Tonight I met up with a group of friends for our Christmas get-together. I’m always so excited this time of the year with Christmas just around the corner and the thought of time with family, a few treats and of course, delicious turkey meals.
We met up in a fabulous restaurant in a small village which I can see across the bay from my back garden. I always love the chance to go there as it is one of those places that just lifts my spirits, it is like a breath of fresh air. As you can see from the photo, most of the houses on the sea front are painted in beautiful, bright and vibrant colours – don’t they look amazing?
So why am I telling you about my purple Morris blazer when this blog post is about my navy and black versions?
Well when I wrote my blog post about my purple Morris blazer I noted down the fit issues and the alterations that I planned to incorporate into the next version.
This blog post is about the next two iterations of the Grainline Morris blazer and my conclusions about whether I ended up with a better fitting garment.
I purchased both the navy and black ponte roma fabric from Guthrie & Ghani. The navy fabric isn’t listed on their site at the time of writing this post but here is a link to the black ponte:
They are both comprised of polyester, viscose and spandex mix although the site doesn’t list the exact composition of the fibre content.
Both fabrics are a medium weight ponte with a 50% two way stretch across the crossgrain.
The fabric is £9.90 per meter (146 cm wide) and I purchased 1.7m of each
I pre washed the fabric on a cool program and tumble dried it afterwards
The Grainline Morris blazer pattern goes up to an 18 which is fine for my shoulders and chest but normally I tend to need a size 20 around my waist and 22 for my hips.
I felt that my original purple version was too small for me it didn’t come close to meeting in the middle. That wasn’t surprising seeing as how it was made as a size 18 and as I mentioned above, I tend to need to grade up to a 20/22 for the waist/hip area.
For my navy and black blazers I decided to make the following adjustments:
– I did a 1” FBA and added darts into the side seam. I hoped that this would give me the extra room in the front bodice to help the jacket edges meet up closer at the front.
– I lengthened the bodice front and back by 1.5 inches as my purple version was much shorter than I normally like to wear.
– I narrowed the shoulders by a further ¾ inch
– I used the full arm adjustment from my original version – definitely necessary as the arm is on the narrow side for anyone with a little extra padding.
I used an 80/12 ballpoint needle to sew the dress.
All seams were sewn on my sewing machine using a zig zag stitch set to 2.5 length, 1.4 width. I then overlocked the raw edges to neaten and strengthen them.
Seams were sewn at 5/8” as per the pattern instructions
I used clear elastic on the shoulder seams to strengthen them.
I used lightweight, stretchable interfacing for the collar and hem facings.
How do I feel about my new jackets?
The FBA has certainly given me a lot more room around my chest and both of the blazers now meet in the middle. However, looking at the photos, and also in the mirror, neither blazer seems to hang correctly. There is just too much fabric in the front and they seem to have lost their shape and definition. To me they just look baggy and wrinkly. Funnily enough, a good friend of mine who is even more well endowed than myself in the bust area tried on the blazers and I have to say, they look fabulous on her. They moulded to her shape and there were no wrinkles or baggy fabric. So this leads me to think that I either went overboard with a 1” FBA or perhaps I should have just left the pattern as it was originally.
I also think I might need a sway back alteration. If you look at the photo above of the back of the jacket there is a lot of excess fabric around my lower back.
I am much happier with the length of the navy and black jackets compared to the original purple version and if I make this pattern again I would definitely keep it on the longer side.
I’m still having issues with the shoulders. All in all I’ve taken 1 ¾ “ off the width and they still look far too wide. This may be the way the jacket is supposed to fit but somehow I feel that it just doesn’t look like it fits correctly.
No matter what I do with the facings I’m still finding it hard to get them to sit nice and flush. I’ve sewn invisible stitches as per the pattern instructions to keep the back neck facing in place. The problem is the front facings on both jackets, they just keep flopping forward, you can probably see that in some of the photos. I have come across this issue on many posts by other bloggers so I know it isn’t just me.
P.S. I know the bust darts don’t look level on the photo but they are. I think the jacket is just sitting lower on my left shoulder than my right in all of the photos which makes the dart appear to be lower. Maybe I should have kept quiet here as no one probably noticed until I just pointed it out!
So going back to the start of my post where I began talking about my original purple Morris blazer, even though the front panels don’t meet in the middle and it is on the short side for me, it definitely feels like a better fit than my latest navy and black versions.
Maybe this is a case of going a bit overboard on alterations and ending up with something worst than the original. What do you think?
Cost to make each blazer
1.7 m of fabric at £9.90 per meter £16.83
1 reel Gutterman thread – £1.70
10 cm clear elastic for shoulder seams – 10p
Approx 0.5m of lightweight stretch fusible interfacing – £2.50
Total cost: £21.13