Fitting the Heather Blazer
I attended The Classic Blazer workshop with Claire Tyler which came days after the Sienna Maker Jacket Course with Lynda Maynard ended and so I had a reference point with this in terms of sizing. I’d seen several reviews where sewers found sizing on the Heather Blazer on the large side and wish they had sized down by one or two sizes.
When comparing it with the finished garment measurements on the Sienna, I found that they were very similar to that of the extra small size on the Heather, even though my measurements matched size medium more closely on the size chart. I decided to continue with extra small for my toile as I knew my Sienna Jacket had a good amount of ease already.
Here is my first toile made up in size XS without the sleeves.
The issues I could see were:
1. Gaping front neckline
2. Gaping back armholes
3. Vertical drag lines on the back.
4. The back hem flares out
Here’s how I dealt with each issue.
1. Gaping front neckline
I pinned out the excess at the front neckline which indicated I needed 2 centimetres removed from each side. Thankfully, I already found a good fix from Alexandra Morgan having had the same issue with my Sienna Maker Jacket and so I knew how to adjust this. I describe the process in my post here.
2, 3, 4. Gaping back armholes, drag lines on the back, back hem flares out
I felt that all three issues would be helped by a rounded back adjustment. Referencing the Palmer Pletsch book, they recommend a maximum of 1.5 cm here with any additional adjustment being carried out as a lower rounded back adjustment. I just did the 1.5 cm at the high back initially, pinning in some extra fabric. When slashing across for the high rounded back I did this along the seam line, but then realised this would cut across the shoulder seam. All the back adjustments I have seen have always cut across the arm hole and so I lowered this on the pattern piece.
This improved the back armhole gaping and the drag lines a little.
I felt more room was needed for the back, so I decided to slash across for a lower rounded back adjustment of 1 cm.
The gaping armholes were reduced further, the back vertical draglines were a little reduced, and the back flared out a touch less. Here are the views against the original toile.
I transferred the back adjustments to the pattern, and modified the front piece to distribute the neckline excess into the surrounding seams. Here are my adjusted front and back pattern pieces.
I then made a new toile with the sleeves on, with reduced length to save on fabric.
This looked better but I felt the rounded back adjustments protruded a little too much on the centre back seam. The sleeves were also tight from the elbow downwards, particularly if bending my arm. This was as far as I managed to get before the workshop and so I took it with me to discuss with Claire Tyler.
Further adjustments at the workshop
Claire recommended the following:
Keep the increased length of the rounded back adjustment but flatten the curve
Grade one size up on the sleeve pieces from the elbow downward
We looked at the length of the blazer and decided to shorten it by 6 cm
She reminded me that all the corresponding lining pieces would also need to be adjusted, as well as the collar pieces as I had reduced the front neckline. It was then that I realised I missed this crucial step on my Sienna Jacket collar which may have contributed to the fit of it which I struggled with.
I took an even tuck out of the collar pieces where the vertical line of washi tape is.
Adjustments made during construction
I proceeded to construct the blazer but didn't manage to sew on the sleeves during the workshop. Once I got to the sleeves, I found they looked odd, with some excess fabric causing loose folds. I took off the wadding around the armhole which seemed to exaggerate it but found there was still an odd fold around the left shoulder in particular.
It looked better if I pulled the jacket forward which made sense to me because I often find garments are too wide in the back for me, so I fiddled with the back part of the sleeve cap to reduce the volume of fabric here. I unpicked this section and made the seam allowance wider on the sleeve but kept it the same on the jacket back
This seemed to work and gave a slightly smoother sleeve cap.
The right side seemed OK so I left it as is. Here is the finished jacket. There is a slight flare at the front with the wind exaggerating this, and may be due to how I sewed in the lining.
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