Fixing up an old favourite

I’ve always been a big blazer fan. The weather in Wellington can be incredibly volatile (to put it mildly), so I always like to have a few layers when I go out! I looked for my perfect blazer for years before I finally found this one in Spitalfields market in east London (its been nearly two years since I finished up 3 months of backpacking around Europe with 10 days in London, and I’m getting pretty desperate to go back! What is it about London? I feel like it got under my skin, and I need to go back again. Shame its about as far away from Wellington as its possible to get…)

Anyway, I was wandering through the market, and suddenly a chorus of angels descended and a beam of sunlight broke through the clouds and struck this blazer. It was love at first sight!


Ok, there may be some hyperbole in that description. But it was 99% perfect! Navy, casual (didn’t want to look too business) stretchy, nice length, long enough sleeves. Unfortunately, it was lined with pale blue leopard print satin. I am so not a leopard print kind of girl! But it wasn’t enough to put me off handing over some money, trying not to think how I would fit it into my already bulging pack. I didn’t really think about the consequences of having a decidedly non-stretch lining in a stretchy blazer, but prdictably, the first time I wore it…


Just like Bruce Banner! Now, this was two years ago, so it clearly hasn’t worried me too much. I’ve always intended to fix it, but I was initially scared that if I took the lining out I may not be able to put it back in again, and that would have made me sad. And you couldn’t see the huge gaping hole in the back then I was wearing it anyway, so it wasn’t a huge deal. But recently, while rummaging through the remnants bin at The Fabric Store (always a worthwhile pastime! ) I found 2m of navy and white polka dot lining, and decided it was time to bite the bullet!

I unpicked the lining from the outer fabric, and then unpicked half of the lining seams (one sleeve and front panel, and the back centre seam). I decided to leave the other half of the lining sewn together, so that I could refer back to it if I got lost! I then trimmed along the lines of stitching to get rid of the old seam allowance, as it was super uneven, and traced the pieces onto pattern paper before adding a seam allowance back on. I decided to cut the back piece on the fold, and added in a 1″ box pleat to the centre back, to avoid shredding it again! It was actually pretty daunting working from an existing garment, not having any seam notches or anything made me very nervous. I did make an effort to put a notch on the front shoulder curve of the sleeve, so that I didn’t put them in back to front! I also managed to sew the sleeve and lining together at the cuff properly, no mรถbius sleeve like I made in my Rigel Bomber this time…


(Ugh, sorry about the fuzzy photo! It didn’t look this blurry on my tiny camera screen)

I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out! The cream trim along the bottom made it really easy to finish off, I didn’t have to worry about leaving a hole to turn it right side out through, I just basted it wrong sides together along the bottom and then sewed the trim back over the top. I feel like I learned quite a bit about how jackets are put together during this project, and I have to say I was not terribly impressed with the quality of construction I found inside! Though I suppose I shouldn’t expect too much from a ยฃ20 blazer. If I do another similar job, taking a pattern off a garment I’ve deconstructed, I’ll mark some points on the seams before I unpick them, and transfer them over to the pattern as I trace them to help me match everything back up again.


I really like wearing it with the sleeves rolled up, especially now that its polka dots rather than leopard print showing! The only downside to the new lining is that its super noisy! The satin was really soft and smooth, but the stuff I’ve put in is much more rustly (though still nice and slippery).


Flasher pose!

15 thoughts on “Fixing up an old favourite

  1. I just did the same thing yesterday: I unpicked the ripped lining from a friend’s coat and cut out the new one. I totally understand how daunting it feels to copy an existing garment… you have to figure out the construction on your own. Great job though, your blazer got a whole new lease on life ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Nice one! It sounds like it was a lot of work but so worthwhile. You’ll love your jacket that much more now that it has such a gorgeous well-made lining in it.

  3. What a great fix! You did a brilliant job. I have a jacket that could do with the same treatment. In fact, it’s very similar to your’s, and at first glance I thought they were the same jacket (mine is from H&M). My jacket has crappy acetate lining, which has ripped down the centre back seam. The thought of cutting it out, and drafting and sewing a new lining is quite scary; but maybe I shoud give it a go! Did you use any tutorials or books?

    1. Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚ I saw a very similar blazer in H&M when I was in the UK, but didn’t buy it immediately, and they didn’t have them when I went back a week later! The speed of stock turn over in those shops is astonishing, I was totally unprepared! I couldn’t find any specific tutorials, but I looked up a few on how to bag line a jacket (the sleeves in particular were confusing me) and the one on the Grainline blog was probably the most straightforward. Its not perfect, but I figure that no one will be looking too closely at the inside…

      1. Thank you! It’s scary have fast things go in H&M. I’d seen my jacket in a shop in an out of town centre, but they didn’t have my size. But my sister works in our city centre, and she got it for me in the big H&M there. Maybe this will spare me on to fix my jacket!

  4. Oh this is fabulous! I have exactly the same problem with a RTW blazer of my own. I’ve also avoided doing anything about it for about twice as long as you ๐Ÿ™‚ Your new lining might just be the kick in the butt I need to try this myself. Nicely done!

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