Making this video was fun. I wanted to show you some of the outerwear patterns I’ve used over the years and what I think about them.
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Some self-imposed sewing challenges are always good for my mind. It keeps me busy and happy!
I had already sewn my 2022 Sewing Challenge with my (extremely beautiful) Luzerne trench coat so I decided to sew a woven blazer for back-to-school.
Choosing the pattern
Blazer patterns are like trench coats’: there are many on the market. If you’re interested in trench coats, I made a list of them.
You can sew blazers either in stable knits or wovens. I had already tested a knit blazer with Wardrobe by Me’s Blixen blazer a long time ago. That meant that I couldn’t sew Itch to Stitch’s La Paz unlined blazer* because it’s meant for knit and I wanted a classical lined woven blazer.
Closet Core’s Jasika blazer pleased me a lot (like in A LOT!), but I didn’t have the money at the time to buy this pattern.
And then, I remembered having bought Pauline Alice’s Saler jacket when I started sewing for me.
Saler, a fully-lined blazer
A close-fitting shape, fully-lined blazer with double-welt pockets and princess seams? Deal done!
The one and only time I had used a Pauline Alice pattern didn’t go well, so I was a bit anxious.
But I knew that I would sew a muslin so I would have time to assess fit and instructions.
Size chart put in a straight size 42. Pauline Alice patterns are drafted for a height=165 cm and a B-cup. Perfect, I’m slightly shorter (164 cm).
Muslining is not only for assessing the fit, it’s also a good way to read and practice the instructions. I was afraid of the bottom of the sleeve, with their vents.
I should have kept my muslin. I think it would have been beneical to show how I found the fit and what I did to modify it.
The first thing I noticed was that the upper bust and the shoulder/back areas were ill-fitting.
Here’s a list of what I saw and how I dealt with problematic areas:
|Extra fabric between the shoulder blades||At the center back line, level with the shoulder blade line, I traced a line perpendicular to the CB line. Then I shaved 0.6 cm on the CB line.|
|Too low armholes, shoulder seam down on the biceps||Using a size 38 armhole. That entailed using a size 38 sleeve head graded to 42 for the rest of the sleeve (a straight size 38 would have meant me being constricted in the sleeve). |
|Collar too high (too close to my ears)||I lowered the shoulder slope (size 38).|
|Apex of princess seam too high||I lowered the apex of the princess seam (see my article about bust alterations).|
A Lurex tweed for my Saler jacket
Once alterations validated, it was time to cut the many pieces. It was a labor of love with so many pieces (fabric, lining, and interfacing!).
I had a big crush on this tweed fabric, with golden Lurex threads*.
Cutting it took me 6 hours because I tried to match the plaids. With princess seams, it’s hardly possible so I did my best…
Lining is liquid gold satin*. The color matches the main fabric.
Matte black buttons from my stash were the perfect addition. My first thought had been to add shiny gold buttons, but I chickened out: my blazer is noticeable enough!!!
The matte finish brings a touch of chic to my Saler jacket, doesn’t it?
So, what do I think about this project?
Thanks to the muslining step, Saler wasn’t tricky to sew. There are many notches to walk you through the most complicated steps.
Worn over my Ginger jeans, it is casual-chic.
However, there are some negative points that I’ll detail below.
Sizing is inconsistent. It’s really close-fitting and I’d need one size-up for wearing it over a shirt. On the other hand, the sleeves are ginormous!
Talking about the sleeves…that’s where most of the problems are.
- When I did my msulin, I noticed that my sleeve seams didn’t match. I thought I had cut pieces off grain. But They did the same with my good fabric. I had to ease the side seams…
- Too much ease at the sleeve head!!! Even with steaming I couldn’t get the notches to match.
I think that the arm/shoulder area is problematic for Pauline Alice’s patterns because I had the same troubles for my Eliana dress, which is a raglan dress.
In the end, I’m not sure I’ll sew another Saler blazer. I may buy the Jasika by Closet Core.