Sewing Projects


It’s been a thrilling week and a big thank you to everyone who has purchased, tweeted or posted about the Bombshell. I’m having summer meet-up fantasies that involve the beach and a long line of sewists modelling their handmade swimsuits (maybe like this?)

Now you know why I had this photo blown up in my sewing studio. These ladies were a daily inspiration!

Before I start the Bombshell sewalong this Monday, I wanted to post my new favourite make. The babes at By Hand London sent me a copy of their new Victoria Blazer and I was sooooooo psyched to try it, especially because I have never made a jacket before and this looked like it would be doable for a newb.

AND HOW! Anyone like me, irrationally scared of making a jacket, has nothing to fear. This is an easy to assemble, slouchy jacket with no tailoring required. As per usual, the packaging of the pattern itself is to-die-for-lovely, and the instructions are warm, clear and easy to follow.

I immediately zeroed in on the sleeveless version. I’ve been jonesing for one of those slightly tomboyish, insouciant type of khaki/army vests you can throw over anything a little more refined for that chic “See how I mix the things so effortlessly?” vibe. Like this. Rachel really nails what I mean here. I scored a lightweight army twill during our Montreal meet-up and knocked this beaut off in a few short hours.

 I’ve worn it quit a few times already – it’s become the perfect thing to throw over a t-shirt and some skinny jeans like I did here, or with a more feminine summer dress when you want to tone down the girly. The only change I made to the pattern was to omit the full lining. I instead made a facing using the same fabric as the outside, and faced the collar, lapel and armholes, along with a small band at the bottom seam. In hindsight, I should have just lengthened the jacket an inch or two and folded and topstitched the hem instead of facing it, but whatevs. I’m at work now and neglected to get a shot of the insides but can do so later if anyone wants to see what I mean.

(May I draw your attention to THE SHOES?! I almost cried when I saw them at Zara, especially since I’ve been pining for the woven Prada shoes I think they are inspired by, knowing they were never to be mine.) First heels I’ve bought in over a year!

Also, I discovered I can take decent project photos on my iPhone, once I put them through the COMPLETE MAGIC that is the Kitcam app (seriously the best photo app on the market. You can basically throw every other app you have in the metaphorical digital garbage because this does EVERYTHING). These aren’t bad for non-SLR photos right? Better than hungover self-portraits in my hallway, where everything turns out blurry.

Now here is some good news! The good babes at BHL have generously given me an extra copy to give away! Who else wants to rock this casually chic, London street-smart jacket? Just leave me a comment below telling me whether or not you would make the regular, cropped or sleeveless version and with what fabric. I will randomly pick a winner on Saturday!

  • Meg

    Oh man your sleeveless version + styling is divine! I think I’d make the full length version in something lightweight and casual – perfect for work in SF!

  • Crystalpleats

    Your blazer is awesome. I think I’d go for the full length version.

  • Eleanor

    I’d make the cropped version in a wool crepe. It would be a perfect project to tackle to get used to the idea of making jackets!

  • parker.fiona

    I am dying to get my hands on this pattern! I’d make the regular version in a mint green rayon blend that looks like linen which I already have in my stash

  • Love your sleeveless version. In fact, it makes it quite tempting to try my own!

  • Kim

    I really ike the colour of your jacket! Looks awesome!

    I would love to make the cropped version, to go with my higher waisted dresses..Fabric wise I will use something from my stash that is summery and bright and colourfull. I’m not sure which one though!

  • Sarah

    Love your version! I’m thinking a cropped blazer made out of lightweight coating material in my stash.

  • Very cool sleeveless version! And those heels kind of took my breath away, they’re gorgeous! I’d love to try the regular version in some kind of crazy print or maybe even create my own shibori fabric.

  • Meri

    Looks great! I don’t know if I could rock a sleeveless blazer, but I’m thinking the regular version in a crazy wax print could liven up my jeans and white t-shirt uniform..

  • Lashell

    Sigh. Those shoes are gorgeous. Now I have to stop in a Zara’s. I love the way the sleeveless blazer breaks up the black and white combo.

  • mokosha

    that is one fabulous blazer.. but – those shoes! they are frigging orgasmic!

