Greetings. And a happy belated new year to all my favourite sewists. It’s great how autocorrect changes that to ‘sexists’ every time. Actually quite appropriate for this blogpost as I am talking menswear (and how hard it is to find a decent sewing pattern for men)! A recent trip to ooobop’s blog landed me in a new sewing challenge for 2016 and that is sewing a blazer, in a sewalong hosted by Janene herself and Jamie from Male Devon Sewing.
I’ve made myself a jacket before which uses couture techniques. It was this one by Claire Shaeffer. Claire is the author of one of my favourite books, Couture Sewing Techniques so I was pretty confident she would know what she was talking about when it came to those all important tricks. I loved making this jacket as I was learning new things all the time. I think this was the first time I ever used tailor’s tacks! I use them all the time now. Here’s an in progress shot:
Sorry, rubbish ye olde iPhone pic, but I like it as it looks like the ones you get in actual real tailors 😉
SO: I’m not totally freaking out at the idea of making a man’s blazer. I am interested to see if there are any big construction differences, and I’ll definitely be making a muslin first as I am expecting to have to tweak the fit (unless I get really lucky first time). I toyed with the idea of drafting my own pattern but, baby steps, let’s just see if we can make a really good blazer using a pattern first. I will just search through one of the many millions of available menswear patterns, right? Right?
Wrong. You see, after much research, it turns out men just mostly wear pyjamas.
(How great is this pattern though, I would probably buy it just for the dog pyjama pattern… if I had a dog). Seriously, I searched pages and pages of sewing patterns for men and found just pyjamas and the odd pirate(?) outfit:
What do you mean you have just been sick in your mouth, this is men clothes, this is what men wear. Have you ever even seen a man? Sheesh. I learn from Jamie’s post that menswear patterns account for less than 6% of all commercial patterns available (5% of those are pyjamas, I am guessing) so my struggle to find a decent one is starting to make sense. Eventually I hit on this one by Vogue, featuring this handsome chap:
Handsome but annoyed, which is actually how I like my men. Just… mildly irritated, you know? Probably he is cross about all the pyjamas.
The pattern description on the envelope is: Semi-fitted, partially interfaced, lined jacket has shoulder pads, sleeve headings, side panels, no side seams, back vents, and two-piece sleeves with vent, button/buttonhole trim. I’m hoping that the buttons on the sleeves actually undo. I remember watching an interview with Wayne Hemingway where he was talking about how you can tell if a jacket is good quality, and that being able to open the sleeve buttons was a good indication of this. I immediately checked the only jacket I had at the time, a Red or Dead one as it happened, alas, they did not open. I felt cheated, Wayne, CHEATED. The jacket did, however, last forever and I wore it all the time so he was sort of wrong and right at the same time. Anyway, yes, if I can I want to be able to open the buttons on my jacket. I’ll let you know how I get on.
Does anyone fancy joining me?! Use the hashtag #Blazerof2016 if you’re on Twitter or Instagram and comment on Janine or Jamie’s blog post to let them know you’re joining in. Come on! What could possibly go wrong x