Finished - Salme cropped blazer!

After at least 12 months of ogling, stalking and lurking I've finally made my first Salme Patterns garment - the Cropped Blazer! I love the simple, modern and chic style of this designer, and it was no surprise to learn she's Scandinavian. Her designs have an unfussy yet stylish attention to detail typical of many scandi designers, not just in fashion but in textiles and homeware and furniture design that I just adore.



Full disclosure here. This is a long post..... But there's so little out there on the interwebs regarding this pattern that I wanted to give a thorough review, and to help myself when I make this up again and my memory has faded. So I'll do some pretty finished shots first, and if you're interested you can read on regarding the construction....




So this is a simple unlined blazer, fitted in the shoulders, and worn loose and open at the waist but with some nice feminine waist shaping. There are no pockets. Others have drafted a lining, which I would consider in the future.  The design is very clever - the lapels are actually facings, that are folded outwards and stitched into the shoulders. There's definitely ample opportunity to customise this pattern. I kept things fairly simple in this version as I wasn't up for investing a huge amount into a garment on the first make, but in the future I think contrast lapels and cuffs would be lovely, especially in a black with a contrast shiny a fabric to get a tuxedo look. And it would look great in denim, with flat felled seams.....


I cut a straight size 6 in the Salme sizing, which is what my bust measurement fell into. Being a relaxed fit that doesn't close up I figured my waist and hips didn't matter so much, but for future versions I'll probably leave it as a 6 in the shoulders, and grade up to an 8 in the bust/waist/hips, especially as there are some drag lines in the back view that I'm guessing would improve with sizing up.


I'm really happy with the final finished garment, considering it really is a wearable muslin. I'm happy with the length (I was a bit worried being a taller lady that it might look weird on me) and with a few tweaks and improvements I think future versions will be even better. The fabric is a denim weight cotton found at Darn Cheap for the fab price of $7/m. It was mauve, with a black slubby thread woven through, but I found it a bit too mauve, so when I washed it the first time I chucked the leftover contents of a navy RIT dye bottle, and it turned out a lovely deep indigo purple which I was much happier with!




And so to the pattern itself..... classified as a beginner, but I disagree.....

The pdf is nice and contained, with each piece sensibly limited to only a couple of pages, meaning you don't need to have every piece attached in one enormous sheet. I find the more pages I have to have in one piece, the more room for error. There are no seam allowances included, which doesn't bother me as I am a tracer anyway. The recommendation is 1cm seam allowances, but I went with the standard 5/8 inch/1.5cm as I wanted to have room to be able to finish my seams - I hadn't yet decided if I would french them, bind them or make flat felled seams. You also have to add your own hem allowances, which I didn't really like. The sleeves were straightforward, however the seam allowance for the hem needs to be perfect, as you finish the corners in a mitred finish - for such a crucial construction step there really needs to be minimal room for error. As it was I stuffed up with the shape of my hem allowances - instead of mirroring the shape of the pattern pieces I got it the wrong way round, and tapered outwards, rather than inwards. It wasn't a huge deal except it just meant I had to redo the bottom 6cm of each seam taking in the extra fabric I'd allowed for (otherwise the bottom of my hem would have been way too wide when turned up). I've already fixed this on the pattern.

There are no notches on the pattern pieces. For the most part this is ok, but there are a couple of points where having a mark or notch would be helpful. The instructions are very brief, and do not direct where to stop stitching down the facing at certain points in the mitred corner construction, thus I had to do some unpicking and restitching to where I thought seams had to end. There are also no notches on the sleeve, and the instructions do not state where to stitch the easing stitch line when easing the sleeve caps. Basically I just made a crease at the top of the sleeve cap, made this match the shoulder seam, matched the underarm seams and eased in where I could. They look pretty good although there is still some rippling (not puckering) despite getting a good walloping with some steam over my ham but even on the sample photo I notice the sleeves have a smidge of rippling so next time I might be brave and remove a little of the ease.....

I did a quick tissue fit to my stunt double to confirm bust dart was ok, and for some very rough and ready fitting.  As mentioned above, the instructions are extremely brief, and give no direction regarding finishing seams or construction finesse - no recommendation to understitch or grade, all steps that I think are so important in the finished product of a well made garment.  Once I sewed the bust dart and all the vertical seams, I pressed them open and bound them in contrast bias made from a cute fluoro pink and white floral cotton from my stash. I love the way it looks - I wanted to be sure that if I wore it out and had it off and flung over a chair or hung somewhere inside out it would look as profesh as possible. The only seams I'm yet to finish are the armscye seams - I'm not sure how I'm going to finish them - I'm thinking of just pinking them if binding them with contrasting bias tape restricts the range of motion.

