It’s my first blog post – and what better way to get going than with a review of my experience making my birthday blazer – the Friday Pattern Company Heather. I had been eyeing up this pattern for a while , and had seen so many beautiful Heathers on IG, but took a little while to actually get started as I couldn’t decide which direction to go in. I previously made a lined cape as one of my early projects, but it was far too advanced, and when it came to attaching the lining I really just bodged it together. I have definitely improved since then, so was hopeful that this time I would be more successful.
There are so many great things about this pattern. It has a really cool oversized silhouette, and is offered in an inclusive size range, from XS (32″/24″/34″) up to 7X (60″/53″/63″) and the finished garment sizes come up quite large, so the pattern could definitely work for someone several inches over that top range. My measurements fitted in to the 3X size bracket, but after checking the finished measurements and reading a few other posts about Heather, I decided to size down and make the 2X. I think most people would benefit from sizing down, unless perhaps you are blessed in the height department. You can buy the PDF pattern here and the printed pattern either from the same site if you are in the US, or here if you are UK-based.
Once I had purchased the pattern, I had to start thinking about what fabric I might like to work with. Some of the best examples I have seen were with gingham or other check fabrics, but I decided I didn’t want to deal with pattern matching (which I know technically you should do with most prints, but some are less forgiving than others!) so I held off until I found something I really loved. I came across this amazing pink and red slub canvas on Hey Sew Sister and knew that this was the print for me – I just love pink and red together!
This canvas is not currently available, but if you like this vibe, pigeon wishes has some great fabrics in this colourway – I like this one particularly. It wouldn’t be suited to a blazer, but would make a great dress of blouse.
I initially ordered some pink satin fabric for the lining of the blazer. It was actually cancelled by the company before dispatch which I am now so glad for as by that point I had a different vision in my mind. I ordered this Lady McElroy cotton lawn from Minerva and it turned out to be the perfect choice! It is covered in all of these cool face doodles in different colours. Getting the right lining fabric is really important in this pattern, as you can roll up the sleeves for a nice relaxed look. This lining gave my blazer a really great 80s/Miami Vice vibe, which I kind of love!
You also need to use both woven and knit interfacing. I had never used the latter before. The woven interfacing is used in the front pieces, at the top of the back piece and in the collar. The knit facing is used on one side of the collar (I don’t really understand why you would have both stretch and non-stretch interfacing in the same collar, but it looks and feels fine) and in the facing down the inside front of the jacket.
The finishing touch for me was a gorgeous label from Little Rosy Cheeks. I really love the selection of labels that they supply – all with lots of empowering and feel good messages. You can purchase the ‘Love Yourself Revolution’ labels here, but have a look at the others too as I now have a whole selection and they are one of my favourite finishing touches to add!
The pattern itself was really easy to follow and the instructions are clear. Both fabrics cut really nicely and were stable to sew with. I switched my needle to a bigger size to help my machine deal with the thickness of the canvas fabric. I went for 100/16 and this worked really well – I kept the same needle for the whole project. I could have switched to a regular needle for the lining, but the thicker needle was fine. There were a couple of points where I struggled to get the needle really close to a particularly thick corner seam. In these cases I would hand sew, but it really was just a couple of stitches in one or two places around the collar area.
Mostly the directions were pretty straight forward. The only two moments where I became a bit muddled were when it came to attaching the collar, and also assembling the corners at the bottom of the jacket which set you up for completing the rest of the hem. Fortunately, Friday Pattern Co have a really brilliant YouTube channel, and a sew along for the Heather blazer which you can find here! This answered any questions I had. The corners and hem look really neat, but I did end up with some bunching in the lining and I still don’t really know how. It was a more complex step then you would usually have with a straight forward hem.
I was a bit concerned as it was coming together that it would still be huge despite sizing down, however I did end up being happy with it. I would definitely recommend sizing down at least one size though – some people go down two, but it depends what fit you are after. When I make another one in the future, I will probably shorten it a little. There are really clear shorten and lengthen lines on the pattern so I don’t think it will be too complicated to do. I am only 5’4″ and the pattern is drafted to 5’6″ so I reckon taking 2 inches off will be a good place to start. I had initially thought that I might be able to take the hem up when I reached the hemming stage, but it turned out to be a bit more complicated to do that as a result of the method used and also due to the pocket placement, so I recommend making any length adjustments at the fabric-cutting stage.
Overall, I love my new blazer and I’m so pleased with the creative decisions I made along the way. I would say that the pattern is a good level for a confident beginner, and is a great way to get in to making outerwear without having to worry too much about complicated fittings, but still learning some new techniques and skills along the way. I think I will make my next Heather out of a lighter fabric for summer evenings!
Let me know your Heather plans in the comments!