Or… Every Once in a While You Have to Let Your Inner Disco Diva Out!
Pattern Description: From McCalls’ website: “Semi-fitted, unlined jackets have collar, side-front seams, bands, side-front pockets, exposed front zipper contrast panels and sleeves with shoulder dart. A, B, C: Welt pockets. D: Kangaroo pocket.”
Actually, the description is very slightly inaccurate. The version I made (View C) has an in-seam pocket. There are no welts on that version.
Sizing: 4-26, sized as XS to XXL. I made a Medium, which translates to a 12/14
Available as a PDF? It doesn’t appear so.
Machines and Tools Used: Pfaff sewing machine, Juki serger, Reliable iron/board, ham, sleeve board.
Needle/Notions Used: Pro-Tricot Fusible Interfacing from Fashion Sewing Supply, Silver M6/Gray Tape Riri Zipper from Pacific Trimming. Thread.
Did it look like the photo or drawing when you got through? Yes
Fitting Adjustments that I made None!
How were the instructions? When I was starting on this project, someone mentioned that she thought the instructions for attaching the bottom band were not very clear, and I agree with her assessment. I did some things differently because of that, and you can see those in the construction notes.
Construction Notes: First off, I wanted something FUN! I had a lot of sequined fabric left over from the Prom Gown I made, and I decided this should be the perfect way to use some of that up. This pattern (in the version that I made) is great for using up leftover scraps from prior projects. I used less than a yard of the sequin, and just about a yard of the doubleknit.
Because the sequin mesh is lightweight and slightly transparent, I underlined it with some stretch lining I’ve had in my stash for several years.
I sewed through the sequins (I know, I know. But this is not couture, this is FUN!). I wanted to finish the seam allowances of that fabric so they wouldn’t catch anything I wore underneath, or scratch me. I thought about using silk organza, but then I glanced at the fabric and noticed the 3-inch wide plain mesh selvages on either side. Eureka! I used those for Hong Kong finishes. I was pretty ecumenical in my seam finishing. In addition to the finish on the sequins, I also used a slightly long whipstitch to finish the neckline, and the serger to finish other edges.
I used the same fabric for the bands and collar as I did for the contrast panels to give it a more dressy finish than the recommended ribbed knit.
The pattern instructions have you baste the raw edges of the front bands together, then, matching raw edges, attach the waistline band around those, then sew to the lower edge of the jacket… yeah, no. I just sewed the bands together at the seam line, graded and pressed the seam allowances toward the waist band, folded the whole shebang in half lengthwise, and sewed it to the bottom of the jacket. Sorry, no pictures, My advice is pin things together as a mockup and then see how you want to proceed with the construction. If the instructions work for you, great. If they don’t take Fleetwood Mac’s advice and Go Your Own Way
I used the stretch lining for the pocket facing, and the doubleknit for the pocket.
At one point, before I attached the zipper and the bands, I put the jacket on Shelley to take a look at it. I noticed right away that the weight of the pockets were distorting the lines of the jacket. You can see at the bottom it’s pulling away from the dress form.
To fix this, I simply whipstitched the pocket to the underlining on the front:
Here’s a shot of two pockets: the one on the left has been attached, the one on the right is hanging free, per the instructions.
You can see the results on the outside of the garment.
I ordered a custom-cut Riri Zipper from Pacific Trimming in NY. It arrived in 2 days. They (both Pacific Trimming and Riri Zippers) are GREAT! I’ve tried Lampo zippers from Botani (also in NY), but I keep coming back to Riri. It’s just my personal preference.
Likes/Dislikes: This is a great pattern! The instructions on the band are a little wonky, but if you rate yourself an advanced beginner or beyond, I think you can handle it and get good results.
Would you do it again? Would you recommend it? Yes and yes!
Conclusion: I haven’t made such a fun garment in ages. This one really makes me smile – it appeals to the Jamaica Plain girl in me (Day Street, for those of you who know the area). I showed it to DH and he said, “Ooooh, that’s so cool! We have to go someplace you can wear that!” It is really fun, and I love it. I can’t wait for it to get cool enough so I can wear it. It will look great with jeans or (maybe, if I’m feeling it) pleather leggings to get my 80s on.
Then again, maybe not. 😆
Here are pictures on Shelley.