  • Amy

    Me! Pick me! And, I won’t argue if you throw in a Bombshell swimsuit pattern to sweeten the deal, either. 🙂 (Great jacket and shoes, by the way. And, thanks for the tips on the photo app.)

  • Anne

    Your ensemble looks amazing! I’d love to make the regular sleeve version

  • Gill K

    I LOVE a blazer. Am always having to stop myself from buying more.
    This would be the perfect opportunity for me to add to my existing neutral colours with a red regular first of all. Then maybe a turquoise. Followed by a cropped version in an outlandish print of some sort. Ooo… the possibilies are endless! Though, I’m extremely new to sewing and might be getting a little ahead of myself 😀
    Your sleeveless version is fabulous, just wouldn’t suit my style.

  • I think I’d make the sleeveless. LOVING your shoes!!

  • Laura TB

    Pick me pick me! I’d make the crop, in a grey linen with a flashy lining — perfect for chilly Vancouver Summer evenings. It’s so lovely to read someone from the 514, I’m from there but am currently in BC for school. Boy do I miss the Jazz Fest.

  • Love your version! I would go for the cropped as I always pull up full length sleeves. I’d probably go for an interesting print or plain with a fabulous lining.

  • YOUR SHOES!!! ahhhhh so awesome.

    But anyway, about the vest- it’s adorable and I love it with the striped tee! I’d love to make this blazer (cropped) out of some great silk that I actually bought to make a jacket- fancy that! I’d probably want to do a sleeveless chambray version, too. And a full-length one in cotton twill. Oh geez.

  • Cropped for sure and I have a gorgeous blue linen suit upstairs dying to be remade into something.

    Beautiful work on your version! You definitely have that “I mix things up” vibe going!

  • Rachel

    I would make the regular version in a beeeeeuuutiful lurex coated metallic linen

  • Rachel

    I don’t know what happened there but meant to add the linen is a silvery-beige colour. I got it as a remnant at half off yesterday!

  • Amy

    Oh, I’m all over that blazer. I’d make the cropped version but then again, I dig the slouchy long over skinny silhouette too. I just dig blazers.

    This is an amazing outfit and I love the mix. Those heels are fantastic! There are a similar pair of (yes expensive) Loeffler Randall heels I’ve been eyeballing, but then I have no reason to be owning as many heels as I already do. It’s like they only exist for date nights or blog photo shoots. (Can you see I’m already trying to talk myself out of it?)

  • sallieforrer

    Gaaaassspppp!!! You! YOU!! How is it possible that you’ve combined, like, everything I love into one solid gold outfit?!? Omg. So many things I could blather on about here! The Tazer (that’s tank + blazer) is freaking genius! I love the shape of the collar – I didn’t quite get the gist of that before when I first saw the pattern. Love it. AND THOSE SHOES! You know I love those shoes. Oh. How I love those shoes. Throw in some stripes, white jeans (cuffed!) and YOU and it’s basically a little package of AMAZEBALLS!

  • sallieforrer

    Oh! And P’s to the S’s – you can totally count me in for that giveaway! Yes’m!

  • Lucinda Campbell

    My jaw dropped when I saw the preview of this pattern and the FLAMINGO JACKET AND SKIRT and knew I had to have something like that. So yes, I would do the cropped version to go with a Charlotte skirt, preferably in some kind of funky print.

  • In my defense, they are actually quite comfortable. I wore them all day, no prob. WHY DID I JUST GOODLE LOEFFLER??!! I just found my dream pumps. At $375, no bueno.

  • lk

    Regular or sleeveless in every color/pattern but i really want to play with making the sleeves and lapels a different color/textre from the body.

  • Sownbrooklyn

    This kicks ass!!! I LOVE this outfit and how the blazer just sets it off!! Damn, I wish I had more time to sew!!! You all need to stop putting out so much awesome!

    PS- I have this pattern, so count me out to win it.

  • A Stitching Odyssey

    Oh my word, you were born to wear this sleeveless version! Love the jacket, love the entire outfit (especially the shoes) and your non-SLR photos are magic! Please don’t enter me for the giveaway…I’ve already got my Victoria cut out and ready to sew ;o)

  • Cirque Du Bebe

    Oh love love love it! Perfect blazer, shoe outfit combo!

