It's McCalls 7481 ~
Earlier this spring, I made this jacket using an African print. I've worn that jacket twice ~ both times out to dinner with friends. I've never worn it to work and I don't know why? I stumbled across the inspiration jacket during my Pinterest travels.
I follow Blair from Atlantic Pacific on Instagram, Pinterest and her blog. I'm constantly inspired by her looks and copied a garment she featured years ago too. When I saw this pic I immediately thought of McCalls 7481 as the starting point.
What I most admired about the jacket is the floral print and how it extended into the gathered bottom. It looks like it's made from a silky type fabric. However, I immediately saw it in a denim and I KNEW I had the perfect fabric in the collection to make it work.
This lightweight denim fabric is from Fabrixx in San Francisco. Shams was shopping there and sent me a note asking if I wanted some. People seriously I have the best sewing friends! Definitely wanted some - it was just a matter of determining how much to buy...I ended up with 2 panels though later I wished I'd bought 3.
Anyhoo, when I added this jacket to my Crazy 8 Wardrobe plan I knew it would be a project. I was hacking a pattern and I was using a fabric that I hoped would work for the design. Also this style is a little out of my comfort zone. It has more of an artistic/art teacher flair to it. Clothing that I love on others but rarely make for myself.
Ltwt denim border fabric from Fabrixx
Black midweight denim from Smuggler's Daughter
Ltwt fusible interfacing from Fashion Sewing Supply
Large Snaps from Pacific Trims
Pattern Alterations/Construction Techniques ~
This a great pattern to start with because it comes ready to color block. Since I've already used the pattern all of the pattern alterations have been made to it.
Now while the pattern has separate pieces to use in color blocking, I still traced and adjusted my already altered pieces because I didn't want to fiddle with new pattern pieces.
My pattern changes:
1. Cut the front and back pieces adding 2" below the waistline.
2. Omit the lining since it's a denim jacket.
3. Used the front & back facing pieces I'd made for the previous jacket.
4. Omitted the pockets again ~ honestly I regret omitting now that I've worn the finished jacket.
a. Since the goal was to have a fully gathered skirt on the jacket, I used the lower front panel piece from the pattern. I cut it on the fold for the back but I used the entire length of the border print.
b. Then I cut two front pieces from the border print using the same pattern piece.
c. The gathering was accomplished using the dental floss technique that's worked so well for me in the past.
d. I cut the collar using a darker piece of the border print to bring some of the border print to the top of the jacket.
Let's be honest I have fat upper arms and I almost always need to make adjustments to the sleeve pattern pieces. This pattern was no exception. Although I'd already made alterations to the sleeve pattern piece when I originally made the jacket, the sleeve didn't work as cut. I don't know if it's because my fabric is an unforgiving denim or what but they just didn't work.
Thank goodness I had enough fabric left over to recut new sleeves. I decided to add a seam down the center of the sleeve so that I could get the extra space I needed where I needed it.
By adding a center seam I solved most of my problems with how the sleeves fit and hung. I also made the armholes a little larger when I put the sleeves in to take up some space in the jacket front that was pulling in a funny direction.
I could tell something was wrong not only by how the jacket felt when I put it on but also how it looked. See I've started to take quick pics on my iPad when fitting. It helps me get a better idea of how a garment hangs and looks, as well as how it feels.
Now my upper arms are considerably fatter than my lower arms and wrists. So to insure that my wrists don't look like they are floating in a too big sleeve, I added ties from the border print to the bottom of the sleeve. This way I can tie the sleeve, giving it a better fit at the wristbone.
A few construction shots ~
Pinning the gathered skirt onto the jacket
The jacket without the sleeves after
the bottom has been added
There was a lot of thought and care given to the interior of this jacket since it wasn't lined. I hand stitched the jacket hem as well as the sleeve hems. The front plackets were hand stitched down after I sewed the fabric covered snaps to the front bands.
A few pictures of the jacket in action ~
Wearing the jacket with a RTW pin at the neckline
Jacket front opened so you can see the covered snaps
View of the back gathered skirt
A gust of wind showing the jacket's flow
I thoroughly enjoyed making this jacket probably because I had the time to think through the challenges and execute them. I'm also thrilled that while it's not an exact replica of the inspiration jacket, it works for me.
This isn't a silhouette I usually wear and I'm even happy about that. Also, some would think this should be an outerwear jacket but it's cold here on the East Coast. It also looks like it's gonna be a very cold winter, so warm layering pieces are on my creative horizon right now.
This was my second garment of my sewcation and took the longest to complete but so worth every minute I spent working on it.
...as always more later!