Saturday, 12 July 2014

A Bellatrix Blazer

I've often said that I have gaps in my work wardrobe and I finally have a make to share that goes a little way to filling it. Every now and then I need to dress sharply at work. I've wanted to make Papercut's Bellatrix Blazer for a while and a VVIP event on the horizon provided the perfect excuse to get going as well as filling a small part of the hole in my wardrobe.

Bellatrix Blazer

If you don't know this blazer, pop over here to see the line drawings. I love the sharp lines with the princess seams, the gentle curve of the collar and the cute sleeve detail where the back is longer than the front. I chose version one, which has the longer hemline as I am more likely to wear it over trousers.

I picked up the fabric at Barry's in Birmingham. It is a lightweight black brocade with blue "eyes" running in perfect lines throughout. I tried to keep the lines steady throughout the jacket but the curves boggled me a little. They are reasonably straight although no where near perfect. Ah, well. The lining is a plain black fabric that comes from the Fancy Silk Store. It has a lovely drape and will be able to withstand the occasional wear this blazer will get. It also feels good against my skin.

Bellatrix Blazer

I made a few alterations to ensure a good fit. As I have a slight swayback, there was a lot of excess fabric in the upper back, about 4cm from the seam line. I pinched out 2cm at the centre back and tapered to nothing at the side. The the front, I added an extra 1cm to all sides. I added an extra 5cm to the sleeves. I don't like sleeves which move substantially past your wrist when your arm is straight and this extra length ensures this doesn't happen.

Construction takes a while, this isn't a project you can rush through. To start with there are a lot of pieces (about 26 when you include the lining) and then there's the interfacing. Wow, you will spend a long time at your ironing board applying the interfacing! The front, lower front, lower back, collar, sleeve hem facing and the welt pockets (all x2) require this treatment. To save time, I blocked fused the pieces and then cut them out. You could fuse your fabric before cutting out your pieces but it seemed like a waste if interfacing to me. I chose a lightweight black interfacing from Minerva as I didn't want to stiffen the fabric. I was aiming for a sharp but soft look. 


Bellatrix Blazer

The most daunting thing about this pattern when looking at it is the welt pockets. Creating neat ones can take a lot of time and increased attention to detail. However, the difficulty vanished when I realised they were in seam pockets. It gives you the same effect but without the panic of cutting into your fabric with no going back! They came out perfectly first time! You also need to be careful to remember that the seam allowance is 1cm, rather than the standard 1.5cm.


Bellatrix Blazer

The instructions are very clear to help you throughout and are written as if you are having a conversation with someone. I was impressed with how Papercut packaged the pattern. The strong paper the pattern is printed on will last a long time. I found it a little annoying that the instructions are on the same sheet of paper. You do have the option of cutting them out and creating a cute little book (which I did in the end) but I would have liked to have kept the sheet fully in tact.


Bellatrix Blazer

You'll notice that I haven't added a button and I'm holding the jacket closed in the photos. I haven't found the right button to work with the colours yet so played safe and decided not to cut a buttonhole until I have the right button. I am considering adding a hook and eye at the front instead though, allowing the edges of the jacket to just meet at the seams. What do you think?

Bellatrix Blazer

Sadly, the first time I wore this blazer was for the photos. The morning of the event was one of the hottest of the year to date and called for a complete rethink of my outfit! It seems a shame to have out all the work into making it and then not being able to wear it. At least it is a useful addition to my wardrobe and I have no doubt it will get worn during the autumn - but I'm not wishing for that just yet!

32 comments:

  1. Gorgeous! This is so smart and I love the cute details. It looks so professional!

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  2. Really cool! Pity you couldn't wear it on the day you were intending to, but it will certainly come handy in the future. Let's enjoy the nice weather while we can! ;-)

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    1. Absolutely! It will definitely be worn in the future.

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  3. I really like this pattern, but haven't seen that many made up. Yours looks very professional! Love it!

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    1. Thanks, Helen. It is a lovely pattern.

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  4. Claire, this looks absolutely fantastic! Congratulations on such a great project!! Your welt pockets came out perfectly, and I love how this fabric reads as solid black from a distance but has a bit of interest up close. It will really go with everything.

    I just finished a blazer too, so I feel your pain with all the various pieces to cut and all the time at the ironing board interfacing. A blazer is a big project, but so worth it, I think!

    I think 1 button at the front will be enough, or you could even leave it open if you prefer. Wear it with pride!

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    1. Thank you! Blazers really are a lot work but like you said, totally worth the effort. It hasn't put me off making another and hope your experience has left you feeling the same.

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  5. Lovely blazer, Claire! It fits you perfectly. How long did it take you to assemble it? I have my Bellatrix muslin cut out, but keep postponing to really get on with it because it is such a long project! But as you, I really need a blazer because I have nothing to wear over my dresses in summer. Not that I hope it is getting colder soon, but I hope nonetheless you will soon have a chance to wear your beautiful Bellatrix!

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    1. I think it took a few weeks as I did it in stages. I didn't want to rush it so left plenty of time. It is a perfect project to do in stages. I hope you manage to get going with yours, it will look fantastic over dresses.

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  6. Wow, gorgeous!! You did a stellar job on this. So sad you didn't get to wear it to the event! I really love the idea of using a hook and eye as closure. It will keep everything very sleek.

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    1. Thanks, Gail. I'll get it to wear in the future, probably to another event. I think I'll try the hook and eye and see how it looks.

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  7. Gorgeous material and beautifully made as well as getting the fit spot on. Your wonderful blog posts inspired me to get back to my machine recently Claire!

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    1. Thanks, Teresa. I'm really pleased to hear that you've gone back to your machine and that I played a tiny part in that!

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  8. This looks divine! I bet it goes with pretty much everything!

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    1. Thanks! I think I'll mainly wear with solids but it will add a nice twist.

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  9. Holy smoke!! This blazer is amazing!! The fit looks fantastic, and I love the fabric, especially the detail close up. The welt pockets that aren't welt pockets are great, and I think a hook and eye at the front is a good idea. I am seriously impressed (can you tell?!), and what a shame that you couldn't get wearing on the day, but given the good old British weather, there's no doubt you'll get wearing it soon!

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    1. Thanks, Lynne. The pockets are an amazing detail - so deceptive but so sharp!

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  10. Wow, amazing! So professional!

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  11. This looks fantastic! I'm sure you'll get plenty of chances to wear it in the future even though you didn't get to wear it when you'd planned to. A hook and eye sounds like a good option if you can't find the right button - I used to have a RTW jacket that closed with a hook and eye and it looked really smart!

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    1. Thanks, Ruth! Good to hear a hook and eye works well. I can always change my mind if I find *the* perfect button too.

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  12. Really lovely! This looks so professional and sharp! You're making me want another!

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    1. Thanks, Sonja. It's probably a good idea to have more than one...

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  13. this is so lovely! and we have you to thanks for the lovely weather - isn't it typical that as soon as you cave in and make something slightly out of season that the weather will sort itself out straight away! i really want this pattern now!

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    1. I was convinced it would be cool and I would need a jacket, hence bringing this forward in the plans. You know you should buy this pattern, right?

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  14. This looks great! I love a good blazer, you can get so much wear from them! It looks like you've put lots of hardworking into this, well done - it's fab :) x

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  15. Wow! Such a great jacket. Typical of the weather but seriously this is such a classic and timeless piece you will get so much use from it in the future. I do appreciate how much work is involved but look how your efforts paid off. Amazing work, Claire :-)

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  16. Great jacket! You'll totally wear this to death once summer passes which will probably be in two weeks!

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