The story of how (and why) I made the new Closet Case Patterns Jasika Blazer in a weekend is perhaps best told in chronological order.
On a rather inconspicuous Wednesday morning not long after I’d finished that bra I told you about last week, an email landed in my inbox: The release of the Jasika Blazer! I cannot even begin to explain to you how immediately I was smitten with it - and that really doesn’t happen to me too often with sewing patterns. I could hardly contain my excitement (nor could many, many other people on Instagram it would seem) - and after having a quick read of the fabric requirements and other necessary supplies (interfacings, shoulder pads, the list is long) I could hardly wait to get home to see if the piece of fabric I had in mind was large enough to use for the pattern. It was a novel feeling - I had some loose sewing plans for that weekend, and I could just delay them a week in favor of a new shiny project!
Here she is. The fabric is a remnant I picked up from Draper’s Fabrics a while back. I can remember thinking something along the lines of “That looks like a grandmother’s couch, I MUST have it!”. It’s a strange ranger, this fabric. A wool/cotton blend with a bit of nylon thrown in for good measure, and technically - with the way the front and back are woven together - it’s a jacquard, but it’s the funniest looking jacquard I’ve ever seen. It looks almost rustic - like a tapestry, and almost all the colours already exist in my wardrobe, so it was perfect!
Wednesday night saw me rifling through my stash to make sure I had everything the pattern called for: Fabric, lining, weft and knit interfacing, hair canvas (I cannot stress in this moment how happy I was that I had the forethought to buy extra and stash my canvasses and interfacings when I made The Pink Thing) - I was even able to make my own shoulder pads out of scraps of wool batting I had left from a quilt I haven’t told you about yet, and a shoulder pad pattern in one of my old drafting books (There’s now a shoulder pad tutorial on the CCP Blog) The only thing I was missing was a good button!
I bought and printed the pattern on Thursday, and taped it together on Thursday night. I had intended to muslin it on Thursday as well, but the taping took about 2 1/2 hours and all of my energy, not to mention use of the entire kitchen floor. (Next time, I’m springing for A0 sheets at the copy shop!!) so I decided to delay the muslin until Friday.
On Friday after work, I stopped at the fabric shop to buy a button, and then went home. I made the muslin - the body, and one sleeve - out of leftover fabric from the backdrop we used at our wedding. I bought specific backdrop fabric knowing I could use it for muslins later on. At this point, I wasn’t anticipating that I’d be able to make the whole jacket in a weekend, but much to my surprise, my changes to the muslin were incredibly minimal, and I was able to move right along to cutting my fabric on Friday evening!
For the record, I am 6’ tall, my high bust is 31, full bust 33.5ish, waist 26, and I made the size 4 with the C Cup pattern piece set, lengthening the sleeves 3/4” and nipping in each panel about 1/4” at the waist (Note: this does mess with the markings for the pocket placement but I just extended them by the amount I’d removed from those pieces, no biggie there) The waist change was purely aesthetic - The Jasika as drafted is just on the edge of boxy, and I didn’t want boxy. Most importantly, I had no adjustments so major that they required additional fit adjustments, so I was able to bounce straight from the first muslin to cutting my pieces out for real!
I started cutting out the pieces on Friday night when Jon left for his night shift, fussing with flower placement and pattern matching the back, and managed all the main pattern pieces but didn’t get the lining or interfacing pieces cut until Saturday morning. After I’d finished that, it took until about noon before I had finished fusing all the interfacing, and marking all of the circles and notches. There’s a lot of prep involved in this project, and I definitely feel like the sewing is the least time consuming part of the whole thing!
By the end of Saturday ( I slowed down a bit because Jon woke up from his night shift nap around 2pm, and left again for the next night shift at 5:30) - I’d gotten the welt pockets in and the ‘shell’ of the jacket constructed, ready to start the sleeves.
On Sunday morning, I made the sleeves, set them, made and inserted the lining - which included dyeing some white silk for the sleeves because my piece of lining fabric wasn’t quite big enough, and had the blazer finished by 4pm - in time to take a few photos of it for Instagram before the sun set! Unfortunately, I was so completely and entirely enthralled with the whole project that my in-progress photos are minimal at best. What can I say? I got carried away!
I did have to get a bit creative with my sewing on Sunday - on Saturday I was mostly cutting and fusing while Jon was sleeping off his night shift (my sewing corner is just opposite the wall from our headboard, so the machines are too loud to use during a nap). That particular Sunday happened to be a beautiful day, so I took my machine out to the patio, set up under the umbrella, and did a bit of outdoor sewing! It was wonderfully meditative - Tailoring reminds me a bit of Tambour Embroidery in that you have to take things slow and steady, and pay attention to the details. You can’t rush through your time at the ironing board with a project like this! I was particularly happy to have the clapper my Dad made for me last year- it was perfect for this project and it’s been getting a lot of use!
Altogether, the pattern was a complete joy to sew. Even though it was a longer, quite involved project, it was still so much less intense and time consuming than the wedding dress, so it felt like it came together almost effortlessly! Perhaps equally exciting, is the fact that so far I have thoroughly enjoyed wearing this very unusual fabric. I can say I’m still enjoying wearing it, because it’s taken me a few months to get this blog post written and I still reach for this blazer at least once a week!
The silk I used for the lining, in combination with the wool blend outer, makes this a perfectly warm and cozy alternative to a cardigan, and I’m pleased to say I’ve been wearing it at least once a week since I finished it! I wasn’t terribly worried that the blazer style wouldn’t work for me (I’ve always loved the way they look, and this one wasn’t my first, though I’d definitely qualify it as my most successful) but there was definitely a chance the fabric would end up too ‘loud’ for my tastes - and I’m so glad it didn’t! As predicted, it’s gone well with a lot of existing things in my wardrobe, although I really do need to make a few light colored button up shirts.
I’m feeling increasingly attracted to menswear-inspired styles - fewer dresses and skirts, more trousers and collared shirts. This is very possibly seasonal, it was only a few months ago that my breezy summer dresses were the only thing I’d wear, so I am very curious to keep an eye on that trend of mine and see how it develops. I think my current tailoring renaissance might also be partially to blame - if I love sewing them, and I love wearing them, there’s a decent chance there are going to be a lot of them in my wardrobe!
Now. I did say there was exciting news, didn’t I? I’m sure you’ve figured out by now how much I love a good tailoring project, along with how much I love sharing sewing with other people. A few of you might also know that I’ve been teaching some sewing classes lately and that as it turns out I’m completely smitten with that as well! So - without further ado - my big news is that on July 13th and 14th 2019, I’ll be teaching a two-day Jasika Blazer workshop in collaboration with Karina at Studio of Sewing! I’ll be running the workshop, Karina has very generously offered up her space for me to use, and I could not possibly be more excited about it! The class is already sold out, but one of the questions I’ve been getting since I started teaching was on where people could keep updated on my classes - that’ll segue into my second bit of news!
I’ve decided to start a newsletter! It won’t be a regular thing - I’ll email you when I have something to say, like when a new class is announced. Maybe once or twice a month at most. If you’d like to subscribe to the newsletter list, you can sign up at the end of this post! Whoo! If you’re already subscribed, you don’t have to sign up again, that will happen automatically - though if you’d prefer to only get the newsletter, or only get the blog updates, you can change your settings (I think) too!
I think that’s it from me for today - I’m so glad to finally be back into the swing of blogging again! My first newsletter is going out in the next few days, and I’ve got two class announcements to make, so make sure you’re signed up if you want to be!