Sunday, January 18, 2009

McCall’s 5007 - Denim Jacket

The denim jacket is finished. I wasn’t so sure I was going to be able to say that. More on that later. I’m pretty pleased with it. This pattern has been in my stash for awhile now. It was very popular on Pattern Review a couple of years ago. I like the simple lines and both collar variations. Nothing about the pictures on the envelope suggested denim, but I thought this particular piece of denim would be a good match.


I found this remnant at the local fabric store a couple of months ago and really liked it. It is a good weight in a nice color and finish. With this piece I thought I would actually be able to make something denim that didn’t scream “homemade!” It is probably best that there was only a remnant left. Otherwise I would have gone back and bought a whole bolt. I had visions of jeans, bags, more jackets, etc.

The jacket is fully lined with a woven cotton print in green and brown.

I don’t think the back is all that interesting. I think it ought to have princess seams in the back too. I didn’t want to bother with them this time around. If I make it again maybe I’ll add them.

Alterations:
1. I added 1/2" in length to the bodice.

2. I decreased the height of the collar by 1/2" and shortened it so that it ends just before the center front.

3. I used the sleeve pattern from Vogue 2793 (OOP). This sleeve has a curved seam along the top of the arm. It results in a nicely fitted sleeve that needs very little easing to set in. I haven't worked with denim very much, but I wasn't real excited about trying to ease this piece. I think the extra seam adds a little interest, too. I did have to decrease the height of the sleeve cap by 3/8" to make the patterns compatible.

I bagged the lining and finished the hem/facing juncture according to the tutorial by Fashion Incubator. This was the first time I had tried this and found this to be a great way to finish the jacket. Completely finished on the inside and entirely by machine.


My first choice would have been to make the pocket flaps with buttons on, but I only bought four buttons, not six. I bought the buttons when we were out of town visiting family, so I couldn’t just go get some more. Bummer. I really liked THESE buttons, so I didn’t really entertain the thought of going to another store and picking out some different ones. So, what to do?

I didn’t like the idea of plain pocket flaps or plain patch pockets, so I decided to try echoing the button motif on the pockets. A few different options auditioned and in the end I chose a single line of machine straight stitching in thread the same color as the buttons. During the “audition” I liked that it was subtle and clean, but now that it is finished I’m not so sure. I think it might be too subtle and would look better if it was a little more noticeable. Oh, well…file that away for next time.

I tried many different machine settings and threads for the buttonholes. While I was practicing on a scrap, my machine did them all just fine. When I started doing them on the actual jacket it skipped more stitches than it made. No need to panic…just change the needle, double check the tension, make sure the pressure foot isn’t angling up or down, etc. Try again. Same thing. Hmmm… Turn the machine off and on and reset. Same thing. Go back to the scrap and try it on there. Same stitch skipping stuff! Grrrrr….What’s going on? I was so frustrated. My sewing machine is the only predictably well-behaved thing in my house and now it was causing problems. I hung up the jacket and had to walk away and cool off. It really put me in a bad mood for quite awhile. The next day I went back to it and tried a Microtex Sharp needle. That worked. The whole thing is still a bit of a puzzle to me, but I was so relieved and really happy to be able to finish the jacket.






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