Suit Yourself in This Season's Power Blazer!

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Red Power Suit: Jacket - Style Arc McKenzie Blazer; Pants - Simplicity 8749 -- Erica Bunker DIY Style!
When I think of the "Power Suit", I immediately think of the 80's movie -- "Working Girl".  This movie was released (1988) as I was graduating high school. So, I wasn't quite grown enough to really get into that style, and I completely missed it the first time around. Everything old is new again. And who knew that this strong, padded-shoulder, double-breasted silhouette would come back. I've always secretly hoped it would! While a lot of style experts thought the 80s look was horrid, I grew up watching "Dynasty" and I was sitting and just waiting! LOL 
Red Power Suit: Jacket - Style Arc McKenzie Blazer; Pants - Simplicity 8749 -- Erica Bunker DIY Style!
I began to notice the emergence of this trend last fall. Sure, the blazer has always been around. But it's usually the basic notched collar, single-breasted one-button style. These reimagined iterations are everywhere for spring/summer 2019 in pretty pastels. And even on the fall/winter 2019 runways in beautiful textured textiles and plaids and checks... so, it's not going anywhere anytime soon. It's having a major moment, and as much as I love a tailored jacket, I'm going to milk it for everything it's worth.
Red Power Suit: Jacket - Style Arc McKenzie Blazer; Pants - Simplicity 8749 -- Erica Bunker DIY Style!
Trying to find a current double-breasted blazer pattern is damn near impossible. I searched high and low, only to find a couple of out-of-print vintage patterns on Etsy and eBay (that I bought). Then it occurred to me to see what the indies had to offer. I went over to The Fold Line for a search. And voila! I found something that would work.
Red Power Jacket - Style Arc McKenzie Blazer -- Erica Bunker DIY Style!
I picked the Style Arc McKenzie Blazer pattern. It wasn't quite what I was looking for. I really wanted a style that has princess seams that's tapered at the waist; a tailored back vent; surgeon's cuffs; peak lapels; and a breast pocket -- in a long length. Is all of that too much to ask for? Maybe it is. And maybe it's time I start producing patterns! It you want it, you need to create it. But nevertheless, I made this one work. And it was instantly available as a PDF download. And on the plus side, since it was meant to fit loosely, I sewed it without any alterations. So, that makes it a winner in my book.
Minerva Crafts reached out to me and offered a few yards of fabric for a project. And this couldn't be more timely. I selected the Lady McElroy Sydney 4 Way Stretch Plain Crepe Suiting Dress Fabric. It is 94% Polyester, which means when you arrive at your destination, you won't look all wrinkled and creased. And it's 6% Spandex. For fitted trousers, pencil skirts and body-conscious dresses, this is the most perfect crepe fabric that I've run across. I've found really good crepes in the past, but the color selections were nowhere nearly as vast as this offering. And it's heavy enough that lining your pants is not a requirement. 
Red Power Jacket - Style Arc McKenzie Blazer -- Erica Bunker DIY Style!
Since this is a dry-clean only suit, I didn't wash the fabric. However, I did pre-shrink it in the drying using the steam method. It's been my experience working with stretch wovens that they'll sometimes shrink during the construction when the heat and steam are applied during pressing. So, I didn't want to take any chances. For the construction, I used a stretch needle and I used a pressing cloth.
Red Power Jacket - Style Arc McKenzie Blazer -- Erica Bunker DIY Style!

I used a Bemberg Rayon Lining and I love that the blazer is drafted with an all-in-one type of facing. It makes the inside look so good.
Custom Shoulder Pads Tutorial - Erica Bunker DIY Style!
This pattern calls for shoulder pads. I almost always make my own custom ones. Here is a quick tutorial that I created for Instagram.
Red Power Jacket - Style Arc McKenzie Blazer -- Erica Bunker DIY Style!
My only regret is that I didn't stop and modify the back with a tailored vent. I didn't even think about it until I was sewing.
Red Power Suit: Jacket - Style Arc McKenzie Blazer; Pants - Simplicity 8749 -- Erica Bunker DIY Style!
The drafting is wonderful. The instructions will probably not be of much use to you if you're a beginner and/or you've never made a jacket before, because there are no step-by-step pictures or illustrations if that's what you're accustomed to. But fear not! I have the perfect solution for that. This pattern plus my Tailored Jacket Tutorial is a perfect match. 
Red Power Suit: Pants - Simplicity 8749 -- Erica Bunker DIY Style!
If you make a great jacket, why not a matching pair of pants? These are Simplicity 8749 and it's my second time making these. 
Red Power Suit: Jacket - Style Arc McKenzie Blazer; Pants - Simplicity 8749 -- Erica Bunker DIY Style!
These days, I'm leaning towards tapered pants. I get double duty out of them because with their ankle grazing length, I can wear any height heels.
Red Power Suit: Jacket - Style Arc McKenzie Blazer; Pants - Simplicity 8749 -- Erica Bunker DIY Style!
So, y'all are going to need to bare with me. I'm going to be on a suit and jacket binge for a few months. Because this tailoring stuff is so addictive.

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15 comments

  1. Beautiful Erica! I love your suit....the style and the color. I agree that the straight pant leg style is very attractive. You did an awesome job, and you look marvelous!

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    1. Thank you BPatricia! I'm really excited about jackets right now.

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  2. Erica you knocked this one out of the park! And as always you're construction is superior!

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  3. You made a gorgeous suit, and it fits you great.

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    1. It makes such great separates! I'll be wearing the pants the most. Thank you Kay!

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  4. Absolutely stunning suit and the fit is perfect! You look fabulous in it!

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  5. This suit definitely envokes that "Working Girl" vibe. Great job, you have nailed it!
    Kimberly Wilkes

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  6. you might want to check out Silhouette Patterns. She has many jacket patterns. I love a red power suit!

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    1. I will definitely take a look! Thank you Jenny!

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  7. Just gorgeous!!!!

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  8. I love it. I've been looking for just such a pattern for a glen plaid.

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