The Morris Blazer: enabling my summer sewing desires

morris blazer

My sewing project choices have been very erratic lately. Kind of like our weather, I guess. I’m definitely done with winter, but I can’t really justify sewing summer clothes yet, even though when it’s not cold and rainy it’s practically summer weather. So I guess my compromise is to make light jackets. Which I can then wear over tank tops.

Anyway, I was seized recently with the desire to make a Morris Blazer. Now, I bought the pattern last year and immediately sewed up a sort of wearable muslin to make sure I liked the style. I used a random black and teal polka dot lightweight double knit I got from a friend. Now, why I thought this would be a good choice, I have no idea, but I have literally nothing to wear it over. I actually made this tee to go under it for photos last summer. Seriously.

morris take one

So, the verdict? I like the style, but the fabric was not up for the task. I had read that many people had the problem of fabric pooling on the front because the facings are interfaced but the body is not, and I can verify that the lighter the fabric the worse that problem. This fabric is a very light and drapey for a double knit, and as you can see the pooling is terrible. I did use knit interfacing, of course, but it still just firmed up the facing too much in comparison with the naked fabric of the front. I don’t hate this jacket, but I have never worn it. However, I knew I wanted to try the pattern again at some point.

Enter the nicest ponte fabric I have ever found. It is, of course, from The Fabric Store LA. Holy crap this ponte. I don’t remember what the fiber content was, but it’s so thick and smooth and pretty stretchy but oh so firm and springy. This fabric has the best recovery I’ve ever felt. I knew if any knit could stand up to the Morris, this would be it. It was also a great dark maroon color, which I judged to be rather more versatile than teal polka dots.

morris blazer 2

I did make some slight adjustments as I went, with the front pooling situation in mind. I considered foregoing interfacing entirely because my fabric was so thick and firm, but I really wanted a nice turn of collar, so I did keep the interfacing. However, I remember seeing in a review that someone who made this fused the interfacing with the direction of greatest stretch going up and down rather than side to side, to try to increase the drape of the facing pieces. I’m not sure if it helped, but I did that. Also, when I attached the facing around the front edges, rather than matching the corners and easing the body into the slightly shorter facings (even with sideways interfacing and a very firm fabric, my facings were about an eighth to a quarter inch shorter than the fronts), I laid everything out flat and trimmed the longer front pieces to match the facings. I think this went a long way to reducing pooling. There’s still a little tiny bit of wubble in the front corners, but it’s so, so much better.

morris front

Also, I have to say that my topstitching game was on point for this jacket. I am not the best topstitcher ever – in fact, my topstitching is usually terrifyingly uneven. But. For some reason, the sewing force was with me when I was making this jacket and the topstitching around the front is unnaturally even. Yet another reason this blazer has wormed its way into my heart.

And that’s it, really. I can tell already that this jacket is a great addition to my wardrobe, and though I’m not usually a blazer person, I am appreciating its ability to dress up an outfit.

The tank top I’m wearing under it in these pictures is a Burda tank I made over the summer with the leftover fabric from this dress. It turned out a bit too low cut (not a modesty issue, as I have no cleavage to expose, but just because it’s so close to my skin tone, I felt like I was all chest), but while trying it on to photograph the blazer I realized that it just needed a pleat in front to bring up the neckline. Problem solved, blazer-appropriate tank added to wearable wardrobe.


And lastly, here is how I styled my blazer for a night out a few weeks ago. Of course, I whipped up another Tessuti Ruby top to wear under it from the mustard rayon challis I bought as a lining possibility for my Cascade Coat. Needless to say, I’m glad I saved it for this outfit. And I love the way the Morris goes with the Ruby! So in a way this blazer is enabling my desire to sew tank tops in March. All summer sewing all the time!

  1. Nakisha said:

    Very cute. Great ‘save’ on the pattern and I just love that color!!

  2. lisa g said:

    I just adore the color of your Morris! And with the yellow/gold top… perfection. Great outfit!

  3. Perfect this time, thanks for sharing your anti pooling tips 😀

  4. Back to Blighty said:

    I love the colour of this fabric and well done on minimizing the pooling, it looks great!

  5. erniek3 said:

    This style of jacket has always worked better for me if it’s reversible, or I don’t face the collar (just finish the edges) or if I just don’t actually finish it and it just sits in the UFO pile until I repurpose the fabric.

    Good on you for actually making it work.

  6. Heather said:

    This looks amazing! I have to work up to making something like this. I am currently making your small messenger bag!! I’m super excited about it — and glad to see you are still posting. I had to jump back online to see where you got the buckle for the strap on the messenger bag. After I finish this one for myself, I’m going to make them for my kids and their cousins as adventure bags — perfect size for kids and I will use indoor/outdoor fabric for the outside so they are a little more washable. 🙂

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