Maximal procrastination

The Blazer of Awesome

I am (as my husband will assure you), one of the world’s champion procrastinators. It’s a major handicap, actually. But this jacket fix represents a level of procrastination rarely met even by me.

I got this little grey blazer in high school, ladies and gents, which was kind of a while back not that long ago after all, from my old standby Value Village. The fit was, and is, astounding—perfect shoulders, perfect waist length (no swayback issues!)… Great.

Except. The more I wore it, the more creepingly aware I became of the one, glaring, unforgivable flaw.

You guessed it. The sleeves are too short. (I need some kind of “ba-dum-dum” sound effect every time I say that. :P Or maybe a laugh-track.)

Back—OK, maybe not quite as perfect as I thought (or it used to be ;) ). Still pretty damn good.

Not too long after graduation, the frequency of its appearance in my regular wardrobe rotation dropped dramatically. I am really not fond of the cold wrists >_<. But still I couldn’t give up on it entirely. Everything else was too perfect. So it hung in the back of the closet, making me sigh with occasional wistfulness.

About four years ago, I found a black corduroy curtain abandoned in the lobby of our apartment complex (these occasional windfalls are the only thing I miss about apartment living. Well, that and the endless hot water.) I bundled it home, and soon realized that the wale width and texture was a perfect match for the details on my poor jacket. And since the jacket had plenty of other black cord details, why not cuffs as well?

Nonetheless, four years passed. The corduroy curtain served many purposes, most of them involving taking up space in my closets, but never became part of a blazer.

Cuff closeup. Photographing black corduroy is rather akin to photographing dark matter, I’m thinking.

Well, finally today the prospect of a quasi-job-interview prodded me to haul out something approaching office attire—the businesswoman suit. By some miracle (probably as a way of displacing some intense anxiety), I motivated myself to find the curtain, locate the portion where the fading of the blacks matched best, and cut out two plain cord rectangles. I interfaced them with Armoweft, stitched into tubes and folded them in half, and tacked the resulting tubes inside the ends of the sleeves. Voila, stupid simple cuffs. Total time, probably about 30 minutes, plus time to dig out the fabric from the garage.

Because I enjoy a bit of a tailoring dissection, here’s some closeups on the jacket itself. Fortunately, the lining is loose, not bagged, so I could flip it up and gawk at the insides.

Label

The label is “Newport Sportswear Ltd” from Toronto, Canada. The jacket is #4138, and a size 7, according to the hand-written label. Google did not give me much (any) info about this brand, aside from some Etsy listings for vintage clothes. I had never really thought about the vintage of this jacket, but it’s certainly not a typical fit for the 80s or the 90s (remembering I got it in the latter part of the 90s). The rather flexible lady certainly has the hair to be 70s.

Corduroy insert, with fold

My favourite feature by far is this little corduroy insert on the back shoulder, which greatly increases the range of motion, otherwise the blazer would be way tight. According to Allison of A Fabric Fixation, this kind of feature is called a bi-swing back. (My motorcycle jacket has one as well, which makes sense.)

Bi-swing inset, interior view

This is what it looks like from the inside—it forms a little folded pocket or pleat. The shape is a bit more complex than it looks on the surface!

Lapel fold and pleat in lining at bust. (Sherry had us ease this in.)

Other little details? Well, the “tailoring” and construction is virtually identical to what Sherry went over in her RTW sewalong, which is to say it’s distinctly tailored but not heavily or intricately so. If this IS a 70s jacket, it’s also a testament to the powers of early fusibles, because everything’s still perfectly in its place.

Shoulder pad

The shoulder pad is very thin, two layers of felt, but it does the job. I had taken some photos of the buttonholes (machine) and collar interior, but really they didn’t turn out terribly informative, so I’ll spare you them, and just repeat how much I love this jacket.

Especially now that, fourteen or fifteen years into owning it, the sleeves are finally long enough. And it doesn’t even look funny!

(OK, I don’t think it looks funny, so if you do, you can suck it. It’s my blazer, not yours. And I’m going to wear the snot out of it, now.)

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17 Comments

Filed under Sewing

17 responses to “Maximal procrastination

  1. Cute jacket – I reckon you should do a rub-off to copy the pattern, lengthdo the sleeves and make a few new ones to enjoy! :)

  2. I think that the cuffs look great and like they were part of the original design. Congrats on defeating a LOOOOOOONG held procrasto-project!

    It strikes me that fingerless mitts or cuffs would work really well on you. I have the opposite problem, in that most of my sleeves are too short, so these things get lost and aren’t really needed for warmth. I’ve been wanting a pair like the ones in the link below, and somehow I think you’d probably rock them well (or your kidlets would)!

    http://perchesinthesoul.wordpress.com/2011/04/15/elf-clobber-complete/

  3. Wear the snot outta it, looks great!

  4. The cuffs look great. You are a sewing genius ;)

  5. That’s gotta be some kind of UFO record! What a great jacket! You absolutely should do a rub off of it!

  6. Sue & Ralph

    The cuffs are perfect and you are a genius. Good luck on the job interview.

  7. Good morning fellow procrastinator! ;-) Cute jacket! I’d definitely copy it so that you can have many fabulously fitting jackets. And I’m totally jealous of the fact you can still wear stuff from HS…but then, I’m not sure that I want to be *quite* that skinny ever again.

  8. The cuff addition looks wonderful, how clever that you found corduroy that looks like it was always there from the beginning!
    I actually recently posted notes on how to make a similar sort of bi-swing shoulder that I call the “motorcycle gusset” since I learned it many decades ago at an ill-fated short-lived job working in a motorcycle jacket factory…
    motorcycle gusset

  9. Most cool (and warm) – and glad to be of use. I’m enjoying that the other Alison (even with differing numbers of ‘l’s , we are a tribe) right above me has also posted on the subject.

    luck on the interview!

  10. Amy

    This is a cool jacket. I miss this kind of fit, with the higher buttons and narrow waist. (I miss the thrifting from the 90s and finding all that cheap 70s stuff!) Good luck on your interview!

  11. Jacket looks awesome and exactly like the cuffs were always meant to be there. Thanks for the shots of the inside too. Ithink a rub off is a great idea, looking forward to seeing the outcome. I’ve got some very long term ufos as well, you are not alone!

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