No, I am not entering a Chris Evans look-alike contest (British reference there). Today’s post features fabric kindly sent to me by Spoonflower. I am sure many of you have already heard of the eco-friendly custom printing firm. About 1.5 years ago they opened a second factory in Berlin, and to celebrate they asked a few British bloggers to be part of a Blog Tour, and make items using Spoonflower fabric. You can see the list of bloggers here on the Spoonflower Blog. The fabric I have used in this post was sent to me for no charge by Spoonflower, but all opinions are my own.
I have never ordered fabric from Spoonflower before. The choice of already uploaded designs on the Spoonflower website is vast (of course the option is also there to upload your own design), and somewhat overwhelming. I searched using key words of prints I have a passion for (like dark florals), and elected to go for Jungle Passion Floral Navy by Joan McLemore, printed on to the lightweight cotton twill (58″ width).
Because of my own indecision, Spoonflower ended up sending me this fabric in two separate lengths but I was not able to detect any differences in the colours between the two lengths. I think the colours are a pretty good match to what was shown on screen when I was making my selection. I also liked the fact that, at least for the design I selected, previews were provided of the fabric made up into a cushion and a dress, so I could guage the scale of the print.
I did run the fabrics through a hot (60 degree) pre-wash before cutting out and did not notice any running, bleeding or fading. This particular fabric was easy to cut, sew and press. It’s a good weight without being too heavy and bulky. Full disclosure: will I ever wear these two pieces together? Probably not, but as separates in my wardrobe I love them and how individual and quirky they are. I already have lots of things which these items will go with.
The trousers were made using Butterick 6331. This is actually my third iteration of these pants (I haven’t shown you version two yet), but you can see my first version here. For this version I took on board what some of you said in the comments and scooped out the back crotch by 0.25 inches and added 0.5 inches to the upper back thigh. I know it’s hard to see in this busy print but overall I think it’s better. Other changes for this version:
- I fully interfaced the waistband.
- I had to let the side seams out a touch from the waist down to the bottom of the pockets.
- I hemmed the bottoms by hand.
- These are trousers but with some jeans details like additional topstitching, jeans button and bar tacks.
The blazer was made using Simplicity 2446, which I first made in wool ponte. I do love my first version, and since going back to work, have worn it a few times. But the shoulders are too big (although I did go back and alter them to be smaller). So for this version I made sure to do a small shoulder adjustment.
- I did a 5/8ths inch small shoulder adjustment.
- I shaved 0.25 inches off all the shoulder princess seams above the bust.
- I added a centre back seam for shaping.
- I shortened the pocket bag length by 1.5 inches.
- I added small ready made shoulder pads but omitted sleeve heads and chest reinforcement.
- You can see a picture of the internal interfacing here on Instagram if you want.
My previous two blazers have taken me approx. 3 weeks each to make: I slaved over this blazer to get it done in a week! Gosh it was tough but overall I am pretty happy with the finished result.
Like I say, being honest, I don’t think I would be brave enough to go full on head to toe pattern, but as individual pieces I think these are going to get worn lots. I am also very proud of how far I have come on with my sewing techniques tackling things like the welt pockets and sleeve vents and even the trouser fitting and sewing.
Happy sewing everyone!
It’s been a while. That’s because this blazer has taken me almost 2 weeks to complete. This is the second tailored blazer I have made (you can see the first one here), and unlike last time when I used traditional hand stitching techniques, this time around I used the fusible approach. It still seemed to take me just as long, lol.
To make this blazer I used Simplicity 2446, which is one of those Amazing Fit patterns with 1 inch vertical seam allowances to permit fitting alterations to be made. There are lots of things which I like about this blazer (see review below for full details), and it is definitely going to get lots of wear, but I am going to state here and now that I feel it is too big in the shoulders (one of the perils of not making a muslin)! Of course, after I started sewing this blazer up and looked in more detail at other reviews I realised that other sewists have observed the same thing. If you have relatively small shoulders then the chances are you are going to have to do some kind of small shoulder adjustment on this pattern. It might be more obvious in the following picture. Like I say, it won’t stop me wearing this blazer lots because I do love it, and truthfully probably will rarely wear it fastened, but if I am going to sew this pattern again it’s something I need to address.
