Wednesday, May 7, 2014

WIP: The Tailored Blazer

A month or so ago I signed up for Steffani Lincecum's class on, Classic Tailoring: The Blazer. If you recall my sewlutions for 2014, one of them was to take more time on individual garments to really improve the construction quality. I ordered my tailoring supplies from Wawak, worked up a muslin of a McCall's blazer and cut into my most prized seafoam wool flannel that I'd been hoarding for a year.

It's important to be careful what you wish for - I wanted some projects that would stretch my skills, slow me down and force me to focus on quality construction. My jacket fronts (that's right - just the fronts), have taken me weeks to finish. The hair canvas is pad-stitched to the lapel, basted around the edges, then the roll line is taped, as is the front edge. Other pieces, which I haven't gotten to yet, are reinforced with muslin.

The class also has you do a bound buttonhole. I promise I did a sample, but something went wrong and I ended up having to do what I call a "faux" bound buttonhole - although Gail Yellen in 40 Techniques Every Sewer Should Know refers to what I did as the actual bound buttonhole method. I'm not convinced, but I fixed the issue of my wool being too dense to fold the lips.

What have I learned so far? A TON!
  • Hand stitching can be uniquely therapeutic and relaxing.
  • Hand stitching is neither complicated nor difficult.
  • Very fine pins hurt when they stick you.
  • Using a beloved fabric forces you to concentrate (shouldn't we always?!)
  • Always use a press cloth.
  • RTW is just terrible compared to these techniques.
  • I can only work for about an hour on this fine detail work before needing a break and a fast project.
  • I am 100% a visual learner.

I cannot wait to get this thing finished, and hopefully be able to wear it come fall!

Pattern: McCall's 6172
Fabric: seafoam wool flannel from Fabric Mart Fabrics
Needles: Thomas Sharps & Betweens
Thread: Gutermann Mara 100 from
Notions: hair canvas, 1/4" cotton twill tape, thread, basting thread, extra fine glasshead pins, tailors ham/seam roll/tailor's board, cotton muslin

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