mccalls 6172 progress

I managed to make solid progress on my blazer last week (Mccalls 6172), and I’m pretty thrilled with how it is turning out! There is very little in the pattern I’ve felt the need to change or improve upon, so if you’re in the market for a blazer pattern, this one is a winner. I especially love that it will work in a variety of fabrics (structured or not) and there are options for different lengths (cropped to hip length). Also, it has a lot of built in lines for pattern alterations and instructions for many common adjustments. Very handy! As per usual, there are only directions for FBAs and not SBAs… but whatever. 😛

I spent what felt like an eternity fusing the jacket pieces. I used weft interfacing on the entire front, collar, facing, then partially fused the back pieces and the sleeves. I also added fusible horsehair on the lapel, upper chest, and the stand area of the undercollar. I had such a hard time with the fusible, and encountered near disaster. First off, the fusing leeched through and stuck to my press cloth so badly that I ended up using parchment paper under my iron. I don’t have an organza press cloth, I was just using muslin, so I don’t know if that would have made a difference.

Then, after fusing, I went to transfer my pattern markings only to find that my pieces had shrunk quite significantly (vertically). I had a mini panic attack and contemplated my options. my longest pieces had shrunk by a solid 3/8″ vertically. Now, I had pre-shrunk my wool, twice actually. I sent it through the dryer on high with a wet towel, then I took our garment steamer to it. I spent quite a bit of time doing this, so I was perplexed as to what had happened. Turns out, it was the fusible that shrunk. Yeah, thanks Pellon. Next time I’ll be ordering from Fashion Sewing Supply. Should I have block fused? Maybe… but to be honest I’m not sure that’s 100% the way to go either. Plus it’s really hard to do well with my current ironing board setup.

Anyways, I had two options: (1.) Sew as if nothing happened. (2.) Go back to my pattern pieces and reduce all the SA’s and re-cut my fabric.

I thought about it for a while and decided that from shoulder to hem, 3/8″ isn’t all that much for a loosely fitted blazer. I had considered shortening the armhole depth, but in the end didn’t, so if I lost 1/8″ there, no big deal. Also, my waist sits high, so a little more length lost there, no big deal. All the fused pieces that had shrunk were going to be sewn to other shrunk fused pieces, so most everything would match up as is.

Okay, freak out over, I started sewing and everything has worked out just fine. Big sigh of relief! As it stands I have the entire shell and facing complete. I should note that I did add a back neck facing piece. It always bugs me when patterns don’t have them, and it’s no work at all to draft.


I’m very happy with the fit alterations I made from my muslin, everything seems to be working out as expected. I cut a 10 at the shoulder/bust, grading out to a 12 at the hip (for reference, my measurements are: bust 34″, waist 29″, hip 39″). From there I made the following fit adjustments:

  • 1″ SBA (small bust)
  • 1/4″ FSA (forward shoulder)
  • added 1/2″ to the lower part of the back of the armhole (you can check out my pattern alteration in my last post)
  • narrowed the sleeves by 3/8″
  • decreased my SA by 1/8″ from waist to hemline on all the back pieces and the side seams, giving me an extra 1 1/4″ for le booty.

One last thing I need to do is add pockets to the front. I’ve decided to go with patch pockets since, well, I like patch pockets on blazers. I also think I’ll be doing an interior welt pocket. I put one in the winter coat I made two years ago and it’s super handy for phone stashing.


I finally picked up some lining the other day, so now I’ve got everything I need to finish this baby up. May not get there by the end of November, but it’ll be close!

—lisa g.

25 thoughts on “mccalls 6172 progress

  1. Miss Celie says:

    I’m a huge proponent of block fusing. So far, it’s always worked out for me. Are you saying the pellon shrank and took your fashion fabric with it? Because, that would suck! It looks really lovely so far. I always found the directions to preshrink interfacing SO ANNOYING. It’s one of the reasons I really like Pam’s interfacing.

    • lisa g says:

      That’s exactly what happened! Couldn’t believe it… I don’t think the weft had any pre-shrinking directions, so I was surprised. I do make sure and pre-shrink their woven fusibles (yes, annoying!!) but I just need to plan ahead better and order Pam’s stuff.

  2. Carolyn says:

    Lisa, this is going to be gorgeous! That pink wool and the paisley lining are such a great combination, and I love that the blazer will be a statement piece. I’m sorry to hear about the interfacing shrinking – how ridiculous! I’ve been meaning to upgrade from the Pellon stuff that I can get locally, and your post is another push in that direction, so thanks for sharing. I’m glad the sizing seemed to work out anyway though.

  3. crab&bee says:

    I’d love to hear more about the back neck facing piece you drafted! Super lame about the interfacing shrinking. I’ve had terrible luck with Pellon bubbling off in the wash on shirt collars, which made me give up on fusibles in general, although I’ve purchased from pro-weft and other interfacings from Fashion Fabrics Supply. I will report back!

    • lisa g says:

      The back neck facing is super easy to draft, you can see an example here from pattern/scissors/cloth. Sounds like it’s not just pellon that has shrinkage problems with the weft fusible. Though, yeah, I’ve had the same problem of the bubbling with shirts. I have to either air dry or go back and re-fuse the collars and cuffs. Annoying!

  4. dokucug says:

    Oh boy, do I have a lot of things to say!

    First off, I have to disagree about the FBA and SBA being the only adjustments the pattern has directions for. The directions for those two are the most thorough, but there are also instructions included for broad or narrow back, waist length, full hips, front gape, high and low round back, sway back, square or sloping shoulders, broad or narrow shoulders, forward shoulders and full biceps. So all the adjustments needed that a novice at fitting might want. Just wanted to throw that out there, in case people were dissuaded by not having instructions for the adjustments.

    The interfacing!! I had the exact same problem! You wouldn’t believe how many times I had to de-gunk my iron – and I did use two layers of organza press cloth! The glue just melted right through it. Didn’t stick to the press cloth, but got all over my sole plate.

    And here’s the kicker: in my stash I had enough interfacing for the whole jacket IF I used half Pellon weft and half Fashion Sewing Supply weft, so that’s what I did. BOTH made my pre-shrunk wool fabric shrink up the same amount! I was really surprised, because FSS always says their interfacings won’t shrink, and yet it did on my fabric. Still love them though. 🙂

    Like you, I decided that the amount I lost lengthwise wasn’t significant enough to make a huge difference, and all the pieces shrunk the same amount. So I was pretty relieved with I got to the point where I could try on the jacket, and found that it fit well! (Especially since I had to make 10 fitting adjustments!)

    I agree with you about the back facing – I thought about drafting one too. But in the end I decided that for this particular jacket, I didn’t want it – my fabric is kind of scratchy, so I want to limit the amount of it that will touch my bare skin!

    I think we’re all in about the same place now. I can’t wait til we’re all done and have beautiful jackets!

    • lisa g says:

      Sorry, if I wasn’t clear about the fit directions… my beef is that it covers a FBA, but *not* a SBA. Yes, you’re right, it does cover a vast number of other alterations!

      I’m surprised you had the same shrinking problem with the “good” fusible! I guess the lesson is to block fuse. It’s so easy to lose track of the grainline when block fusing, which is why I’m not always a fan. So glad the shrinkage didn’t mess up all those alterations!

      I plan on sewing up my lining today… Can’t wait to see everyone’s progress this week!

  5. Carolyn says:

    Well, you’re doing a fantastic job and it’s going to be amazing! I’ve only gone the whole hog with a few fully tailored jackets. Three, actually! It’s a lot of work, but a great learning experience and they will last forever 🙂

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