This blog post has been a long time coming – because I sewed this about nine weeks ago, according to Instagram. Oh my!
I jumped onto the Grainline Morris Blazer pretty much as soon as it was released. A blazer that could be made in a knit or a stretch woven, unlined, with boxy shaping. Right up my alley! The description from the pattern page is as follows.
The Morris Blazer is the perfect mix of casual and cool. It will quickly become the go-to garment to complete any outfit. With a mixture of drape and structure, bracelet length sleeves, and gentle shawl collar, it looks great dressed up or down. It works up well in fabrics with stretch, making it comfortable on top of everything else!
Techniques involved include sewing a straight seam, setting sleeves, sewing a shawl collar, facings, and topstitching. Pattern is nested to facilitate cutting between sizes if needed.
Medium weight woven fabrics with a bit of stretch or medium weight stable knits. Various stretch wool suitings, stretch cottons, ponte knit, and French terry are all suitable, though the drape on each may be slightly different. This blazer is unlined.
I chose to sew my Morris in a relatively light weight printed ponte that I had just bought from Darn Cheap Fabrics. It was rather soft – and this proved to be a problem.
Spotted it yet? It doesn’t take long! The Morris is unlined and the facings that form the collar and hem edges are interfaced down to the points at the hemline. The main fabric is not. So in a soft fabric such as the ponte I had chosen, the fabric sagged terribly at the bottom fronts and wouldn’t sit flat. After some thought I decided to topstitch the facings to the fronts along their entire length. This pretty much fixed the problem.
There are still some folds in the fabric in different places that are due to the drape of the cloth rather than the design of the jacket. I sewed this in size 12, I think. I found it hard to decide on what size. My bust measurement would have put in at a size 14, but a small voice inside told me to go smaller. I could possibly have gone down to the 10. Luckily the overall style is a relaxed one, and it doesn’t really matter a great deal. Despite the claims of some people in the sewing blogosphere, in my experience indie patterns are just as prone as Big 4 patterns to have large amounts of ease included in the design. It’s always a good idea to check the finished measurements and take your own ease preferences into account before deciding what size you want to make.
I rather like the fit across the back. The centre back seam could be shifted to be on the fold, but it provides some structure when sewing in a soft fabric like this one. One criticism that I do have of the drafting is that the facing that forms the collar does not allow for turn of cloth. It is cut to exactly the same measurements, so there is excess fabric at the back of the neck once the collar is folded back and the facing stitched to the seam on the inside. You can’t see that excess fabric because it is essentially under the fold of the collar, but it irritated me that it was there. The facing pieces needed to be cut larger at the back neck so that this wouldn’t happen.
There is now a sew-along for the Morris Blazer on the Grainline website. I notice that they have mentioned the front sagging issue for soft fabrics, and suggest that you interface both the fronts as well as the facing. I don’t doubt that this would work. The other option is to do as I did and topstitch the facings to the main fabric, or you could hand stitch them invisibly instead.
I think that the Morris is a lovely casual blazer. Despite it being casual, I wore it to work (with Style Arc Barb pants and a Liesl + Co Maritime top – these are end of the day photos so all a bit crumpled). The shawl collar sits beautifully at the front – I talked about the back earlier – and I really like the shape of the simple pointed lapels. I think that it would fit easily into many wardrobes, and I’ve seen some beautiful versions around the internet. I do have another one cut out – also in a knit – but am tempted to give a stretch woven a try. Construction was shared between the overlocker and the sewing machine.