One of the big things I wanted to add to my day to day wardrobe was a decent black blazer. Something that could work smart-casual.
I got the Ralph Pink Sula blazer as part of a prize from the Indie Pattern Month competition run on The Monthly Stitch. That was 10 months ago and I still hadn’t used it!
No excuse not to really. I actually had fabric for it and the pattern printed and taped ready to go. I just felt it was a little daunting to jump right into and I kept putting it off!
I think I was quite right to be a little scared though. It’s not a simple sew and the instructions are not particularly good. In fact there’s one bit which is just plain wrong. But having waited longer to start (and having made more coats/ jackets in between), I was able to kind of figure out what to do!
The blazer is meant to be a bit oversized and slouchy. It features a roll collar, faux jetted pockets and a 2 part chevron sleeve. It’s also fully lined.
The first thing I did was get rid of that chevron sleeve. It did not look like fun to put together and wouldn’t show up on the black fabric I was planning to use anyway. I overlaid the two pattern pieces and traced over them to create a single piece. I trimmed the lining hem to be slightly shorter than the outer fabric so that the seam rolled to the inside when sewn together.
I also did a big bicep adjust to the pattern since one of my main problems with RTW blazers is the lack of ease around my bingo wings…
So as I was saying, the instructions are not good and the pictures provided are minimal. I managed to truck along ok regardless.
It helped that I’d made jetted pockets on my previous coat so I figured that part out pretty fast. One big issue was that the seam allowance wasn’t listed anywhere on the pattern or instructions. I was sure I used a 1.5cm allowance when I made the Phaedra Drape dress so I assumed it was the same.
Well you know what they say when you assume things…
Turns out the seam allowance was 1cm and I ended up having to recut the lining and the back pieces as I’d already sewn, notched and trimmed those.
(Slaps hand on forehead…)
Luckily I had enough fabric leftover to do that!
I made a size 12 and took in the shoulders by 1cm on either side. I used some black cotton sateen I got from Mood in NYC a couple of years ago and a black and white cotton poplin from Paris for the lining. This blazer is already well travelled… 😉
I felt it looked weird with full length sleeves (I don’t know why) so I opted to roll them up and also show of a little bit of the lining. I do wish I’d used a drapier fabric for it. It’s a bit boxy in the cotton sateen. I think a crepe would’ve worked a lot better.
As much as I rubbish the instructions, the actual pattern is good. It fits together well and is reasonably well notched and marked. If it came with good instructions it would be a cinch to make.
That being said I don’t love the design and fit. I think it’s still way too wide at the shoulder to be flattering.
So I’ve made 2 Ralph Pink patterns and both have had fatal errors in the instructions. By fatal I mean something impossible to sew and completely wrong.
I love Ralph Pink designs – they’re so chic – but I really can’t recommend them unless you’re a relatively experienced dressmaker and can work without instructions!
I can just imagine newbies just getting caught out in those tricky bits and being completed put off sewing by them!
Edit: There’s a sale on at Ralph Pink at the moment. 20% off fashion patterns and 25% off corset patterns. It’s a good time to try one out if you fancy it!