I have to admit that I am very proud to have completed this blazer. Interestingly enough, it was kind of a Cinderella story that happened to it, which I will shortly tell. However, for starters I might as well throw in a spoiler – after being written down, it has become a versatile garment, and I just love how it turned out!
A number of my sewing stories start the following way: “I bought this fabric…”. And this one is no different. It was a year ago, when I had only started sewing, that I accidentally purchased it. At that time my understanding of how to shop for fabrics was limited. Essentially, I was buying what was on discount, something of a good fabric content, or what I just liked from the very first sight.
This neon monstrosity did not look that neon at all, when I was scrolling The Fabric Store online. Instead, it looked like a decent green fabric, and I chose it mostly because of it being a luxurious silk and cotton blend at a decent price.
When the fabric arrived and I saw and touched it, I was like – ‘OMG what the heck am I gonna do with it!’ First, it appeared to be extremely bright and shiny neon situation, second, it was mid-weight and rather sturdy – completely different feel from what I had expected while ordering it. My initial plan before actually seeing the fabric had been to make a fitted dress out of it. But when it arrived, it became clear, that this plan was not going to work. I scratched my head, contemplated all sorts of things, but the fabric kept sitting in my stash without reasonable purpose. I really had no idea what to do with it and refrained from throwing it away only because of it being silk blend.
Eventually, when the spring came again in 2021, I figured that probably the only chance for this fabric to survive is for me to find some sort of a jacket/blazer pattern, clean lines, as few details as possible and give it a try. I went on to browse all known internet resources and skimmed through all Burda magazines that I own. Interestingly enough, I found a handful of possible designs in my Burda magazines, and chose this one – from June, 2020 issue. This is fully lined design with wide three quarter sleeves, it features front pockets that blend nicely into the princess seam lines.
Honestly, this project was started as some sort of an experiment. I traced Burda pattern pieces still unsure what it will turn out to be. When I started interfacing certain pattern pieces, it became clear that this fabric does not forgive anything – stitching mistakes, ironing mistakes – everything was visible on it. Interfacing was also visible from the right side, that is why I decided to refrain from interfacing parts of pattern pieces. Instead, I either interfaced entire pieces or did not interface some at all. This meant that my sleeve caps were left not interfaced.
When I started the actual sewing, I kept on thinking – ‘jeez, it is going to be one awkward blazer!’ To be fair to the pattern, that is truly good design for a blazer or light coat. Comes together easily. However, I had to narrow the blazer down substantially, even though I had cut it in the smallest size available. All in all, I took off some 8-10 cm in total off waistline circumference.
The main body of the blazer came together without incident. I had to fiddle a bit with the collar, which I attached to the main body of the garment and the facing separately. Only later it came to my attention that I was supposed to just sandwich the collar between the main body and the facing and stitch all of that thickness together. It was not a big problem though, the collar looks fine as it is.
When the sleeves got installed, I realized that something was off. My sleeve caps had not been interfaced, which caused sleeve caps to not keep their shape. Moreover, the edges of the shoulder pads were slightly showing through the sleeve caps. To try and fix that, I decided to install felt sleeve heads. This helped immensely, and finally my sleeves started to look like proper, sharp sleeves as they should be!
When the time to install the lining came, it became clear that I did not have enough of matching green lining. Since I was badly reluctant to go back to the store and search for the same lining, which was far from guaranteed I’d get (I’d bought that lining back in summer last year), I briefly contemplated introducing another color of the lining only for the sleeves. The problem was that I did not have any decently matching colors of lining in my stash. Eventually I decided to go back to the store, and thankfully they did have the same lining still in stock! Trying to subdue all of that neonness, I added beige bias binding in between facing and the lining.
When the blazer was finally finished, it appeared to be really nice – sharp and exquisite. But I was staring at it and thinking – ‘jeez, how do I style it so that it does not blind people in the streets!?’ I started trying all sorts of styling combinations on. And the more I tried, the more it became evident, that so many various sets of clothing would look really well with it! This made me more and more upbeat, as I figured – ‘hey, it is fairly possible, that I will actually manage to wear it, and, what is more, it will even look nice!’
Eventually I have concluded that neutrals work the best with this neon color – guess, no surprise here! This blazer in and of itself is something to behold. So wearing it requires no colors and no character from everything else. Until now, I have developed three looks that I really like – two of them are in the pictures above:
- White jeans, coral silk blouse, heels and clutch
- Light blue jeans, light blue matching silk blouse and clutch, neutral heels
- Sand pants, sandals, clutch and white shirt
This statement blazer was made using Burda 2020/06 magazine pattern #116. I purchased this fabric from The Fabric Store online, it is a beautiful 50/50 blend of silk and cotton, sturdy and shiny. I needed a little bit more than 2 meters of the main fabric and 1.5 meters of matching cupro lining. Other notions were: beige satin binding, 2 shoulder pads, 2 felt sleeve caps and thread. The blazer cost me 40 EUR. It was made in the middle of April, 2021.
All in all, after being considered almost hopeless, this blazer has become quite a statement garment. I can easily see myself in one of those looks going out on a sunny summer day to have a cocktail with my girlfriends, or going out for a dinner at a nice restaurant. I am so happy to realize that it is not only very much wearable garment – it is unique and daring. In the right state of mind with all of my current experience in shopping for fabrics, I would not have bought this fabric. And yet, since I had gotten it as some sort of a mistake, I still managed to turn it into something truly cool, and therefore am really happy and proud about that!
Let’s all stay healthy!