7.08.2011

how to make a schoolboy blazer


i have been wanting this blazer or one like it for awhile now.  lightweight enough to wear in the spring and fall, before and after herringbone season.  the easiest way would be to order one from j. crew.  this one is $188 before taxes and shipping.  the second easiest way would be to buy an actual schoolboy blazer from a store or even a thriftstore.  i have not been able to find one though and i've been looking for months.  i guess the hardest way to get one would be the way i did. 

i came across a 1980's jones of ny womens blazer in my local thriftstore.  i actually found it in the mens section.  it was made in the usa and is a wool/silk gabardine blend.  its regular price was $2 but because it was monday all clothing was marked down to $1.  so i bought it and i took it to my tailor and asked him if he could do what i wanted, which was basically shrink it.  to hem it and shorten the sleeves was going to be about $50.  that was a good price because he told me the blazer was of exceptional quality.  i told him i would think about it and get back to him.  well i did go home and think about it and i decided to live dangerously and wash it in cold water to see if it would shrink.  and it did, perfectly.

so here is my $1 version...






















even though my heart skipped a beat when i closed the washing machine door, i figured i'd only be out a dollar.  i'm glad i did it though because now i know it can be done.  the jacket shrunk approximately 4 inches in the sleeves and 4 inches overall in length.  the rest of the jacket maintained its shape.  i air-dried it and put it on while damp to help with shaping it. 
 

i realize that this is not identical to the ones on the market, but it is close enough for me, especially for the price.




have a wonderful weekend and don't do anything too dangerous.

xo

janet

46 comments:

  1. You are the most exceptional person I know! Of course it worked and you look fabulous. When you get the call for a modeling job...don't forget us. :)

    Does it make you want to run back and get a couple more.....

    Have a great day my friend!!!

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  2. Very cute, Janet! I found one just like it in black at goodwill a few months back. I think I paid $5 for mine though, lol!

    S
    xo

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  3. I cannot believe you shrunk this on purpose. I'm shocked it turned out so well. You are thrifty!

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  4. To think you were going to stop blogging. Not only do I love the navy ensemble but the story behind the blazer is just fantastic, I have wasted so much money over the years though I'm getting better now.
    Yes mum- 87 years old " yes I'm bored living with you, nothing happens round here, I want my own flat and my freedom" What a dame! And we spent weeks shopping for clothes for her new life, I swear she has never been so happy.

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  5. If I may ask, Janet, what was the material of this blazer, and was it in the size you wear or was it smaller or larger?
    I LOVE this little adventurous post and reminds me of a shrinking episode I once tried. I did NOT get the good results that you have gotten, but almost feel like throwing it in the washer just one more time to see.
    :-)
    Thank you for the most delightful posts ever made on a blog. xxoo Happy weekend to you!
    -Suzanne in Illinois

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  6. Bravo! This is such a great discovery, because the thrift stores I visit always seem to have lots of really great quality blazers---nothing better than a thrift store challenge! Now if I can only figure out something to do with all those beautiful silk ties...

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  7. That's great! I would have done the same thing.
    xo

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  8. suzanne - thanks, and the material is 50% wool 50% silk gabardine. my tailor said it was a summerweight fabric. it is a size 4 which is my size and it fit perfectly before shrinking - it was just long and boxy. and now it isn't.

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  9. Janet,

    My daughter spent $250 on a blazer that looks exactly like yours.
    and bravo for thinking of shrinking the jacket to make it fit!

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  10. Thanks so much for telling me--I think I understand why my shrinking episode may not have been as successful now. In any case, I think that was the most ingenious move on your part, and the jacket looks perfect on you. You rock, li' cutie pie!
    -Suzanne in Illinois

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  11. You wild thing you!!

    I would not have guessed it would shrink without mis-shaping in some way, you are v clever! Has it got lovely buttons, cos that could hoick it up a notch too? $1 and serious quality, what a great find! Have a great weekend. xx

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  12. How very clever! Good quality second hand, recycling, innovative, and stylish! GREAT post!

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  13. How very clever! Good quality second hand, recycling, innovative, and stylish! GREAT post!

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  14. I think most of us LOVE a bargain, but even better is the bargain and the story. How do you find these gems? You really have an eye. I'm quite motivated. There's a big Salvation Army up the street. Thanks for sharing.

    Shelley Rose

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  15. Great job! Isn't that great when something works out the way you want?

