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Jul 3, 2012

The Linen Blazer Muslin or "Lapels are Ringing..."



Lapels are ringing -- get it? 

Much to cover today, readers!  I've muslined my navy linen blazer.  Just to review, I'm using Simplicity 8368, a vintage men's blazer pattern from 1969.  I usually wear a 36" chest, this is a 34", which provides for a snug -- hopefully not too snug -- fit.



The blazer has a classic, somewhat boxy "ivy" style.  This look hasn't changed much over the years; it comes, it goes, but it always returns.  Simplicity 8368 is perhaps slightly slimmer than the one Paul Newman is modeling below.  Mine will be closest to the blue jacket on the pattern envelope (Version 1), but with patch pockets like Version 2, because I don't feel like making welt pockets in linen.


So anyway, here it is:



I think my left lapel came out better than the right one; I didn't focus on those too much.  I was mainly interested in the length and fit.  I didn't fuss much with the armsyces either, as you can probably tell.  I'll have to baste those in; linen will present its own set of challenges, I reckon.





I like the way this fits in the chest; there's sufficient ease in the back, but it's a tad narrow in the hips.  I'll likely have a thin shoulder pad to give it a little more structure and less droop.  Overall, not too bad.  I want the fit to be snug but I don't want to be busting out of it.



A bit tight in the you-know-what when I pin the jacket closed.

For sanity's sake, I'm trying not to over-analyze this; it's a casual linen blazer, not a wool business suit.  This will be a two-button jacket, so the fold of the lapel will be slightly lower than it is in most of these photos.

Friends, have you noticed how snug men's suits fit (or seem to fit) these days?


I found this photo below somewhere online a while ago; I didn't add the caption, but it does give you an idea of what goes on in many photo shoots.  I hope this revelation won't spoil anyone's day.


Oh, before I forget: I washed and dryer-dried my linen.  (Thanks for all your excellent advice about that last week.)   It was very wrinkled right out of the machine but it ironed nicely.  Glad I did it!





And that's it.  I hope to get started today and I will keep you posted on my progress.  If you happen to be sewing a similar garment, please sew along and maybe we can help each other out.   I've already decided not to follow the Simplicity instructions re attaching upper and lower collars, which sound very similar to the ones Debi described when she was making husband David's Prince Charlie jacket -- actually, I think it was David who described it.  I'll talk more about making that notched lapel in the next few days.

I'm off to sweat and sew -- hopefully more the latter than the former.

Stay cool and have a great day, everybody!

UPDATE:  I let out the side seams roughly 1/2" inch on each side, which has improved things. 



26 comments:

  1. The bully clips have been used forever to improve the fit for photo shoots ... they also have a roll of some kind of plastic wrap that can be wadded up to pad areas as needed. I remember these well from the modeling course I took at Sears (yes, Sears!) in the 1970s.

    I, too, hope to sew more than sweat this weekend!

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  2. Oh I think its look fabulous! I'm loving the size of those lapels on you. I so love tailoring! Gah! I can't wait to see what you do with this Peter! It's making me itch to sew a blazer for myself. In linen no less!!!

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  3. "Lapels are ringing...." I already have decided this is the only version of the song I am going to sing from now on :) Your jacket is looking great! Letting out the seams just a tad seemed to work and the fit looks great. So glad you're not going to do the inside out/lining and lapel in one go....I really hated it...it felt like sewing blind (not what one usually wants for already fussy areas like lapels!) The linen must be very nice to work with?

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  4. The clip trick is even older than Jan may have known - you can see it clearly on display in 1957's 'Funny Face,' in a sequence where Fred Astaire is shooting a fashion spread with a very dim model named Marion. Marion was played by Dovima, who at the time was Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss and Gisele Bundchen all rolled into one. Dovima's real name was Dorothy Virginia Juba; that's her in the classic Richard Avedon photo, 'Dovima with Elephants.'

    When you sing 'Bells are Ringing,' are you singing the title tune of the 1956 Broadway show, or are you singing the first bars of 'For Me and My Gal?' Enquiring minds want to know!

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    Replies
    1. There's a clue in the post, Sandy!

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    2. Spotted that just after I hit 'Publish.' Felt ever so bright....

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    3. Don't you just love the names of those models.....I remember one of the top models of the 60's was named Veruschka....she was 6ft and could contour her body in the most fabulous poses! Richard Avedon adored her as well as then Editor-in-Chief at Vogue.....Diana Vreeland. Ah...those were the glamour days!!!

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  5. P.S.: The model wearing the suit with the clips never blew a smoke ring in his life. Even as PhotoShop, it's a fail.

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  6. Your jacket is looking looking really good with the seams let out.

    The office I work in shares a bathroom with a photo studio. Every so often I see a tall, thin woman wearing out of season clothes with chip clips up her back in there. It turns out that RTW clothing doesn't fit anyone properly, not even the models!

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    Replies
    1. Ready to wear only ever fits the fit model that it was made on!

