An Autumn Morris Blazer

Have you ever found the perfect fabric and had it just scream what to make with it?

Grainline Studio’s Morris Blazer has been on my “Make List” since its release earlier this year. On a recent fabric buying trip, I found an incredible wool knit that I instantly pictured as the most stunning Morris Blazer. A flash of inspiration, no questions asked. It was a no brainer to not only buy the fabric for the store, but also get to work on this “dream project.” (To learn more about the fabric at the bottom of this post)

I didn’t want to just cut into this precious houndstooth wool knit for a pattern that I had never made. I decided to make another version of the Morris Blazer using a grey knit from my stash to check the fit, length etc. Get all the bugs out before I cut into the “good” stuff!

I made this first version as given in the pattern, size 8. It fit perfectly, but was far too short for the cozy wool blazer I had envisioned for my fall/winter wardrobe. Based on the fit of my test Morris, I decided to lengthen the body by 3 inches and the sleeves by 6 inches. I used the handy lines that Jen included on each pattern piece making the lengthening process so simple. The sleeve did prove a bit more challenging- I had to do a bit of tapering, nothing too difficult.

Lengthening the Morris Pattern Pieces

Lengthening the Morris Pattern Pieces

Now it was time to cut! I got my pieces laid out just how I wanted them. My goal was to have the finished result be about half solid grey, half houndstooth. In laying out the pieces I noticed that those lengthening lines I drew on the pieces proved very helpful in matching up the pattern. On all of the body pieces and front facing, the “lines” were in the exact same place. I just had to line them up along the straight lines in the pattern. So helpful! The line on the sleeves was bit offset from the rest, so I did a bit of adjusting so that all of the pattern would line up across the blazer.

Laying Out the Morris Pieces- Ready to Cut

Laying Out the Morris Pieces- Ready to Cut

I had a slight heart attack before I made that first cut, but then I was all in! As I cut each piece I draped them over my dress for just to make sure it was all going according to plan. Once everything was cut out I couldn’t wait to get sewing! Since I had just made my test Morris, the second one went together really quickly. The unique wool knit that I used also made it so I didn’t have to finish my seams. I pressed all of the body seams open to help everything lay nice and flat and I did serge the arm holes- it seemed to really help finish them off. Other than that, everything went together just as described in the pattern. I love that Jen has such great tutorials on her website– I looked at it both times when attaching the facing to make sure I got it right.

Now for the RESULTS!

Finished Wool Morris Blazer

Finished Wool Morris Blazer

I am absolutely in love with how this Morris Blazer turned out. It is just how I had envisioned it and it seems like this fabric was made for this pattern. I am quite proud of my pattern matching- that is something that I still am working on and I always doubt whether I am doing it right. I also found the perfect necklace in my closet so that makes everything even better!

Finished Morris Blazer- View from the Back

Finished Morris Blazer- View from the Back- Check out that Center Back Seam!

The Morris Blazer pattern is another home run from Grainline Studio– I know everything is going to fit perfectly and there is always so much potential for fabric choices and reinterpretations. I think her Linden Sweatshirt and the new Tamarack Jacket will soon be hitting the cutting table!

About the Fabric

This houndstooth ombre wool knit is unlike anything I have seen. It is light weight and definitely a knit- you can see the stockinette stitch from the back side. It has also been felted, giving it a super soft almost fuzzy hand. Such an incredible piece and a dream to work with! Available now in the shop HERE.

Polished Romantic and the Bow Blouse

One of my favorite trends this season is this beautiful combination of tailored fit and feminine style- kind of a reinterpretation of menswear with softy, flowy edges. I like to call it “Polished Romantic,” sophisticated and classy but still elegant or even delicate.

This amazing contrast is created through not only the cut and styling of a garment but also the texture and color of the fabrics. Take a fitted jacket- crop the length and use a soft boucle or wool for a wonderful feminine touch. Or a tailored blouse- widen the sleeves or add a few pleats and use a flowy silk or rayon for some added drape and softness. It is all about balancing the structure with grace and beauty.

The staple piece of this “look” for me is the “bow blouse”. There has been a lot of discussion this season about what to call this type of top- secretary blouse, CEO bow and the Thatcher collar (in honor of Prime Minister Margret Thatcher who wore the look quite often) but I find myself just going back to simple but effective “Bow Blouse”. Let me know if you have any other great name ideas!

I set out to find a pattern to make my own bow blouse for this season. I weighed a few options but I ended up choosing the Oakridge Blouse from Sewaholic Patterns. I have been an admirer of their patterns for a long time but for some reason just haven’t gotten around to making one yet… I love the relaxed look of the neckline on their version of the bow blouse- not so rigid and formal but still very feminine and professional looking. I also liked the flared waist/hips- another more girly addition to a men’s button-up. Added bonus- the pattern comes with multiple options for this top, with or without the bow neck, so there is a lot of versatility there.

Oakridge Blouse by Sewaholic Patterns

Oakridge Blouse by Sewaholic Patterns

For my fabric choice, I chose a beautiful Japanese shirting in a rich fall floral pattern and color way. I just love this fabric and thought it would pair nicely with the styling of this shirt. The Japanese shirtings that we have in the shop remind me of Liberty of London lawns but at a fraction of the cost- same silky finish, beautiful hand and amazing to sew with!

Finished Oakridge Blouse

Completed Oakridge Bow Blouse in Japanese Shirting

My Oakridge Blouse came together pretty quickly and without any major issues. I just have a couple minor changes that I will note of future versions.

1) On the button plackets and cuffs, I would only interface half of the pattern piece instead of the whole thing as directed. The button placket, in particular, ended up being quite stiff. Just a minor change that will likely make a considerable difference.

2) Sleeve fit issues- they were a bit tight especially through the bicep and elbow. That is two recent makes that I have had this problem. It is just something for my fit that I need to be more aware of- especially if I am not going to make a muslin (a sin, I know). I was able to widen the seam a bit to make my blouse more comfortable and will alter the pattern piece for next time.

Oakridge Bow Neckline

Finished Oakridge Blouse- Closer Look at Bow Neckline

The finished Oakridge Blouse turned out just as I had envisioned it! Feminine but tailored and with the soft bow front. I am not normally a bow person, but I love how this turned out and the subtleness of the look. Perfect to layer under a cardigan or jacket and I am thinking about pairing it with some great wide leg trousers. Although I do love it with my Jamie Skinny Jeans and some cute booties as well!

Here are a couple there bow blouse patterns that I have marked for future reference. If the Oakridge Blouse isn’t quite your style maybe one of these is. I love how you can take a trend that appeals to you, such as the “Polished Romantic” look, and re-imagine it to fit your style. Whether it is finding the right pattern or using a different type of fabric you can make a main stream trend entirely your own!

Other Pattern Links:

Fran Tie Shirt from Name Clothing– Love this for a more sophisticated look. Less feminine in style but makes up for it in the fabrics choice!

Washi Expansion Pack from Made by Rae– Taking the Washi Dress to a whole new level- 3 amazing new variation on her popular Washi Dress pattern

Tie Neck Blouse from BurdaStyle– Check out this as well! A whole collection of bow-style tops. They must be popular or something…