I liked the shape of McCall 5526 with its slight peplum and sharp collar, so last winter I decided make a heavy jacket with it, making some modifications, since the original pattern is unlined and meant for light to medium weight fabrics. I made mine out of wool and tried some tailoring techniques for the first time. The whole front of the jacket is interfaced, as is the upper back, the bottom of the sleeves and the bottom of the hem. I used a stiff interfacing for the collar to give it more structure. I top stitched all the seams and edges by hand to make the wool lay flat and keep the corners sharp and crisp. The hand stitching sinks into the wool and becomes fairly invisible. I used the pattern pieces to draft a lining: the back and front are lined with cotton flannel, for warmth, and the sleeves with polyester lining fabric, to make it easier to put on and take off. I used some of the leftover pieces of flannel to make sleeve-heads to give the tops of the sleeves a nice shape. The faux-leather buttons are from an old clearance sale at JoAnns, and the fabric was a decent sized piece that I found at the thrift store. I stitched the button-holes by hand.
I cut the pattern to a size 8, and am mostly pleased with the fit, although I think I would make some changes the next time I make this pattern. I think the shoulders are a little too wide, since they tend to wrinkle a bit in the back, and sit out a little further than where my shoulder ends. Next time I will try narrowing them at the edge and a little at the top of the princess seams. After looking at the photos Mr Rat took of me wearing the jacket, I think the back waist may need to be shortened very slightly, also. And although I don’t mind the way the peplum gapes a bit in the front, I would need to add some more fabric to the hips to accommodate my full skirts if I would like it to close all the way next time.
Mr Rat took some photos of me wearing my jacket over my striped cotton McCall 6209 dress at the monastery on Sunday afternoon. It was a grey, beginning-of-winter day, and the garden was green with recent rain. Gia came along with us; though she was too busy smelling the squirrels’ hidden caches of acorns in the tall clover to want to join in the photos with me.
Mr and Mrs Rat
Mr and Mrs Rat like to sew.