Today I'm flexing my critiquing muscles with my first Pattern Review: the Phresh Blazer by Suzanne Winter of Winter Wear Designs. Originally part of the Girl's Bundle Up from Pattern Revolution, it is now available as a single pattern.*
The Phresh Blazer, available in sizes 1-12, is a fitted jacket with a tailored silhouette thanks to a stand-up collar and contoured seam lines down to a flared, fish-tail hem. The blazer also includes options for ruffles on the fishtail, welt pockets, and long or three-quarter sleeves with a straight or gathered sleeve cap. The pattern calls for fabric with a 15-25% stretch (or at least 10%) and a single button for closure.
The (fabulous) seam work adds some time to the creation of this blazer – there are a few more pieces to cut and each seam is top-stitched – so you’ll need to set aside approximately 4-6 hours from first cut to final stitch. However Suzanne takes you carefully through each step, including finishing the seams, binding the raw lining edge, and adding bias tape hems. The sleeves are not set in (great for a beginner), but you need to be able to sew a button hole. All together I’d say this pattern is great for an adventurous beginner—intermediate sewist.
Encouraged by Suzanne in the directions, I cut my blazer to fit The Peanut by grading between two sizes – size 4 wide and size 5 long. I tend to forget how fast she grows though and probably should have gone for the size 5 wide/size 6 long cut. Learn from my mistake: use current measurements (not those from 4-months back). I opted for straight, full-length sleeves and welt pockets, but did not include the ruffles. As you know, the blue-loving, tomboy Peanut is not exactly a ruffle kind of gal.
|The Phresh Blazer pairs nicely with a sleeveless (or slim-sleeved) special occasion dress.|
Sewn in denim and paired with bridal-satin, tulle, pleather and boots, the tailored Phresh Blazer can rock a punk look. I’m aware you may not need a punk outfit for the young lady in your life, but I couldn’t resist playing dress-up with what we had on hand. More importantly, I wanted to illustrate the blazer’s versatility. Use your imagination and instead of denim, picture stretch-sateen or –velvet and notice how well this jacket pairs over a special-occasion dress. The flared, fishtail hem-line works wonderfully over full skirts (and wide-legged pants) making the Phresh Blazer a wonderful alternative to the typical special occasion cardigan or bolero.
|The flared, fishtail hem line on the Phresh Blazer gracefully accommodates a full skirt.|
Now note how the seaming on the blazer creates long lines that play beautifully over slim-leg pants. Made in a more casual fabric, like stretch denim, sweatshirting, or even fleece, the blazer becomes a great layering piece over everyday jeans and leggings.
|The contoured seam lines of the Phresh Blazer compliment the long line of slim-legged pants or leggings.|
- Suzanne includes a great section on getting the Perfect Fit and encourages the sewer to cut the pattern to fit, grading between sizes if necessary. I wish she would have included height measurements, instead of age, for greater accuracy. I would also like to see cut and spread lines on the pattern for increased control when adding or decreasing height.
- There are no seam alignment marks on the pattern. It turns out they aren’t really necessary. However I could have used pocket placement marks. I chose the size 5-7 pocket flap because I graded to the size 5 tall, but they sit too close to the hem line as I sewed them.
- The PDF prints easily and the pattern tapes together accurately. The pages include large numbers making it easy to put together.
- In addition to the section on fit, the instructions include a table of contents, a tutorial on testing stretch of fabric, and a pictograph on measuring your child.
- Fabric requirements and notions are both easy to find and reference, though they are not on the same page (I prefer one page when heading to the store).
- Suzanne has many fabulous tips throughout the instructions. I was especially happy for the reminder when and where to add a tag.
|Details of the Phresh Blazer include welt pockets, bias taped hems, and instructions on interior seam finishes.|
As I’ve already mentioned, the seam work is fabulous. I adore the contemporary, feminine silhouette of this blazer even when sewn with the straight sleeves. And remember you can always make it even more girly with the gathered sleeve cap and ruffles. A blazer is a solid layering piece for any wardrobe. The strength of the Phresh Blazer is clearly in its versatility, its ability to go from casual to formal; a worthy investment for your pattern collection.
Ren Murphy writes for The Inspired Wren.
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