With how adorable kids clothes have become over the last few years, I thought that finding a wee little tweed blazer would be easily achievable. I was totally dead wrong. I searched from one end of the internet to the other, and I only found one, incredibly expensive, designer blazer that I couldn’t rationalize, no matter how cute it was. And I couldn’t really stomach the thought of making a blazer from scratch with all those time consuming tailored details, only to have Atti grow out of it in a few months. So a wardrobe refashion was my only option.
I found a wool tweed blazer at the thrift store, and the first thing I did was wash it. Not dry clean it, actually send it through the washing machine. This has 3 important benefits: 1) it removes the thrift store funk 2) removes any starch and sizing that will get in your way, and 3) it felts the wool and shrinks it, making it a bit smaller but also able to go through the washing machine from now on. I don’t know about you, but buying anything for a pre-schooler that has to get dry cleaned just seems beyond a waste of time to me. Removing the starch will make the lapels floppy, which is good for our purposes.
I used a jacket that fit Atti to get some rough proportions. You can see I’ve got quite a bit to remove here.
Cut the jacket to the proper length. With all that starch out of the collar, you can reshape it. I took the lapel up as far as I could get away with and steamed and ironed it into it’s new shape. I pinned the front of the jacket together to hold it closed while I worked on the rest of the alterations.
Once you take the sleeves off, you’ll be amazed at all the stuff inside the jacket. I cut all of that right out. Stuffing, lining, shoulderpads, I got rid of it all. For a busy little toddler I need as little structure as possible, so that means all the structure of this jacket had to go. BUT! I didn’t want to mess up the collar or lapels, that’s why I was going to the trouble of altering, after all, so I left enough of the lining to support the collar. To prevent fraying I just sewed a little zigzag stitch around the edge.
Take the sleeves that you removed and cut them smaller in the length and the width. I cut off extra at the shoulder so I didn’t have to redo a cuff. Sew the new seam shut, then recut the arm hole to fit your smaller arms. If you’ve never set in sleeves this might seem difficult, but you can always use another shirt as a guideline.
Sew the pockets back on the front in their higher position, making them smaller too if necessary, hem the bottom of the blazer, and add your buttons and buttonholes.
You might be able to tell from this tutorial, but I was super relaxed about this project. It being for a Halloween costume gave me that license, but I was really glad I took it easy instead of fussing over every little measurement. On a grown-up this slapped together blazer would look horrible, but on a little kid it couldn’t be cuter. Kid’s clothes shouldn’t be fussy anyway, I think a non-fussy approach to a very traditional blazer may just make the cutest thing I’ve ever put on my little guy.