Hello all – this week we’re starting our sewalong to create a blazer based on the one I made for last week’s Sewvivor look. And since results won’t be revealed until Wednesday, I decided to go ahead and start this. Today’s installment is the pattern and cutting out the fabric for the womens blazer pattern.
Someone emailed me a question about whether this sewalong would be good for someone making the Basic Blazer for a kid, and my answer is absolutely! There are some differences between a women’s blazer and a kids blazer, namely the darts and the back vent, but hey, maybe you want to add a vent to your kids blazer. If so, you’re covered, and if not, I’ll try to remember to point out differences; mostly they’ll be things you can skip if you’re doing a kids blazer.
But, if you’re here for the women’s blazer, the pattern I used to make mine is here. Update: the free pattern that used to be available has been removed.
In case you want the schedule for the week, here it is:
Monday: pattern and cutting
Tuesday: Front, Facing
Wednesday: Pockets, side seams and shoulders
Thursday: Sleeves and collar
Friday: Lining & finishing
Pattern options: Burda has this blazer pattern that looks pretty similar to the one I made but in more sizes. Or you could make your own pattern.
If you’re making your own pattern, there are two options. My pattern is a mash-up of the two techniques. One is to rub off a blazer you already have that fits; for this option see this tutorial. The second is drafting one from a basic bodice sloper. This tutorial shows how to draft a bodice sloper.
Once you have a bodice sloper, these diagrams are a brief overview of how to adjust to make a blazer. Of course you’ll need to muslin this; I muslined my pattern 4 times before I actually cut into the velvet.
For more extensive instruction, I highly recommend Winifred Aldrich’s books. This one, Metric Pattern Cutting for Women’s Wear, takes you through creating a sloper (or block) to modifying for all sorts of patterns.
This tutorial shows you how to move darts. You’ll also need to draft a collar, which this tutorial shows how to do (just keep in mind that your collar will be longer since you extended the neckline, but you don’t want it to go all the way to the edge, because some of the neckline will fold back to make the lapel. Also you don’t want to add a button extension), and make front facings, which this tutorial shows how to do (scroll to the end). Don’t forget to add seam allowances!
An important thing to remember while cutting out a blazer if you’re using something like velvet is the nap of the fabric. Piled fabrics like velvet reflect light differently based on which way the pile is laying, also referred to as the nap. In the picture below, the nap is running one way on the fabric on the left, and the opposite way on the fabric on the right. You can see that this makes the fabric on the left appear lighter in color.
If you run your hand over velvet, or fur, you’ll notice one way feels smooth and the other feels rougher; it’s like rubbing an animal’s fur the wrong way. With short pile like cotton velvet, the direction doesn’t matter too much as long as all the pieces run the same direction. So as you lay your pieces out to cut, make sure the tops of pieces all face the same way.
So, get to assembling your pattern and cutting your blazer out. Oh, I forgot to mention yardage – I used 2 yards of 58″ velvet and 1 1/2 yards of 60″ polyester print for the lining. Since my velvet was thick and I was rushed and not really thinking about it, I didn’t use interfacing, but I wish I had done the collar and facing and back vent. That would take about another 2/3 yard of interfacing.