Saturday, 4 July 2015

Wool Victoria blazer and how to add a facing

Catchy title eh?

I love this pattern, the BHL Victoria blazer that is! I was so excited about it when I read Winnie's post about her comfy jersey version and once again when I recently read Lou's post detailing her chambray Victoria, but I still held back! I could kick myself for not buying it sooner, but I was always bothered by the fact that the lining seemed to peek around to the front on many versions I have seen. I have always loved the shape however and as a non-blazer wearer could totally see me wearing this.

To resolve any issues I had with the lining I decided to create a facing from the pattern pieces. I do however expect that BHL's reasons for not including a facing are both a design and construction decision, so am not criticising the pattern.

Check out this grey wool! This make was a complete freebie in terms of fabric. I wish I had photographed the coat that was refashioned into this before I cut it up, but I totally forgot. It was actually a really gorgeous swing coat from H&M that I have had for ages. I remember that J-Lo was seen wearing it at the time (I bought it before her ok) seen here in black. It had very crisp sunray pleats when new, but they really started dropping out and the style was no longer what I wanted to wear. The fabric is a thick Melton wool, so I didn't want to get rid of it and there was plenty of it to turn into something else. The only issue has been getting those pleats out! They are still slightly visible on the left front and back panels, which I actually came to terms with and started to like until I realised that they have dropped out of the right front almost completely making it look odd. I can forgive it, but how annoying?

Apart from adding a facing to the inside I also added some welt pockets borrowed from my Freemantle coat pattern. Oh yeah and I integrated the front lapel onto the jacket front rather than having a separate piece. The fabric is thick, so I wanted to limit the bulk on the front and having four layers of this fabric on the centre front could get wonky! The lapels are now slightly wider than the collar because I had an idea about adding a button fastening, which I have now dismissed as a bad idea. Continue reading for info of how to integrate your lapel into the jacket front.

So, here's my funky lining! It's a gold silk/lurex mix dupion which I have had in my stash for so long I have no idea what I bought it for. I guess it was going to be something dressy, but was likely to remain unused forever. May as well use it to liven up a grey jacket then?

I love it, but regret using it for the sleeves slightly, but that may be because of the heat wave we are currently experiencing! At present the sleeve linings feel sticky and not great. These clothes are just for demonstrating how I will wear this jacket and it is actually boiling here today!

BTW, I lined the jacket using a method I like best rather than following the instructions. I am using a totally different fabric than the pattern calls for and amended accordingly. I basically hand stitched everything inside for a nice finish and had the lining turned up shorter than the outer hem.

To keep the collar in check I under stitched the seam allowance to the back of the neck, which is always covered by the collar.

The inside facing has no topstitching at all, but the under stitch really helps to neaten things. Handy label hanger loop! Eek, ignore the little tuck in the lining. How did that get there?

The cuffs are also a change from the pattern. I extended my sleeve so that I could have a deep turning on the inside to turn the cuffs up. Seams here would have been too bulky again in this fabric and I can also turn them down to be a bit longer.

Want to know how to make a facing piece for your lining? Of course you do.

  • Mark a line from your hem to the bottom of the dart and parallel with the jacket front on your pattern piece. Continue the line from the bottom of the dart to the bottom of the wedge (marked in red).
  • Mark the bottom of the wedge in red and cut up the jacket along your new line, or trace the two new pieces.

  • Add a 1.5cm seam allowance to these two new pieces. seam allowance runs straight up from the hem to the bottom of the dart and then blends into the red mark that you made previously (bottom of the wedge).

These two pieces now form your jacket facing and front lining. The facing piece wraps around the neck as per the instructions, so there is no need to create a back neck facing piece. Apart from joining this seam, the rest of the construction is as per the BHL booklet.
I am going to show you how to integrate the lapel to the jacket front, but this will make it 1.5cm wider than the collar. If you want it the same width as the collar then you will need to make it narrower by this much.
  • Cut the lapel piece in half down the length
  • Stick the lapel to the jacket front without overlapping and mark where the lapel ends (in red). This mark should be 1.5cm below the top of the lapel and 1.5cm in from the edge of the jacket front. This point will need to marked on the fabric with a tailors tack or chalk and used as the end/pivot point for the collar.

The facing and lining can then be made for this piece in exactly the same way as I just showed you!
I'm not going to go into great detail about construction for this mod, but hopefully it would start to make sense from the instructions provided with the pattern.
I think that's all I'm going to cover, as this post has now taken much longer to write than I hoped.
Verdict is that this jacket is a dream. It's not perfect, as there are some seams where there shouldn't be due to the fabric I had to play with and those creases are a bit irksome, but in many ways it's just perfect because of all these things! It's certainly going to get a lot of wear and I'm itching to try a lighter summer weight version in linen. I've finally caught the Victoria bug!
Bye, I hope you're all enjoying the weekend so far! x