The ‘Don’ – Bold Striped Blazer

Hello fellow Sewcialists. I am Jamie, a stay-at-home dad of 2 little boys and you can find my blog at Male Devon Sewing. Some of you may remember me from series 4 of the Great British Sewing Bee where my first make was a bias-cut striped georgette top?

I was delighted to be asked to contribute here for the #sewstripes theme. Now those who follow me on social media probably know I specialise in tailored garments for men and women; jackets, blazers, suits, coats (you get the picture) and over the years have been honing my tailoring skills and stripes often feature in my tailored makes. As we all know, stripes really add to the aesthetic of a make and can totally transform what a garment looks like. This is particularly true with a tailored jacket/blazer where careful placement of the stripes can really make the difference.

The make I want to talk about certainly has stripes. In fact, very bold ones! Now there is a story associated with this particular garment, as there usually is with my makes: I picked up this fabric from a small fabric shop local to me way back last year. I don’t know why but I liked it. It is a heavy cotton drill and I had no idea what I would make with it so it sat in my fabric stash for months.

Later in the year my Grandfather-in-law passed away and that event caused the creation of this blazer: You see the last time I saw him was the day I bought the fabric. I took the fabric out and everything fell into place. He spent many years in the Navy and the stripes in the fabric were perfect. Off white, Navy blue with red and green (port and starboard?) See where I am going?

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So I drafted a simple single breasted blazer for myself and began working out the stripe placement. First ensuring the back seam has the stripes placed to allow the collar to match when in place.

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The fabric was cut with the green and red stripe being on the correct sides representing port and starboard. Next the breast welt pocket sewn (matching the stripes of course).

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Two jetted pockets with the  jets  cut from crosswise fabric one using the red stripe the other the green.

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The fronts were canvassed and assembled. The lapel facing were cut with, again, correct red/green orientation. I placed a red, hand worked buttonhole on left lapel but parallel to the stripes.

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The lining is a simple off white with light green pinstripe with a Barcelona pocket either side.

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The under collar was cut in 2 pieces, yes you guessed it, red and green and the collar attached.

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I always sew a different colour buttonhole on the left cuff of all my makes and so this make was no different.

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The sleeves were set and blazer hem finished. So was born the ‘Don’ (named after my Grandfather-in-law).

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And before anyone mentions the puckers/gathers in the sleeve head, this was intentional! The blazer is based on the Italian, Neapolitan style which has the gathers.

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I guess you can see the thought that went into the placement of the stripes and how it echoes what the garment represents. Yes it takes time to think about and it is all too easy to jump in and start cutting but taking this time at the start of a project really can make the difference. During construction I suggest you baste, baste and baste again to check your stripes are exactly where you want them.

Thanks to the Sewcialist team for letting me share my story and make with you and good luck with sewing stripes. Go on – Be bold!