Selfish Sewing Week: A Striped Blazer

Yay! I love Selfish Sewing Week. Rachel has been clever with the timing, we’ve all been spending quite a bit of time lately sewing for the kids so some selfish sewing was definitely needed! There are a few firsts amongst this project – my first ever blazer and, get this, I went out in public to take photos of myself with my tripod for the first time! Scary stuff!! Took a fair bit of courage on my part to leave the relative safety of the confines of our driveway – but I did it and I was super proud of myself.




Another first for me is the pattern – it’s the Everyday Basic Blazer for knit fabric from Ottobre 02/2014. This is the first women’s pattern I’ve sewn from Ottobre (it’s a Finnish pattern magazine that comes out 2 times a year for women and 4 times a year for kids). I have sewn a few of the kids patterns here and here but there is a big step up in the degree of difficulty between those projects and this one.



I was completed obsessed with this Old Navy striped blazer that I saw on Merricks Art recently and I had it in my mind to recreate it. I was not having any luck finding a heavy weight knit with stripes in any of my local fabric sources, until last week! I think the sewing gods were looking out for me as I stumbled upon 1.3m of navy striped knit in an op-shop (thrift store) that I was rummaging through. It was meant to be!! The fabric was perfect – not too stretchy, not too thin. Ahhh but I couldn’t muck it up as there is no more fabric…..pressure!!

I made a few changes to the pattern too – it had a waist seam and the bottom pieces were more flared. I didn’t want the difficulty of more stripe matching than was necessary, so I got rid of the waist seam by attaching the upper and lower pattern pieces together. I also omitted the pockets, button, buttonholes and the ribbing knit sleeve cuffs. This is a size 42, however as I am small in the shoulders and bust compared to the rest of me, I took about an inch out of the side seam from the arm to the waist and decreased the size of the sleeve to fit my changes. I’m pretty ecstatic with how this project turned out – I love this jacket!!

Striped Blazer 5

So, the thing with Ottobre is the instructions are written only, no pictures or diagrams at all. I’m an indie pattern devotee – in a big part because I am self taught and I need all the technique help I can get. I’ve tried sewing big 4 patterns twice and I’m pretty traumatised – I need some big glossy photos and step by step instructions thanks!

Having said that, I ventured into this pattern with written instructions only and we all came out the other end in one piece – even the jacket! It really would have helped if I had put a collar together before – going and looking at the other jackets in my wardrobe really helped. I muddled through and the result is not perfect, but it’s very wearable and I’m seriously pleased with it.

Are you sewing something for yourself this week? I’d love to hear about it!






  1. Renee, this is amazing! I’m in love with the fabric, love the cut of the blazer and paired with the jeans and ankle boots…just perfect!

  2. Hahahaha glad the jacket came one in one piece hahaha Love it Renee! Such a cool jacket, and it fits so well! Perfect weather for it, too! No pic or diagrams would have done my head in! In saying that, I want to try Ottobre! Great pics too, by the way 🙂

  3. Hi Renee, this tuned out so well. But I really don’t think you give yourself the credit you deserve in regards to your sewing skill. You are a fantastic seamstress- own it! 🙂

  4. I love this blazer!! Well done on struggling through with no picture. My machines are back after a service so I can now get back to some selfish sewing!

  5. Renee…this is AWESOME! I love this blazer, love your pics, and am incredibly jealous that you are sewing ottobre patterns. A subscription is definitely on my birthday wish list! I have one quick question, though. Where are you hiding the remote? I can’t spot it anywhere in these pics!

  6. Great job, Renee! I could finish my blazer definitely because there was a visual guide (sew-along posts on By Hand London blog). I’m thinking about making another blazer with stripe knit fabric like yours!

  7. Congratulations! On both venturing out – ohh the adrenaline rush! 😉 and on a lovely knit jacket – it looks fabulous & perfectly versatile. I love op shop finds, often I’ve found just what I was looking for too 😉 I haven’t tried Ottobre yet, do I buy it online? I think I’ve found a La Mia Botique pattern I want to try, but it’s in Italian – eeep!

  8. It looks great! I also sew from indie patterns. They are much more helpful! Good job on finishing it without pics- I’m a visual learner and really struggle without pics.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s