Blue “Duchess” Jacket – M5327

The third item for my Sudoku Wardrobe challenge is finished and it’s super fun! I was inspired by the “Duchess” blazer which is basically a standard blazer with a unique hem on the back. I used a pattern already in my stash (McCall’s 5327) which had a scalloped back hem, and used view A with short sleeves because I only had a small amount of the stashed fabric I wanted to use.

Original “Duchess” Blazer costs $595!!!!!


My version used free gifted fabric, and thrifted pattern ($0.50) and 2 buttons. Total cost, about $5!!!

I wore it to church today with my bird shirt, tank, and skirt from my closet. This is my first outfit complete! Looking at it all together now, I sort of feel like it looks like something a flight attendant would wear on a really awesome Caribbean flight…Jamaica Air maybe?

Pattern Review – M5327

Pattern Description: Semi-fitted, unlined jacket has princess seams, collar, lapels, flaps, shaped hemline with back slits and sleeve length variations.

A note on the sleeves…view A has short sleeves with lots of gathers on the cap and they are really puffy! I sort of feel like Anne of Green Gables in her puff-sleeve dress. 🙂

Pattern Sizing: 12-18 and I made size 14 which is technically 1 size too small for my bust/waist but turned out perfect. I prefer my clothes more on the fitted end and after checking finished garment sizes have tended to go down a size on big 4 patterns.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes! I really had to be creative with pattern layout to get everything to fit on the small amount I had but I got everything to fit. I only cut one layer for the sleeve and just turned the hem under (instead of having a double thick sleeve). I also cut the under collar and hem facing on the bias with a seam instead of fold, just so I could fit it on the fabric.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes! I followed them exactly and it worked out great. There is quite a bit of hand stitching necessary to attach the front facing at the side and shoulder seams as well as stitch down the collar but it wasn’t to bad and I like the way it finishes the inside nicely. The instructions do recommend folding under and stitching the seam allowances to finish them, but I just used my serger.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I really liked all of it. If I ever make this again, I think I’d add some length as I prefer my jackets longer, but with limited fabric, I just used the pattern as designed. I might also consider removing some of the puff from the sleeve for a bit of a more traditional look.

Fabric Used: Bottom weight twill gifted to me by a neighbor.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I didn’t include the faux-pocket flaps (just flaps with no pocket underneath). I also used two buttons instead of one because I wanted the center front to lay flatter when closed (though I’ll more often just wear it open).

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Its a nice pattern for an unlined jacket, but with the distinctive sleeves and back hem I think I’ll try another blazer pattern to make a more traditional lined version. It was a great first try for me since it is unlined and rather simple to put together so I would recommend it (though I know the pattern is out of print).

Conclusion: Love the jacket and it will go great with everything in the Sudoku Wardrobe. This process got me excited about possibly making some more structured jackets in the future…maybe for a fall wardrobe?

Wardrobe Sudoku – Spring 2017

I have a bit of an obsession with planning. Following through is another matter, but I’m all about planning! When Pattern Review announced the Wardrobe Sudoku contest I knew this was exactly the motivation I needed to follow through with my sewing plans. I love the idea of a capsule wardrobe but find that planning it is difficult and overwhelming.

The idea with this contest is to create a “sudoku” board with each row containing one top, bottom, accessory, and shoe to create an outfit. You should end up with 10 outfits using 16 pieces (10 of which you have to make).

Here’s what I came up with:

Each row, column, and diagonal creates an outfit. Additionally each quadrant and the 4 center squares also creates an outfit for a total of 15 OUTFITS (!!!!) using only 16 items.

My color scheme is basically the same as last year’s Cruise Wardrobe which (I never fully completed). That works out well for me now because I had a lot of these fabrics still in my stash.

I decided on Navy, White/Off White, and Gray as the neutrals with Coral/Pink as the main accent color. I found an awesome bird pattern fabric at JoAnn’s (top left corner) which includes lots of colors but matches well with everything.

Even the shoes?

Since I only have to make 10 of the items I don’t have to make the shoes and chose to use an existing skirt I have (bottom right corner). But, I would really like to try making the Espadrilles in the bottom left square. This photo is actually of a Marc Jacobs shoe that retails in the ~$300s but with a Dritz shoe kit I should be able to recreate for about $20 all in. Awesome!

I have all the fabrics in my possession (after a few extra trips to JoAnn’s) and have even started on cutting and pattern tracing (dates for the contest are Feb. 1 – Mar. 31) but still need to find good fabric for the “Nettie” bodysuit and an infinity scarf. I may end up having to order something online.

Fabrics, Patterns, and Notions all waiting patiently for their turn.

I started sorting everything in my WIP bins so I can keep all the pieces together and have some kind of order as I work through everything.

But I needed it!!!

And, I bought a second sewing machine. It was a steal in the local online classifieds but didn’t have a foot pedal and was missing the entire bobbin shuttle race assembly (what the bobbin sits in). Not sure how someone loses that but, whatever. So I ordered those online and am waiting not so patiently for them to arrive. With a bit of work this will be like a brand new machine for 1/3 the price! I think that’s a good deal. And then I won’t have to thread and re-thread to top-stitch. It is great that they are both the same brand (Singer) so the presser feet are interchangeable.

New lovely lady on the left…oh so pretty! (Singer Brilliance) Old lady on the right. (Singer Stylist)

As I work on each piece I’ll be sure to post a review of the pattern and explain the process. At the end I have to compile one composite review with all the pieces together. And maybe by the time I’m done with all the sewing it will be warm enough to wear the pieces. A girl can dream. 🙂