioned lining woes.
Despite all these issues – all of which my fault, I should add – I do rather like this jacket. It’s very comfortable and fits pretty well, in a boxy kind of way. I’ll see if I end up wearing it after the temperature’s dropped a bit, or I will more likely treat this as a test run and make a neater one based on learning from my mistakes. Should I line with a stretch next time to avoid the issues I had? Or not line at all?
Oh yeah, and it was only while taking photos that I realised I’d unintentionally made a jacket that perfectly matches my living room colours. Well, grey and yellow is my favourite combo.