    Have a great weekend, hopefully it's not as hot as it has been here in San Diego. Yucky humidity! :/

    Linda

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  16. I don't know if I should be hanging out with you. You're living too close to the edge! I love that it all worked out in the end - looks tres chic on you too!

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  17. I love it! I have 2 lightweight chino skirt suits from Banana Republic circa 2007 (khaki and black) The jackets weren't $1, but l love them. Enjoy your jacket.

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  18. That looks great. Amazing, you are so creative! And the whole look on you is absolutely fabulous!

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  19. Size FOUR? And it needed shrinking? Now I know why you could consider a boy's jacket. Stylish as usual! And very clever too!

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  20. That's AWESOME!! What a good reminder to think outside the box. And a good reminder to check out my local thrift store more often!

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  21. That is just brilliant! You look amazing. I would never dare to try machine washing a wool blazer. I think the excellent quality of the blazer helped too - I'm sure if you tried machine washing a blazer bought today, the results would not be the same.

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  22. janet...for a $ even if it shrank to the size of a coaster, good buy :):) you absolutely have the knack. love it. smiles,susie

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  23. Hi Janet,
    Gorgeous, I can't help being intimidated by how CLEVER you are! Do you think the vegan diet increases brainpower, creativity and health?
    I wish there was an easy way to shop for and cook Vegan. It all sounds so complicated to me.
    Love
    Louise in Townsville.

    Gosh it feels nice to be back reading and commenting again, I can't understand why I let life get in the way of reading and writing blogs. Tee Hee.

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  24. Hi Janet,
    Gorgeous, I can't help being intimidated by how CLEVER you are! Do you think the vegan diet increases brainpower, creativity and health?
    I wish there was an easy way to shop for and cook Vegan. It all sounds so complicated to me.
    Love
    Louise in Townsville.

    Gosh it feels nice to be back reading and commenting again, I can't understand why I let life get in the way of reading and writing blogs. Tee Hee.

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  25. Brilliant! I've always loved menswear blazers but the sleeves are always too long and tailoring is sooo expensive. I'm gonna try it.

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  26. I'm so jealous - the blazer looks fabulous on you! Sure wish I could find one at a similar price.

    Barbara

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  27. Now I wish that I had saved my 80s Jones New York blazers!! You are so clever!!!

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  28. Who would have thought?? That is so clever. I would have dropped the $50. It would never occur to me to shrink it. You are so savvy, my friend.

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  29. LOVE IT... you are so clever and you look wonderful as ever in your new and fabulous thrify purchase Janet! X

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  30. Hi Janet,

    I love it! You look amazing, as always. Love the navy on navy with denim blouse. I have been on the hunt for a jacket like this for quite a while. Ever since my daughter started wearing her little brother's Brooks Brothers size 10 navy blazer. It look adorable.

    I cannot get over the bargains you come across...you have a great eye my friend!

    xo annie

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  31. Wow- have you thrown down the Danger Gauntlet or what?!!
    I like to think I've been a fashion renegade more than once, but never, EVER have I had a successful sartorial moment by throwing something of wool in the washing machine and shrinking it!

    My Panama hat is off to you Dear Janet :)

    xx
    SP

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  32. Hooray for perfectly shrinking blazers! It look fabulous.

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  33. There are berry-in-the-middle flavored Oreos. OH. MY. Have you tried?????
    Suzanne in Illinois

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  34. suzanne - no i have not but i will def be trying them soon. thanks for the tip.

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  35. $1 instead of $188 or even $50? I think you scored big-time! Well done, you.

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  36. I have just discovered your blog and love it so much I read through the whole thing last night. You are not boring, you are interesting. Please don't stop posting.

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  37. Good grief that is just genius! I have shrunk lots of stuff in my time, usually boy socks, but never intentionally. the finished product looks great xx

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  38. Janet, you are diligent, always on the lookout for just the right item in an unexpected place. Me. I tend to put off shopping until I am desparate (or, at least, believe that I am desparate) and then, naturally, often make unfortunate choices or end up buying nothing at all. I shall attempt to redirect my logic to be more in keeping with your good example.
    I sure am happy you still are in the business of blogging. The Gardener's Cottage is a joy to me.
    Linda

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  39. janet-
    thanks-e-mail me pve at pve design dot com
    pve

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  40. You are brilliant! I love that you did this--I've been wanting one too, but couldn't bring myself to spend over $200 at J Crew for something that's just a moderate trend--voila, you have given me the answer!

    xo Mary Jo

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