Last spring Grainline Studio released the Morris Blazer pattern. I remember seeing it at the time and reading various reviews and blog posts of what people were doing with it. I’m not really one for short styles of any kind of top (of any kind of anything in fact!), but I knew I loved it anyway. It is recommended to be made in either a woven fabric with some stretch to it, or a stable knit such as ponte roma.
This is the neatest and cleverest little pattern: it’s a jacket which strikes the perfect balance between sharp yet casual. It kind of looks tailored, and yet there are no darts or fancy tailoring tricks.
One of the first versions I came across was Katie’s boyfriend morris to which she added some length and broke up the front with fab welt pockets. This is the kind of style I had my eye on when I bought the pattern. But then I started reading the Gray All Day blog where Helena made this! I suffered some severe kind of envy when I saw this one. So in fact, as I usually alter everything and fancied an easy ride, I decided just to go for it with the real Morris, as it is, short and sweet (oh, except I couldn’t help myself and just lengthened the sleeves a little!).
I did fancy trying something a little different but I just didn’t come across any fabric that I felt was right. In the end, for my first Morris I played super safe and used a ‘silver’ ponte from Croft Mill.
Once I’d cut everything and interfaced, this went together pretty quickly. Below: setting in sleeves by gathering the ease. If you’re new to dressmaking this is a very common technique – the sleeve-head often has more fabric (‘ease’) than will fit naturally into the armscye so rows of simple basting stitch are used to pull and gently gather the fabric to fit. Sewed correctly you won’t have any wrinkles or tucks, and the extra fabric provides more room to move. Below right shows grading the seams: when you sew two or more layers together these can be trimmed to different depths in order to reduce excess bulk in one spot.
The instructions are clear for the most part. The only part where I got a little lost was in sewing the facing sections together. However, there is a great sew-along post on the Grainline website.
So everything went smoothly, until, after sewing the facing to the jacket and flipping things right side out, I found this…
The bottom front edge was pouching in a pretty ugly way. I had read about this issue in my travels through the blogosphere, but hadn’t given it much thought. Basically, even though the facing and the front pieces are the same, only the facing is interfaced. I used a stretch interfacing, but still that adds a good degree of structure to the interfacing (that is the point after all!). Unfortunately my ponte roma is reasonably lightweight so the un-interfaced front pieces are prone to stretching and bagging out. Very disappointing and a major buzz-kill as until this point everything was going swimmingly and I was on a fun sewing high.
Lots of people have suggested that the front sections of the Morris ought to be interfaced the same as the facing – I concur and will do this next time. I know that other sewists have solved the issue by top-stitching from bottom to top, and I did at first hope to avoid this. I basted the layers together and attempted to stitch them together inside with an invisible catch-stitch.
Unfortunately it wasn’t invisible and just produced little dimples! Darn, I just had to top-stitch. In the end it turned out fine though. No it’s not ideal: I don’t like unnecessary top-stitching, but it looks neat enough.
Ultimately, I am pleased with the way this blazer turned out and I will definitely make it again, albeit with a couple of tweaks. If I fling it on without the benefit of a mirror it tends to sit a little too far forward on my shoulders and the back hem sticks out a little producing an unattractive silhouette. If I make sure to adjust and shuffle where the shoulder seams sit it seems to hang better.
This is the most ridiculously comfortable kind of jacket, almost at odds with itself in how smart it looks and yet how much it feels like I’m wearing a cardigan or hoodie! I sewed this up immediately after making my Tropical Archer Shirt, as I had a vision (I have a lot of sewing visions!) of how great they would look together. I wore them together for the first time and boy did I feel good. That said, the Morris will look and feel equally great with a simple t-shirt.