The “Epic” Jacket
Fabric: 3.5 yards plum colored fine wale corduroy, $16 (JoAnn); 2 yards cotton lawn print for lining, $13 (Sew Mama Sew); both from stash
Pattern: McCalls 5850
Notions: 4 dark brown leather buttons I saved from an old cardigan, interfacing
Time to complete: Long. The entire first season of Mad Men (watched for the first time).
First worn: Saturday
Wear again: Yes!
Total cost: about $30
I made a lined jacket this week! Yes, it was epic. I was so very slow and careful. I knew the lining would be a challenge, but I wasn’t too worried about fit, since the shape seems pretty loose and forgiving on the pattern envelope. The finished jacket is actually pretty fitted in the shoulders and chest and curved and looser at the bottom, and long, perfect for me. It’s a little hiked up in the picture above, but in real life I think it’s flattering– don’t you love princess seams?– and I feel great in it. I much prefer this 70s shape to the “shrunken,” short jackets we have now. Also love the big collar and pockets.
The pattern directions called for hand sewing in the entire lining in three separate pieces (without attaching the sleeves to the body first). Holy crap! There had to be an easier way. I’ve only made simple skirt linings, so I was lost. I hurried up and ordered Easy Guide to Sewing Linings, by Connie Long, recommended by Caitlin on the Coletterie. Although I can read in a handful of languages, I had to read the jacket section several times before comprehension dawned. Finally, I followed what Long calls “the modified hand method,” basically sewing the lining (with sleeves attached) to the front and back facings and then hand stitching the hems. Probably this method is obvious to a lot of you! Now it’s obvious to me too.
After the lining, the buttonholes were easy peasy. The automatic buttonhole feature on my machine actually worked without a hitch for the first time. I interfaced the backs of the buttonholes, which wouldn’t have occurred to me had it not been for a recent Colette Patterns “Snippet.” The buttonholes appear neat on the right side, but the wrong side looks a little strange since I used white interfacing. I kind of like it, though.
The one problem I had is that the sleeve lining pieces are too short. Connie Long has a whole section in her book about lengthening the lining pieces from manufactured patterns, which she claims are often too short, and which I skipped over because I’d already cut everything out. The fault is probably mine, though. I think I cut the main sleeves a little shorter based on my measurements, and that made the sleeve cuffs less deep, but I didn’t think to lengthen the lining sleeves. I have enough fabric to cut extension pieces to attach to the existing sleeves, which I think will be fine. The important thing is that I can attach the lining sleeves to the jacket sleeve hems, so I can cuff the sleeves if I want, and so the lining sleeves don’t come out when I take off the jacket. If there’s a seam in there that shouldn’t be, oh well.
This is my second time working with a true vintage pattern (not a contemporary reissue of a vintage pattern) and I don’t know what I was afraid of! I’m a little worried because a whole new world of shopping has opened up to me.