Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Yellow velvet blazer

I am in love with the color yellow and have been for the past 10 years. There aren't many shades of it I don't like except the greener/browner hues that tend to make me look sickly. My phone case in neon yellow - very easy to locate in my cavern of a purse. One time I pulled it out while wearing my neon yellow jeans and was asked if I match my phone case to my outfit on a daily basis. Ha! I only wish I had the time for that kind of fastidiousness. (Not that I would do it...) Where was I going with all this? Oh yes, I love everything yellow. So anyway, a year or so ago I spotted this yellow cotton velvet on fabricmartfabrics.com and had to have it. And what does one do with yellow velvet? Make a 70's inspired blazer of course. It's so obvious!


This is pattern 119 from the November 2009 issue of Burda. I really love to make and wear fitted jackets, and had my eye on this design for the past 3 years. Burda tends to be a few years ahead of runways in this country. The bomber jackets that were all over their magazines in 2008 and 2009 are now popping up everywhere. 70's fashions are coming back, people. Brace yourselves for it if you need to.


I really loved the wide (though cut down considerably from the pattern) notched collar, the fun pockets, the back V-yoke, the fully vented sleeves, and the miles of pick stitching. I made a muslin (in January) but for some reason only noted that it wasn't too small when I tried it on. The actual jacket body was tortuously fitted after it was cut out to get the fitted look I wanted.


Cotton velvet wrinkles like nobody's business. Take that into consideration if you are planning to ever sew with it. I like my jacket but oh my, after half a day of wearing it I look a bit disheveled. I have a few pairs of 3 hour shoes - meaning they become unbearably uncomfortable after wearing them for more then 3 hours - this will just have to be a 4 hour jacket. That gets taken off when I'm driving.

I did machine topstitching in the yellow thread I sewed the seams with, then went back with brown heavy duty polyester thread and did all the pick stitching by hand. And boy did that make it easier then trying to measure it out or eyeball it. It really helps that the machine stitches sink into the plush of the velvet; I'm not sure handstitching over machine stitches would work on a different type of fabric. I believe I cut the collar and lapels down by a whopping inch! Those were some really wide lapels/collar!


I was pretty sure the pockets as drafted were going to be huge and awkward looking, so I cut them smaller from the beginning. That turned out to be a mistake, so then I had to recut them both out and remake them the original size. Mine are stitched with the outer sides abutting the side seams, as opposed to them wrapping around to the back per the pattern design.


Finding buttons for this fabric proved difficult. All the yellow ones at my local fabric stores either weren't the right shade or were too childish looking. I finally settled on these brown ones with tan centers. Then I went back to get a third button to add under the top two and the 7/8" size had been discontinued! I had to get the bigger 1" buttons to get three the same size. Honestly, I should have stayed with the 2 button closure because the bottom of my jacket bunches up uncomfortably if I try to sit down with it buttoned closed. There is a reason longer jackets like these don't have buttons past the waist!

All my buttons were sewn on with thread shanks. Velvet is really thick and all of my buttons have 4 holes. If I'd tried to sew them on without the shank the fabric would have bunched unattractively beneath.


 These fully vented sleeve cuffs were my first lessons in mitered corners. (They were sewn before my previous dress; I put this project aside to finish that one.) You can see my tiny miscalculation on the buttonhole side. Burda, with it's notoriously bad instructions, completely dropped the ball in even mentioning how to finish off the sleeve vents. I had to really ponder what to do here, and I think it turned out pretty well.


This jacket design has a built in collar stand, something I've never seen before in a jacket. I love collar stands on blouses and dresses - insist on them in a pattern - and was really interested in seeing it here. If you look closely you can see the longer stitches of the pick stitching on the underside of the collar/lapel.


The matching Ambiance lining was ordered from voguefabricstore.com. I always go there for Ambiance if I can't find a good color match locally or from Mood. They have every color imaginable!


