Mccalls 6172 | finished!!!

Man, I feel like this blazer took me an eternity to make! There’s that point in blazer and coat-making where you feel like you’ll never finish and you just can’t bear to complete one. more. step. It’s been a while since I’ve made any tailored outerwear, so I was a little rusty in terms of construction order. In the past I had followed the RTW jacket sew-a-long on Pattern~Scissors~Cloth but I thought I would do more hand-sewing this time around (this comes to play once you start attaching the lining). In the end, I ended up going back to the machine and scrapping most of my hand sewing plans.

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Since I’ve already detailed my fitting and construction in previous posts (here and here) I won’t rehash all that. In short—I found the fit to be very good, so long as you go down one size from the size chart. The “size down” thing is pretty standard (unfortunately) with Big 4 patterns, so always make sure you check the finished garment measurements first.

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About the only thing left to talk about is the lining. I picked up a poly charmeuse from joanns, mostly because I was really excited about having a print instead of a solid color. I love the print, but I don’t think I’ll be using this type of fabric for a lining again. It was extremely difficult to sew, it frayed like MAD, and it does end up feeling a little plastic-y. However—PAISLEY! So that basically makes it all good in my book. The shell fabric (wool) has a good weight to it, so this will be a blazer to wear when it’s cold. The poly lining actually lends extra warmth, for better or worse. I do prefer the feel of a rayon bemberg lining, but the stuff I can typically find around here is too thin for blazer or coat lining.

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As I already mentioned, I decided to ignore most of the pattern’s directions and instead followed the construction order of the RTW Jacket sew-a-long. I did the sleeve shell/lining join, and started the hem bagging by machine. It is so much cleaner to finish the facing/lining/hem join by machine rather than trying to hand stitch all that. What I did was sew the facing hem all the way to the dart seam by machine. Then from there, I catch-stitched the remaining hem turn up, and then fell stitched the lining in place. I do think that this gives a nice crisp hem line, superior to simply tacking the hem facing at the SA’s. Plus, that small bit of hand sewing doesn’t take that much extra time.

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One thing I wish I had done differently would be to draft a better lining. Except for the back piece (which at least has a deep pleat for wearing ease) the rest of the lining is just a duplicate of the shell. I was all set to draft this, but I was feeling a little burnt out at that point and just didn’t want to deal. In the future, I will take the extra step! (Jen at Grainline Studio has an excellent tutorial on how to do this.)

Random note: I typically need to lengthen sleeves by 1″ on patterns, but I didn’t make any changes here. So, if you suffer from an average to short arm length… you may need to alter the sleeves.

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I did feel like I had a hard time getting a good crisp press at the lapel and collar edge. Part of this is due to my failing iron (the water chamber leaks, so I have to use a spray bottle with water to get any steam) and the thickness of the wool. In the end, I decided to topstitch the collar and lapel to get the crisp edge I needed. I’m completely happy with this decision given that I wanted a casual look and I had already topstitched the patch pockets in place. The extra topstitching at the collar fits right in and ends up being a nice detail.

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All in all, I am very pleased with the fit I achieved, the fabric is killer, and I know I’ll be wearing this a lot. I can already imagine sewing up both the short and long length options in a variety of fabrics. Basically this pattern is very versatile, and if you’re looking for a classic blazer pattern—this is a good one. Sheesh… now that’s it’s winter here, maybe I should start a winter coat. Ya know, so I can wear it sometime by March.

—lisa g.

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57 thoughts on “Mccalls 6172 | finished!!!

  1. aleah says:

    You are amazing – I in no way have the patience for a project like this (your talk of plans for hand sewing dashed made me smile, I never plan on hand sewing if I can avoid it), so I’m even more impressed by such a gorgeous item!

    • lisa g says:

      I wouldn’t consider myself high in the patience category, but I’ve made enough outerwear to know it’s just gonna take a while. It’s easier to slow down when start with that mindset! I’m pretty keen on avoiding the hand sewing as well… I really only do it when I have to!

  2. Chloe says:

    Congratulations – the fit and colour are great on you! I admire your patience, and your lining! I have a crazy chicken print lining that would look great in a blazer, if the urge ever strikes. Now I’ll have your blazer in the back of my mind to push me on!

  3. Carolyn says:

    Lisa, this came out beautifully, as expected! The paisley lining is fabulous, and the pink wool is really eye-catching. Jackets are always huge projects, but totally worth it in the end!

    As for topstitching the collar and lapels, I’ve done this on my blazers just to ensure the corners stay crisp and don’t migrate back inside the point. I don’t know if it’s really needed, but I just do it anyway. I like the look of the topstitching on your blazer, and I’ve seen it on RTW blazers as well.

    Hope you get a ton of wear out of this piece! I love the finished look, congrats!! 🙂

    • lisa g says:

      I consulted Banana Republic’s women’s blazers before topstitching… It really does work with the look of this jacket, so I’m glad I went for it. I’ve already worn this a lot, thank you!

  4. Shar says:

    I absolutely love how this came out! The color is just beautiful. I agree that this is a versatile pattern. I learned so much sewing this (semi) along with you and Gail. Eventually (after a break!) I want to make another one and would add patch pockets since I like them so much on your version. I’m also going to try machine sewing the lining since I’m not in love with how my hand sewn version came out. I think it could be cleaner. I did finally sew the buttons on today so I’m officially done!

    • lisa g says:

      So glad we all sewed along together! It was a huge motivator knowing you and Gail were right there with me. You should be super proud of your jacket, it looked amazing!

  5. Kelly says:

    so good! I love the color and the fit looks just perfect. I have been wanting to make a blazer but am holding out for that Grainline pattern….someday, someday.

  6. poppykettle says:

    Oh I couldn’t agree more about THAT POINT when you can can’t. I’ve got two in production at the moment, it’s almost the height of summer, and I can’t bring myself to get on with it. Yet! This is really gorgeous though – the colour is so warm and cosy, the proportions are lovely on you, and I love the topstitched collar. And given that yours is the third post I’ve read today warning on the difficulties of poly charmeuse… I think I’ll be keeping my distance if I can! Beautiful work 🙂

    • lisa g says:

      Stay clear of poly charmeuse… it’s too easy to be swayed by the prints though! This blazer definitely tried my patience, but mostly because I just didn’t have much time to dedicate to sewing. Glad I made it through! Good luck with your projects, but sewing jackets in the summer is definitely not fun… save it for fall!

    • lisa g says:

      I pretty keen on topstitching in general, so I’ll pretty much take any excuse to add it to a garment. I do think it enhances the look, so I’m glad I went for it!

  7. Andrea says:

    What a beautiful blazer, Lisa. All the work paid off because it fits great and looks great on you. Sadly, I embraced the Bourbon part but never graduated to the Blazers portion…

  8. MsMcCall says:

    I thought I had commented on this jacket, but I don’t think I did. I just came back to look again because I really want to make a jacket this year, and this one is truly inspiring! I will be scoring your posts for all the juicy details, thank you for sharing it!

    • lisa g says:

      Thank you! This jacket is certainly a highlight of my year. Most of what I make isn’t all that complicated, so it’s nice stretch my skills every once in a while. Hope you get to making your own jacket this year!

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