The Skill blazer is my third make from the book SY by Ann Ringstrand. It’s a unstructured, partially lined blazer which borrows design elements from classic workwear and has a distinct modern feel. Most important to me is that it reminds me of a blazer I bought 5 years ago, also designed by Ann Ringstrand while she still was the chief designer of Swedish fashion brand Hope. I wore it to death and have been wanting to replace it ever since. Now I can!
In the book there are two different versions of the blazer, and one of them is made from two different fabrics with panels on the right front and the left sleeve. The inside of the blazer is unlined except for the sleeves. The seam allowances are covered with bias tape.
The main feature of this pattern, to me, is the collar. I love how is sits close to the neck and with the narrow lapels. In a lighter fabric it looks great folded down, too, but I really prefer wearing it the way I do here. Another great feature is the slightly longer front. I think it adds character to the design, and it looks great seen sideways because you don’t get that horisontal line cutting across your hips. Other features are the patch pockets borrowed from traditional workwear which adds to a casual feel. The lines cutting across the right front and the left sleeve are carefully balanced with the pocket placement.
Some time ago I bought a fantastic coating fabric in pure wool and alpaca. It is two-faced with a checkered pattern on each side, one of them small scale, the other a little larger. The grids are in deep navy blue on a cream bottom. It was rather expensive, so I only bought 2 meters without a clear plan for it. I had a short jacket in mind, though, and when I received the book, I thought the Skill blazer would be a great choice for the fabric and an opportunity to take advantage of both sides.
Since the fabric is rather heavy I thought it would be great to leave it partially unlined to prevent it form getting too warm to wear. By doing so I could see the fabric from both sides in the finished garment, too. Double win! I lined the sleeves as per instructions. The bias tape is made from an old quilting cotton I had in my stash.
The only alteration I made was shortening the whole thing by 5 cm. I’m only 163 cm tall (short) and prefer my jackets to sit at my upper hip or considerably longer. I sewed the bias tape into the seams and finished the other side by hand, and I used Hong Kong bindings for the facings and inside the pockets. I sewed the facings down by hand, too. The two-piece sleeves have perfect fit, and they were a dream to set in, maybe the best pattern I’ve ever tried.
I sized down after carefully considering the finished measurements. From experience with Hope designs (of which I have owned many) I know that I usually can size down in shirts and jackets. The fit is still roomy enough for me. If I ever make a coat from this pattern, I’ll make an M, or at least grade out at the hips.
I love the result even more than I imagined, and have worn it many times already. It’s perfect for milder days in autumn and spring, and it fits nicely under a coat, too. I have plans for another one in a lighter wool suiting, but first I have to find the perfect fabric.