V8333: The GGQB Blazer

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Vogue 8333, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways…

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The Instructions
Like manna from heaven if you’re into the tailoring thing. It’s been said before that this pattern is worth its weight in gold purely for the 4 bits of paper that come with, and I honestly couldn’t agree more. If I were to make another of this from scratch and following the word to the letter, I would still learn something new.

Couture vs. RTW Construction
You have the option of using couture techniques, or the quicker route of using ready-to-wear techniques. I made View A (couture) instead of View B (RTW), which uses horse hair canvas at the front and silk organza as underlining everywhere else. My fabric was loosely woven so I interfaced all the pieces with a really lightweight fusible to keep the tears to a minimum.

The Collar
Sewing a notched collar shouldn’t be this easy. But it really is! I also love that the collar is made up of three pieces – a stand, upper and under collar. The latter is cut on the bias and shaped so that when you turn it out, the seam line is just ever so slightly on the underside, rather than on the fold so it’s visible. I think the term is ‘allowing for turn of cloth’?. 

The Waist
It’s not often I thrown on a jacket and have an instantly defined waist. Kudos to Claire for making a pattern that flatters one of my favourite sections of the female physique. 

Corporate vs Casual
I had bought enough fabric to make a matching skirt… but really I’m loving this as a weekend thing with jeans. My jacket from The Vogue Suit gets a lot of wear this way too (in fact, it’s easily the most worn item I’ve sewn yet), so now I can spread the wardrobe workload a bit. 

Hand Worked Buttonholes
Maybe this doesn’t quite deserve to be included in my favourite things. There’s something amiss with my technique because my buttonholes don’t look like Jeffery’s, Marina’s or Paco’s. But they have shred apart my belief that couture = fragile. You could launch a rocket through those button holes and have them hold. They ain’t going nowhere! 

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The Materials:
Fabric – Periwinkle Blue woven raw silk tussah from EmmaOneSock, and lemon yellow silk satin lining from Clegs. Inside you’ll find horsehair canvas, silk organza, nylon fusible interfacing and a truckload of hand stitching.
Buttons – in self covered fabric from Buttonmania. Click here for hand worked buttonhole resources like gimp and silk buttonhole twist.

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Other Stuff: 
Why the GGQB acronym you ask? It stands for Governor General Quentin Bryce – my inspiration for both the fabric colour and the style. What a woman.

There was only one part in the instructions that left me a little confused – where you are required to ‘tape the front’. It doesn’t specify what kind of tape one should be using. Thankfully, Claire also talks about this in her Couture Sewing book, where she said she uses strips of silk organza. So that’s exactly what I did (you can see my ‘immaculate’ fell stitching, pad stitching and tape application here). The only other thing is that there’s no telling when you’re supposed to remove the basting stitches. But hey, it’s hardly a life changing decision!

My love of both wearing and making tailored jackets is well set to continue… I’ve already got the fabric and the pattern for my next tailoring project-to-be safely stashed away! 

I’ll be entering this puppy into Pattern Review’s Lined Jacket Competition very shortly – so feel free to check out the competition (and my review here) and if you’ve been a PR member for 3 or more months – to vote! Preferably for me of course (voting starts September 1), but only as long as you think I’m worthy of it :)

I completely forgot to include some shots of the lining (click to enlarge), which is a requirement of the competition rules. So yay for more photos!




  1. Wow Melanie, this is beautiful. It turned out amazing! The construction, the attention to detail, everything about it is fantastic. Great job and good luck with the competition! Fingers crossed.

  2. Absolutely in awe of your sewing skills – what an amazing jacket. BTW great coloured scarf!!Good luck in the competition – you've put so much work into this jacket. Love it!!!

  3. You've got my vote – this is incredible! How did you find the fit? Did you have to do much adjusting of your muslin? You've really inspired me.

  4. love how the jacket turned out! i'm sure you see every flaw, but i think your buttonholes look great. i may have to pick up this pattern for the directions alone. amazing job!

  5. This is great! I've been looking for a jacket pattern to try out too so I like that you noted it has couture and rtw options. And it's on sale right now!

