This year I really wanted to be in Mie’s Sewing With Kindergarten Series. I was planning on making Gigi a backpack but we found one at The Gap she LOVED…
Sooooo I asked at her school if they would allow me to make a navy blazer that would go with her uniform and they said yes! Perfect!
Before I get in depth about the making of this tiny tailored blazer, first I get to answer some fun questions Mie sent for me to answer. Here goes!
Is this your first time sending a child to kindergarten?
Oh Lord no! This is the fifth child doing kindergarten. My five kids are so spread out in age that I’ve gone from being the super young 23 year old stepmom at the kindergarten gate to the 44 year old ‘older’ mom at the kindergarten pick up. And I’ve never been in a carpool either. That’s a lot of driving!
I felt sort of sad all week after Gigi first started kindergarten. I miss her! But my house is a lot cleaner.
What type of school will your child attend?
My two youngest kids go to a private school. The classes are very small, the work is very rigorous and the children are expected to be respectful and courteous. And of course there are uniforms, as you can see, and the shoes have to be black or white. Not a lot of room for creativity in the fashion dept., but it makes life simple in the mornings.
What was your own first day of kindergarten like?
I lived in an old neighborhood near downtown Los Angeles and our school was directly across the street. I didn’t want to go to kindergarten and can clearly remember my mom saying goodbye and walking away across the playground and across the street to our house. I wanted to go home with her so much. I can’t remember what I wore but it was probably some Garanimals from Sears! Or some Osh Kosh overalls. I had a pair of denim striped overalls I wore all the time. I was a little tomboy and hated dresses.
I had some navy wool gifted to me and some Trina Turk crazy silk print bought downtown for two bucks a yard that would be perfect for the lining. Crazy prints are perfect for linings. All business on the outside, party on the inside! The pattern I used here was one from Burdastyle, the Legacy Jacket, and the fit was perfect. I made a muslin but didn’t need to because the size 110, equivalent to a size 5 fit her perfectly.
But a word to the wise about Burdastyle patterns. Be prepared for only a few paragraphs and no diagrams in the instructions. For those used to all the hand holding of the PDF Indie patterns, this may come as a shock. Be prepared to have a good, reliable sewing book. I knew I was going to try some tailoring techniques, not mentioned in the pattern intructions, so I used the tailoring chapter from my Reader’s Digest Complete Guide To Sewing Book.
I like Burdastyle patterns because they DON’T have added seam allowance. I cut them out and trace them. This line becomes my stitching line. It allows for more precision when basting and sewing together. I then add seam allowances after I trace the stitching line. I can make the seam allowances as small or as big as I want. For instance, 1/4 inch is all that’s needed at a neck seam.I had some hair canvas left from another project and wanted to give the jacket some structure. So I tried some tailoring techniques from my Reader’s Digest Sewing book. I hand stitched the hair canvas to the blazer front, back and collar. Then I made some half moon sticthes on the collar to help it roll better. I didn’t do a perfect job, and I can see a few of the stitches through the jacket pieces. They mostly disappeared after a good pressing. One tip when using hair canvas, it’s more supple if you cut out your pieces on the bias grain. I learned that from examining photos of an YSL couture jacket taken apart. I tried to do some pad stitching on the lapels. This is pretty messy looking! Better luck next time, Justine.I made some shoulder pads as well. From some batting pieces.
For the school patch I cut the embroidery off one of her big sisters old shirts and used the satin stitch to sew it on.
I sewed in the lining by hand. I think it’s easier than machine stitching anyway. There is a one inch pleat at the center back neckline for ease of movement.I hand stitched the pockets too. It was a fun sewing experiment, but a lot more time consuming than just following the Burdastyle directions. It was good practice for making blazers. I’ve always wanted to make myself one, and feel more confident to try after this project.
What about you? Have you ever made any hand tailored pieces or tried any of the techniques?