#Blazerof2016

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:

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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.

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(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:

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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:

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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