Sunday, 24 May 2015

SEWN: MINDBENDING MONA

I MADE A BLAZER!!


Sorry for shouting. I'm a bit excited and inordinately proud.


Meet Mona - she's a mindbending beast.

It seems everyone is getting on the blazer bandwagon at the moment. Gail is whipping out incredibly and impeccably tailored blazers at an alarmingly amazing rate. And every other blogger in blogland appears to be dating Morris. Morris doesn't do it for me. I'm not that keen on his style lines, I'm a bit judgy like that. Maybe also because I'm not into the ponte/double knit craze (I'm sorry, when I touch it it always reminds me of synthetic old lady comfort clothing, but feel free to convince me) or stretch wovens.

Unless it's this stretch woven in the the form of Pinch Coral, a glorious cotton/polyester/spandex blend from Pitt Trading*. Then it's all good.


Oh, this is one lovely fabric. It's a beautiful weight for a jacket and doesn't crease horribly the moment you bend your elbow. That's my kind of fabric.

I really upped my game on this make. It felt a bit epic... then I gave myself a slap and realised I got it done over maybe three days of intermittent, half hour here, an hour there, sewing. Possibly because whilst this is a casual, relatively untailored jacket, requiring little in the way of tweaking, it had the most mind-bending construction I've ever come across.


Let me be clear. I've never attempted a jacket, lined or not, so I'm a newby at this. Actually I lie. I made a very 80's cropped, short sleeved, lined and shoulder padded bolero number in my teens, but really I've blanked that fashion decision from my memory.

This pattern, Jacket Mona, is from a new-to-me German pattern company, Schnittchen. It's got some great patterns at a very affordable 5 Euro (for PDF patterns, and new season patterns appear to be 6 Euro), but if you want detailed instructions go elsewhere. The written instructions for Mona include no diagrams and are more a list of the steps. Now, there is an online photo tutorial on the Schnittchen blog for this (and most?) patterns, but I still struggled. Often the photo provided wasn't of the part of the step I had issues with.

Thankfully I had Instagram and Google. After seeing Gail post a collar she was constructing on IG, I sneakily begged for help with mine. Way above and beyond any expectations I had she pretty much prepared a step by step photo tutorial and direct messaged it to me. Gail, I'm a little bit in love with you right now.


I also had to refer to Grainline's tutorial on bagging a lining. Which is excellent. As is my teal/aqua/sky blue lining. Yeah baby, pop of colour coming your way. A RTW quality lining also from Pitt Trading* that barely frayed (what!!??) and pressed beautifully. Mmmmm silky.

The mind bending came from the construction of the lining. It basically has you attach a small part of the lining to the outer straight up, then construct the lining whilst attached to the outer. Madness! My understanding is that quite often the outer and lining are created completely separately then sewn together after the fact. Yeah, that would make life easier. So would having some experience, as I might have been able to work out how to avoid the suggested construction if I had any of that.


But I love the result!! I wonder if it's not a little wide across the shoulders. It's meant to be boxy at the back, but perhaps there's a bit of additional fabric there. I did make a toile and it wasn't as obvious in the linen. If I can get over the trauma of this make (there was a fair amount of swearing in my figuring things out), I'm thinking about an unlined (much easier) linen version. I'd skip the interfacing on the front facing to give a drapier effect.


But for a casual, throw over the top of a tank or tee, blazer?

Like. A. Boss.


*Thanks go to Pitt Trading who provided my choice of fabric and notions free of charge for this project in exchange for images of my completed make for their use. Opinions are all my own.

49 comments:

  1. Looks fab! I had a look at the pattern and I think your collar looks even better!

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  2. What a lovely piece! That's a great colour on you and such interesting fabric texture - it looks a bit like eyelet without the eyelets.... It looks v profesh and the details are great - love that little back vent. How awesome is Gail?

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  3. Your jacket turn out great. I love IG and how helpful people are.

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  4. I feel you with ponte. I decided to try it because everyone was talking about it and I usually avoid poly, but I trusted the seller. Completely pilled and attracts fuzz like nothing else. I love the shape of your blazer, I wish I wasn't afraid over patterns in other languags

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  5. That colour is amazing! I'm tempted to make a blazer after seeing so many floating around blog land. I love the spring vibe of yours. Definitely on of my favourites!

