At first I wasn’t terribly sold on the Victoria blazer by By Hand London. It just felt a little too late 80’s – early 90’s to suit my style, and I’m not usually a fan of boxy clothing on my torso. However, I’ve been swayed by many cute versions popping up on the blogosphere, so when I ordered the Anna dress pattern (stay tuned for a couple versions of it coming up!), I figured I would save on shipping and added the Victoria to my shopping cart. I’m so glad I did!
I made up the Victoria in off-white linen, fully lined in the same fabric. (Like many, I opted to add a lining to the sleeves). I actually intended to line it with a fun blue batik print, but I didn’t want there to be any chance of the blue bleeding onto the white linen in future washes, so I put the batik in the washing machine one more time before cutting the blazer. And then I wasn’t patient enough to wait for it to come out of the wash so I went ahead and cut the lining out of the linen as well. I’m actually happy with the results of my impatience this time, as a very basic jacket will be easier to fit into my wardrobe. The linen came from my stash. It’s had a previous life as my mom’s curtains and then another life as a fabric headboard, so it’s been around the block, but it’s still in lovely shape. Given that it has a bit of drape, I thought that it had synthetic fiber in it, but it irons beautifully on the hottest setting and a burn test burns like a natural fiber, so I might be wrong.
The only other adjustment that I made to the pattern was to taper the shape of the front lapel from a square to a soft triangle (thanks to The Quirky Peach for the idea!). I’ve always been a cardigan sort of gal so this is the first blazer in my closet. I must admit, I’m already planning a few more. I love the cropped length (I think the long version may remain too boxy for me), and I think it would be really fun in some crazy fabric.
Because the Anna dress pattern fit me right out of the envelope (like I said, coming soon), I went ahead and sewed up this jacket right out of the envelope. Unfortunately, it doesn’t fit across my shoulders. I can wear it, and will wear it, but it’s not as comfortable as it should be and doesn’t hang perfectly. (That’s what I get for not doing a muslin). So, broad shouldered ladies beware, you might want to go up a size (or two). The sleeves also dig into my elbow when I bend my arms, so I’ll add an inch in sleeve length the next time I make them as well. (Since I always add 2 inches to sleeves, I should have known better here as well).
I don’t know why, but as soon as I tried on the finished blazer I knew that it would look fabulous with this necklace, one I rarely wear, but was given to me by a Maasai woman in northern Tanzania. Perhaps the combo of square necklace with boxy top? Regardless, I love it, and love the inspiration to wear this special necklace more often.