Hot! The ‘”C’moooooon Poil!”‘ Swing Jacket | Debi Fry

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The Facts

Fabric: 1.5 metres bright teal wool twill £23 from Paron Fabrics in NYC, 1.5 metres of grey lining material (a charity shop find!), £1
Pattern: McCall 3619
Year: c.  1940
Notions: None…yet…I might add some buttons

Time to complete: 5 hours 

Wear again? Yes! It's perfect for layering!

Total Cost: ~£24

I'm a HUGE fan of 1940's musical films! One of my absolute favourites is 'Cover Girl' with Rita Hayworth and Gene Kelly.  In that musical, Rita wears a very stylish swing type jacket that is very reminiscient of the mid-1940's.  I've copied a few of the movie stills from Cover Girl and from another movie called 'Black Angel' in my inspiration board for this week's sewing project:

10 October 2011 weekly sewing inspiration 
Image sources: 1 & 2:  Casey's Elegant Musings, Fashion in Film stills from the Black Angel (1946). 3: Rita Hayworth in Cover Girl (1944) from Movies 'Til Dawn, 4:Hollywoodland.

McCall 3619 fit the bill perfectly for a swing jacket! I actually think this is a rare pattern as it's the first time I've seen a swing jacket so early in the 1940's (this pattern is from the year 1940).  They didn't really come into full fashion until 1943/44 and then much later as well 1946/47. 

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When I was in NYC for the fabulous blogger meet-up, I bought some amazing bright teal/blue wool twill from Paron Fabrics (it's actually much brighter than in the photos which were taken at dusk).  It's absolutely buttery and fabulous to sew!  You might think it's odd that I would buy wool in the States when Scotland has such fantastic wool (which it does!) but I've found it hard to get 'unusual' colours of wool in Scotland.  We've got the best quality (and prices–even compared to the States) on high-quality wool in traditional colourways but we don't really have many of the brighter or funkier colours!  I've never sewn with wool twill and I must say that I LOVE it!

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The pattern was very easy to put together and is fully lined.  I opted for view C with the box sleeves.  It's funny because whoever had used this pattern before me had shorted it by about 1 inch.  I had originally thought of leaving their alterations and doing mine shorter too but decided that I wanted the longer length.  Now in retrospect I think I would have liked it a bit shorter!

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I really love the rounded front lapel and the neat pleat in the front shoulder areas.  I am also a  huge fan of pleated sleevecaps!  I'm glad I went for the boxy sleeves as that will make this a perfect layering jacket for winter!

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The back of the jacket does take that 'swing' jacket shape but not as much as I had hoped.  I think I may have to coax it into more of a soft pleated shape with some very gentle ironing!

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Overall I am quite pleased with my new 1940's jacket–it certainly gives a proper look for the time period!  I love how it matches my other sew weekly items ('Coco Chanel Inspired' blouse and my 'Mrs Peacock' skirt).  Can you tell I'm trying to make a wardrobe of matching items :) 

I need your help! I have approximately 1.5 metres left of this fabrics.  Should I make:

a) a 1950's godet skirt (I got this through the pattern swap as part of the NYC meet-up)

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or b) the new Colette 'Clover' long capri trousers?

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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!


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  1. Hi Debi, lovely coat! I would make a slim 40s skirt with a kick pleat so that you have a walking suit when worn with your swing coat.

  2. That is really lovely – and look at your hair too!
    I wouldn’t attempt Clover in anything other than a stretch fabric… unless you plan on standing up all day ;)

  3. Lovely jacket and lovely color! I say go with the skirt for the leftover fabric. :)

  4. Cute! Thats one of my favorite films too I ADORE Rita Hayworth! x

  5. Oh My Goodness, Debi! That’s one of the patterns I found in Mum’s treasure chest of patterns last weekend. I love it and will be making it next Winter. I absolutely love the colour you used. As for the left over fabric I’d definitely go with the skirt.

  6. The colour is AMAZING! and its such a pretty coat as well. Well done! I really ought to make a coat.. everyone seems to make such nice ones.

  7. Debi, I love your swing jacket, very pretty and so wearable! I agree with the consensus, a skirt would be wonderful although at some point Clover needs to be made as well. That’s interesting regarding Scotish wool, I guess the mills are more traditional. I think you need to work with them to update and expand their color palette…I know, I know…

  8. I vote for the skirt!

  9. great use of that gorgeous wool, debi! i’ve got a swing coat on my own to-do list this year, and i’ll be using yours as some inspiration!

  10. Dang girl, you look like you stepped right out of the film. What a great use for that lovely teal fabric!

  11. Gorgeous! And makes the swingy skirt defs! I think Clover asks for a fabric with stretch.

  12. gorgeous jacket! i think it definitely needs to be paired with a matching godet skirt :)
    also: your hair! oooh i love your hair! :)

  13. Skirt for sure with that fabric!

  14. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!!! I love everything about this beautiful swing jacket, Debi. Another incredible job done! I really like your snazztastic hairdo, too! :)
    I vote for the skirt with the godets – lovely!

  15. OK, so now I have jacket jealousy. That is GORGEOUS. And pattern jealousy. You look amazing Debi.
    PS I vote both x

  16. Dang! You find the coolest patterns! :)
    That coat is brilliant and the color is perfect! Beautifully done!

  17. Rachel Sew-n-Sew

    Gorgeous!!!! Lovely hairdo, too.

  18. Looove it! The color is gorgeous. And I saw… Clover!! But only because I have Clover on the mind. ;) The skirt would be a cute option, but I’m leaning towards pants.

  19. That fabric is fab with your colouring! I recommend the Clover capris because I think the slim lines of the trouser will balance beautifully with the swingy silhouette of the jacket. Or would it all be too 40’s meets 80’s? Can’t wait to see the results!

  20. You have made an entire ensemble you clever gal you. This teal blue looks fabulous on you. Well done on your new coat, she’s gorgeous.

  21. Love the jacket! My vote goes for the skirt. :)

  22. Love this!! It’s so bright and the swingy-ness is amazing!! Also, do the Clover!! I love that pattern – Sarai is evening doing the cool sewalong series with lots of hacks for fitting them right! I’m going to jump in a do another pair soon!