See not as obvious when open.
Another thing I would alter next time is the fit at the back. I ended up removing quite a few inches back there, and I think next time around I would add a centre back seam.
As mentioned above, this blazer was made using fusible interfacings to take the place of traditional tailoring techniques (full details below). I used the Craftsy class, Modern Jacket Techniques, but I am going to do a review of that class another day. What I will say is that the price of that class is worth it purely for the demonstration of the welt pockets that Pam Howard does. Brilliant! My first time doing these type of welt pockets with flaps and I am pretty pleased with how well they turned out. TIP: Pam advises double interfacing the flaps with a heavier weight weft insertion interfacing to help them hang correctly, and they do.
It is worth noting that the original Simplicity pattern does not include actual welt pockets, but a faux flap, and then an inseam pocket is inserted into the princess seam coming down from the shoulder. Dislike! Another thing which lets this pattern down somewhat is that there is no separate lining pieces included. As part of the Craftsy class, Pam Howard instructs you how to draft the back lining piece and also how to draft a back neck facing to add stability to the back of the jacket. I chose to bag my lining out.
None functioning vents are included as part of the two piece sleeve.
Misses’ and Miss Petite lined jacket sewing pattern with individual pattern pieces for A, B, C cup sizes. Simplicity sewing pattern, Amazing Fit Collection.
6 – 24
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Were the instructions easy to follow?
I didn’t really follow them. I followed the Craftsy class, Modern Jacket Techniques to make this jacket. I will post a review for that class on my blog soon.
One thing I did notice is that the instructions seem to miss out altogether the sewing of the dart on the jacket front.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
- I really like the shoulder princess seams. I think it gives a leaner, cleaner look to the jacket.
- I made minimal alterations to this jacket (really it is a wearable muslin as I hate to muslin otherwise).
- I like the two piece sleeves (with non functioning vents), and they went in very easily.
- Two piece under collar which is cut on the bias and with in-built turn of cloth, resulting in neat finished collar with no under collar showing on upper collar.
- The blazer is too big for me in the shoulders (despite selecting my size based on high bust measurement). Next time around I will do a small shoulder adjustment. After making this jacket and reading other reviews this appears to be a common complaint from women with smaller shoulders, so be warned. It won’t stop me wearing the jacket though!
- I dislike the original in seam pockets with the faux flaps, and replaced them with welt pockets with flap.
- No back lining pattern piece included. I drafted a back lining piece with pleat and a back neck facing, using instructions provided in the Craftsy class.
- I would like to add a centre back seam if I make this pattern up again. I found I had to remove quite a bit of excess in the back to improve the fit.
A ponte wool double knit. Viscose lining.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
- Added an extra button so blazer has three, rather than two, buttonholes
- Changed inseam pockets with faux flap to welt pockets with flap
- Drafted back lining piece with pleat and back neck facing
- 1 inch sway back adjustment with removed length added back to hems
- I ended up removing quite a bit from the back seams and a little from the side seams to improve overall fit
- 2 inch full arm adjustment
- My blazer is interfaced heavily inside. I used a lightweight knit interfacing to interface the blazer fronts, side fronts, all hems, sleeve vents, upper sleeve down to bicep level (about 8.5 inches), upper collar, upper back and upper side back (in place of a traditional back stay) and also pocket welts and back neck facing. I used a slightly heavier weight weft insertion interfacing to interface the front facings, under collar, a collar stand and pocket flaps (which were double interfaced to help them hang better).
- Added topstitching and flat piping at the facing inside.
- Made custom shoulder pads
- Taped the shoulder seams using twill tape.
- Added shoulder reinforcements made using hair canvas as otherwise the shoulders were collapsing on me as a result of being too big.
- Bagged the lining out.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I am trying to find the perfect TNT blazer pattern and, with the exception of the shoulder fitting and lack of centre back seam this one is close. I might give it another go. Yes, I would recommend this pattern.
Despite some fit issues I love the finished blazer and it will definitely get LOTS of wear and love from me: a wardrobe staple.
Have you got a favourite blazer pattern? I still have McCalls 6172 in my stash…have a great week ahead!