I've been needing a new white blazer in my wardrobe for a while now. I'd made Simplicity 2250 three years ago, and I nearly wore it to shreds. A white blazer is a much needed necessity in my closet.
This time I wanted something a lot crisper and much more tailored than its predecessor. That Black Chic brought Simplicity 1421 to my attention when she announced a sew-a-long. This pattern has been on my list since it first came out. I had the larger size in my stash, but since this is a fitted style blazer, I ended up having to repurchase the smaller size range.
Let's talk construction! This is an unlined jacket with cup sizes. Sounds easy enough, right? Not necessarily... My fabric is a bottom weight stretch cotton twill from Joann's. I cut the size 14, instead of a 12 with a C cup, because I'd read reviews where others said that the jacket was really fitted. And even though the jacket is white, the weight of the fabric allows for it to be worn throughout the year with our mild climate. I needed to make sure that it wouldn't be too snug to layer over a long sleeve shirt or a lightweight sweater. The alterations I made to the pattern was adding an inch at the waist, and an inch to the sleeve length.
I've made a LOT of tailored jackets and coats throughout my sewing career, so I never use commercial pattern instructions... I have my own methods and loads of other resources I pull from. I did however glance at the instructions for the seam binding to see if the pattern was draft already or if the seam allowance would need to be trimmed. It was drafted correctly.
For the front pieces and the front facings, I blocked fused them and then cut them out. All of the front and back pieces went together perfectly. You would think an unlined jacket would have a less complicated construction than a lined one. Well, I guess that's a matter of opinion based on the type of seam finishing you choose. I used a bound seam finish. A bound seam finish is when the binding is wrapped around each raw edge and sewn in place with one line of stitching, as opposed to two stitchings with a Hong Kong finish. Quicker, but still a tedious process. And I used pre-packaged double fold seam binding.
Next is the collar. The collar is drafted like any tailored collar, with an upper collar, cut in one piece and the under collar cut in two pieces on the bias. Since the collar has a bound seam finish, there is to need for "turn of cloth".
The seam binding is cut from the same fabric as the jacket fabric and took a little maneuvering to get good finish on the corners.
The pattern suggested the patch pockets be unlined but interfaced. Well, I wanted lined pockets, so I drafted a lining from the pattern piece.
Here is the lined pocket.
The pocket is pinned in placed...
and edge stitched on to the jacket.
The facings are sewn, the jacket is hemmed and the seam binding is applied to the jacket.
And I went ahead and made my buttonholes and sewed on my buttons.
My sleeves are also finished with bound seams. And I always, always interface the hems of jackets!
This pattern has a RTW style sleeve vent.
And here's the mitered corner. The hem is stitched by hand.
I had read where some felt that the sleeves were difficult to set. Well, I came prepared to do battle with my fool-proof TNT method. Since my jacket is unlined and I opted against shoulder pads, hair canvas is too itchy to use for this jacket.
I used two 2" x 12" bias strips of silk organza. Not polyester organza, but silk organza.
And set my sleeves with hella pins!
Side note: Am I the only one who struggles with finding matching buttons in multiple sizes? It's always an adventure and Mikaela is usually with me, making fun of me and not understanding why it's so hard to find buttons. But I lucked up and found these. I really wanted gold buttons. I love how they look on white jackets.
I love this jacket already. I love the way it turned out. And I'm sure I'll get much, if not more wear out of it than my last one. And to follow-up on what I mentioned earlier, I think that a standard lined tailored jacket sews up a lot quicker than this one. All of the seam binding, inside and out took a lot of time. I could've sewn and bagged a lining quicker. But it's different than anything in my wardrobe and I did techniques that I've never done before. Isn't that what sewing is supposed to be about, continuous learning? And I'll be talking about these shorts in my next post...