Bellatrix Blazer – much more lovely than the usual image

(Image from

This Bellatrix:

Link to pattern (no affiliates or anything, just a link!)

I have had this pattern in my stash for a while, glinting at me whenever I rifle through my patterns. It is from Papercut Patterns, a New Zealand indie pattern company who also created the Coppelia cardy, of which I have made four. So far.

I knew this pattern involved a few skills and experience I didn’t have when I first bought it and hence it has been waiting patiently for me to catch up ever since.

With this sort of close fitting style I knew a toile would be essential. I had some satin backed crepe in my stash that I had bought online but wasn’t at all what I expected when it arrived. Much thinner and the crepe side wasn’t usable, it really did just look like the wrong side of the fabric. Hey ho, I thought, it wasn’t expensive so I just popped it in my linings drawer. However, it would be perfect to use as a toile for this, hooray.

I read through the instructions a few times first until I was sure I had my head around how it would all come together. On that note, the instructions are generally excellent. Clear without being overly long, and good diagrams. There were a couple of bits where I thought a few more words and details might have been in order, but nothing I couldn’t work my way through with a bit of thought. And twisting the pictures back and forward and upside down a few times. These instructions are much more to my taste (is that tactful enough?!) compared my last make, my M7536 dress.

The jacket has a lot of interfacing and I realised that I wouldn’t get a true picture of the fit with the toile unless I interfaced it too. So I figured by the time I did all the interfacing I might as well make the whole thing properly, so that it would be a wearable toile. At least it would also give me good practice for the main event and I would have something to show for all the time spent interfacing.

I tried out block interfacing for the first time. It took ages but I think it was worth it, as the pieces held their shape well from being interfaced before being cut, plus it saved the time of cutting the fabric and the interfacing pieces separately.

I also used a different princess seam FBA technique. For the last dress I made (referred to above) I did the standard way that FBAs are shown in the dressmaking books I have, where you measure out the required FBA amount from the fullest point of the princess seam and then blend a new curve into the upper and lower bits of the existing pattern line. But this doesn’t work so well with bigger FBAs and you can end up with a distorted curve that is more than a little pointy and gappy. Not the look I am going for…

I did some googling and came across this brilliant tutorial:

FBA tutorial

I can’t recommend it highly enough. Beautifully, clearly written and it worked a treat.

I did an FBA of 1 5/8″ to make an extra 3 1/4″ in total. I didn’t curve the side seam back in at the waist in order to give the extra room I needed there (I chose the size based on my high bust measurement, not my full bust). I also did a sway back adjustment of 1/2″. Other than those I didn’t do any other adjustments at the pattern stage.

Oh, but I was feeling all proud of myself for remembering to alter the collar interfacing pattern piece when I did my FBA. Until I came to attach the lower jacket pieces at the lining front and found they were too short. Because I hadn’t adjusted them when I had effectively widened the upper front bodice piece as part of the FBA. Whoops. I belatedly had to adjust the pattern piece, interface more fabric and cut four new pattern pieces.

I started by making the lining first and (apart from the above daft moment) it all came together like a dream. The 1cm (3/8″) seam allowance really helps for sewing the princess seams. I must remember that! I then tried on the lining to see how the fit was looking. I was really pleased with it, but saw that it could come in a little more underneath my bust. I left it as is for the lining because it is always helpful to have that a little bigger, but I cut out a little scoop from the main fabric pieces in readiness for sewing those next.

The finished lining section:

This was my first time doing a welt pocket and I was super pleased with how they turned out. It was definitely easier doing these ones as my first go, as they sew into a seam rather than having to cut into your sewn up garment (what a gulp moment that must be!).

I really – hugely – enjoyed sewing this blazer. Truly a satisfying sew and I now can’t wait to make the blazer in the real fabric I have for it, a lustrous, French navy, satin back crepe, with glorious drape and both sides able to be used:

It is from Clothspot, one of my absolute favourite online fabric shops.

The navy crepe at Clothspot

Can you tell how much I love this pattern and this navy fabric?! My plan is to make the jacket with the crepe showing and then use the satin side for the lapel, similarly to how I did my Etta dress. Now that I think about it, the two would go nicely together. Happy days.

One thought on “Bellatrix Blazer – much more lovely than the usual image

  1. Pingback: Make Nine – looking back at my plans for 2018 – Tailored by Kate

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