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DIY dressmaking + crafts with Emily

The Sula Blazer – Ralph Pink

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!

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  1. That blazer looks so sharp! I’ve always wanted to make a polka dot blazer but I don’t think I’m sophisticated enough to pull it off, lol.

    1. Thanks! I’m sure you could pull off a blazer! I think with the right fit and style, there’s one suitable for everyone!!

    1. Thanks! I really like his patterns though the instructions are a little lacking. The patterns are really good though! I love his style!

  2. Your blazer is lovely and I do like the lining on the sleeves. I’ve been wanting to make a blazer but think I will stay away from this one, I need decent instructions and maybe a more fitted one.

    1. Thanks! I don’t think I’d make this one again though. I don’t think the style was what I was after – way too boxy!
      There are so many blazer patterns out there at the mo that I’m sure you’ll be able to find one you like!

  3. Hi Emily,

    I’m making the Sula at the moment, and am wondering which part of the instructions you found to be wrong? I have made a toile of the jacket with no sleeves and apart from scratching my head a bit to get piece D in at the back of the neck, I’ve done OK so far. Just wondering if I’m going to have trouble with the sleeves or lining!

    Many Thanks

    1. Hi! From what I remember it’s the lining insertion that’s wrong. I can’t remember if there was anything else as well! It’s been a while since I made it!

  4. Thanks for the reply.
    I was thinking I’d bag the lining properly to avoid the hand sewing in the instructions so fingers crossed that will work.

  5. Hi there, I have had this blazer in my “to do” pile for so long, but I guess the lack of fitting instructions are kinda of throwing me off. How did you figure out what size to cut given they only provide the finished garment measurements. Or can you provide me a rough idea of your measurements to see if I should cut the same size… just not sure what to do… thanks! Or can you provide me an idea of how you navigated this.

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