Friday, June 15, 2012
Toddler Blazer Review
I saw Melly Sew's Toddler Blazer on her blog and thought it was cute. I was intimidated by the idea of constructing a blazer, though--it seems like it should be pretty hard. Then I saw this version by Pinafore and Pinwheels and drooled. The whole outfit is darling, but I loved the blazer, and she said it was not difficult. So at the end of the school year, I rewarded myself for a hard day of grading by purchasing the pattern (nothing like a little retail therapy to dissipate frustration just a bit, and now that shopping time without kids is so hard to come by, it has to be online retail therapy).
Time: When Granny kindly offered to entertain Will and let me sew, I packed up the boys and we went down for a couple days. I got the pattern cut out and put together* and my pieces cut out over a couple of hours, and spent probably about 4 hours (maybe less?) actually sewing.
Pattern: I found the instructions to be fine, although if I was a total beginner I think they would not have been sufficient. There were a few parts where I had to re-read several times when putting the lining/exterior together, but I think this was a user and not instruction issue.
Construction: The hardest part of the pattern was definitely fitting the sleeve into the jacket. I hadn't ever done this kind of sleeve before and found it extremely frustrating on the seersucker portion of the jacket. I had to fight against gathers and still ended up ripping out and resewing portions of the seam multiple times. The linen sleeves went in just fine, so that was clearly a difference in the fabric characteristics.
Otherwise, construction on this was very easy. I did skip the handstitching and simply top stitched everywhere hand stitching was called for.
Fit: I'd say this is pretty close to other 3T patterns I've used and RTW clothing, especially taking into consideration it's meant to go over other clothing. My model is still sick and was not going to deal with getting a whole outfit on. I will have to take better action shots another time.
Modifications: I did not make any modifications to the pattern on this run. Next time, I plan to add either welt or flap pockets since pockets make all garments much more attractive to Will. Actually, I guess I did use a snap instead of a button since the huge, cute button I picked was too big for my buttonholer to accommodate. I just sewed the button over the top side of the snap.
Fabric: For the exterior, I used the thrifted seersucker (that I used in Soren's Suspender Shorts, the tie shirts, and Will's pair of matching shorts). I'm getting a lot of mileage out of that $3! The lining is a nice linen that I snagged on super-duper clearance at JoAnn's a couple of years ago. I made a ring sling for myself, Rachel, and a mini one for Ella and STILL had a long piece left. The only thing I bought new for this was the pattern and the button, so I think the whole thing only cost about $7.
Assembling this PDF pattern was a chore: it goes together quite differently than most PDF patterns I have worked with, and I assembled it completely wrong the first time and had to reprint and cut again. Argh! Read the directions before you assemble, don't just wing it!