The “Singin’ in the Rain” Jacket | Debi Fry
Fabric: older linen/tweed jacket that I’ve had for years
Pattern: McCall 7284, £3.99 on Ebay UK
Year: c. 1933
Notions: 1 vintage snap from stash, green bias binding for inside from stash
Time to complete: 5 hours
Wear again? YES!
Total Cost: ~£4
I was really excited for this week’s challenge. You see, I’m a refashion lurker. I watch other people make amazing garments from already existing ones. A little tuck here, a new seam there….it all seems easy. I’ve never refashioned anything but I’ve always had a desire to follow in the 1940’s make do and mend history and refashion tailored garments. This week I decided to do a sort of pilot run with a jacket that I have but wouldn’t be too terrribly upset if I ruined! My ultimate goal is to make a woman’s suit out of a man’s suit…but I’m getting ahead of myself….
This is the jacket that I decided would get the hack this week. It’s a really nice fabric, great colour but I don’t really wear it that often. When I do wear it, there’s always a little thought in the back of my mind that I don’t feel quite entirely comfortable in it. I mean it’s comfortable in a physical sense but you know when something isn’t quite your style? Or doesn’t fit perfectly that it’s just meh instead of fabulous?
So I thought I would try out the same techniques of refashioning that were used in the 1940’s. Instead of just taking in a side seam here or chopping the sleeves there. I took apart this entire jacket. I first took out the lining, then meticulously unpicked every seam. It took about 2.5 hours to take apart the entire jacket as most of the seams were serged. Here are all the pieces:
I decided I was going to try and make it into an early 1930’s jacket and use McCall 7284 as my base. Before I unpicked it all, I did an brief measure of the pieces to make sure they would fit. I chose view B because I liked the streamlined look and it also used the least amount of fabric. I left the original darts in the back of the jacket but unpicked the front darts as well. You’ll notice the pattern has a princess seam on the front which I made in the final jacket.
I consulted a few really good sources from the Make Do and Mend period on refashioning tailored jackets. I recommend the New Vintage Lady’s posts, also Cargo Cult Craft has uploaded the entire Make Do and Mend booklet that has detailed instructions for refashioning jackets. I also downloaded a neat booklet from Wearing History on refashioning from men’s suits to women’s garments from the time period.
I’m quite happy with how the jacket turned out. It is quite short and that’s from the pattern. It goes perfectly with my high-waisted trousers but would be way too short for a modern trouser. I kept most of the finishing touches on the jacket including the buttonholes, interfacing, buttons and cuffs (cuffs were reattached). That saved loads of time and was an aspect of refashioning that I loved (i.e. not having to spend the time on the really time consuming parts of making a tailored jacket)!
The original jacket was lined. While I didn’t really want to line this new version, I decided that I would use binding to finish all the seams. I had an amazing lime green binding in my stash that worked perfectly! I really like how it looks on the inside!
You can see the princess seam a bit better in this picture:
A nice fun touch was the neat neck scarf piece that is a part of the pattern. Luckily, I had some lightweight wool fabric left from the trousers I made last year! YAY! I really love the neck scarf as I’ll be able to wear it with any of my blouses/jackets that I pair with these trousers! I’m hosting a giveaway on my blog this week for this pattern! It’s a lovely one and I hope to make view A with the jacket peplum in the future!
It started pouring rain when we were taking these pictures! Awwww…a Scottish summer…hehehehehe! Plus, it’s still in the mid 50’s (around 14 celsius) during the daytime. So jackets and wool pants are perfect :)
What about you? Are you tackling the refashion week?