As the nights have started to draw in, and the weather turns brisk, I’ve been thinking that I don’t have a decent jacket. Whilst I would really like to make a fitted jacket, I thought that perhaps The Grainline Studios Morris blazer would be a good alternative as the construction seemed pretty simple, and the finished garment looks great. I have used their patterns before and they’ve always been great – as an added bonus their size 6 matches my measurements perfectly, so no alternations are needed.
I decided to get my fabric at Minerva Crafts for the first time – I’d never heard of them until last month’s #sewphotohop, and it was a great discovery as their selection is HUGE! I chose a vivid red from their ponte roma heavy stretch range, and a nice looking black and white striped number too. I thought that together, these classic colours will go with almost anything. After reading a few blog posts on the jacket, I gathered that Hong Kong seams were a suitable way of finishing an unlined jacket, so together with a great tutorial on the Colette website, I thought I’d give them a try. I had some great Liberty poly-cotton in a lovely Chinese print that I got on-sale, so cut up a wee bit for my bias binding.
I went for the red option first, thinking that learning the pattern and trying to pattern match at the same time perhaps wasn’t the best idea. The HK seams looked great, and I really enjoyed putting it together, until I put the finished garment on – it looked awful. At some point I’d made a big mistake and it wasn’t difficult to work out where. The front facing was too small, causing the front pieces of the jacket to pull up slightly and not lie flat. Either they had shrunk when applying interfacing, or more likely, I made an error whilst sewing. I suspect that I had stretched the facing to perfectly fit the front pieces together and either due to inaccurate cutting, or allowing too much seam allowance, I had to pull the facing slightly to align it perfectly. I later realised that I should have laid them completely flat and made sure that there absolutely no easing when sewing them together, but by that stage it was too late. I left it for a couple of days, a bit disappointed and mulling over possible solutions, but eventually bit the bullet and unpicked the front section completely and started again – after all, unless it dramatically improved I was never going to wear it. Thankfully it paid off; after un-picking everything I re-laid the facing over the front piece, and there was about 1cm in difference – I’m still not 100% sure how/where I went wrong in that section of construction but after I made it back up, it looked a whole lot better – and it’s a mistake I won’t repeat.
This weekend, I made the second one using the striped ponte roma and I am so pleased with the results! I really worked on my pattern matching, and whilst there are few tiny places where it’s not *perfect* on the whole it’s pretty damn good. I am particularly pleased with the shoulder seams and the back of the collar. As I am still getting to know my new machine and I struggled a bit with movement of the fabric – the foot pressure wasn’t quite right. I am wondering if an even-feed machine foot would help…
Overall, I’ve really enjoyed making this pattern and I am really pleased I had the patience to go back and sort out my first mistake, I actually learned something from it too. In the end, my second garment was really quick to construct, and looks great. I also really like the fabric I bought, and will definitely be heading back to Minerva Crafts again.