Here is the blackline drawing of the original design. I forgot to mention that I eliminated the welt buttonholes. I tried to do them, honestly. I am intimidated by welts but I went ahead and gave it my best shot. This velvet did not want to comply with tiny bits of fabric being sewn to it.


This is another project of mine that was labor intensive. I started work on it in January and worked on it for most of February. There were a number of times I wanted to heave it into the trashcan and move on. I do like it but I am feeling mostly relief at having it completed.

120 comments:

  1. Stunning! What lovely choices you made all along. I love the colour, that it's been made in velvet and that the pattern does do it all justice too. Would have loved to have seen those wider lapels, but agree they might not be very wearable.

    Inspired.

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  2. Wow! That is one fabulous blazer! Love it.

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  3. Your jacket is lovely, and detailed! Impeccable work!

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  4. This is AMAZING! The jacket itself is a great shape - especially with that awesome yoke and pockets and ooh sleeve vents - and I love that you sewed it up in such a pretty yellow velvet. The topstitching is the perfect finishing touch. Love!!

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  5. This is a great shape and your detailing and button choices are spot on.

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  6. I'm glad you didn't give up on your jacket, it turn out beautiful! (Like all of your jackets) Love the buttons and the hand stitching!

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    1. Thanks Florencia! I might have to bury it in the back of my closet and give myself some time to forget how much trouble it was!

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  7. That is awesome! the yoke and pockets are adorable :)

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    1. Thank you Becstitches! Little fun details are what I love!

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  8. Hurray for perseverance! It would have been a shame for such a lovely jacket to have missed its destiny. So glad you stuck to it!! Congrats on a stunning addition to the wardrobe!

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    1. Thanks Lisa! I'm usually always happy that I've persevered with a difficult garment.

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  9. Fabulous jacket and colour! I love the pick stitching and the oversized buttons. Both details really make the jacket IMHO, along with the pockets and the overall cut/fit. Nice job!

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  10. This is gorgeous, I love blazers too and am making a note of this pattern. I love the tip for hand pickstitching on top of machine topstitching to get even stitches - brilliant!

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    1. Thanks Allison! We always seem to have the same taste in jacket patterns too, and I can totally see you in this one.

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  11. I love it!!! I love your yellow velvet jacket, its pretty amazing. You are inspiring me to finish my couture dress that is giving me fits and start on the jackets I want to make :)

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  12. this is a beautiful jacket! i love the style lines, so cute.

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  13. This is so amazing and gorgeous. Fantastic job.

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  14. This is a beautiful jacket. Yellow is my favorite color.

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  15. It's really beautiful. Yellow is my favorite color too - if I saw this in a store I would snap it up!

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  16. Such a pretty jacket Amanda! It's feminine, but has a quiet strength to it. Nice work!

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    1. Great compliment, Kristine! Thanks!

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  17. I really like this, it is an unusual color but you have found a shade that looks very pretty on you and it is a very cool style. Beautiful work, I know what you mean about the wrinkling, I have found lately that I prefer any cotton with a few % of lycra, it really helps cut down on the creasing. Hey, did you use your needle pressing board on this jacket? seems like it would need it.

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    1. Beth,
      The magazine suggested the cotton velvet, otherwise I would not have thought to use it. I am thinking a darker color wouldn't don't look so frumpy after a few hours - the yellow really shows all the wrinkles. And yes, I did use my needle pressing board, good memory that I have one! I should have included that information and a picture of it. Thanks for your comment!

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  18. I love this! The style and color both look great on you, and I really like the hand pick stitching. The pockets and back yoke are nice too... I may have to go hunt this pattern down!

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  19. I LOVE that! I so want to wear yellow. It's such a great color and so on trend... and make me look like I'm ill. It's fabulous and looks so good on you. I'm going to be attempting my first jacket soon. Yours give me so much inspiration to start mine!

