A jacket!



I love wearing jackets. They’re an extra layer, they’re smart, and they tend to emphasise the shoulders, which I like. Alas, they are hard to find in interesting colours (dishonourable exception: the orange-and-black floral Topshop effort which, sadly, no longer fits) and usually aren’t cut to accommodate my 3:4 waist:hip ratio either. Jacket-making has hence been high on my list of things to learn to do since I started sewing.

My previous serious attempt ended up abandoned due to terrible fabric choice and in hindsight I’m not 100% convinced about the pattern either; I do intend to look at it again some day.

My second attempt, however, has been entirely successful and I have taken it off since I made it, but only to sleep. 

Victoria technical drawing from the BHL website.

Victoria technical drawing from the BHL website.

I’ve had my eye on the Victoria Blazer from By Hand London for a while, managed to continue umming and erring over whether to buy it even whilst assailed by version after gorgeous version (SewBusyLizzy’s, oonaballoona’s, the coat version, about a dozen rounded up here …) I finally caved after seeing the spectacular print-placement-tastic coat-length explosion oonaballoona produced for Project Sewn. One payday later and it was mine.


I have plans for about six of these, but wanted to make the first one in something relatively un-special in case the fit was off. I originally meant to use a pinstriped something I had a big remnant of, but discovered the big remnant wasn’t quite big enough, so instead went with the remains of the blue cotton I used for my Viking-style kyrtill. It’s lined with pleated/crushed turquoise taffeta left over from the wizard costume. The pockets are spotty quilting cotton of uncertain provenance:


I cut the long version with sleeves, and graded from a UK18 bust/waist to a UK20 at the hip. (I found out halfway through that I’d cut the back to the 18 length-mark and the front to the 20 … easily enough fixed, thankfully). I added a bit of width to the back lining to allow for a CB pleat.

It went together beautifully. I am probably the two-hundredth person to say this, but the combined neck dart/collar construction thingummy is really clever and sits well. I deviated from the instructions for the last couple of stages – I put the lining in first, including closing the hem, then turned it right way out through the armholes and attached the sleeves to the torso shell and lining at the same time. (The sleeves aren’t lined.) I just zigzagged the raw edges at the armhole; next time out I’ll probably try for lined sleeves.


The instructions warn you that there is a lot of fullness in the sleeve head and they are not wrong. My fabric had next to no give, so I ended up putting in a pair of tiny pleats on each shoulder to make it fit. I say that; I got a pair of unintentional tiny pleats on one side and decided that rather than unpicking the thing I would match it on the other side and pretend it was a ~design detail~.


Next time – there will definitely be a next time – I’m lining the sleeves and probably cutting facings for the front to stop the lining bubbling out quite so much. I might try drawing new lapel pieces to mimic the more traditional notched lapel. I might make a coat …


I cut the fabric on Thursday night, sewed it up on Friday, and wore it on Saturday to go see the Lego Movie (verdict: fantastic) and then for lunch with the Elf. I look forward to wearing it a lot more.


About Craft (Alchemy)

I make things and make things up.
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4 Responses to A jacket!

  1. Carolyn says:

    Cute! This blazer seems to look good on everyone. Glad you finally gave it a shot, and love those polka dot pockets! 🙂

  2. Pingback: Adventures with sleeves | Craft (Alchemy)

  3. Pingback: “D’you want to know how I got this jacket …?” | Craft (Alchemy)

  4. Pingback: Top 5s for 2014: Misses | Craft (Alchemy)

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