Monday, June 29, 2020

Bold New Lime Green Jacket with McCall 5668 - Pattern Review

Happy Monday everyone,

Today, I'm excited to talk about my bold lime green jacket!  This jacket is the first piece in my green wardrobe capsule that I'm making this summer.  I've been purchasing a variety of green textiles for a few years now.  Green is a good color for me.  So far, I've included two dresses and a top and pants set (UFO's) as part of the capsule.  More on the capsule plan in the weeks to follow.

The pattern, M5668, is one of the Sewing with Nancy patterns designed for people with limited time to sew.  I bought it because I liked the style of the jacket. Also, I selected this as the summer/fall project for one of my sewing students.  This will be the first jacket for her.  So, I wanted to make it a few times before she started on her project.  So expect to see another version of this jacket.  

The pattern is described:  Princess seamed jackets have fold-back wing collar, slits at side seams, three-quarter length lined sleeves with slits and shoulder pads. B: Self-belt with purchased buckle and optional sew-on or iron-on jewels on collar.  

Published in 2008, but it is still available.  It comes in sizes 8 to 20.  I used size 16 with modifications.

My jacket looks pretty much like the drawing on the envelope.  I wanted long sleeve. So I adjusted the length.

The instructions were easy to follow, and also included several tips on cutting, pressing, and interfacing.  The guide sheet includes step-by-step stop and go sewing tips to help sewists maximize their sewing time by breaking the process into 10, 20 and 30 minutes sewing intervals.  I think this is a great jacket pattern for beginners. 

There is a lot to like about this jacket style wise:  the collar and the dart at the roll line; the princess seams helps make fit easier; the slit at the side; and the belted waist to create a more defined waistline.  At least, these are my likes.   I don't have any real dislikes.

The fabric that I selected is from Mood.  It is described as Lime Green Stretch Cotton Crepe.  Sorry it is out of stock.  The texture of it reminds me of a stretch cotton pique.  It pressing well; but like most cottons, it does wrinkle. 

I made several changes:  pattern adjustments, style changes and construction adjustments. BTW- I didn't make a muslin this time. 

  • FBA - l inch initially.  Then during construction I reduced the height of the apex.  The change was transferred to the pattern after I made the change to the jacket.  Below are the initial adjustment to the side front and the final adjustment.

  • Prominent shoulder blade adjustments.  This was a very small adjustment.  I probably could have skipped it as the back of the jacket was wide enough.
  • The length of the shoulder seam was too long.  I reduced the length by 1/2 inch.
  • Swayback adjustment. Same as for other princess seam garments.
  • Sleeve length.  I wanted a long sleeve jacket instead of a 3/4 sleeve.  Next time, I will taper the sleeve a bit.  The sleeves on this jacket are wide.
  • No lining in the sleeve.  I decided to skip that.
  • For the slits.  I didn't follow the instruction #40.  I like mitered corners.

  • I did not add any jewels to the collar.  The color of this jacket is the speaker. 
  • Top-stitching.  I added top-stitching to the belt and the front and collar of the jacket.  It looks better with it.

  • Initially, I was going to go without buttons.  I even started the photo shoot without them pinning the front to keep it closed.  But after a few photos, I decided to add three buttonholes.  Luckily, I bought some earlier.  I decided on only three buttons instead of four because the belt holds the rest of the front in place.

I know these are a lot of changes for a simple jacket pattern.  But they made it better for me.  Now, my next version, will include most of the above changes, plus a little more tweaking.  I want to taper the sleeves and add a little length to the hem of the jacket.  I may or may not line the sleeve.

This was a great basic jacket for all level sewists.  I think there are more design options to explore:  completely lining the jacket, lengthening it,  and adding pockets. 

I'm pleased with how this one turned out.  The next one will be navy. So, if you have the pattern, allow me encourage you to try it.  Style it as you like or use it as a sloper/basic jacket pattern. 

Stay tune.  More to come on my green capsule.

Parting Shot: My little third cousin, London, wearing her Cennetta made Minnie Mouse mask.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

It's Almost Summer - Still Making Masks, Bonnets and Non-Surgical Caps

Thirteen weeks into the Covid-19 lock down and I'm still making masks.  Last month I added on bonnets and non-surgical caps.  I'm not complaining.  There is a need, and this is my way of helping.  I'm finding out that there are so many more family members, near and far, that are essential and front line workers than I knew of.  Again I'm happy to help. but I must strike a balance between helping and satisfying my personal sewing dreams.

What's interesting is that the production sewing of these protective goods has me thinking of all types of gift ideas and small sewing projects for my sewing students.  So, this experience has been beneficial in more than one way.

Today, I would like to share a few pictures and comments on the bonnets and caps that I made recently.  Folks want to be stylist in this pandemic.  So, many want matching head and face gear.

For the bonnets I used  Simplicity S1020.  Super easy pattern.  Three pieces, one size fits all.  You can easily adjust the elastic for a tighter fit.  This bonnet (made only four so far) sews up quickly.  Other uses:  Chef hat or sleeping bonnet.  These can be worn in general to protect/cover your hair.

Pictured above is Erica, dental assistant for Dr. Irvin B. Watkins.  Her dread locks are very long and this style of cap is perfect for her.  She also has a matching masks.

For the non-surgical caps I used Butterick B4946.  Again, a super easy pattern that sews up quickly, Great for beginners.  Three pieces, one size fits all.  You can use bias hem tape to finish the lower back edge of the cap.  Or you may create your own bias tape to finish it.  I did both.  But I prefer creating my own bias tape in the same fabric.  Also, at the crown I used to different methods to finish them.  For the first set (eight caps), I did something like  a French seam.  For the second set (13 caps) I pressed the seam allowance towards the hat section then I top-stitched it down.  The second method I like better.

Pictured below is Venus, CNA, at Oak Trace. She works at the same facility as my baby sister.  Venus loves the matching cap and mask set.

This month, I'm hoping to finish reviewing other projects that I finished in April and May.  Also, on my cutting table are a few jackets, dresses, and pants.  So as we get to our "new normal" I'll work more on my wardrobe additions and less on protective gear.

Stay safe.

Happy Sewing!


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