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  7. The jacket muslin is looking great and letting out the seams a bit made a huge difference. I’m looking forward to the next installments. I am, once again, amazed at how quickly you put this together.

    Even in the stores, the clothing on the mannequins is always pinned and tied and clipped to make the garment look good. What a scam.

    Have a happy 4th!

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  8. Peter,

    Your sew-jo isn't dimmed by the heat. Does sweatshop weather bring out the best in you?

    The linen looks luscious, and like so many others, I look forward to learning of your travails making this jacket. You could make a drive through Nebraska delightful.

    Any Cathy updates for her hangers-on?

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  9. Has Cathy had her baby yet???? Do tell... The muslin looks amazing!!!!!!!! Letting the sides out a smidge works perfectly. You said you will add shoulder pads too. An idea I have read in several French (as from France) books is to rotate the sleeve forward about 3/8 inch or so. This is a good idea on many of us, as we move our arms forwards (most of the time). I have tried this once and will repeat. If a 1 piece sleeve is used, the underarm seam need not meet the side seam.... Cathie, in soon to be sweltering Quebec. But right now refreshing. I know the high heat is on it's way....

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  10. Your blazer is coming along nicely, and I like your lapels. I also got a kick out of Michael lounging on the sofa in the background, seemingly oblivious to your photo shoot! As for the binder clips, I think it would be a riot to wear oversized clothes cinched with binder clips --out in public. We could start a new fashion trend. Hey, weirder things than that have caught on like wildfire!

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    Replies
    1. They're probably doing it already in London or Tokyo! LOL!!

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  11. I like the fit on you and the extra bit you let out seems perfect to my eye. I'm also interested in Cathie's comment about rotating the sleeve forward a bit as the first side on shot shows some folds that made me think that would be a good adjustment, although it is always hard to tell on a muslin without lining or shoulder pads. I think the lapels are a good shape/size for you and give you a good, balanced square shoulder look. I'm still impressed that you're doing this in linen!

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  12. I love how your blazer is coming along. Are you sure you won't be adding the welt pockets? I love the pocket detailing. Your jacket is going to look amazing in navy linen.

    The jacket I'm making Mum is just about done and I know she's a 'pocket gal' so I've added the pockets into the front side seam (KS3716). So really, I'm sewing along with you. I have a Simplicity jacket to make her as well, but that will be trialed mid July, once I get the real jacket cut out tomorrow.
    Say hi to Michael for me!

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  13. Peter - your muslin looks fabulous, but I think side vents like this are extremely hard to wear...Roger Moore as James Bond seemed to do a good job with it, but that's about the only one I've seen who could do that well. I just think that they naturally flap over the fanny no matter what you do. I mean let's be honest - we all have a fanny and that's the bottom line (arrrrgh!!). And it's OK as long as you know that. Sometimes we don't know these things and we wonder why it looks so good on James Bond, and so cruddy on us, when in fact it looks fine, it's just the cut is a little difficult. I guess that's why I cheat and like back vents only - they are more controllable!

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  14. I'm glad you let it out some. Personally I hate to see clothes pull across the body.

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  15. It never ceases to amaze me just how much of a difference 1/2 an inch can make! The fit is much better now you've let it out that little bit, particularly over your 'you-know-what'. The linen version is going to be lovely.

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  16. I'm in the process of doing a starlet suit jacket with Gertie from the craftsy course, but I doubt we could sew it along, it seems that you are too fast a tailor for me. Did you really manage to sew that muslin in one day ? A heat plagued day at that ?
    Is there a secret speeding ingredient in Michael's cocktail ? I could do with some.
    The Sluggish Seamstress.

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  17. Top tip for your lapels: Sew from top to bottom on each side, not from one side all around. This stops one side from going a bit wavy. :)
    Are you going to include some bulldog clips? Very Liz Hurley!! ;-)

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  18. That looks great already! Side note; for smaller men especially, the snug suit looks really good. My love is slim, and he always looked like he was wearing his dad's suit when he bought the old style. The more European cut blazers make him look more grown-up, so I'm a fan :)

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  19. Hi Peter! I recommend you fit the blazer without the sleeves. It's way easier to get it right, especially the armholes and back. I only make a muslin of the sleeves after most of the blazer is completed. Are you going to follow Cabrera's instructions? They produce a really good blazer. About the fit on the hip area: if when you wear the blazer open, the fronts aren't parallel to each other, you may need to let out more at the back hip OR the front is too tall/the back is too short. I hope it helps!

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  20. lining? interlining? i'm new to your blog and enjoying every post/reply. i'm making a linen dress and jacket for a wedding in santa fe, don't you know. muslin is fitted and i'm ready to rock and roll. still trying to decide on lining: silk organza? read a post on prep of muslin and one recommendation, which i believe comes from sandra blazina's fabric book is to steam iron linen BEFORE washing to set formaldehyde (i think). i have a steam press with which i am in love, so will try that before i proceed.

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