Hot! The “Singin’ in the Rain” Jacket | Debi Fry

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The Facts

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….

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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:

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I decided I was going to try and make it into an early 1930′s jacket and use McCall 7284 as my base.  M7284 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.

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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.

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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)!

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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:

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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!

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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?

Author

Debi from My Happy Sewing Place

Debi Fry LOVES vintage patterns. She started sewing in 2009 and has been going since. In 2011, she participated in the Sew Weekly challenge and looks forward to the new challenges that lie in store!

37 Comments

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  1. Wow. That’s my idea of refashioned. The cut is very flattering. I like the idea of fully taking the garment lice apart.

  2. This is refashioning dedication for you! Your little jacket looks a lot sharper than the original. Such a beautiful colour. (I never would have thought to go to that much effort in taking something apart!)

  3. Way to go! if you do unpick garments, it is amazing how many different construction techniques you can learn. I totally agree that the ‘before’ jacket was nice enough, but the ‘after’ jacket is Fab!

  4. Love the new jacket Debi and you look amazing in that hairdo too! I can’t imagine unpicking darts and all those serged seams though! You did a fabulous job!

  5. Lovely refashioning, well done. the jacket looks great on you.

  6. Over on Sally Ann’s blog there is an entire post and video about modern sewing and labor practices; it’s very disturbing. So to see you all refashioning is not only encouraging but very motivating as well. Good job.

  7. Oh, this is so lovely on you, Debi! I adore the new cut and shape of the jacket. You have improved this piece greatly! Well done!

  8. Wow– your refashion is so impressive and inspiring! The new outfit looks great on you. I’m a “refashion lurker” too. I’m ready to jump in now. Hope my results are half as good as yours.

  9. It is great. Love the colors of the jacket and they style. I am going to try that web site you posted when I re-do my dresses. Great job.

  10. Debi, your post is so insightful, thank you for sharing the details, so interesting! I completely understand having a garment that fits well enough but not comfortable to wear because it isn’t your syle. I love the end result inside and out, very lovely and that pop of color against dark is so delightful to look at!

  11. So gorgeous! What a fabulous job!

  12. It looks really good :) Well done! I was surprised at how short the 1940s blouse I made myself was- until I realised with the high waisted skirts/trousers it wasn’t so bad :) Obviously the jackets are the same way! A very flattering cut!

  13. margueritedesigns

    What a great little jacket – definitely not ‘meh’!

  14. judy roberson

    Excellent job.. Love that jacket.. Happy Sewing.

  15. I hadn’t heard of 1940s refashioning, but it’s so intriguing! I would like to do something like this!

  16. Thanks Krista! I’m glad it worked out :)

  17. Thanks Jen!!! It really was dedication but I did learn a neat trick for taking apart serged seams :)

  18. Oh yes! I found they attached the lining to the arms in a really unique way. Wish I had gotten photos but I did learn a lot taking this apart!!

  19. Thanks Adey! I had fun playing with my hair…then it started to rain..heheheheh

  20. Thanks Ronniie! It was fun to do!

  21. ooohhh you’ll have to send me the link. I would love to check that out!

  22. I found the link…very disturbing…I will definitely see the whole movie too!

  23. Thanks Meg!! Though you my dear are the refashion queen!! Been loving your week of refashioning!

  24. YAY! I actually really enjoyed the refashioning and may have to start collecting other items to refashion :) Good luck!

  25. YAY! Those websites are great! There were tons of resources in the 40′s for refashioning! Good luck with your dresses!

  26. Thanks Cathe! I do like the colour with the darker pants as well!

  27. Thanks Rachel! yeah, it can be a bit of a surprise making 30′s/early 40′s tops to discover how short they are (or how high the darts go up) but then they look perfect with high waisted trousers and skirts!!

  28. Thanks Judy! Happy sewing!

  29. You should! The resources are really great and lots of really fun ideas!!

  30. Another winner Debi it looks so much better at waist length, a lot more flattering. Thank you for sharing the links they will be bookmarked for sure.

  31. A perfect Debi refashion: a little complicated, some smooth shapes and vintage-esque! Looks darling on you Debi!

  32. that color is perfect on you, and the lime green binding must feel like a secret prize :) you look mahvelous! i love that last pose!

  33. Thanks Kazz! Love your refashions this week too!!!

  34. giggle! thanks Veronica! Loved your refashion this week too!!

  35. Definitely! The lime green binding is a fun surprise! :)