Hot! The “Arm Placement is Crucial” Jacket


The Facts

Fabric: Brushed flannel, ~$1 thrifted
Pattern: McCall’s 3242 ~$2
Year: c. early 1950s
Notions: 6 buttons
Time to complete: 12 hours
First worn: July 2012
Wear again? Yes!

Total Cost: ~$3


One of my favorite vintage clothing purchases is this ’49er-style jacket (not a Pendleton) from the early 1950s. I purchased it at Alameda (I believe) for less than $30 and I wear it ALL THE TIME. So when it came time to figure out something to make for this week’s Great Outdoors challenge, I knew I wanted to recreated my beloved wool jacket.

As it turns out, McCall’s 3242 is pretty much an exact replica of my jacket (and all 49ers, I imagine). Down to the pleats and cuffs, everything is the same. And while I had the most perfect Pendleton wool in my stash, I sadly didn’t have enough yardage to complete the jacket. I ended up settling for a brushed flannel that, while not as stiff as Pendleton wool, feels pretty nice and soft.

Boy, the construction of this thing kicked my butt. Not that it was incredibly difficult — I’m just so used to making dresses. And, this was the first time I ever made button-up cuffs. Oh, and there was a big mistake that added about an extra hour or two to the process: I put the sleeves on the wrong arms. While it usually wouldn’t be a big deal with other type of sleeves, the fact that the cuffs need to be on the underside of the wrist and not the top was a bit of a biggie. So, the day after I took my first set of photographs, I decided to fix it and do the photoshoot again.

Here’s a photo from before I fixed the sleeves. You can see the that the cuff opening is in the wrong place. Thankfully, fixing it was easy enough. I simply removed the sleeves (even though they’d been serged) and switched them around.

I really want to make this jacket again. I can only imagine it will be much easier the second time around. But, goodness, dresses are so much easier!


Mena Trott

Mena Trott started The Sew Weekly to document her attempt to sew all of her own clothes in 2010. Since then, she's made over 125 outfits and has way more clothes than she needs.


Comments are closed.

  1. Is that sweet little dog yours? I love these pictures so much. They have such a peaceful and laid-back, nostalgic quality about them.

  2. I feel your pain with the reversed sleeves : ) Good save and ADORABLE photoshoot! I may have to add one of these to my wardrobe soon…

  3. Hi Mena, I love the jacket. It reminds me of sitting around a vampire, having coffee and chilling with friends. Cute dog, she looks like a real bundle of joy to have around.

  4. Great jacket! Looks very practical and like it will get a lot of use. I feel you with the sleeves. The first time I set in sleeves wrong it was on a tailored jacket with a hand-sewn in lining. I cried as I unpicked.

  5. AhHa! THAT’S why I probably don’t sew as much as I want to. I almost never wear dresses and usually prefer a classic tailored look. YES, those shirts/sleeves/cuffs can be a PITA! :)

  6. Cute jacket, cute dog, cute pictures. I like your little pin too.

  7. That’s such a cute jacket and a great interpretation of your beloved Alameda version! Good save on the sleeves. I also love how the adorable little doggy is preoccupied with something going on to your right – cute!!

  8. So cute! Perfect for doggy walks!

  9. I feel your pain when it comes to putting sleeves in backwards. I’ve learned to observe closely that the double notches are always toward the back and the singles are in front. However, it took me a long time to realize it and to be more careful when lining them up. I’m glad you were able to unpick all that serging and put them in correctly. We sure learn from our mistakes, don’t we? Your shirt is very cute and just right for a cool evening walk with your sweet little dog. Love how you matched it with rolled up denims and those darling flats.

  10. I did that with the hoodie project, but figured it out after the first one. That was close. I love your recreated version of the jacket. It looks really nice and comfy!

  11. I so love your dog … makes me want to have one again … I love the jacket too – I think I’d be wearing that all the time as well.

  12. The jacket is great. Love jackets like that.

  13. love this and would love to make one of these. I often see that pattern and think about buying it, maybe I’ll just go ahead now!

  14. How Sweet! What a great idea for this Bay weather right? Great job.

  15. Mena, I love your jacket… Good job.. and I agree, I would much rather do a dress than a sleeve with cuffs.. not fun!! But yours turned out really pretty.
    Happy sewing.

  16. Wow. It is adorable! Perfect for those Bay Area nights (she said, wistfully, having endured 19 horrible North Carolina summers after living in the Bay Area for same number of years…). I digress: I love that jacket, especially the pockets. It’s so funny how it works that something relatively shapeless ends up being completely workable, fashionable, and incredibly cute!

  17. Oh, and another thing: i did the same thing when making the Negroni shirt for my husband except that i made the cuffs the same for either arm, so that one cuff was right and the other was so so wrong. My husband sweetly said he could live with it but I ended up having to redo the entire arm. Lesson learned.

  18. I think we’ve all managed to put sleeves on backwards at some stage and isn’t it super exciting to have another version of a favourite in your wardrobe? Great job as always.

  19. This is just so cute! I love the photos…and your cuddling companion…and your shoes.