Tuesday, 13 August 2013

By Hand London Victoria Blazer - the Control Freak Version

 I know I'm a bit late to the party, but I've just completed a version of the Victoria Blazer, designed by By Hand London. It's my first time using one of their patterns, and I can totally understand why everyone is raving about them - the packaging, the instructions, and all the little details, like the included label, just make this pattern a joy to work with!

I decided to make a punk-inspired version of the longer jacket, along the lines of something these ladies would sport:

Joan Jett, lookin' fierce. (Actually, I'm liking that pink and black combo...)

Nancy Spungen, with Sid Vicious

Early Siouxsie Sioux
And here it is:

I found some great stretch cotton drill in black at Dalston Mill for the body of the jacket, and decided to use some scraps of black satin for the lapels. And to keep it from getting too manly, for the lining I used a cute make-up print poly crepe I found in Walthamstow on a visit with SewAmySew:

 But as indicated in the title of the post, I am a complete control freak when it comes to sewing, so just following the simple instructions was not enough for me! If you follow the instructions to the letter, you would sew the lining to the jacket right sides facing, then turn them both out through an opening which you then sew up. A perfectly reasonable method, but I prefer a more traditional approach - probably why my jacket took longer than everyone else's!

The first change I made was to draft front and back facing pieces, to be cut out of the same fabric as the body of the jacket. I drafted them by basically estimating and drawing them freehand using the jacket pieces. 

Back neck facing (left) and front facing (right)

 These were then reinforced with a medium weight iron on interfacing:

Interfaced facing pieces

I re-drafted the lining, taking in to account the facing pieces. Then I attached the front and back facing pieces, which were then sewn on to the lining:

Facings attached to lining

Facing and lining laid on top of jacket, right side facing, ready to be stitched
My alterations didn't stop here! I added 2" to the length of the jacket to make a hem. I always like some weight to a hem in any garment I make, so I reinforced it with some wide bias strips which I tacked lightly to the inside of the hem. The hem was turned up and lightly slip stitched to the body of the jacket.

Once the lining and facing was attached to the jacket and turned out, I carefully slip stitched the lining to the jacket hem:

'Surely it's done now!' you say. Nope - I also decided to line the sleeves, which I stitched in by hand around the armhole, and again slip stitched at the hem of the sleeve:

Detail of lining sleeve head
And now it's done! And I have to say I'm loving wearing this jacket! It's smart, but still has some edge. I can wear it to work, but also throw it on with jeans and Converse and be totally comfortable.

And one final thing I learned when making this - baking paper makes great tracing paper, and it's really cheap! Sainsbury's has it on offer at the moment - £1.75 for 10 meters.

I'm sneaking off now to look for some fabric for that Joan Jett pink number. 

See you soon!


  1. Nicole...this is the coolest rendition of the Victoria Blazer I've seen! I love how tough and rock chick it is and how much softer and fun the lining is! You totally rock it and all the extra work you put in definitely shows! I wish I could pull off this look, because I would make an identical one in a heartbeat!!!

    1. You are too kind! And you could definitely pull off this look - your re-fashioned cut out shirt would look great with it.

  2. I LOVE IT! I'm making a plain black one at the moment, hoping it looks as hot as yours;)

  3. Hi Nicole, love the blazer - very Joan Jett - I think it was a great idea to add a facing. I agree about liking weight at the hem too. And that lining fabric - wow!

  4. Wow, what a great version! I love the lining fabric.

  5. That is such a great blazer and you're right, it still looks edgy. As for that lining - its fabulous! Now don't go getting it ripped when you're pogo-ing about at your next gig!

  6. Wow you look so bad ass in this jacket. I cannot explain how much I love Joan but have never been able to pull off the edgy look. Gutted. Congrats on a seriously awesome jacket

  7. Love it! That lining is faboo!

  8. Oh Man, this looks AMAZEBALLS!!!!!

    I've been waiting for this one, it's so nice to see it all made up and finished. The lining fabric is perfect, it takes me back to that great shopping day we had. You're right, it does looks smart tuxedo-esque. The facing would give it a bit more structure than it would normally have which I think is a good thing. I can't wait to get started on mine now! Love it!!

    1. Thank you! I have enough of the lining fabric left that I think I might be able to squeeze a dress out of it.

  9. O I love the changes you made! The linings and facing combo looks so professional! Plus just that lining is awesome in its own right!

  10. This is soooo cool! I love your attention to detail and perfectionism. I would love to have your patience. This is one of my favourite Victoria's so far. Makes me want to dig out all my old rock chick clothes and blast out some Joan Jett. Sadly I doubt I could fit into any of them these days, but isn't that the perfect excuse to make some more?

  11. Ahhh Mrs Needles how I miss your face! Just catching up with blog posts and I was so excited to see you in my feedly. This version of the blazer is perfect - it's got such a girly punk edge to it and I am very jealous of the lining! Late to the party, but you sure have turned heads lady!

  12. This is the best version of this make I've seen online. Your addition of facings seems to have made all the difference. Cool make. Rock on.

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  14. Hi Nicole,
    If you were late to the party back in August, then I’m super-super-late! (Okay, this is my second Victoria. But still.)
    I just wanted to let you know that you’ve inspired me to make a “control-freak” Victoria too! If you want to see it, it’s here: http://plok.plokta.org/finished-long-sleeved-by-hand-london-victoria-blazer/
    Thanks for the notes on what you did! I did things a little differently, but your explanations were still very helpful.


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