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  6. I love your blazer. You picked two great fabrics/colours!!! Keep shouting Jillian.

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  7. Love it! Don't tell anyone but I'm the same with the Morris. It doesn't do it for me. Plus I'm a bit the same with ponte and blazers. I need a lot of texture and this fabric is just divine!

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  8. This looks amazing! I do remember from my jacket making days making the lining and main shells and then joining them together and bagging out. The other way sounds quite mysterious and incredibly confusing! Well done for finishing. x

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  9. SeamsOddLouise.Blogspot.com24 May 2015 at 23:27

    Beautiful colour, texture and shape. This is a win! Worth the mind bending? You've got a great jacket there.

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  10. Whoa!! That is flipping amazing! What a gorgeous jacket. Well done you! I have to say, I really like the way you pressed your lapels (as opposed to the way they are on the pattern page). This is truly a unique design - thanks for introducing me to it! I might have to consider one of my own after I finish all the other blazers on my list ;-)

    I'm so glad I was able to help you. It worked out well that I was in a similar spot in my jacket!

    I'm with you and Kirsty on the non-Morris train. I like a fair number of the ones that have been cropping up, but I don't really feel it's "me." Which is fine, since I have a gazillion other jackets in my queue!

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  11. Yep, beautiful jacket. I looks like such a good fit, and very tailored.

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  12. Jillian it looks fabulous - you clever woman. Lining a jacket scares the crap out of me ;-) The colour suits you beautifully too. WOO-HOO!

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  13. fabulous fabric - you conquered that blazer! I am definitely making the effort to get to Pitt trading next time I'm able to come down to Sydney.......I am very particular about pontes - they have to have some cotton content or feel less staticky synthetic - hard to find a nice one. I just keep making mcalls 6844 but hope to do a lined blazer or jacket at some stage.

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  14. Thank you Meg! I have a feeling the image on the pattern page is an unlined version which is how it was first released. In fact the pattern only comes with written instructions for the unlined version, and you have to rely on the not-so-great photo tutorial to make the lined, later version. Might be why the collars look a little different?

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  15. Thanks Sarah! Yes, the fabric is gorgeous. The weave is truly lovely and textured. Gail is the bomb!

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  16. Thanks so much Rachel! My IG friends are amazingly generous with their knowledge. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy :)

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  17. I know! And it feels so disposable. It doesn't appear to hold up to repeated wear and I'm not prepared to invest in a piece that won't last and last. But I do understand it must be comfy! Also the instructions and photo tutorial for this pattern are in English! Just in case you thought it might be in German.

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  18. Kat, it's such a lovely coral. It almost looks a bit rusty in some lights. Spring vibe? I got my seasons wrong, hahaha!

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  19. Thanks so much Maria! I love these colours together. You can probably tell that from my blog header :)

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  20. Hahaha we'll keep it just between us. Oops, my opinion is already out there. I'm good with that. I've really liked a few renditions of Morris, but I just don't like it for myself. The fabric is a good one!

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  21. Thank you Kirsty! It was a bit mysterious and confusing. I had to pin a series of seams constantly and then turn it right side out to check if it even resembled a coat, it was that weird. Then I'd go back and stitch them. I have no idea how pattern makers see how flat pieces turn into completed garments. That's why I'm not a pattern maker!

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  22. Yes, definitely worth the mind bending. I might swear a lot but I do like to be challenged from time to time. And thanks for your kind words.

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  23. Coming from the master of blazers thank you very, very much! I've got a feeling I've simply turned my lapels back further than on the model. They seem wider and more defined. Also the original pattern was unlined, so I suspect that image is of an unlined, less structural version (more drapey).

    Do consider it. It is drafted beautifully and the jigsaw puzzle did fit together impeccably which is more than can be said for other patterns I've worked with. And it is quite a unique shape :)

    Again, thanks so much for your help xxx

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  24. Thanks Debbie. I was lucky with the fit as this is a straight size, no alterations. That being said I think the shoulders are a little wide. I'm good with that, I'm just being pernickety!

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  25. Nawwww thanks Leah! I've always been a sucker for coral. And lining is normally easy - make an outer, make an inner (generally almost a replica of the outer) and then sew together. It was just a bit of a challenging jigsaw this one!

