- Vogue Patterns 8719 Mens’ Blazer, Part I
- Vogue 8719 Jacket – Part II: Fixing the Sleeve Cap Ease
- Vogue 8719 Part III – Regatta Blazer!
- Vogue 8719, Part IV – Making Bias Tape
- Vogue 8719 Part V – Pockets & Body Assembly
It takes a while, but once things start coming together, they come together quickly. With the outer pockets and body of the jacket assembled it was time to turn to the sleeves and facings.
The sleeves are fairly straightforward. There’s a bit of ease on one edge of the upper sleeve that helps to shape the overall curve, but it’s manageable.
Because I modified the sleeve to remove the completely unnecessary extra 2 inches of ease from the sleeve cap, setting the sleeves was also quite straightforward. Because the pattern calls for the facings to also be attached at the armscye, the instructions have you baste the sleeves in place at this step. I did this by machine, stitching just slightly outside the seam allowance.
One last, truly final note about bias tape – I still think that the 1/4″ tape called for by this pattern is needlessly scant, but I admit that half of my frustration stemmed from forgetting my bias binding 101: Namely, that it’s best to attach your binding in two steps, first stitching one edge inside the fold, then wrapping the tape around the seam and stitching “in the ditch” to catch the folded edge of the tape on the other side. (Prefabricated bias tape makes this easy by making one side slightly wider than the other.) Nevertheless, I think I would have encountered many of the same frustrations sewing so close to the edge of this fabric with its relatively loose weave, and the half inch tape I used to finish the raw edges of the jacket facings was quite comfortable to work with:
For some reason the pattern doesn’t bother lining the inner pockets, but I went ahead and constructed them with linings; easier to deal with the curved corners and since the inner pockets are the only ones likely to receive any kind of regular use, why not make them a bit sturdier?
The facings are designed such that they attach to the jacket at both the armscye and at the neck, with the inside of the facing joining the upper collar to form the lapels. There are a lot of angles and different pieces of fabric joining at the neck/lapel area, and clipping corners and curves is crucial.
With the sleeves, facings and upper neck assembled, a blazer emerges!
The pattern instructions at this point tell you to slip stitch the pressed edge of the upper collar over the seam allowance between the body and under-collar, and I am honestly not sure what is intended here; slip-stitching doesn’t really work as a means to sew something “over” something else, and because the instructions had previously said to trim the seam between the neck and under-collar there wasn’t much to work with. I couldn’t see any way to finish this detail other than folding the pressed edge of the upper collar over the under-collar seam, and hand sew a line of backstitching through all layers. Between that and the bulkiness of the bound back facing where it attaches to the neck, I’m not crazy about the way everything hangs around the neck and shoulders. When actually wearing the jacket things seem to lie well enough, but it just feels all-around awkward. This is where having a ready-to-wear unlined jacket for comparison would be helpful; it may simply be the nature of a garment that has facings with free-floating edges.
Up next: Sleeve linings and finishing details.