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    1. Thanks Katahdinchicklet! There are tons of different shades of yellow; there must be one that would be flattering. Think about the colors that go with your skin tone and then try a yellow that corresponds. Good luck on your jacket!

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  20. Gorgeous! The hand stitching, the fit, everything is just impeccable! I haven't heard of cotton velvet before, I'm definitely going to have to find some of my own, since I have a bit of a thing for velvet (but hate polyester).

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    1. Thank you Countrygirlcouture! Cotton velvet does wrinkle, but I think a darker color wouldn't show as much. Do you own a velvet board? Those definitely make sewing with velvet easier.

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  21. Lovely jacket! I love that shade of yellow. And your photographs are wonderful, as usual. (I've seen so many sewing blogs recently where the photo emphasis seems to be on coy and precious poses instead of the garment that your blog is a welcome refuge.)

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    1. Thanks Schazjmd! I know what you mean about photography on some blogs. "Show me a close up so I can actually see what you've made" I'm always thinking to myself. Twirling pictures are always funny to me, though.

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  22. This is beyond gorgeous! Your work is always so impeccable. :]

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  23. Amanda - I love love love this jacket - perfect 70s style - I think I may have the Nov 2009 Burda - I'll have to check - it's fantastic. I have a smaller on of my mother's from that era! Great job! Especially the stitching!

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    1. Thanks so much Pam! I'm glad to hear it is decade appropriate since that's what I was going for.

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  24. You look gorgeous with that jacket. Everybody can say that you are now a professional designer. Great job and two thumbs up!

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    1. Thanks Jhordan! I am really not a designer at all, just a pattern and fabric matchmaker. :)

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  25. This is really amazing. And the color is perfect for spring. (Alas, I cannot wear yellow; but I love to see it on others.)

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    1. Thank you Adelaide! Perhaps you could try a yellow skirt or pair of pants if you love the color but think it doesn't suit your skin tone.

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  26. Love this shade of yellow. Your blazer is gorgeous. Love the pick stitching too.

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  27. Oh my, this is gorgeous! The colour and the fit, so great! Really nice job. And I have a definite soft spot for velvet. Recently made a velvet skirt with side stretch panels. Love the feel.

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    1. Thank you Gjeometry! Does your velvet skirt not get crushed when you sit on it?

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  28. Amazing fit, color, work, hand stitches. Awesome!

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  29. A lot of work for you but totally worth it! A beautiful jacket.

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  30. Ooh, beautiful yellow. Perfect pattern for the fabric. Gorgeous.

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  31. I love yellow too, and your jacket is so gorgeous with your dark jeans. What a great idea to machine stitch and then topstitch, I'll remember that for next time I need to pick stitch

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    1. Thanks Kristy! It definitely was a LOT easier to do the stitching that way. I actually was going to just topstitch it in the yellow, but it needed something else to give some oomph.

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  32. Yes, yellow is also a huge favourite of mine. I really love this shade and the fact that it's velvet. Love! you look fabulous in it and it's a really great job. Well done, and thanks so much for posting. Rachel UK

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    1. Thanks Rachel! You and my daughter share a name!

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  33. What a wonderful jacket! You put a lot of thought in the details and it shows. And in an unexpected color, this shade of yellow is gorgeous and suits you very well. It's like baby chick fur with it being velvet, and I'm gonna keep my eyes out if I can find a similar fabric, I really love it (sorry, I have animals on my mind a lot, haha! I hope you don't mind). Did you have to sew with a walking foot or did you use another way to prevent rippling when sewing?

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    1. Thanks Elise! It is totally like baby chick fur - I hadn't thought of that. No walking foot was needed as the fabric wasn't slippery. It actually kind of clung to itself with very minimal pinning.

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    2. Oh I thought a walking foot was necessary for napped fabrics (I had problems when I tried, the fabric rippled). It's great that you were able to sew it without problems, your seams look very neat. I'll try with extra pinning next time.

