Category Archives: McCall’s

McCall’s 5860 – Part III

I did manage to squeeze in a few hours of sewing time today and got pretty far along on the jacket. The back has been sewn:


as have the fronts (how much does this look like a Duct Tape Dummy?):


Since I am pretty curvy up top, I cut the pockets on the bias so that they would be better able to follow the contours of my body. I have done this with jean jackets in the past and it’s always worked out really well. To shape the pocket, I press it over my tailor’s ham and allow it to cool. In this picture, you can see the thread tracing I used to mark the flap placement. I rarely thread trace but nothing else would show up well enough on the right side of this fabric.


Here it is back on Ethel. I will save the pocket flaps until later because I need to select buttons and make buttonholes before they are sewn on.


I also finished one of the sleeves, which has the traditional jean jacket placket – very easy!



Filed under McCall's, Year of the Jacket

McCall’s 5860 – Part II

The pattern has been fitted and altered and the fabric cut and fused. I don’t know how much sewing, if any, I will get done today. I am this close to being ready to lay sod where the old stone patio was (not fun digging up all of those rocks, let me tell you). Frankly, it is hot as blazes and I just want to finish! I have decided no more yardwork until the fall. Everything I am able to see when I’m in the pool will look good – the rest can wait until it cools off.


This fabric is really cool. I cut everything from the backside because the stripes made it so easy to keep everything lined up. This came from Cynthia’s in Tamarac.



Filed under McCall's, Year of the Jacket

McCall’s 5860 – Part I

Today I am working on this Palmer/Pletsch jean jacket. Yes, I have a long list of things to sew but this is a store sample for my friend’s shop and I want to bring it with me on Monday evening (my last Beginning Sewing class). I’m using a TDF laminated cotton/linen from Elliot Berman Textiles which is in the washer as we speak.


Look at this unexpected surprise I received yesterday! I am so excited about this because I’ve been wanting one for a year and a half. I know what you’re thinking: meh, it’s a commercial straight stitch foot, big deal.


Actually, it is a big deal – it’s a paperweight! My friend received one just like it from one of the sewing machine suppliers in 2008 and I’ve been threatening to lift it since. Now I have my own!



Filed under McCall's, misc., Year of the Jacket

Vintage Jacket Patterns

As if I didn’t have enough patterns already, right? I like to look at vintage patterns for inspiration as they often have special little details that you don’t see on modern patterns.

At first glance, this Vogue Young Fashionables (how cute is that?) is just a nice, basic jacket. The Etsy seller only showed a photo of the front of the envelope but when I read “center back pleat and back belt” in the description I had to hit the Add To Cart button! If the seller had included a back photo it probably wouldn’t have ended up in the clearance section.


Two of my favorite details, an inverted pleat and a back belt!


I couldn’t resist this one from McCall’s either. I love the front and back Princess seams and all of the little details. I do want to alter the mandarin collar so that it stands a little farther away from the neck, though.


Check out the wonderful seaming on this vintage Nina Ricci.



Last, but not least, I want to thank you all for your wonderful comments about my jackets! You’re all so nice. 🙂

Parting shots: Two weeks ago, Bryan and I were sitting on the couch and he turned to me and said “either I’ve had one too many beers or there are two Winnies in your backyard”. Sure enough, my neighbor’s kitten (whom I’ve now nicknamed “Mini Winnie”) was visiting!

She was back again yesterday morning and stayed long enough for me to get my camera. The one with the collar is my Winnie. She will be 13 this year and is such a petite little girl. It’s so funny to see her interact with a strange cat since the only other cats she knows are the ones that live with her.





Filed under Kitties, McCall's, Vogue, Year of the Jacket

Snap Redo – McCalls 5984

As I mentioned yesterday, I sewed the snaps too far away from the edge so I took them off and resewed them. Ideally, a button’s location from the edge should be equal to half it’s width. I guess my mind must have been on something else – no big deal.


Here’s my first attempt – just a wee bit too far in.


Daily progress:

My closet has a wall! No door (so no squeeling) but there’s a wall. 🙂


And, as is my perogative, I have changed my mind on the tile. I decided to go all the way and install Travertine. My friend Jim is going to do the job for me – he’s really, really good.


Here’s the tile along with my vanity and granite selections. I still have so many things to pick but none of them as pressing as these. I’m a very visual person and don’t do well making my selections all at once because I can’t imagine how it will all fit together. I kind of have to see how things are coming along before I can move on to the next thing. I do the same thing when sewing.


Filed under McCall's, misc., Year of the Jacket

McCall’s 5984 – Closures!

I didn’t get any sewing done today, much to my dismay. I found out yesterday that the plumber would be here tomorrow to rough in the shower fixture. Eh, no big deal (I thought), I’ll go to The Depot in the morning and pick something up. Well, three Home Depots and a Lowe’s later I hadn’t found any fixture that I could live with, let alone really liked. I finally called the plumbing supply shop in Ft. Lauderdale around 2:30 and found out they were open until 4:00. I arrived at 3:00 and left a half-hour later with the necessary diverters and valves. Everything else I’ll pick up on Friday. I spent the same amount of money and received much better service and a superior product. The only thing that could have made my shopping experience any better is if they’d handed me a cold beer after I signed the bill. Yes, that’s how stressed I was by this time!

I did sew the closures onto my red boucle jacket – just so the weekend wouldn’t be a total bust. After going through my entire button collection, I still liked the snaps the best. I think they are funky and add interest to the large collar. It was pretty warm today but I hope to wear it next weekend when the temps dip again.



Filed under McCall's, misc., Year of the Jacket

Another McCall’s 5984 – Final

It’s been a pretty stressful week and I was glad to have something to work on to take my mind off of everything else. Although at times it was not easy to concentrate with all the noise!