  • I LOVE the jacket!I’m a sucker for everything tomboyish-army related lately!I fell in love with this pattern the moment I saw it and it’s on my to-buy list for quite a while now!Since the heat is on its way up here in Greece I’d make the cropped version in a coral color linen fabric for those chilly summer nights!

  • 2paw

    I can see how that wonderful picture would be an inspiration!!
    I looked at the pattern and was chuffed to see the sizing went up to my bust size. It’s good to see the more bustally endowed are begin catered for!! If I ever made a jacket it would be green!!!

  • mkeany

    i would love to have a go at this pattern. I want a regular version in maybe navy. something a little more chic for studying in the library. Im trying to move up from the sweatpants student look. 🙂

  • Cc

    Ohhh I love it! I’d make the regular

  • lisa g

    i’d love to make this blazer! a linen version for sumer would be killer, possibly cropped since that works so well with skirts and dresses.

  • lisa g

    i’d love to make this blazer! a linen version for sumer would be killer, possibly cropped since that works so well with skirts and dresses.

  • Caroline

    I’d make the regular version in a navy twill. Thanks for the opportunity!

  • Kieran

    OooooooOO Your’s looks great and I want one! I would make the regular verison though, coz It’s coming into winter here…maybe in a corduroy with a bright silky lining?

  • I totally would make a regular for the fall, with chambray fabric.

    Loving your olive one. It looks great sleeveless,

  • Bella Leslie

    I would make the long sleeved version for the colder months, maybe out of a beautiful wool I’ve been saving up for ages. I’ve never made a blazer so this would be the perfect opportunity to do it!

  • Hot heels – love the jacket! And the cool mirrored photos. It’s like the butterfly paintings you make in kindergarten but way more awesome. Lookin’ great!

  • Olga

    Having never made a jacket – I’d have to go with sleeveless and linen to enjoy in the summer.

  • Carolyn

    Love the jacket- but I’m afraid I could not stop looking at your shoes! AMAZING! I think I’d make the blazer up in a light wool – maybe plaid- since it is winter here- and I can’t get the plaid version from the BHL photo shoot out of my head…

  • The shoes are awesome, please don’t enter me in the giveaway I only stopped by to flail dramatically and uselessly about the fact that yahoo bought kitcam and as a result their stuff is no longer available on the appstore (nor are they supporting any updates for future iOS versions so augh =P).

  • I really love your sleeveless version. Nice! I’d love to make one of my own. I’m thinking a bright crazy red 🙂

  • Bec Stitches

    love it sleeveless, think its the first one ive seen!
    I think I would make a cropped version in a wool blend, coz its freeeezing over here 🙂

  • Wow you look great! Regular for me, in a dark grey to match everything. Then for my second I can go crazy!

  • Amy

    I love youre version! I think I would do the regular version in a black and white polkadot 🙂

  • Vivdee

    I would make the regular version.i would make it in a deep purple

  • Marie Forest

    I like your version. I a really love this new pattern ! I think I would make the regular version, and I am not sure of the fabric….

  • melanie

    I would love to make the regular blazer in plain black … then maybe a sleeveless version in khaki …
    thank you so much for the chance … and gotta say, LOVE LOVE the blazer and shoes!!

  • thesecretlifeofseams

    I’d be tempted to make the regular length with sleeves maybe in navy with a black velvet collar. But now I’m tempted by something in black watch tartan, could be badass!
    The shoes are a total result btw.

  • Meli

    You look so chic in that outfit. I love the green with the stripes!

    I would love to try out this pattern- I’m a blazer-holic. I’d make the full version in a nice camel color, and also maybe a chambray sleeveless one, if I could find fabric?

  • Charlotte Hintzen

    Heather louuuuu yesss! This is some serious urban safari chic, you look ready to kick some boardroom ass. Thank you!! x Charlotte, Elisalex and Victoria

  • Jill Wasiewicz

    I love your jacket ! I would definitely make the sleeveless version – perfect for
    summer over t-shirts or dresses. I like the idea of adding facings instead of a
    lining too for the warmer weather.