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  34. Hi Amanda, another beautifully tailored piece. Love the yellow and the pickstitch detail. BTW, what an honour to be featured on your blogroll! I hope my stitching reaches your heights someday...

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    1. Thanks Sewmanju! I always like to find new sewing blogs from people that make beautiful, careful, fitted garments. Yours is definitely all of those characteristics!

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  35. What a beautiful, beautiful jacket! I love the hand topstitching, and the functional cuff buttons. You will love it for years to come.

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  36. Good on you for completing it! You can be sure you'll never ever run into something with the same jacket!

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    1. That's definitely a reason to sew one's own clothes. Thanks, Adrienne!

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  37. It might have been a headache to make but it's beautiful. The brown topstitching just makes the jacket pop. I'm sure you will wear this for years. The fit looks good as always.

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  38. Your jacket looks terrific; that color is great on you. I'm always impressed at how well you get the fit.

    Yup, I've done the button saga a few times myself. Irritating, no?

    Happy creating!

    Sandy

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    1. Thanks Sandy! Fitting just takes a lot of trial and error, and I've done my fair share of error over the years.

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  39. Gorgeous! The color, the style, the topstitching - just beautiful. I admire your perfect technique; it's always a treat to see a new piece you've made.

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  40. Oh I know that feeling of fatigue, but I am so glad you persisted! The lemon yellow is so pretty and the details make it special. Enjoy wearing it - you look great in this jacket!!

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    1. Thanks Robin! I couldn't bare to part with this fabric and the fact that I poured so much time into it.

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  41. Way to persevere. You will be so glad you finished 'cuz that looks fabulous! I love the stitching, I wish I had the time/patience for that.

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    1. Thank you Becki. I do that kind of tedious work plopped in front of the TV. Otherwise, it would totally make me crazy!

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  42. Ohmigosh, absolutely stunning!! I love the vented sleeves, and the bellows patch pockets. Too too beautiful. The colour is the icing on the cake.

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    1. Thanks Carolyn! Great word to describe these kinds of pockets!

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  43. Yellow velvet - what a rarity worth more than gold! Beautiful design with a 70s vibe and so well made.

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  44. WOW, I mean WOW, this is absolutely fabulous! I like everything you make, but the last two garments have made me covet your imagination and your skills. I am duly impressed.

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  45. Fantastic! Love the style, fit, and color. I hope you enjoy wearing your new jacket!

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  46. Your work is always exquisite! Beautiful!

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  47. This is beautiful and fun! I really want to squeeze that fabric :)
    I think this has the perfect amount of details (the pockets and yoke, namely) to make it interesting without being overwhelming. especially that yoke - love!

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  48. Gorgeous jacket. It fits you so well.

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  49. So cute! I love this on you! You look adorable in yellow!

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  50. Absolutely gorgeous blazer.That goes for the colour too.I love the pick stitching.I know what you mean about the wrinkling. I made a cotton velvet blazer a few years ago. I still have it and ,yes, it wrinkles.

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  51. The yellow is lovely, and the pick stitching really sets off the jacket.

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  52. Beautiful! I love the color and that pick-stitching is fantastic. Gorgeous sleeve vents, too.

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  53. Oh, Amanda, this is probably one of the best blazers I have ever seen. The color and fabric choice are a perfect match and the detail of the hand stitched topstitching is SO perfect for this jacket. I love it SO much!

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  54. Preciosa, que maravilla de chaqueta y este color me gusta mucho.

    Eres una artista.

    Besos

    http://rinconcreacion.blogspot.com

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  55. It's a really gorgeous jacket. I love yellow too and this one is a great shade of yellow.
    There is a wonderful tutorial in an old issue of Threads by Judy Burlap on making mitered vents. You have to redraft the vent opening a bit, but it is foolproof.

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  56. Wow, it is truly beautiful, just absolutely. You did a great job! I'm so looking forward to getting back into sewing. Thanks for sharing.

    Migdalia Y.

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