Last Saturday, I had an awesome day sewing along with my good friend Gemma. We decided that we needed to spend some time sewing something together. In the end we settled on Victoria blazer by By Hand London. I got my pattern (which I shared with Gemma) for free by using the offer that came with the first issue of SewNow Magasine . To save time, we both traced the pattern before the day and cut the fabric and lining. I used suede for the outside of my blazer, which I got in my stash, purchased from Abakhan) and for the lining I used Liberty Fabric(I got in the Liberty sale – it was meant to be for a shirt for a fella, but I changed my mind, which meant I had enough of it to make full linings for the two jackets). So we ended up having matching lining.
Gemma did some research and following this, we decided to use the same fabric we used for the lining to make the lapel and the cuffs. I interfaced mine to give it a bit more body. We also decided to make full linings and bag it, which means we changed the construction slightly. To be fair we only used the instructions for the first part as it was different than what I was used to. The rest of it was free styling it. It was really fun making a garment with someone. We managed to keep each other on track. No more distractions and plenty of chocolate.While I was messing about and swearing (NB: no children were around) trying to figure out why my machine does not want to sew with the suede, Gemma managed to work on two blazers at the same time. I got half-way into the construction, when I ran out of ideas and decided to add the walking foot and see if that works. Whish I had that idea sooner. Once I made the switch it all went smooth and fast and managed to finish my blazer in time! Now my new favourite fabric to work with is suede. Below are a few close-ups of my blazer with some notes about the construction. Once we stitched the pocket bags in place, we also top-stitched it as well, to secure them. (This part was not in the instructions). I could not press to much due to using suede, but managed to get the seams to behave and stay flat. This is the reason why we used the same fabric for the lining and the lapels. The lining naturally rolls and it is visible from the right side. One other solution used by others to fix this was to top-stitch the lapel in place through all layers. I prefer bagging the lining, as with this method one minimises the amount of hand-sewing. I also managed to teach Gemma how to do this, and I hope she liked the technique and will be using it on other projects.
Once we finished making our blazers we did a little photo shoot in my living room, which was fun. But I am a long way from being close to a good amateur photographer. It is even harder when you are in the pictures.But that did not stop us from having a good laugh while rushing through it, as Gemma was in a hurry to go home. So here we are: We had a great day! As a result we decided to make this a monthly event. We even picked the project for next month.