McCalls 5984 – Finished!

Thanks for all of your well-wishes! I was under the weather for a few days but am back up to speed now. I’ve been trying to stay off the computer in the evenings so that I can actually get some much-needed things done. Today is the first day I’ve even turned my home computer on all week!

I finally finished up my wool boucle jacket and am very pleased with it. You know, I used to sew jackets all the time. They are actually one of my favorite things to sew – or were. Then I started my embroidery business and didn’t wear jackets too often so I stopped making them. But, I decided that my wardrobe needs an upgrade and 2010 is going to be The Year Of The Jacket! I had soooo much fun working with this wool boucle and can’t wait to start another one. Yes, I know it will be warming up very quickly here *but* I figure I’ll be prepared for next winter.

Here it is, exactly the way I will be wearing it – unbuttoned. Oops, I see I still have a little pressing to do on that front hem! I’m really happy with the way these snaps look. The pattern calls for 5 snaps but I eliminated the 2nd one at the top of the facing because it looked odd when the jacket was open. I bought these snaps from Pacific Trimmings in NYC and definitely want to order a few more just to have.



The back. I’m pretty happy with the inverted pleat but feel it needs a bit more ease to hang better. Or maybe I should sew the pleat closed a little more. What do you think, Els?


I added a hanging chain which is really half of a bracelet I found at Michael’s. The color is just perfect.


To make the chain I sewed two narrow tubes out of my lining fabric. Crossgrain, lengthwise grain or bias – doesn’t matter because most of it will be enclosed in your neckline seam anyway.


I bagged the lining which is extra-easy with this pattern because the collar is closed up last. When I first learned to sew, we were taught to stitch this area by hand (which never looked good). Thanks to Kathleen, I learned how to bag a few years ago and haven’t looked back! If you haven’t done it before, this pattern does include instructions. Ignore the part about leaving an opening in the sleeve lining. You won’t need it because you can turn the jacket through the neckline seam.


I did handstitch the hem in place after attaching the lining. I like the way it looks better than securing the hem at each seam. On the sleeves I did just tack in a couple of places.


Although I wanted this jacket to be very soft and sweaterlike, I wanted the hems to retain their shape so I interfaced them with bias strips of Textured Weft. I happen to have several bolts of this stuff that I’m trying to use up.


When I got to the sleeves, I searched high and low for the moustache-shaped sleeve heads that Els sent me awhile back. I finally gave up and used bias-strips of tie interfacing instead. I have since located the moustaches – seems they were canoodling with some 1980s-era shoulder pads lurking under my counter. I should post photos of those pads. I can’t believe we ever wore those things!


Speaking of shoulder pads, they are optional in this pattern. However, I think a jacket needs some kind of shoulder shaping, something for the jacket to hang from. I found some very thin raglan pads in my collection, which were perfect once I removed the inner layer.



I always sew my shoulder pads on from the outside. I just feel that I have more control and that they are more secure that way. I sew them on with a small backstitch through the shoulder seam and


around the cap of the sleeve, being sure not to pull the stitches tight. This makes it so easy to shape the shoulder area over one hand while sewing with the other.


All in all, this jacket went together effortlessly. It’s a really nice pattern that I would highly recommend. It’s very nicely fitted through the shoulder and upper chest and really flattering. As I mentioned in my previous post, I usually prefer a fitted jacket and was unsure about this style. I absolutely love it and am so glad I made it!

One thing you need to look out for is the size of the pocket bags. Before trimming, the pocket seam allowance ends up being the same length as the hemline of the jacket. However, the jacket front hemline is a seam so you have some bulk to contend with there in addition to the pocket seam allowance. Add possible drooping of the pocket bag and you can end up with a lump at the hem, which is what happened to me. The fix is easy, I simply sewed the pocket 5/8″ shorter at the bottom. So, if you are working with a soft, drapey fabric be sure to check this before you close up your neckline.


Parting shots:

We have Cattleyas! My poor, neglected orchids still spoil me with their beautiful flowers. Really, I must build a slat house for them this year.


While cleaning out my linen closet (which is, of course, filled with fabric and leather) I found some large remnants of linen that were too small for anything so I made kitchen towels out of them. Linen towels are the best for drying barware!


Check this out! I am planning on making a Chanel-style jacket from this beautiful black wool that I’ve had in my collection for quite some time. I was kind of disappointed that I have less than two yards, not enough for the fringe trim I’d planned. Well, the other day I was in Fabric Hell (aka JoAnn’s) and had a quick look at their trims – something I never do. By the time I got to the end of the aisle I was thoroughly disgusted. That is, until I saw this trim! The perfect trim for my wool! It even has the sparkly cellophane threads! The tag said “mohair fringe” which I seriously doubt since it was only $4.79/yd. Still, it looks awesome with my fabric so I am very pleased.



Filed under McCall's, Year of the Jacket

40 responses to “McCalls 5984 – Finished!

  1. Ooh, the year of the jacket! Well you’re off to a great start with this lovely boucle number. And excellent score at Jo-Ann’s!

  2. Your jacket is fabulous! Love the details!

  3. It is beautiful!! The fabric is perfect, and it dews look like a dream to sew. Thanks for the shoulder pad tip! I’m about to sew in my first pair, so that was very timely.

  4. Your jacket turned out beautiful. I love the style.

  5. I love it! Thank you for the detailed photos. I’m glad you’re feeling better.

  6. Kyra

    Great cut and enviable workmanship! I’ve been to Pacific Trimming’s website twice and could not find those fabulous snaps on the snap page. Are they hidden somewhere else?

    • Kyra, they don’t show them on the site. Send them an email telling them what you’d like, your address and telephone number. They will call you with your total and take your card number over the phone.

