Boy sewing, Pattern Review

The Berkshire Blazer

Stop the presses!! She finally got around to taking pictures of something!

Creative Counselor: Berkshire Blazer
The Berkshire Blazer by Blank Slate Patterns.

Granted, not one of the many things I’ve made myself over the last few months, but hey, it’s something!

Actually, I decided to get off my fanny and take pictures of this particular Berkshire Blazer (affiliate link) because Melissa is hosting a Berkshire Blazer sew along this month!

Anyway, it’s a nice little pattern, looks quite sharp and is surprisingly easy to put together.  I was actually a tester for this pattern before it released last fall, so this blazer has been sitting around unblogged for months!

** Bullet-point pattern review at the end of this post **

But, with several months between making and blogging, I am happy to report that J actually wears it!

Creative Counselor: Berkshire Blazer
My kids rarely stand still for pictures, and never hold still long enough for a fancy “photo shoot.” Hence, the iPhone photos at school!

Now, J is a pretty stylin’ kid, but I had a little trick up my sleeve to ensure that this blazer wouldn’t languish in his closet.  You got it — super hero lining!

Creative Counselor: Berkshire Blazer
Berkshire Blazer insides.
Creative Counselor: Berkshire Blazer
Super heroes. Lots of super heroes.

J was super-impressed with the lining of his coat, and loves to show it off.  Whatever makes him happy!

Creative Counselor: Berkshire Blazer
The lining is the best part!

I have learned that as much as I would like to make my kids clothes that look like they came straight out of a Tea Collection or Mini Boden catalogue, I have better results if I involve them in the process and let them help pick fabric.  Sure, I may be sewing with Avengers and Disney princess quilting cotton from Joann’s rather than the pretty linens or gauzes that I would prefer, but at least the pieces get worn!

But on to the details!.  This is a basic, shawl-collared blazer with a classic cut.  Rather than the more traditional welt pockets, this blazer has front patch pockets.  These pockets certainly are easier to construct and attach, but definitely make the blazer more casual.  It would be really easy to just swap out the pockets with the welt pockets from the Blank Slate Patterns Basic Blazer (affiliate link) if you wanted a more dressy look.

The pattern also includes optional elbow patches, which I did not include in my blazer.  They are a nice option though, and made up in tweed or corduroy, this blazer definitely has a studious professor kind of feel to it!

My fabrics are nothing to write home about.  I believe the main is a royal blue twill from Hancock Fabric.  The lining is a Marvel Avengers licensed quilting cotton from Joann’s.  I chose the twill because it was the bluest fabric in my stash of an appropriate weight, and J pretty much spurns anything that isn’t blue anymore.  The quilting cotton needs no explanation — he’s an almost-5-year-old boy after all!

Anyway, this blazer is a nice, fun little sew, and would make a good dressy option, particularly with Easter coming up.  And of course there’s no reason why it couldn’t be made up in pink (or other appropriate color) for a girl!

Creative Counselor: Berkshire Blazer
Mr. Cool.

Pattern:  Berkshire Blazer by Blank Slate Patterns (affiliate link)

Size: 4T

Fit: Good.  At the time I made this blazer, J wore a 4T in RTW clothes, and the blazer was a perfect fit on him.  I currently buy him a 5, but that’s mostly because he keeps growing up, not out.  He still can wear this blazer comfortably, and often does.

Modifications: None.

Fabric: The blue is a twill bottom weight from Hancock Fabrics.  The lining is quilting cotton from Joann’s.

Pattern Format: This is a PDF pattern in the common photo tutorial style.  Melissa does a nice job with her PDFs and generally has clear instructions and easy-to-assemble patterns.  I was testing this pattern so there were some printing issues when I made J’s blazer, but part of my job was making sure those were corrected!

Pros:

  • Good, classic lines.  The shawl-collar blazer is a nice alternative to a traditional collar.
  • Fit is great.  I had never made a blazer before and it was really interesting to see how it all went together.  This is far more fitted than anything else I’ve made for J.  It took some puzzling to figure out the sleeve insertion, too!
  • Elbow pads.  Need I say more?
  • The lining insertion is pretty slick, and has a really polished look.

Cons:

  • Personally, I’m not a huge fan of the patch pockets.  Sure, they’re easy, but they really detract from the overall polished look of this blazer.  In the future, I think I’d swap them out for welt pockets.
  • The instructions call for machine stitching around the sleeves to close them up.  In the future, I think I’d hand-stitch them.  Again, this would just make it look a lot more polished.  In my opinion, even though something’s casual, it should still be finished properly.

Overall Grade: A.  This is a great option for a little boy and lends itself to so many looks!

** I received the pattern for free as a tester, but received no other compensation.  My opinions are my own. **

0 thoughts on “The Berkshire Blazer

  1. I’m all about sewing practically when it comes to kids’ clothes so they’ll actually wear them! Thankfully there are tons of cute animal prints now for girls’ dresses, and I try to only sew for my son when he’s requested something specific he doesn’t have in his closet, which may mean I’ll stick to decorating t-shirts and making pajamas for awhile.

    1. I agree that practicality is a must for kids clothing! I’m very happy to see a lot more non-cheesy princess/fairy tale prints coming out lately. I’ve recently picked up a few for some summer dresses for N. J has so many clothes that I also try not to sew new things for him unless there is a hole in his closet or he specifically requests something. Otherwise he would never be able to wear everything!

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