 

I finished the inside edged of facings using method described here, to give a clean finish. I also made the neck facing in the contrast fabric, just because I liked the look, and under stitched it (this definitely needs to be done, otherwise it would absolutely poke out!).


Others have mentioned the steps for the mitred corner are tricky, and I'd have to agree. I wish I'd googled how to do a mitred corner first (instead of after!). I did manage to work it out, but its certainly not perfect. If the mitre and the hem aren't perfect there is a tendency for that corner to get a little distorted. I'm wondering if the next time I try something a bit different - maybe adding a separate hem band (like a giant cuff) rather than doing the hem as recommended.... hard to explain unless you've made the pattern. 

Hmmmm. What hem finish to try next?


The pattern calls for a 4cm hem to be added to the sleeves when cutting out. I quite liked that longer length, so instead of hemming up 4cm I added some facings to the cuff so I could wear them long, pushed up Miami Vice style or folded up:


Finally the way the facings are finished is very tidy - they are incorporated in the shoulder seam along with the back facing (which is left flipped out until it is stitched down). I finished the visible part of the shoulder seam in bias tape too:



And of course I had to have a little fashion parade - I only had time to take a pic of the jacket with jeans and stripes - love this look too!


I'm really happy with it despite it's slightly dodgy mitred hem and little fitting issues. I'll definitely have another go unlined (probably denim) in bigger size, and if I can't get it fitting better at least I have the confidence to try something slightly more difficult - I'm loving this Style Arc Gabby Jacket which is lined:


 Or even their Bronnie Tuxedo jacket:



Have you ever attempted outerwear before? What do you think of my little blazer?




Comments

  1. This is a gorgeous blazer. You did a gorgeous job - the contrast bias on the inner seams is a great professional touch. I have been egging myself up to making a blazer!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much! It was definitely a gap in my rather overflowing wardrobe that needed to be filled!

      Delete
  2. Thanks for all the tips on this blazer. I haven't made this up but made up their playsuit and I agree they have a lovely aesthetic. Yours looks lovely and the remainder of that dye really made the colour! I don't know how to finish the armscye.. I'd just pink them or overlock them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kirsty - I could see you in this blazer for sure! I don't have an overlocker (sniff!) - I'll experiment with non permanent techniques!

      Delete
  3. Lovely blazer. I haven't tried outerwear yet. I have fabric for a Pauline Alice ninot jacket, but I'm nervous about stuffing it up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thankyou! I've not seen the Ninot jacket. This was very inexpensive fabric - I too didn't want to make something in a fancy fabric first up!

      Delete
  4. This is such a cute little blazer! I particularly like the shape of the lapels! Oh, and I can’t see the “slightly dodgy mitred hem” in these photos, so I’m sure it isn’t as bad as you pretend it is. (;
    Thank you for the thorough review! Sounds like my first attempt at a blazer, the By Hand London Victoria, was the better choice for a beginner. They have lovely, thorough instructions, including a sew-along, and the construction is really simple. Too simple for me by now, in fact, and I drafted some additional pattern pieces for my second iteration. But it was a great confidence builder the first time I made it up as a beginner and it actually worked and was a wearable blazer!
    I’ll have to think whether I want to bother with scarce instructions on something like a jacket. I like this pattern, but it might not be worth the pain.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jana! Your comment just appeared out of spam so sorry for the delay in replying! I did love your victoria blazer - I thought about making it, but I was so enamoured of the shape of the salme one I pushed through! I think once you've worked through a tricky pattern step it's heaps easier the next time around, but I think I'll only try one more time before attempting something different!

      Delete
  5. That looks Great on you and thanks for the detailed review! It really helps.

    I was thinking of buying this pattern, because the design is so cute, but I will hold off, because I need notches on the pattern pieces and other guidance like that. It seems like Salme didn't quite finish detailing the pattern. Did they rush this market, or something?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thankyou! I'm not sure about their other patterns - this was the first one I made, and it's been out for a few years now..... Just might be their drafting method! It's worth a go in the future because other than the mitre corner it is very simple to construct!

