Friday, August 27, 2010

When is a muslin not a muslin?

When it's wearable! I'm planning a new leather jacket for fall, and I chose McCall 6171 for the reasons set forth in the pattern review below.

I would go on at more length but I'm off to bed soon, to conserve my strength for the retail therapy excursion that is the PR NYC Shopping Day tomorrow.

Pattern Description: Misses lined, princess-seamed (front and back), zip front jackets, w/optional mandarin collar and sleeve variations. This is one of McCalls adjustable cup-size patterns.

Pattern Sizing: I made my standard size 12, which fit better than usual due to the adjustable cup-size option. Why can't they reissue all patterns with the FBA done for us? Why?

Did it look like the photo/ drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes!

Were the instructions easy to follow? I didn't look at them until afterward - and then they were fine. This is a very straightforward pattern. If you've ever made a jacket with a separating zipper before, this is a piece of cake.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I'm planning a new leather jacket for fall and was looking for a simply styled jacket pattern, preferably with princess seams, that would work for that purpose. Simple lines because I don't like fussiness in leather, and princess seams because I'm limited on how many skins I have and I need a pattern with lots of smaller pieces. This has princess seams front and back, and an upper back yoke, so it's perfect for leather.

I also thought the lines were interesting in that the back yoke is more of a shoulder yoke - it extends over the shoulder and down the front, so there's no shoulder seam. It's little things like that that make me happy.

Fabric Used: Denim. This is a very wearable muslin for my next leather jacket. I like using denim to try out leather designs because the weight and lack of stretch are similar. Acetate travel print lining purchased at Jomar during PR Weekend Philadelphia.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I made this straight out of the envelope in my size with only one exception - since I'm planning to do this again in leather, and since leather has no ease, I measured the armscye of the jacket and adjusted the sleeve cap accordingly. I took 2.5" of excess off the sleeve cap and was able to insert the sleeve completely flat.

Wonder of wonders, the jacket fits and I can raise my arms, so I really think they add WAY too much ease to these patterns. I also split the sleeve into two pieces, for ease of cutting on leather. I also think that depending on your fabric, a two-piece sleeve can be more flattering. This is the final pattern piece for the sleeve.

FYI for the lining - there are no separate lining pieces, you use the same princess seamed pieces as for the jacket, which to me is a little odd since the back yoke makes up a large portion of the lining and for stability's sake I did it in denim. For the leather version, I'll use lining fabric and just interface it.

For the leather version, I may or may not keep the collar. I'm a little iffy on it mandarin-style and prefer it folded down. I'll also add about 1.5" to the length of the jacket. I think this length is cute in the denim but for a true "outerwear" jacket, I might like it a bit longer.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Absolutely. I have 40 square feet of leather sitting on my sewing table waiting to become the next version of this jacket. As soon as I saw this pattern come out, I was excited - a leather jacket needs good, simple lines and lots of smaller pattern pieces, and this really fit the bill.

I'll do a separate review for the leather jacket and link back to this one, since they'll be similar but the structural issues will be different.

Conclusion: A streamlined princess seamed jacket. Definitely a winner!


shams said...

I love this jacket, Karen! I was just studying this pattern last night. I have some fabric that I want to use to make it up. It's a faux leather but I'm not sure I will have enough after my alterations.

Your version looks great!! And what a cute lining. :) Have fun shopping tomorrow!

Carolyn (Diary of a Sewing Fanatic) said...

First I'm in awe of the fact that you are making a leather jacket! Second this is a very kewl wearable muslin...and third...see you tomorrow!

Michelle said...

Great work! Have fun in NYC, I can't wait to see the finished version in leather!

gwensews said...

I'm in awe of you lady--working with real leather! I'll be interested in your sewing journey.

Anonymous said...

This was fun to read because I just finished my McCall's 6171 last night! I had a few struggles because I was using a rather heavy canvas-backed velvet. Instead of a lining, I used facings on the front. I also added in-seam pockets along the front princess seams with a decorative outer flap. I like your idea of reducing the sleeve cap and will do that next time.

Sheila said...

Cool jacket and looking forward to your leather version.

Audrey said...

This is a great denim jacket. It will be very cool tos see the pattern made up in leather. Can't wait to see it.