Fast & Thrifty Blazer Refresh

During my annual closet refresh this past January I noticed that I had three black blazers. Well, noticed may be the wrong choice of words. I was REMINDED that I possess three black blazers and this reminder made me realize that I really only ever wear one of them. To be fair, one goes with a pair of slacks to make a suit. My only suit. I rarely wear a suit but it does happen (just not in the past year) which explains why I had managed to ‘forget’ about this particular blazer. I decided it had to stay. The second is my favourite Yara black, one-button blazer; my go-to blazer if I’m feeling blazer-y. No question it had to stay.

The third, a stretch cotton blazer with 3/4 sleeves and a tuxedo cut (lower in the back), fit great but just didn’t have its own niche in my wardrobe so was consistently overlooked. What was to be done with it?

Option 1 – Donate. I donate a lot of clothes but I just wasn’t ready to part with this blazer given its mint condition and the blank slate of possibility it presented.
Option 2 – Modify! But how?

This blazer needed something to distinguish it from its buddies, something to make it standout and get worn. Hmmmm….

Enter $1.60 worth of white bias tape.

Yes, $1.60 worth of white bias tape. I didn’t even unfold the tape’s four layers because I wanted it to be opaque. I used it right off the roll! Why bias tape? Ribbon would probably work on a more square cut blazer but, because of the curves on this blazer, bias tape really was the best option. The cut of the tape (on the bias, hence the name) gives it stretch so it is easy to shape to rounded corners and still lies flat. Here are some more photos followed by some tips about what to watch out for if you try this yourself:

I love how this turned out! It was a little finicky to keep the bias tape and blazer flat while I sewed. I pinned the tape in place ahead of time but this project required no other prep. I sewed as close to both edges of the tape as I could get using a white main thread and black bobbin thread (to keep this alteration invisible from the inside). The sleeve bows are just a short length of bias tape with both ends folded to the middle and sewed in place using one of my machine’s pre-set stitches.

A few things to note if you are going to try this alteration on one of your own blazers:

  1. Check the lining first. As you can see in the before photo above, my blazer material wrapped around the inside about 5cm before meeting up with the satin lining. I made sure not to catch any of the satin lining as I sewed on the bias tape. This would be even easier on an unlined blazer.
  2. Keep the layers of material flat as you sew. Because this alteration sews through all layers of the blazer, it is important to make sure that your blazer is lying flat as you sew. You don’t want the edge to curl up when you’re done!
  3. Pick an edging colour that is versatile and works with your existing wardrobe. Your $1.60 bias tape won’t look quite so thrifty if you have to buy a new top to match your newly updated blazer. I scoped out four different tops in my closet that would work with this alteration before I started sewing.

There’s not much else to tell. Once I figured out what I was doing, this project only took me a couple of hours to complete, including clean up. I still have three black blazers but now I have one that is unique to me. Not bad for $1.60 and two hours work.

Thanks for stopping by!

~ Lindsay


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