Friday, 2 December 2016

FO: A BHL wedding outfit, part 2 - Victoria Blazer

In my previous post I showed the Anna dress that I made to wear to a wedding.  Here is the jacket that I wore with the dress.  It is, as one commenter asked, the By Hand London Victoria Blazer. I have had this pattern for a while as my reward for supporting BHL in their Kickstarter efforts to start printing fabric.

I have seen many versions of this over the few years with varying opinions on the pattern and style.  I have not been that sure of the style especially the longer length, it being quite slouchy but cropped version looked quite cute in most of the versions I have seen.

I picked up the fabric at a fabric swap that I went to in London in May or June.  I don't know who donated it but there was loads - at least 3 metres if not more. I wasn't sure what the composition was or whether it was washable so I cut a square, zigzagged the edges as it frayed like crazy and popped it in the wash with a bunch of similar coloured stuff - just in case the colour bled out.  There was no discernable shrinkage but the colour did seem fractionally paler. I then chucked the rest of the fabric in the wash on its own and was very thankful for my large washing machine! My mother-in-law informs me that it is almost certainly silk.  It pretty thick, feels quite rough and a tiny bit scratchy.

Because of the thickness of the fabric it was really hard to cut - not helped by my scissors not being the sharpest. The lining for the body is taken from an old White Stuff skirt that I had hardly worn - I liked the fabric but not as a skirt and the colours looked really good with this coral.
The pattern doesn't have you line the sleeves, but I knew that I wanted to line mine. I used the same fabric for the sleeve lining as I used for my Sewaholic Minoru sleeve lining. Again it goes well with the lining of the body.
too lazy to change the thread on seams that would never be seen!
I had noticed in my internet researches that many people commented on the lining of the jacket going right up to the front edge of the jacket and that the lining often peeped out when being worn. I found an excellent post by Nicole Needles describing the steps for drafting a facing for the front edge. This also involves slightly redrawing the front lining pieces. I followed this and drew out my own facing which you can see here:

I wasn't 100% sure it would work due to the thickness of the fabric but fortunately the fabric pressed really well so I steamed the heck out of it and it was fine!

The was quite a bit of hand stitching involved with the lining, but I quite enjoy that.

Here are a couple of details:

I tacked the lapels down to stop them flapping about
The jacket is quite swingy at the back and initially I didn't like it. I considered putting in darts at the back like Shannon at The Modern Tomato did with her blazer, but once I tried it on with the dress, I actually liked the shape with the nipped in waist of the dress.
walking through the woodland from the church to the reception
This was actually the second jacket I made to wear with this dress. I am really glad I went to the extra effort for this jacket as I love the pop of colour. The first is fine but not as smart and will have a post of its own soon (ish!)


  1. Really lovely jacket (and great colour).

    I'm now going to hit you with an utterly random question... I'm trying to work out if your other half is my old physics teacher (my phone version of bloglovin shows the right surname) - I'm trying to remember a face properly from over 20 years ago. Is it possible?


    1. It is entirely possible if you went to school in West London in the early-mid '90's! He still teaches physics.

    2. He remembers you very well!

    3. So well! That was my first year of teaching. I was about the same age as you all. Innocent times. I tell new teachers now horror stories of how we all had a celebration back at my flat after the A levels. Unthinkable now. I think Paul S was in your class who went on to great academic things.

    4. I was trying to work out whether the party at yours was a figment of my imagination.

    5. I like to think that we broke you in, horrible lot that we were

  2. Well, how about that! Glad he remembers me (the advantage we both have if having unusual names and being extremely tall in my case). I think it might have been his first year of teaching (92/93) and we were an obnoxious bunch of smart-arses, teasing him about being posh and having a degree in ergonomics rather than physics (there were facetious questions about whether we were holding our pens properly). Glad he stuck it out as he was a great teacher and very good humoured with it (I may have had a tiny crush). Send my love. Miriana

    1. I have no memory of that at all. Hah. I just remember having a brilliant time with some gifted kids. I honestly don't think I've had such a bright group since. Happy days. We should have a reunion.

  3. Great jacket and I love that you made your other half a tie with the same fabric as your dress! What a lovely touch!

  4. This is gorgeous! I absolutely love the fabric, and it's a bit strange that there is no facing on the pattern.