My 1st Bellatrix Blazer

Back lining

Back lining with pleat

Now that I’ve hijacked my own blog to write about my sewing odyssey, here’s my first post about my most challenging summer make, the Bellatrix Blazer by Papercut Patterns.

Once I decided that my 1st Bellatrix would be made out of upholstery fabric from my stash (I thought of it as a toile/muslin initially), I then had to see if I could fit the pattern pieces (for v. 2) into 1.4m of narrow fabric. It took some thinking and jiggling, but it was eventually successful. Yay!

I’ll try to focus on the fixes I made to the pattern. I need to thank Anne of Mercury – Handmade Fashion for her numerous makes & blog posts about the Bellatrix, as well as Sew Busy Lizzy for her stunning version. Both inspired me and alerted me to a tricky sleeve/armscye fitting!

I also had to adjust the length of the back close to the shoulder seam, as well lose an inch from the top of the side panel, which made the sleeve fitting even more challenging. I really wanted the jacket to fit me properly so I’m glad I took the time to do these (must get some pics taken of me wearing it too).

There’s a lot of interfacing which I thought might be too much for the front of the jacket. Actually, it’s not – it works well.

The other important alteration for me was to the lining. I used a lovely silk crepe de chine from Biddle & Sawyer, SoHo – an end of roll, so only cost £6 for 0.75m (plenty). It was a pig to cut out but feels fabulous against the skin:-)

Instead of cutting the back lining in two pieces as the pattern and instructions suggest, I followed the tailor’s method, which is to put a pleat in the back. Simpler and more effective than cutting & sewing two pieces of silk, it also gives the ease needed for movement. Many thanks to Judy Barlup from Unique Techniques for her simple to follow tutorial on PDF for making a jacket lining.

I’ve been a pretty lazy sewer in the past, so understitching wasn’t something I’d bothered with. It’s also like a double negative to me – not something I easily get my head around:-/ I recommend this great tutorial by Sewaholic if you’re equally challenged.

I haven’t been lazy about pressing seams for many years now, and this really pays off if you want a professional-looking finish. Fortunately, I have plenty of space at the moment to keep my iron & ironing board out permanently (and my sewing machine).

Apart from these personal fitting issues and adjustments, I found this easy and enjoyable to make and am delighted with the result. I have a few ideas for no. 2, 3 & even 4!

Did you have similar or different challenges making your Bellatrix blazer? Would love to hear what they were:-)

2 thoughts on “My 1st Bellatrix Blazer

  1. I love the changes to the lining. I’ve added lining a few times & done some alterations. I love the idea of the pleat in the back. Nice job.

    • Thank you very much! If you think I should include anything else useful for others in the post, do please tell me. I finished my 2nd Bellatrix yesterday & was reminded also of the amount of fiddling required to fit the back to the front at the shoulder:-/ I probably exacerbated this, having altered the front shoulder (and side panel) without making adjustments to the back!

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