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Jul 6, 2012

Linen Blazer Progress Report or "Am I Blue?"

Readers, I'm happy to report that the blazer project is coming along fairly well so far.  I am not blue -- well, not that way.

I'm trying not to rush and not to get too bogged in striving for perfection.  As long as this jacket comes out halfway decent, I'll be satisfied.  The next one will be better and I'll know more.

I used fusible weft-weight interfacing on both fronts.  The linen is so lightweight that it needed the extra body.  I didn't interface the back, but I did put in a back stay made of very stable black cotton shirting. 

I also drafted a shoulder reinforcement which is simply an additional layer of weft-weight interfacing.

When I say I interfaced the front, I mean the entire front, not just the chest up to the darts (which sit under the armhole).  Maybe I shouldn't have interfaced that much.  I wonder if the contrast between non-interfaced back and the side-back area will be too obvious (i.e., very different drape).  Too late now.  Lined, I hope it won't be too obvious, esp. since there's also a back stay.  The good part is that it makes the jacket (and seams) more stable.   (I'm talking about the area immediately to the left of my hand in the photo below, but to the right of the dart line).

I'm using hair canvas (which I'm stitching on) instead of fusible interfacing to stabilize the bottom hem and to give it more weight so it hangs properly.  Here's the hair canvas, cut on the bias, attached to the hem with a running stitch.

The pattern calls for only a half lining in back; I'm going to line it entirely for extra support and body.  I knew even when I was buying the linen last week that it was probably a little on the light side for a blazer, but I decided to give it a try anyway.

I still have to do the collar and facings, which will probably involve a combination of fusibles and hair canvas, or perhaps multiple layers of fusible.  I've been primarily using Tailoring: The Classic Guide to Sewing the Perfect Jacket as well as a few other sources, plus the original instructions, which aren't so great.  Linen has its own issues that aren't addressed in either book so I'm also using my common sense and recent experience sewing linen shirts and pants.

My lining is a Bemberg-type rayon I picked up at Paron's for the still-to-be-completed SIL dress.  It's navy blue, like the jacket itself.

Friends, that's it for now.  I think lining this will make a big difference, and while interfacing compromises some of the breathability of the linen, the sleeves and back aren't interfaced so it's still quite a lightweight garment.

Thank you for your many wonderful tips on staying cool in the heat yesterday!  And don't forget to enter the Vogue Patterns giveaway -- you have till Sunday night.

Happy Friday, everybody!


  1. A blue linen blazer. Very nautical. I'm waiting for the finished product!

  2. Can't wait to see it finished. Looking good so far.

  3. It's looking good! I think that you have the right attitude. There is a learning curve to tailoring a jacket and the more you make the better you will get, as you well know from your great shirtmaking. You have sewing skills now that you didn't have when you attempted the jacket for Michael and you are not trying to sew this on a deadline.

  4. Not to sound like your mother, but....

    ...any word from Cathy, dear?

  5. Thanks so much for all the construction/tailoring details. Fascinating. I’m intrigued by the shoulder reinforcement that you added. I must get my hands on some hair canvas. You’ve used it in several projects to great effect. Perhaps I’ll find some at the second annual MPB day – hint, hint?

    Have a great weekend!

  6. Hi mate
    Thanks for all the details as I often search your blog for help with specific instructions. I am also sewing a jacket at the moment... Not sure how it will turn out :D
    Best of luck with you garment and greetings from cold Sydney Australia
    Cheers Mike


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