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  26. Oh that pattern is cute! I would definitely recommend a visit to Pitt Trading. They do a fair amount of double knits and from what I've heard from other bloggers, they are of a lovely quality. Can't speak for them myself, but I'm happy to be converted to a double knit/ponte lover :)

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  27. Really fabulous: shape, colour, lining. It's all working!

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  28. Gorgeous make.. I totally love the collar on this thing. And no it doesn't look boxy...

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  29. You are on fire!!!! And Gail is a bit wonderful ;) Epic!

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  30. Aw thank you Helen! I am quite a fan of coral and teal together :)

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  31. It's a great comfy collar! And thank you :)

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  32. Call the fire service! Bwahahaha! Gail is all sorts of wonderful, she's been my saviour for both knitting and sewing on more than one occasion and she never gives the impression she is anything less than chuffed to help. All warm and fuzzy :)

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  33. What an inspiration! I love the colours and the silhouette (Morris doesn't really do it for me either). I'm meant to be making a lined jacket too but I am so terrified it keeps getting put on hold. I shall have to check out the bagged lining tutorial you mentioned!

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  34. Love love love this blazer - i really think your version should be the marketing photos for the pattern on the website, yours looks amazing! I am contemplating the morris on the basis it would be a quick'ish make in ponte as i really need a couple of work blazers, but agree i am not 100% in love with the lines of the pattern. The lines of this pattern are lovely!

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  35. Oh wow, an inspiration?? Not sure about that, but I would definitely recommend the Grainline lining tutorial. As long as it's a basic lining and outer, it'll pretty much sort you out :)

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  36. Nawwww Emma, that's incredibly kind! I've been blown away by the love for this blazer. Honestly, this truly was a quick make, it just bent my mind a little. I'm sure not as quick as the Morris, but the outer is done in a flash (truly, no darts, no tailoring) and whilst the lining is a little fiddly... seriously 3 days with a bit of sewing here and there. You'd definitely get it knocked over in less than a day if you knuckled down...

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  37. Oh my goodness, my love for this blazer knows no bounds! It is such a great piece! And I am so in love with coral right now. It looks beautiful on you, Jillian!

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  38. Oh thank you so much Helena, that's quite a compliment!

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  39. You should be proud! This is a gorgeous blazer. Love the fabric and pattern. Beautiful!

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  40. Thanks so much Lisa, it was a pride inducing make :)

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  41. That back is gorgeous ... what a sweet hemline! Wow, you're powering through some great makes at the moment.

    I find the 'every blogger and their dog' bandwagon so interesting, and do not really feel a part of it... my pattern choices are for my body type (which never seems fashionable) and my lack of knowledge when it comes to fabric is continually annoying... the ponti/ponte you mentioned... I'm still unsure of what that is having seen loads of people talk about it online, and probably won't ever get a 'feel' of it, since I'm in China and as if I can ask anyone at the market... I have to go by feel everywhere and just guess what fabric is! OH WELL, off to look at the Schnittchen Patterns now!

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  42. Thank you Veronica! How funny, I generally avoid the "every blogger and their dog" bandwagons. I get so bored seeing the same things coming out over and over and sometimes want to shout "enough already!". But I get that these patterns/fabrics do often appeal to a broad cross section of makers - that's why they are so popular! Ponte and double knits are like a thicker knit, sometimes almost spongey as two layers of fabric are knit together. It has some give but is more stable than other knit fabrics. It's great for more structured knit garments like jackets, skirts and dresses. You might benefit from getting "Fabric for Fashion: The Swatch Book". I've heard it's quite fabulous! And definitely check out Schnittchen Patterns :)

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  43. I just love this! I've not heard of this pattern company so I will have to check it out! Your jacket is so pretty and done in one of my favorite colors!

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  44. Thank you so much! Yes, this was a new to me pattern company too, and after not having to make any alterations I think I might be returning for more patterns :)

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  45. The main body shapes and back of the styles are actually very similar (I'm debating between the two) so you could try to alter just the lapel/front section and curve the lower front of the Morris to achieve this shape?

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  46. Remember that not all pontes are alike though before giving up on it. I've had both good and bad. Oh and there are wool pontes too!

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  47. I'm not so sure they are that alike - of course they are both blazers, but I think there are some really clever design differences in the Mona - the back hemline and vent, the lapel and curved front details. You'd have to redraft the Morris quite significantly to get the same look and I know I'd rather just get the Mona and be done with it, if that's what I liked :)

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