  7. Miss Celie

    Gigi, this is gorgeous. I cannot make excuses anymore. Really, this is just beautiful. Thank you for all the detail shots!

  8. WOW, that is gorgeous! I’d love for you to post a shot of you wearing it sometime. Yeah on finding trim that will work for your other jacket!

  9. Stunningly beautiful! I love the snaps with it! And can’t wait to see what you do with the fabric and trim on the Chanel-type jacket.

  10. Beautiful jacket and glad to hear this is going to be the year of the jacket. That is my plan too…but we will see. And can’t wait to see the Chanel jacket too. Great find on the trim 🙂

  11. Cindy

    Your jacket is simply a stunner! Wonderful shaping through the shoulders, too. Can’t wait to see what else you do during your “year of the jacket.”

  12. Another gorgeous project! Nice to see you’re feeling better. Sally

  13. So pretty!

    I made a shocking discovery at my JoAnn the other day–I found 100% silk twill on the clearance table, near the 100% wool pinstripe suiting. I decided to splurge (the sale price was $4 a yard) and get 10 yards of white and 5 of pink, and, much to my surprise, the end price was only $1.50 a yard. What’s even more shocking is that so much of it is STILL ON THE TABLE. Do people even know what to do with silk twill? I do! I’ll take it for lining and lightweight blouses! I just don’t know if I have room for 4 bolts of the stuff… lol!

    So, you know, JoAnn sometimes has great stuff, if you feel like digging. 😉

  14. Great post! I love making jackets too and will be checking back often for inspiration to finish off all the ones I plan to make (i.e. have the fabric and it’s just sitting there laughing at me 😉 ).

  15. Oh Gigi, I wish I knew – I have a ton of those moustache sleeve heads, and I pick up more when I’m in New York. I would be happy to send you some. Let me know!

  16. That is a very pretty jacket. I remember those 80s style shoulder pads. Huge! I love the fabric you chose for your Chanel!

  17. Thanks for showing how to do that hanging chain! It’s so obvious yet I was never able to figure it out! 🙂

  18. Great looking jacket. Thanks for sharing some of the details-neck chain, shoulder pads, etc.

  19. Summerset

    The details take that jacket right into lux category – beautifully done!

    I just saw that trim at Joann’s yesterday. Once in a while you will find a bargain there, and on rare days a treasure.

  20. Beautiful jacket!!!! I love the fabric.

  21. Kim

    It’s beautiful! Thanks for all the great tips too.

  22. Pat Spurza

    Hi Just returned from NYC Pacific Trimmings and they were pretty low on these snaps had the large ones and then found some of the little bit smaller one. So if you are really wanting them better get them quick!!

  23. I like that shoulder pad method Gigi, I’m going to try it! It’s always so awkward to sew them in from the inside. Stunning jacket and when I’m in NYC in April you can bet I’m heading over to Pacific Trim to see if they have more of those snaps.

  24. Els

    Your wool boucle jacket looks fantastic. I have no idea what the pattern looks like for the inverted pleat at the back.
    So my advise would be sew the pleat close a little more.

    • Els, it’s just straight cut 4″ from the fold of the fabric. I think I’ll stitch it closed to about the center of the armscye and see how it looks. Thanks!

  25. The jacket is very pretty – I really like those big snaps. I also like the pleat as an interesting detail in the back!
    Your Chanel style jacket is going to be very cool!!

  26. Olivia

    Thanks for the tips on sewing that jacket. I like the idea of making those shoulder pads a little thinner. About the pleat on the back – how about sewing it down about three inches four inches from the bottom so it would be open on the bottom and the middle? I went in to JoAnns yesterday to get a few patterns on sale and even though the fabric selection isn’t great, I still like to browse the fabric in person rather than online.

  27. This jacket is perfect. It’s beautiful and totally professional. I agree with Olivis. If you sewed the back pleat down a few inches it would make all the difference. I made a jacket with a pleat in the back
    and it was sewed down. If you’d like to see it it’s one of my Nov.2009 posts.(I think).
    Again, this is truly an outstanding piece of workmanship.

  28. No I guess it is the Dec.30th post.

  29. OP Gal

    Gorgeous jacket. I love the colors in the fabric, and those snaps are beyond cool!

  30. Joyce in NC

    A great looking jacket. I have this pattern in my stash. I hope my version comes out this well.

  31. Gigi
    Fabulous post!! You did a great job!! I wouldn’t worry about the pleat. My jacket does the same but the pleat shows off better and a swing is added! Who is to say that is incorrect? If one didn’t want that during tissue fitting you could raise the back neckline to close the pleat!

    • Hi Pati! OMG, I am honored to have you visit my blog. 🙂 My friend Els (who is a master tailor!) suggested something to me which I tried last night and it worked really well. I’ll write a post about it sometime this week.

  32. Joyce Plunkett

    Gosh, I’m spiffed to follow Pati Palmer’s comment!! But I just had to say how much I love your jacket. I thought, “Don’t I have that pattern?” Yes, I do. And now it features a sticky note to check here for tips (pocket!) before I start. It’s also going with me to check the remnant table at Hancock’s so I can produce a wearable muslin 😉

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  33. Gigi, that jacket is so beautiful. I love the way the snaps blend right in. I wish jackets fit in with my wardrobe because I so want to make me one now.

  34. Very nice job.

    One suggestion that was not mentioned, and which is from an alterations standpoint, is if the openness of the pleat bothers you, you can raise the center points of the pleat (the ones that touch at CB, that is the CB Seam at the neck) by about 1/8th inch, which effectively pulls in the lower edges, causing the pleat to fall straighter.