Monday, January 27, 2014

Weekend Sewing Wrap Up...

...Or An Exercise in Frustration


I had been SO VERY MUCH looking forward to sewing this weekend, and rushed through my chores on Sunday morning in order to get to L'Atelier.  I had high hopes of finishing a jacket and getting started on a top or two.  Well...I *did* finish the jacket but I have to admit I'm not impressed.  I have some significant fitting issues with this jacket - my fault completely for not doing a muslin/mock-up first.

In any event, here's my review:

McCalls 6171

Pattern Description:
MISSES' LINED JACKETS: Semi-fitted, lined jackets A, B have stand-up collar, yoke, princess seams, front zipper and topstitch trim; jacket A has three-quarter length sleeves with sleeve bands; jacket B has optional jewel stones; jackets A, B have A/B, C, D cup sizes.
According to the website, this pattern is now OOP.  I made view B.

Line Art

Pattern Sizing: Standard Misses sizing.  I made size 14 with the D cup fronts.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, despite my reservations with the fit (see below), it does.

Were the instructions easy to follow?  The instructions to put in the centre front zipper were a little lacking.  I would do it differently if I was ever going to do this again.  The recommended fabrics include synthetic leather, which is what I used, and the method they used requires basting etc. without any instructions on how to work with synthetic fabrics.  I also had a bit of an issue with how they wanted the lining inserted - it took me a few minutes to figure it out.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?  I had some fitting issues with this jacket overall.  In the yoke part of the pattern, the shoulder slope just isn't right for me, and I ended up with large drag lines from the top of the shoulder to the underarm in the front.  I also had problems easing the shoulder cap into the armhole - there was a fair amount of puckering.  The same problem occurred when I stitched the back onto the back yoke.  Maybe it was just my fabric, but it seemed to be more gathered than eased (see gathering in the yoke area in the photograph below).  There are also some weird drag lines from the area under the armhole in the back to the centre back.  This can even be seen on the dressform, not just when I'm wearing it.  This is despite the swayback adjustment that I did!

Fabric Used:  Lightweight synthetic snake skin.  Because this is a synthetic leather type fabric, I used a medium weight sew in interfacing instead of my standard iron-on interfacings.  I also used a Teflon foot on my sewing machine, and a longer stitch length (3.5 mm for regular seams and 4.5 mm for topstitching).

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  I added 1" to the sleeve length, 1/2" sway back adjustment across the centre back and the side back pieces, and 1/2" to the side seams.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?  I don't think I will sew this again.  I'm not pleased with the way it fits, and there are a lot of other cute jacket patterns out there.

Conclusion:  What should have been a fairly straightforward project caused me a bit of frustration, and I'm not entirely happy with the end result.  Lesson learned - should have done a muslin first!

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