By Hand London Victoria Blazer with lined sleeves


By Hand London Victoria Blazer with lined sleeves pattern reviewI bought a triple pack of patterns from By Hand London, one of which being the Victoria Blazer (and another being the Anna dress whilst it was still available on paper). I was drawn to the casual fit of the blazer and like the three variations that you can create with the pattern, even though it was rated above my skill level. I chose the cropped variation for my first blazer so that I could throw it over summer dresses at the many christenings I was invited to and also wear it with jeans for barbecues….and ended up wearing it all summer. 

Fabric


I used a white linen look fabric from Remnant Kings for the blazer shell, with the intention of matching it to a lot of summer outfits. I also ordered the same amount of white cotton lawn for the lining to give a basic block colour. When the fabric arrived I could see that it was fairly see through, so would need lining for the sleeves too (not part of the instructions). Both fabrics were easy to work with when cutting and sewing…they do crease a fair amount with wear though.

By Hand London Victoria Blazer with lined sleeves: pattern review

Pattern and Instructions


The pattern and instructions come in a pack which indicates difficulty and Victoria’s ‘personality’. The blazer is meant to have a relaxed fit with lots of ease (so shoulder fit does not have to be spot on). The pattern also features ¾ length sleeves and includes side seam pockets, cropped and sleeveless versions. The pattern pieces are printed on tissue and clearly labelled. The variation I used has 6 pieces, and uses the same pieces for the lining and for the shell (though not all pieces are duplicated). The markings are easy to understand and there aren’t any fiddly bits to construct…it’s basically a case of matching up pattern pieces. The sleeves do not need gathering, and there are no  fastenings to factor in either.

The instructions are in their own booklet, which include layplans and diagrams for each step in each of the pattern variations. They are also written in straightforward language which I found very helpful as a beginner. It is clear what the end product should look like and how the construction helps to achieve this (again, helpful to novices!). I also logged on to the By Hand London website to follow the sewalong which had even more information and colour photographs. The instructions also tell you how to insert a lining to the main body of the blazer, though they do not include steps for lined sleeves (which I needed). I had a look around online and could see that some sewing bloggers had made versions with lined sleeves, but they didn’t explain how they had done this.


By Hand London Victoria Blazer Version 3 with lined sleeves

Alterations


The only alteration I made was to insert lined sleeves. Other than that I didn’t know what to adjust or how to do it to be honest.  To line the sleeves I was kind of on my own, and had only ever lined a skirt before so still in new lining territory. The main issue that I needed to overcome was the sleeve cuffs (mainly because I had already done all of these parts and was not going to unpick them). I was worried about how to attach properly, and how to make sure the stitching wouldn’t come apart as soon as I bent my elbow. Basically figuring out how the lining would attach to the cuffs and look nice was beyond me! Let alone figuring out how to attach them to the shell at the armholes…..
So, in the end I followed the instructions for constructing a lining, essentially making the same pattern pieces as the shell over again, and included the sleeves.  I hemmed the visible openings at the cuffs so they were neat with a narrow double turned hem. I then attached the lining following the instructions, and simply fed the sleeve linings into the sleeve shells with no additional fastenings, ending up wrong sides together. The lining is not attached at the armholes. This means that the sleeve linings essentially hang loose within the sleeve shells. They don’t move around much inside, and being the same colour you don’t really notice them either.
 By Hand London Victoria Blazer with lined sleeves

Thoughts


Well, given I wore this blazer all summer I would have to say it was a success. It was very comfortable to wear and went with so many things. It was also fairly easy to put together… this was one of the first garments I tackled and I managed to make it, even though it says it is a more difficult skill level pattern. If I was making it again I would have a think about narrowing the shoulders slightly…I know that this is how the pattern is meant to hang but on my petite (5ft) frame they do look a little wider than I am used to. I will be making up a couple more versions to wear out and about as soon as I find some fabric I really fancy for them.

Please leave a comment if you have a different way of lining sleeves, particularly for this blazer!


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Hi, I'm Laura. Welcome to my journeys with modern, feminine dressmaking and delicious food.
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