  • Katherine Jones

    great jacket! i absolutely love the By Hand London patterns so far, and this is no exception. I love the white version on their site – so I’d do a pale neutral in a mid-weight cotton twill or sateen (maybe in fawn or silvery gray, if something suitable can be found), probably slightly cropped, with 3/4 or bracelet-length sleeves, and a ridiculously bright lining, for a crazy pop of colour when the wind catches the jacket 😉 thanks to you and BHL for the giveaway 😀

  • stephanie u.

    Love it! I would make the sleeveless version too – perfect for evenings out and about. I don’t even know what fabric I would use. Something neutral, but not too dark.

  • meredith

    Your sleeveless army version looks so chic, but I’m super in love with the cropped blazer + shorts suit combo right now so I’d have to go for the cropped version!

  • meredith

    oops, overly excited — meant to say I’d make a matching shorts + cropped Victoria blazer in either a glazed linen fabric I already have, or some kind of jacquard or summery tweedy fabric!

  • Phoebe

    Those heels!! You most definitely rock the look. 3/4 sleeve ikat blazer. That is what my wardrobe is pining for!

  • charlottepb

    Love the jacket, and wow those shoes! I have also seen Rachels jacket wich is great, I would love the chance to sew it too!

  • Alice

    This jacket is awesome! I would love to make the regular sleeved version in this brown ‘platoon’ cotton drill….I planning on making a cute set of Colette Clovers to match….need a new job and i’m hoping a cute wee suit will spur me on to go get it!!

  • Taracat

    Ooh, great giveaway! I love all of them but I would probably make the regular version. I have a new boss who wants us all to wear jackets and suits to look more professional. If I had a copy of this pattern I could make one in leopard print, maybe with some sequins. Or emerald green, or denim? African wax print? Polka dot? Horse print? If he wants jackets I can do jackets 🙂 Not sure about professional though.

  • Bobbi

    Nice pattern – I would make the version you chose in red and maybe line it in a black and white print of some sort. It would be pretty in a floral for summer, too, to wear over solid-colored dresses.
    Awesome shoes!

  • olivia hillmer

    i neeeeeed a cropped patterned jacket, so this is perfect! your version is my favorite shade of green so i am tempted to say that color, but…i already have 2 blazers that color. gulp. i kind of want some really loud stripe in a slubby texture. does that exist?

  • You do look uberly chic, but nailing tomboyish and insouciant all simultaneously. And I love the front flap and the pockets… awesome!

  • Jacey

    I would totally do the sleeveless version — perfect for summer and a great way to dress up jeans and t-shirt without requiring too much thought.

    ps – I’m totally going to check out kitcam…

  • Amy

    Yeah, and then I went and Googled Zara. Seriously you are an enabler, I found like five pairs there I love. But I have been good so far. In defense of Loeffler Randall, her shoes always go on half or more sales but they are gorgeously made. This is always my tactic with shoes. I sit and sit and sit till they go down to a Zara-friendly price and if they sell out we weren’t meant to be.

  • maggie

    Your version looks great! I’d make the regular version in a cotton twill, probably black or grey, something neutral that could go with colourful tops.

  • Rebecca

    I’m glad I found your post about this jacket!

    I want to make a white linen jacket with some sassy metallic flecks and some funky trim.

  • Louise Zandstra


    I love the colour you used – I would make the regular – probably in linen, either pale blue or navy?


  • Girl! This looks awesome! Love the way you’ve styled it, too! Leave me out of the giveaway as I already have this pattern– just wanted to give you props!

  • veronicadarling

    OOH, I’ll jump in too please! Love a random prize! I’d make cropped, in perhaps some sort of upholstery fabric (for our Australian winter) … large and floral perhaps!

  • Emily Strobell

    Is it too late to enter?!?! I would definitely make the cropped version. I love the fabric the sample is made out of although maybe I’d do a neutral for versatility although … I do love crazy prints. 🙂

  • GirlMaverick

    Your tomboyish styling is brilliant, but I think I’d make the regular version. In leopard print, of course! I’d use a black cotton drill and ‘paint’ giant leopard spots with bleach. And maybe add a secret inner pocket xo

  • honigdesign

    Great jacket, love the whole look – and oh my gosh — those shoes!

  • Sara

    Ohh pretty!
    I would make the regular version with a camel lightweight fabric, I love camel!

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