Thursday, February 13, 2014

Burda 11-2012-127: Grey Blazer

I've been wanting to add some jackets to my wardrobe for awhile now. Back in the fall, I made some plans to get that done. The first jacket has been completed for a few weeks now, but I can't really call it a success and it hasn't inspired me to move forward with other jackets just yet. Sit back and listen to my tale of woe...

I thought I wanted a pretty classic one-button blazer and chose Burda 11-2012-127 because it had the classic elements and it was easily accessible (by instant download at the time. It does not seem to be on the website anymore). My plan was to modify the lapel - I didn't like the peaked lapel and it was overall wider than I wanted. I made those mods and my standard lengthening of sleeves and then made the muslin.

The muslin was too big overall, which I thought was odd because I followed the size chart and Burda doesn't have the excess ease typical of the Big 4. It turns out that I did not print the pattern correctly. We got a new printer and I'm not sure exactly what happened, but the 4" test square was not 4". That would be a good thing to check BEFORE cutting. Lesson learned. After that, I went down a size and then just cut right into my fabric.

A second muslin would have been a really good idea because the end product is still too big overall. The blazer is made up of front, back, and side panel pieces. There isn't a side seam, which wasn't obvious from the technical diagram. With the welt pocket cutting right through the front seam, a side seam would have been really helpful for tweaking the fit. A second muslin would have been worth the time. Lesson learned.

It seems I didn't get the jacket on the dress form straight, making both the lapels and the hem look higher on the right side.

I love the color grey. I know that's a strange thing to say, especially in February. But, it's true. So I thought I would like a grey blazer. I still think I might, but the final product this particular fabric hasn't won me over. I think it has more to do with the texture than the color. Also, this is not high-quality fabric. I thought it was a wool blend when I bought it. Turns out it's a combination of rayon and polyester. Meh. It handled the tailoring well enough, but also had a very unattractive limpness. There's a lot of interfacing in this jacket fighting that limpness.

The very worst part of the fabric is that it is itchy. So very itchy. I don't know if my skin sensitivity is increasing or if my discomfort tolerance is decreasing, but I don't handle itchy clothes well at all these days. Of course, this is fully lined, but the lining fabric is pretty thin and it even feels itchy through the lining! Ugh. Better quality fabric is worth the extra cost. Lesson learned.

I think the fit and fabric work together to give this jacket more of a stuffy vibe than a chic one. I was hoping for a casual, but polished sort of look and I just don't think this does it. It's not terrible, but I want to really like my clothes, not just think they're "not terrible."

This is quite a downer of a report, eh? It's not all bad...

I enjoyed the tailoring work - a combination of machine and hand work, following the guidance in Tailoring and Cool Couture. The work was enjoyable in and of itself, but I also appreciate the additional experience.

Also, I'm happy with how the details of the jacket came out. I think the welt pockets with flaps were successful and the sleeve vents were new to me.

The sleeves went in well the first time and the notched collar wasn't as difficult as I feared it would be.

The back of the collar seems too short, which I think is a result of the pattern printing at the wrong scale.

Finally, I think the process and results have led to better personal style understanding. Hopefully this one helps me make better choices for future projects.

So, overall not a raging success, but several lessons were learned, so I can't exactly call it a complete failure. Onward and upward!


  1. You are way too hard on yourself. This jacket is wonderfully crafted. Wear it with jeans, a red, fuchsia or cobalt blue top and wild scarf and see what you think. Basics are sometimes hard to define, but this could be in your wardrobe for years! Please enjoy it! I do!

  2. I think your jacket is great, too!! It looks like it fits you well, and the color is a perfect neutral. Maybe it will grow on you...but I understand the feeling of wanting to love what you make. I am the same way.

  3. This jacket is fantastic! And so beautifully made. I agree with Cherie...add some fun accessories and a bright shell and I think you'll love it more.

  4. My breath caught when I saw the pic! I just picked up the 11/2012 issue from my library and would love to turn out a jacket as lovely as this!

    Wear (or make) a nice, silky top to wear underneath!

  5. It's a shame that it's itchy, because it looks so good!

  6. I often am disappointed when I finish a project and then slowly fall in love with it. I really like the color and the workmanship looks impeccable. Everything you learned will make future projects easier. Hopefully, you can find a way to make it less irritating to your skin.

  7. Thanks for the encouragement, everyone. I'm hoping I will come to like it more with time. If not, the experience of making it was still valuable and I don't feel like it was wasted.