What a learning curve this project has been! The past few weeks I decided I wanted to sew a matching blazer and skirt set and wanted to share my process on how this all came together!
Choosing the pattern
There are so many blazer sewing patterns out there but after receiving all your recommendations on Instagram I decided to choose The Jasika Blazer by Closet Core Patterns. I’ve heard so many great things about this pattern company but have never actually tried any of the patterns so thought it’d be a good test to see if I like their style. The Jasika Blazer is a tailored jacket that is more of a semi-fit which caught my eye as I didn’t want something super form-fitting but more relaxed and polished. This pattern uses speed tailoring techniques so you don’t have to faff with making a properly structured jacket that would take months of hard work! I saw they have a package deal where you can buy a sew-along video course and the pattern together which I decided to do as I felt a little intimidated by just looking at the whole process (and I’m so glad I did this).
Choosing the fabric
So I was gifted this utterly gorgeous wool fabric from Rainbow Fabrics Kilburn and knew I needed to use this fabric for something that needed more structure like a coat or a special jacket. The fabric is honestly so soft and it drapes beautifully whilst having a little more weight to it. The shade of pink and the fun colours just caught my eye immediately so I’m glad I got to try this! One word of warning, this fabric frayed ALOT. I mean a lot. It has a slightly looser weave and for future reference, I would recommend using a similar weight fabric but anything that frays makes the sewing process more difficult than it needs to be and caused me a lot of stress. You could always overlock all the edges before sewing (which I did with the skirt) but for the blazer that would have removed all the notches and created more bulk. So I would just use something that doesn’t fray much – especially for your first time making this pattern.
I decided to sew a size 4 for this pattern and would next time go up one size as everything fits perfect but I find the hips slightly too tight when I do the button up. I love the fit of this and am already wondering what my next fabric will be because I really did enjoy this process so much. So for starters, I hardly looked at the written instructions and followed along the video tutorial over roughly 2 weeks. The general construction is actually pretty straightforward but I found being precise and taking my time is what makes this look so good, and even better if I didn’t work with such a difficult fabric.
I’d never used a tailors ham before this project and specifically purchased it for this project. YOU NEED ONE. My god honestly, you can’t sew this without it. It just allows you to press areas so much better than just using an ironing board and remember to take the time to iron each seam – it really makes all the difference. I’ve never used so much steam but I really leant the value of slow sewing and getting things as good as you can get them for the best end result.
I found two sections the most difficult. The first section was sewing the lapel, everything was super smooth but when it came to stitching the lapel to the front facing, I just couldn’t get the shape right and ended up with a weird gap in between the collar and lapel. I deliberately left it as is because the fabric was really difficult to work with at this stage as so many seams were fraying more than I wanted it to. I still don’t know what I did wrong with this section but I guess I’ll try again next time I make this with easier to handle fabric.
The second section I found difficult was sewing the welt pockets. This was only difficult because the fabric frayed so much, so I imagine doing this with a more normal fabric would be fine. I did it on a test piece and it was fine so I know I can do it, I think I just need more practice to make them look super neat.
I thought I would have found easing the sleeve cap into the arm super hard but surprisingly that went really well the first time round and the video shows you perfectly! I did take the time to baste this in beforehand so it would be easier to handle which I 100% recommend doing for all the areas it mentions in the pattern. Other than that the vent at the back was pretty good, one end is slightly longer than the other but I don’t really mind as this was the first time making this pattern so there’s always things you find you need to watch out for the next time you make it!
I really adore the fit of this and self-drafted a mini skirt to match the outfit. I learnt so much making this and having been freelancing the past couple of weeks it’s been a nice thing to sew in the evenings and in my spare time. I want to make this again maybe in a slightly thinner fabric that feels more fluid. I can’t recommend this pattern enough and the video really is the icing on the cake. I would have found this too difficult to sew with just written and illustrated instructions. Because I knew I was going to invest a lot of time into making this I just wanted to start with the best I could and the video resource just helped me every step of the way!