I’ve seen a lot of Morris Blazers out and about on the web, and couldn’t help but want to get my mitts on the pattern. It’s one of those patterns that just seems super versatile for an array of fabrics and colours, offering a finished garment that would be suitable for all shapes and would enhance any wardrobe. The shape of the blazer also seems to be bang on trend right now, with similar blazer styles to be found in all the high street stores. However, as I didn’t want one I could find on the high street, I set about making my own!
I had planned to make my Morris in a sensible black jersey and create a wardrobe staple that I could chuck on over a variety of work and weekend outfits. However, while I was at fabric market I discovered this shimmery jersey somewhere between olive green and grey. As it was a good price and I find sewing black garments a bit boring, I thought why not just give it a go?!
I cut the Morris pattern straight from the tissue *insert theatrical gasp here*. The more I sew the more I loose patience for tracing, but also the more I realize that if I am likely to make another version of a garment, it will probably be smaller, and therefore I can always trace off a small version later if I want to reuse the pattern. I cut a size 16 based on my bust measurement, thinking I would take it in on the side seams at the waist later as I do with a lot of my dresses. As it happens, I later realized that once you’ve sewn on the myriad of facings, changing the side seams becomes more difficult, so that’s something I’ve definitely learnt for next time.
If I’m honest I found the construction of some of the parts of this jacket a bit of a challenge. I couldn’t quite get my head around how the collar would work, and I was certainly not helped by having chosen a fabric that was an absolute horror to press. I had to use lots of steam and a pressing cloth as otherwise that lovely shimmery finish just started melting. If I have one tip for fabric choice for this jacket it is to choose a fabric which presses well! You will thank yourself for it in the end!
The first part of the jacket comes together really fast – I was sat there thinking ‘oh I’m so clever, I’ll be wearing this jacket by tea time’.
Not so. Then comes the more challenging part – gathered sleeves and the shawl collar. The sleeve gathering was really not bad at all, however next time I want to make sure that the gathers are really concentrated at the top point of the shoulder and don’t slip down the sides. The shawl collar was also ok – just pressing intensive which wasn’t great for the fabric. I was greatly helped by the official Morris Sew Along blog posts as well as Sew Busy Lizzy’s post on the Morris, which helped me through the perplexing step 15 which involves attaching the hem facing.
This was my jacket pre top-stitching. I tried it on at this point and it looked quite puffy and weird – I was convinced I’d chosen the wrong fabric and it was all going horribly wrong. I then left it alone for a couple of days and came back with an iron fully ready to steam the hell out of it, and it actually turned out surprisingly well! Once I’d given it a really good press, I managed to get all the top stitching done which made such a difference. The seams all just looked much crisper and the points were much more even. I even decided in the end that I liked the jacket enough to wear it out for my birthday dinner on Saturday:
It’s certainly not perfect – I have a selection of fitting adjustments to make for next time.
- Reduce the distance between the collar and the shoulder seams – it turns out I have narrow shoulders
- Grade between a 16 and a 12 between bust and hips
- Narrow the sleeves on the lower arms
It may not be perfect, but I love my Morris Blazer. I learnt so much while I was making it. A shawl collar and gathered sleeves were new, along with all the fun facings. I’d never made a jacket before as I was always scared of fitting my bust, and now I know what I will want to do on round two to help with that. I’m also super proud of my top stitching – when I think back to a year ago I would have been happy to follow a circular line drawn on a piece of fabric, and now I am top stitching a shawl collar! All in all it was a project with a bit of a new challenge and I’m pleased with the results! Roll on Morris Nr.2 – I have promised myself that the next one will be sensible and for work – although in Navy blue (not black!)
How about you? Have you had any projects that were a bumpy ride but you loved them in the end?