Enthused with the knowledge that I picked up during my Fits Sew Well sessions last month, I decided to try out the pattern that I had fitted at that time - the jacket from McCalls M4466.
This was an absolutely eye opener. I have always found that jackets seem to hang off me. I get the right bust size, but the shoulders are too big, there is too much fabric under the bust and the back is huge. Oh, and the bust darts - well, I have not been that high and perky for about 25 years!!!
I made my alterations that now appear to include an FBA, some upper back adjustments to allow for my 'hump', and a small amount added to the upper sleeve. Interestingly this was because I am now fitting a much smaller pattern that fits my upper chest, so sleeves are likely to be a little tighter for me. I also shortened the jacket quite a bit to make it more 'Chanel' like!
I chose a soft, drapey poly/lycra blend that I think has cotton in it as well. It is truly lovely fabric.
And this is where I am right now - I know that it does not look too much to look at, but the fit is amazing.
Firstly though, I want to point out a couple of details with this jacket. I have taken my time with this - and really enjoyed the process. Other than trimming the lining, my overlocker (serger) has been sitting gathering dust with this jacket! I used my sewing machines for the seams and pressed them open - and what a difference that makes. I really should be taking my time to do this, rather than just run everything through the overlocker. The picture above shows the inside front of the jacket and the deep purple lining that I have attached. I undersewed the inside of the front facings and you can see the stitching here. It is a lot straighter than the picture suggests!
Oh, and to show off a little - I added one of my labels!! What a Princess!
Although it does not show very well on Matilda (she is my smaller, but less leggy twin), the back curves follows my body perfectly.
So, the issues that I had were that the sleeve did not fit into the armscye. There are a couple of reasons for that, one is that as per the instruction in our alteration class, the side seams are 1" tapering to 5/8" under the arm - I forgot that last piece and sewed and trimmed the 1". Doh! I had also added extra allowance to the top of the sleevehead to allow for the length lost when adding width to the sleeve. Both of these alterations made the sleeve too large. After a little fudging, the sleeve went it nicely.
I also ended up with 'bullet tip' bust points. Hubby liked the look - very kinky he said!! Of course I did not really notice this until I had trimmed the darts and had no fabric left to play with. I followed the advice of a couple of seamstresses that say you should taper the dart at the bust point and sew for a few stitches just a couple of threads inside the fabric fold then sew off the fabric. They certainly look a lot better now, but I suspect one is slightly lower than the other! Oops!
I added small shoulder pads to allow the fabric to fall, and they are perfect. I just need to hem the jacket bottom and sleeves ans well as attached the lining at those points. Finally - closure. I had an absolute nightmare with the buttonholer on my Pfaff and my cheap and cheerful Singer. The buttonholes were great on the test fabric, but not on the actual jacket. Grrr. Not too sure what to do about this - other than getting one of my old Singers up and running and using the old 50's/60's buttonhole attachments that I have. I need to think on this.
But the best thing about this jacket - it fits. Wow - what have I been missing all these years!
As soon as this is finished, I will get some pictures taken so that I can properly assess the look, but I am so pleased with it so far that I will be using this pattern many more times with different lengths and necklines. fabulous!