  6. That is just gorgeous! I love your hand sewn buttonholes, they are fantastic! I've had this pattern for ages and I think it might be a great introduction to pad stitching and underlining for me, yours has turned out so stunning it makes me want to make my own (and I love Quentin Bryce too, she has such a timeless style, hope I look that well tailored at that age!)

  7. What a great jacket! Such a fantastic job. I think I need to add this pattern and book to my list now. The colour is stunning and perfect for spring. What a great style icon as well. A women who knows what she likes and how to make it work for her. Also how to be a leader while still maintaining her femininity. Lots of respect for Quentin.

  8. What a beautiful jacket!! Extremely well done. I'll be sure to stop by PR to cast my vote. This was the first Claire pattern I purchased (I agree – the instructions alone are worth the purchase so, I often grab them when I find them) but, I've been a bit nervous to try it. You make it sound so easy though, I may just have to have a go at it this fall.

  9. Bravo! It looks amazing. And the periwinkle blue colour is both pretty and flattering on you. All the details are spot on. Good luck in the contest!

  10. Beautiful. You've got my vote – there are so many lovely details. I have to agree that out GG is one very stylish and impressive woman and I love that you've named your jacket after her.

  11. That jacket looks meticulous and the colour could not be better on you…. Going to bookmark this post for inspiration when I get around to tailoring a jacket this fall!

  12. This is just beautiful! I love all the details and your fabric shows them all to perfection. Kudos on your buttonholes. They're a little bit awkward at first, but, yes, they are definitely not fragile! Great job!

  13. Actually it was a lot better than I thought – the only adjusting I made was to take in the seams a bit here and there. And that's easy because it princess seams back and front. I'd definitely recommend it! :)

  14. Thanks Suzy! You should absolutely try it – it's a lot easier than you might think it. Glad you like it and QB as much as me! I too aim to look as lovely and polished as she in my later years :)

  15. Yep, we're all Team Quentin here. I only need to make something to go with this jacket now… the colour of it doesn't suit any of my pants. Not that I'm complaining – any excuse to sew!

  16. You've done a brilliant job with this brilliant pattern! I've made this one up too, and I agree the instructions are worth their weight in gold. Gorgeous colour for spring too :)

  17. What a wonderful jacket. The colour is perfect for you. Great instructions are worth their weight in gold. I'm so very very impressed with your buttons. Thumbs up for a job well done.

  18. Lady! You are amazing, yes indeed. I'm mulling over a cropped velvet jacket with ribbon embroidery right now. I've decided jackets are definitely lacking in my wardrobe and I want a full range of casual to elegant Chanel. I have this pattern, so I think I'm going to add it to my list of 'wardrobe staples'.

  19. Some sort of outer wear is one of my goals this coming winter, you've inspired me yet again! Hopefully I'll have the balls to follow through with said inspiration! :)

  20. Wow x 50. That's a great jacket! Love the design, color, fit, all of it. And I'm impressed that you followed the couture directions. I've seen those vogue patterns before that offer couture vs RTW construction but I've never taken the time to make one couture style. I like that your jacket is great for work and also for weekend!

  21. Thanks for reminding me Catherine – I must check out the entries this year! I would love to one day enter… but this year I just had too much on to even contemplate it :) Maybe next year…

  22. Indeed you should!! mmm… velvet. Jackets will always be lacking in my wardrobe. Really truly, the ideal number of jackets in your wardrobe should be N + 1, where N is the number you currently own. :P

  23. I just found your blog this morning. I am very impressed with your jacket. You did a marvelous job. I have this pattern in my stash just waiting. I hope I have as much success with my jacket.

  24. Wow, this looks wonderful! I’m attempting to make this jacket (version b, I’m something of a sewing novice) and I have just completed my first muslin only to find that the fit of the armpits is far to large to overlook. The fit of your jacket looks stunning. Did you make any alterations to the fit? ;9 you have any experience with bringing armholes up when they fit too low?

  25. I am making this jacket B style, and am having a hard time understanding what to do with the liner in the back. I am at #46 and am not sure how to baste the liner before getting it ready to attach to the body of the jacket. Any hints?

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