Despite being a January baby, I don’t cope well in the cold, (which, lets face it, does not bode well for a Londoner) often found in some kind of winter induced coma waking only for potato based snacks. However, for whichever seasonal camp you fly the flag, there is no doubt that winter is coming, and as the cold consumes the northern hemisphere it’s time to (reluctantly, for those of us who dream to chase the summer) layer up. Fortunately the Victoria blazer is at hand and ideal for an oversized, boyfriend style coat which is sure to help you forget your winter blues.
Opting for a 100% wool shell, I resisted the urge to make this cosy number in my beloved black and chose to turn over a new leaf, brightening up my eternally gothic winter wardrobe with a flash of colour...that’s right ladies, I made it in pink - who am I?! - but wait, there’s more, I’ve only gone and lined it with a bright purple silk.
Identity crisis averted, I wanted to exaggerate the androgynous style of the blazer and therefore traced off the pattern two sizes up, but, if you want a sleeker, more tailored look you can just trace off your usual size. For the coat you won’t be needing the collar, lapels or cuff pieces, so the only pieces you need to trace are:
- Centre Front
- Centre Back
- Pocket Bag (optional)
It will also be fully lined, so make sure at the cutting out stage you end up with a pair of sleeves in both the shell and the lining fabric.
So now the pieces are traced off, we need to make a couple of changes to the pattern to make it more coat appropriate (coatppropriate?). The length of the Centre Back and Centre Front pieces need to be extended, I added 14” at the side seams, so the finished coat would fall just above my knee - I’m 5ft 7.5” (just let me have the half okay?!) so if you’re a lot taller or smaller than that you might want to check that length and alter it if necessary. Additionally, draw a line about 1” above your new length on the Centre Back and Centre Front pieces, this marks where you will cut your lining pieces, helping to reduce bulk when you come to securing the hem.
Next thing you need to do is cut out your altered pieces in your chosen fabrics, once again remembering to cut out the Centre Back, Centre Front and Sleeve pieces in both your shell and lining fabrics, and two pairs of pocket bags in either fabric (if you are that way inclined).
Once you’ve got all the pieces, follow your instruction booklet or checkout our Victoria Blazer sewalong until you end up with a complete shell and lining, looking a little something like this…
Now we want to be pressing the raw edge of the sleeves - shell and lining - onto the wrong side by the seam allowance (⅝” or 15mm). This will help make blind stitching much easier and neater later.
Joining the shell to the lining at the neckline is up next, which is made easier by putting the coat shell on a mannequin, then placing the lining inside out on top of it, so the pieces have their right sides together. Pin and stitch all around the opening, matching notches and seams. Once stitched, be sure to clip the curves to help the coat sit well.
The tricky bits are now over and you’re on the home stretch, it's all in the finishing from here! With the coat turned the right way round (wrong sides together) press up the hem by ⅝” or 15mm, and then again by the same amount, ensconcing the raw edge of the shell and lining. Pin and secure with a blind slip stitch or catch stitch (see our hand stitches tutorial for more detailed images and how-to):
All you need to do now is pin and then blind stitch your sleeves:
Finally, take to the iron and give your lovely new coat a press..
...and done! Maybe winter isn’t so bad after all….