So begins The Year of the Jacket…
Nothing like starting 2013 with a little bit of reality TV – hello McCalls Fashion Star, 6611.
I’m still on holidays but I was missing the blog so decided to write up this post, while sitting in the holiday house in the central Tasmanian highlands (well when you live at the beach where do you go for holidays!?!).
This jacket started when Suzy Bee Sews blogged her version of this jacket. Her’s was not a happy story – so much so that she gave away the pattern. And I won it. After sewing so many indie patterns, it didn’t occur to me that the pattern would not be in my size. Doh! I must be really perverse, as despite Suzy’s tales of woe and not having the pattern in my size, I immediately became obsessed with making this jacket.
Next time a BMV sale came around I took the opportunity to get the pattern (and maybe a few more…) and when walking through Spotlight one day this gorgeous cotton sateen literally threw itself off the rack and into my arms, pleading to find its moment in the sun as McCalls 6611, who was I to say no?
So the outside of this jacket is a floral cotton sateen. I used a contrast cotton sateen for the drape lapels and peplum lining, the body is lined with cotton batiste and I used bemsilk for the upper sleeves (to make it easier to slip on) and the contrast sateen for the lower sleeve lining (more on that in a minute). Yes it’s a bit of a hodge-podge on the inside, partially to do with the fabric stash offerings and my alterations.
This is a simple jacket to construct. I only made a few changes to the pattern.
I cut the back as one piece. It’s supposed to have a seam down the centre of my back, however I didn’t want to cut up the pattern more than necessary.
I serged the front lining seams and then decided to top stitch these seams… just because I felt like it 🙂 I also serged the jacket front shell seams as I didn’t want them shifting about. I simply neatened the back seams, clipped and ironed them open as directed by the pattern.
I cut the lining slightly wider around the armholes as I thought it would allow for more movement up and around the seamlines. A while ago I saw a blog tutorial on Sewaholic, A Fashionable Stitch or perhaps Grainline’s blog on how to alter pattern pieces for a jacket lining. I wasn’t quite so exacting, i just recalled the post as I was cutting and I just did it by eye! When I get home I’ll look up the tutorial and amend this post with a link.
I also set the sleeves in flat… this is the easiest (and happiest) way to put in sleeves. I learnt this from A Fashionable Stitch during the 1880 sewalong. Great technique – try it!!
While this was an easy jacket to construct, I spent quite a bit of time pondering the sleeves. They felt overwhelming in the floral print. I almost chopped them off to 3/4 length. However I’m a girl who likes to keep her options open, so I decided to leave the length but use the contrast cotton sateen for the lower sleeve lining. This way when I roll the sleeves back, the sleeves match the lapels which I think looks nicer than seeing common-as-muck bemsilk. I think I’ll always wear this with the sleeves rolled back – I love the informal look – but the option is there for full length if I like or an evening turns chilly (I am now too old and sensible to shiver in the name of fashion).
To my eye the cropped jacket length is better balanced with cropped or slightly shorter sleeves, particularly in this busy print. I considered cuffing the ends but I love jackets with the sleeves shoved or rolled up the forearms. It appeals to my casual sense of style (…that’s if I have something you can call style).
While this pattern does not call for lining fabric, it appears you use sateen or something similar throughout, I think it would be very stiff hence the use of bemsilk and cotton batiste instead (which came from the stash).
I love the peplum as it gives me some shape. I do think the jacket would be great with a button closure, maybe a button and loop, as the lapels don’t really ‘drape’ and I like the look of it closed with the contrast lapels, they don’t look so great flopping around as they are rather pointy than soft and floppy.
Do I feel like a Fashion Star. Nah, not so much – I’m only 5 foot 4!
…and one bad hair day shot for laughs… I’m waiting for that sponsorship call from a shampoo company…
OK finally what you have been waiting for sooooo patiently, reading my rambling and skimming over my pictures….
Want to be a Fashion Star too? As you know the start of my journey to make this jacket began with the wrong size. I’ve been emailing Suzy and she is cool bananas with the giveaway (thanks Suzy!). So if you would like to join the McCalls 6611 congo line please let me know in the comments below. The giveaway is for size range 14-22
Suzy also sent me a sensational little package of vintage patterns – I’ll blog them when I’m home again – thank you Suzy I love them!! I’ll be home again soon enough.