      Delete
  6. Thanks for this review! You're right - there are very few reviews of Salme patterns out there. It makes me wonder if people aren't sewing them, but I do like the designs. But the instructions and lack of markings is disappointing.

    I really like your finished blazer, and I love it that you did the bound seams in a contrasting fabric. Pretty inside and out!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Gail! I was trying to find a pink fabric to shamelessly copy your pink Victoria! I wonder if Salme patterns are being sewn, but as she doesn't have a massive online presence they're not super popular in the blogging world.... Most of the other reviews of their patterns have been very positive, so maybe this was an earlier one.... I'm still very pleased with the final outcome!

      Delete
  7. It's a great jacket. Love the inside binding. I was looking at this jacket a lot a little while back, but ended up going with another pattern. I've sewn a few Salme patterns, and have been very happy with all but one of them and that was possibly just due to my very poor thought out fabric choice. The lack of seam allowance in the patterns is a bit off putting to me, and I've always felt the instructions can be a little brief, but I do love their designs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Debbie! It's such a European thing, the lack of seam allowances! But I find with some carbon paper and a tracing wheel I whizz through that job pretty quickly. It's good to know you've made other salme patterns - there's definitely others I want to try! I'll check out your blog! Cheers!

      Delete
  8. Very pretty little jacket! I like that it has shaping, unlike almost all the other blazers we've been seeing from independent pattern companies. Boxy jackets simply aren't very flattering on most women. It looks really nice on you and the insides are so tidy! Thanks for the thorough review!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your welcome Sara! I'm very glad I took the time and effort to bind the seams, makes a big difference! I'd like to perfect the fit but I am very pleased with version 1! It would look great on you, I'm sure!

      Delete
  9. Wow - well done on this jacket. I agree with Sara - the insides are beautifully finished. I really like this style of jacket and love that you considered the 'Vice factor of pushing up / folding up your sleeves ; )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I forgot to mention I voted for your outfit on the Monthly Stitch - Good luck ; )

      Delete
    2. Thankyou and thankyou! I think the seam finishing took about as long as the rest of the jacket, but it was worth it. And one always needs to consider the Miami vice look when making a jacket! ;)

      Delete
  10. That's a really cute jacket! and I really like the way you've styled it. It's very chic in the charcoal :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Carolyn! I hope to get plenty of wear out of it!

      Delete
  11. I love this! I've been looking for a feminine jacket with a bit of shape for a while now and had actually passed up the Salme cropped blazer as I wasn't sure about the shape when on. I think you may have just helped me change my mind on this one :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Rachel, thanks for coming by! Glad you like the jacket, I think it's a lovely shape - I'm very pleased with it as a first attempt!

      Delete
  12. I tried this pattern a couple years ago (maybe? time flies) and had such a difficult time with it! I couldn't figure out the mitered corners or something, and I also didn't like the excess ease in the cap. I found the PDF lurking in the bottom of a box the other day and almost threw it away but decided to keep it. It really is a cute pattern -- and you proved that it CAN be done. Seems very wearable! Enjoy it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Andrea! Thanks for coming by! It's funny Nettie (of bodysuit namesake) made this a couple of years ago and said her sleeves eased in perfectly. But I defintely found there was a little too much. Next time I'm sizing up in the bodice but I'll keep the same sleeve size which hopefully will take care of the excess ease. Seems slightly less scary than adjusting the sleeve head itself!

      Delete
  13. Beautiful! This really is lovely. Thanks for the in-depth review; that's really helpful. For the record, the mitred corners look great - I made an utter mess of those the last time I tried them. Beautiful styling too, as always :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Your blazer turned out great and I bet it becomes a go-to piece in your wardrobe. It's too bad the instructions were not so detailed, but thanks to your great review others will benefit when making this blazer. In fact, I may consider it myself: I start a new job on Monday and no longer have to wear a suit to work. I'm thinking that this blazer, paired with jeans, would be a great wardrobe builder for a more business-casual environment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Andrea. I think its defnitely worth a go - i wore mine out the other night for its debut and i must admit i felt uber chic in it - i dont normally wear jackets like that much, and i think with jeans its a very sharp little piece. My best friend, who is super stylish, raved about it, so i think its a winner!

      Delete

Post a Comment

Hi! Thanks for coming by! I do love reading your messages - not that I'm needy or anything.....

Popular Posts