The only thing I still have to take care of are the closures. I didn’t get around to calling Pacific Trimming about snaps and then Els suggested I try buttons. I’ll play around with that tomorrow.

As I mentioned before, I eliminated the inverted pleat at the back. This not only cut down on sewing time but also gives this jacket a different look from the first one. If you do this, don’t forget to add an ease pleat to your lining.


Ordinarily, I would catchstitch the upper and under collar seams together from the inside but this boucle hides stitches so well that I was able to ditch-stitch from the right side.


Again, I added a hanging chain. I wasted so much time yesterday looking for the leftover chain from the first jacket. I remember putting it away but don’t remember where. Last night I finally went back to Michael’s and bought more.


The hole in my house has finally been repaired – yay! Concrete block was laid in the center of the hole and is flanked by rebar-reinforced poured concrete columns. I just love the little funnels attached to the top of the plywood forms.


It looks really good from the inside.


I decided not to redo the cedar closet. It was something that my ex wanted and it will feel nice to have one less bit of him in the house. I need to start looking at closets to get some idea of what to do in here.


I had no trouble picking out new tile. I wanted Travertine but also wanted something really durable and low maintenance. I was thrilled to find this porcelain tile that looks like natural stone so I can have the look without worrying about staining and periodic resealing. I propped it against my tumbled Travertine backsplash and I think it looks amazingly realistic.


My cat Ricki has been completely stressed out since work began on Monday and has been hiding under one bed or another. Kanga, the lady of the house, has been totally pissed off. She just lays on the sofa and tries to put voodoo curses on the workers.


Winnie Whiskers, OTOH, was completely undisturbed by the noise and commotion. She’s so ladylike, isn’t she?


Tomorrow I have to shop for faucets and moldings. I’m thinking of upgrading all of my door casings in the bathroom so I’ll need to get that done before tiling begins.


Filed under McCall's, Miscellaneous, Year of the Jacket

Another McCall’s 5984 – Part II

I managed to get quite a lot done on the jacket yesterday considering that cutting out too as much time as it did. This bouclé was very shifty so I had to cut single layer to make sure everything was perfectly on grain.

By dinner time last night I had completed the body of the jacket.


I used a stay in the back. Ordinarily, I’d just use a piece of muslin but I couldn’t find any (really must reorganize!) so I used a thin, tightly woven drapery lining I had on hand. Even a printed cotton would work but I’m using Ambiance lining and I was afraid it would show through.


Closeup of one of the pockets. These pockets are so simple to make and look so nice. Isn’t this fabric beautiful?


I constructed and set the sleeves in this morning. Now I’m ready to insert the shoulder pads and construct the lining/facing/collar unit.


It’s taken four men four hours to chisel that tiny slit on the right with a jack hammer. My house, she is strong like the ox. Right now, this crew is thinking it would be easier to break into a bank.



Filed under McCall's, misc., Year of the Jacket

Another McCall’s 5984

First, I’d like to thank you for all of your well-wishes! Bryan is feeling much better. Okay, he does have blisters on his legs the size of my fist but he isn’t in as much pain as he was. The Dr. put him on antibiotics and we’ve just been laying low all week. He’s just amazing – every bit the ray of sunshine he always is.

I met with a contractor and structural engineer on Wednesday afternoon and work starts Monday morning – yay!!!! Since the condition of my house is only going to get worse two days from now, I have talked myself out of doing any housework this weekend. I am going to ignore everything and sew, sew, sew! I have worn the McCall’s jacket several times in the past week and have received so many compliments on it that I decided to make it again. Since the weather could turn warm again any second I will eliminate the back pleat. Not only will that speed things along a little, it will also make the jacket look a little different from the first one.

I think I’m going to use this wool/silk bouclé that I purchased from Ultra Fabrics in Miami ages ago. I know what you’re thinking: Go Chanel or Go Home! (I love that blog!). Yes, it would be perfect for a Chanel jacket but I promise I have even better goodies in my stash for that. Now, the only trouble is finding snaps that I like. I went to Fabric Hell this morning hoping for some antique brass snaps (please stop laughing). I suppose I could use the tortoise-shell again but I was hoping for something a little different. I’ll see what I can turn up online.


PS: Although the Purse Wall was blown to bits, I didn’t have a single fatality! I did think I had lost my lovely gold Delman sandals with the feather trim and scoured the yard with a flashlight at 2 a.m. They’ve been found unharmed. 🙂


Filed under McCall's, Year of the Jacket

McCall’s 5984 – Tweaking the Pleat

After conferring with Els about my inverted pleat, she directed me to an old post at The Sewing Divas. How could I have forgotten that?!?!? Brilliant, right? Els recommended that I stitch the diagonal line about 5″ down from the top of the opening. As you can see, she’s not only a master tailor, she is also the Queen of Photoshop (the yellow stitching is from the skirt post, the red is the jacket stitching)!


I took these photos after doing a little hand basting with silk thread – it shows up much better than the permanent stitching does. You can see that I started the stitching at the top of the opening and angled it out to the fold. I had originally intended to stitch the pleat closed a bit more but decided against it once I saw that this method would give me the look I wanted.

The stitching is only done on the inside of the pleat and does not show on the outside of the garment. This would all have been much easier to do had I done it before attaching the collar! Believe me, I won’t forget to do it on my next version.


You can see how much more nicely the pleat lays without taking away the swinginess at the lower edge. I have to say that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this jacket and will definitely make another. Thank you, dear Els, for teaching me something new!



Filed under McCall's, Tutorials, Year of the Jacket