Hello my lovely readers, today is a very special one. I can finally share my latest project, Grainline Studios – Morris Blazer. To give a little background for this project, back in November, I was contacted by Lucy of Sew Essential about working together on a collaboration/sponsorship. I can’t find the words to express how truly appreciated, I felt. The knowledge that my passion for sewing was good enough for a company to reach out really made my heart smile.
Who is Sew Essential?
Sew Essential is an online mega sewer’s haven located in the UK. They have a large assortment of sewing machine, fabric, patterns, haberdashery, and more. They ship worldwide by weight and are always happy to assist. My experience with Lucy was nothing short of glorious, we chatted about life, sewing, and found we both have a love for running also.
Lucy gave me free reigns to choose my fabric and pattern. It felt a bit dangerous to be given this sweet choice. I decided on some luscious stretch velvet by John Kaldor in the rich teal color. Here is the official description: John Kaldor Carlotta Panne Velvet Fabric – Teal.
66% Polyester 25% Nylon 9% Spandex.
Two-way stretch medium weight panne velvet.
I think I’m hooked on John Kaldor and would purchase more of his fabric, this velvet feels so beautiful. The color is so potent. I want to try all his lines, although shipping might be a beast, it will be worth it in the end. I’m sure of it.
It felt sort of silly to desire a pattern that could be found in my backyard. You see I live in Wisconsin and Grainline Studio is in Chicago, a short 5-hour drive :). I really wanted to try a Sew Over It pattern, because I detest PDF with a passion unless I can take to the copy shop. Honestly, I don’t know any vendor that sell SOI printed that’s not overseas. Anyway, this Blazer is amazing, but let me share the official description first: The Morris Blazer is the perfect mix of casual and cool. It will quickly become the go-to garment to complete any outfit. With a mixture of drape and structure, bracelet length sleeves, and gentle shawl collar, it looks great dressed up or down. It works up well in fabrics with stretch, making it comfortable on top of everything else!
The Review – The Pattern is nicely packages with a step by step instruction booklet. The illustrations are clear and instructions are fair. I would have word certain things differently, without prior sewing experience one would take a minute or two to realize a step. But the pattern is so straightforward that, honestly, it’s not that big of an issue. Everything lined up perfectly, but remember [REMEMBER] this pattern comes with only a 3/8 seam allowance. The next time I make this blazer, trust me there will be a next time. I’ll go up a size because of the seam allowance.
Now, Like Lisa Comfort, I had to go and make this project slightly challenging by completely lining it. I lined because I wanted it to look professional and pretty on the inside and because I wasn’t confident in the weight of the velvet would hold the design. This was the first time I’ve drafted my own lining, I basically copied all the pieces. I added 1’’ inch ease to the back lining at the center back for movement. This was just pleated to one side of the lining. When tracing the sleeves, I only went as far as the sleeve facing – This was a big no no, because it didn’t give me enough room to attach the lining to the hem of the sleeve. I had to improvised and added binding for the length.
On the inside, I added silk organza as the interlining to give structure but keep the integrity of the velvet with its drape and feel. I have worked once with velvet but found it was not as easy as I remembered. I would lay the organza to back the pattern piece, but it was unmanageable. How depressing for me, all my excitement dwindled fast with the way things were progressing. I franticly looked through my sewing library to no avail.
Finally, I did some online research and came upon an old Thread’s Magazine Article, which said temporary adhesive was key to successfully working with velvet. Luckily, I had an entire can in my stash from my attempts to make jewelry last year :). Although I was nervous about the adhesive and what it might do to my fabric, I started using it and boy was I happy. This really made the process easier and my project went smoothly. Silly me, I wasted all that time researching and, stressed myself, I didn’t realize, but Sew Essential had actually done a blog post on sewing with velvet. You should definitely take a look at the awesome information they provide.
Overall, this is a wonderful project for sewers of all level, and a confident builder for the enthusiastic beginner sewer. It’s also a great wardrobe building piece. It would be a crime to only have one of these in your closet, and I just know all your future makes with this pattern will be better and faster.
I want to take the time now, to again Thank Sew Essential our project sponsor. Here is link to their online store and my favorite pages Women’s Sewing Patterns, Sewing Machines, and Patterned Woven Fabrics
You can also visit their Blog and YouTube Channel