Aloha! And how insanely gorgeous is this sunshine we've been having here in London Town?! Someone said the other day that there is no finer place in the world than London in Summer. Real Summer, that is. They might just be right... These bright and balmy days are so few and far between here that when the sun really shines, it seems to infuse a kind of euphoria in the usually pretty sour-faced Londoners, making this city heaven on earth for just a few spectacular weeks each year. Anyway, that's not why we're here...
Today we'll be making a gentle start and getting all the tedious tracing and cutting out of the way, but before anything else - we need to figure out which size to cut.
Finding your size:
On the back of the folder you'll find a pretty intense looking chart full of numbers - make friends with it. It won't bite, we promise. The first three rows is our sizing chart in both US and UK standard sizing, and you'll want to compare your own bust, waist and hip measurements against this chart to figure out which "size" you are. Please bear in mind that we don't expect your measurements to match up exactly; very few of us are perfectly shaped according to the standard set of proportions as dictated by ready-to-wear brands, and even sewing pattern designers. We just have to establish these sizes and proportions to enable a straightforward grading process - then it's up to you (with help from us!) to adjust the paper pattern to fit you like it should.
The thing to remember with this blazer, however, is that it is designed to be loose and unstructured. Once you have an idea of your "size", have a closer look at the finished measurements just below the sizing chart. This will tell you how the blazer measures up once made for each size. You'll see that there is plenty of ease included and therefore highly unlikely that your own measurements don't fall nicely into one size. If you're nervous about how the blazer will fit, it's never a bad idea to make a toile/muslin in some cheap fabric (as close in weight and drape to your chosen fabrics) before cutting into your lovely fabric.
Tracing the pattern:
Once you've chosen your size, time to get tracing! We really recommend tracing your pattern from the tissue onto Swedish tracing paper or dot & cross paper to keep your tissue pattern intact. It's worth remembering that if you cut your size directly out of the tissue paper you'll never be able to make this design up in any other size...
Start by laying out the tissue paper on a big, flat surface. Smooth it out and secure it down with some weights. It's a good idea here to outline the size you'll be tracing in a contrasting colour so you can see it better through the tracing paper.
Now overlay your tracing paper, replacing the weights to hold down both layers. Trace off your size, making extra super duper sure to include all notches, markings and pattern information like this:
Do this for all pattern pieces, then cut them out.
Cutting your fabric:
We know, we know, you're getting super bored of cutting things out by now right? Just a little more to go...
Give your prewashed fabric a good press and then lay it out folded in half lengthways, with the selvedges aligned. The selvedges are the two raw edges that go down each length of the fabric, perpendicular to the raw edge that was cut off the roll of fabric.
- Have a look at our layplans on pages 4-6 of our instruction booklet to give you an idea of how you should be arranging the pattern pieces according to which variation you've chosen to make. Take extra care with pieces that need to be cut on the fold line. Our cropped blazer - variation 2 - is looking like this:
- Once you're happy with the layout, securely pin the pattern pieces down, being careful not to distort the fabric.
- Now with a pair of sewing shears (sharp fabric scissors), or with a rotary cutter and cutting mat if you prefer, carefully cut out your pattern pieces.
- Make a little snip, no more than 3/4 cm, to mark the notches. Use tailors chalk or a pin to mark the starting point of the centre front dart.
And now just repeat this process for the lining pieces, and once you've cut out your main fabric and lining fabric you can pour yourself a hefty glass of wine/jug of Pimm's and kick back until next time!
*We really want our sewalongs to be as approachable and comprehensive as possible, so please leave us a comment below if there is anything else you'd like us to cover that we haven't already outlined in this post - it is your sewalong, after all!*