Sunday, 22 September 2013

Completed: Beehive Victoria Blazer

Following on from my last post about being late to the party with social media, here is an example with sewing patterns. I've been watching the blogsphere explode with creations made from By Hand London patterns. With autumn on the door step, I noticed that I could do with another jacket and quickly rearranged my plans to sew the Victoria Blazer. The pictures below were all taken on our trip to the zoo recently. I'm sorry, I couldn't resist including animals. 

Before we get going on the details of my version, I wanted to take a moment to talk about the packaging of the pattern. I'm very impressed by it. It almost feels like a DVD case. The pattern and instruction book are placed in a small but sturdy cardboard folder and then there is a cardboard sleeve that goes over that. You really get the sense that the pattern will last for a long time while not in use and that you have spent your money wisely. 

Beehive Victoria Blazer

For those of you that don't know this pattern, it is a casual blazer with a fair amount of ease built in to give it a relaxed feel. While I am completely smitten with the cropped version, mainly because of Roisin's and Marie's creations, I figured it wouldn't be warm enough for the windy and rainy days that are characteristic of a UK autumn. So I went for full length. 

Beehive Victoria Blazer

The construction was a breeze once I had stopped staring at the odd dart at the front. I hadn't come across this before but it really is quite clever. I loved being able to sew two darts, as well as the collar, in one stitching line. If you're interested, this tutorial explains it really well and it has a cute kitten at the beginning! 

Beehive Victoria Blazer

I used the green crepe I bought in Croatia for the shell. It frayed like nobody's business but was really easy to work with once I had overlocked all of the edges. For the lining, I originally planned to use a grey cotton with Egyptian hieroglyphics from a UFO that I have but there was just no way I could get all the needed pieces from it. At a quick shopping trip to Darn It and Stitch I fell in love with the bees and thought it would make great cuffs. I was all for making it the full lining when Adam spotted the honeycomb fabric and the beehive blazer was born. Both are Robert Kaufman cottons. I'm really pleased I chose the bees as it breaks up the colour of the shell. When I put it on to check I had set the sleeves correctly I thought that I had won the Masters!

Beehive Victoria Blazer

I lengthened the sleeves to full length and made a late decision to line them as the overlocked edges of the crepe were a little scratchy. They are a little too long as I didn't check the length before stitching on the cuffs but I haven't noticed it when wearing it. Ah, the cuffs. Using a french seam to finish these are another clever part of this design. It makes for a lovely, neat enclosed finish. 

Beehive Victoria Blazer

I think there will be future versions of this blazer as there are so many options available: a more fitted look by going down a size, the cropped version, contrasting lapels, removing a couple of inches from the hem line of the full length version so it hits nearer the lower waist. Need I go on? The By Hand girls describe it as "the perfect throw-it-over-everything wardrobe staple" and I don't think I can disagree with them. It goes with so much of my wardrobe. 

All I need now is a bee lapel pin. Anyone know where I can get one from? 


18 comments:

  1. Oooh bees! I love the colour and the prints you've used. And penguins! Great addition to the blog post

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    1. Thanks! Penguins are the best...

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  2. I love all three fabrics you used for this! I do like the BHL patterns, need to try some more. The animals are definitely a good addition to the post :)

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    1. Thanks Kelly. I was lucky on finding the lining fabrics.

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  3. It looks lovely on you! I've just bought this pattern and am planning on the cropped version, since it's plenty warm enough here Down Under! It's really helpful to hear other people's thoughts on the construction, so thanks for sharing :)(I keep hearing about the unusual bust dart...I'm intrigued!)

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    1. The cropped version is my favourite and I'll probably make one for next summer. Good luck with your version.

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  4. Squee! Bees!
    (this may be my best blog reply ever so I shall add no more) ;)

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  5. The colour of your fabric is gorgeous and I love the bees! It looks perfect for autumn :)

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    1. Thanks Emma. It will help bring colour to my very autumnal wardrobe!

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  6. What a great blazer! The colour suits you very well. I just love your pattern combo. It is such a good idea to show off the bees at the sleeves. I am thinking about sewing the blazer as well, but doubt I am ready for such a project yet. Well done!

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    1. Thank you. I've never really worn green but this has changed my mind. The project is a great one, and a reasonably simple pattern compared to, say, the Anise.

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  7. Such a lovely jacket! The bee cuffs are adorable :)
    Those kind of jackets don't suit me which is such a shame, I have also seen them all around the blogosphere and been so tempted!

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    1. Thanks Lucy. The cuffs are probably my favourite bit. There will be a pattern out there for you!

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  8. Your jacket is gorgeous, and I absolutely LOVE the bee fabric!

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  9. Oh beautiful blazer! And, bees with their beehive, TOO CUTE!! I want you to wear the blazer inside out now as you can't be expected to hide that level of genius!

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    1. Thank you! The lining does peak out when I move around so it doesn't stay hidden all day!

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