Wednesday, May 30, 2018

McCalls 7549 color blocked cropped jacket in double sided fabric

When it comes to planning what to sew, to summarize, I don't. Meaning I don't really plan, I just go where my mood takes me. Sure I have a vague idea that I might need some new knit tops, or want a certain color of denim skirt. But mostly I just go with what fabric I find or a pattern that catches my eye. I suppose I do have the luxury of sewing for a good long time, so I have plenty of coats and jackets to wear as well as all the summer dresses a person could need. But desire for an item, that is a different story. There is always something fun to discover around the next sewing corner, an inspiration from the web or another stitcher. So while I sew according to my whimsy, I am very strict with myself when it comes to two things. 1) finishing projects and 2) blogging things I have sewn in the order I sew them.

Kind of goofy, huh? If I have sewn something, and then completed something else, I have to blog items in the order they were sewn. Even if I have been wearing both all the time. A strange self-imposed order to my typical sewing abandon. So today I am doing a blog post on an item that I am really happy with but was as yet un-blogged. Despite finishing it ages ago - before other stuff that I have recently blogged. To the point that it was like a pebble in my shoe! Silly but there it is. Perhaps because I actually took quite a while to finish this. I started it around Thanksgiving and finally completed it in March. Only because so many other obligations pushed it aside. And now a wool jacket that will be put away until fall!

blue wool jacket side view

Stay tuned if you like sewing details, pattern matching and design changes because this project had it all. It started with this wool which I bought at Mood Fabrics in NY back in Oct 2016. I really love the color and the fact that it is actually two sided, so it is one fabric which appears as dots on one side and then lines on the other. But I wanted to sew a jacket that could use a lot of both sides of the fabric, not just a small amount like edging of one side and the rest as the other. I saw this pattern from McCalls and strangely I have seen very few versions sewn up. If you look in Instagram there are a few (very cute) versions and a couple of people made it more than once. It's a really easy pattern and a great choice for a first jacket - not hard to sew but a lot of interesting options.

Back to the beginning, when I saw this pattern I figured it would work for the wool, and started playing around with the fabric placement. Here's the pattern envelope.

M7549 pattern envelope jacket

In order to decide how to place the fabric, the dots and lines which give a different shade of blue, I copied the technical drawing from the McCalls website, and then painted in the colors in Photoshop to see how it would look. I've also done this by printing out the page and just drawing with colored pencils or sharpie pens. You would be amazed at how much of an idea you can get on a tech drawing once you add some color and pattern.
I will show some more examples of this next time I do a Random Threads post.

coat color test 2

Here's a nice look at the jacket so you can see how it compares to my color sketch. Not bad for getting the idea.

Front angle view blue 2side jacket

But before I got to that point there were a few hurdles. Like making a test version just to see if I liked the shape. To tell the truth this jacket has two features I am not really a fan of, those being no collar and cropped length. But I am trying to sew new shapes and silhouettes so I figured I would give it a try. With my precious precious fabric!

Warning! Do not laugh at my hideous test garment which used up scraps and quilting cotton. Hey at least it gave me the idea of how the various elements would look, and the fit was spot on.

test muslin for wool jacket

Onward to cutting out where it turned into quite the sewing puzzle, in that it was a bit confusing to keep straight which side I wanted as the right side for each section. So I put the image in my photos and referred often as I was stitching it up.


This fabric quality is Gorgeous with a capital G. The type of wool that sews like a dream. You can see the dots on one side (they are really little squares are made by the intersection of the lines on the other side.

Pattern changes: I knew I wanted the overall jacket to be longer than designed. The pattern version is very short, at least for me, probably landing about 1 to 2 inches below my waist. I added about 1" to the center sections, and then added also at the hemline. I lengthen the bottom section of the sleeve to be a regular long sleeve instead of a mid-wrist length.


This photo I took to show how much shaping there is in the jacket, what looks like a boxy front has a noticeable curve which becomes sort of a bust dart, or at least bust shaping. In the last Garment Copy class I taught one of the students had a top with this feature, and it was striped which helpfully showed us how much shaping was incorporated in what looked like rectangular pieces.

Next obsession on this journey - pattern matching.

IMG_3547 I set aside the remaining fabric as I decided to cut out the front bands later, once I sewed up the front and then I could match the lines precisely.


Sewing satisfaction! Actually the dots lined up as well because the other side is the lines which aligns with the bands when I pinned it together to sew.

Interfacing info.


I never look at the pattern instructions when it comes to interfacing but do my own thing. Which usually means more interfacing. On this one I put weft fusible around the neckline, and the top of the sleeves. the front bands have the medium weight Sheer Elegance interfacing on the outer  band and then more on the inner side which you can see in the next picture.


I put interfacing on the top of the band as well as on the lining fabric which is sewn to the neckline, as I think it needs some oomph to make a structured neckline and sharp corners at the top.
I attached the lining by machine stitching at the neckline and down the front edges, but then did the sleeve hem and bottom hem by hand. Because I'm not a fan of bagging the lining - even though in this jacket it would have been fine. Prefer the control of hand stitching the lining and it seems just as quick to me.

More sewing satisfaction :)  so happy with how the sleeve pattern lined up with the jacket body.

blue wool 2side sleeve plaid

And yes, I did add a vertical dart in the back. It might take away a bit from the style, but I thought it looked terrible on me without any shaping. Stuck out in a weird and boxy way so I just added vertical darts.

Back blue wool 2side jacket

It looks a little loose in the back but that is the dress form (who has very upright posture!) when worn it conforms better to the shape of my back.

blue silk blouse with jacket lining

blue wool 2side with blouse

I showed those pictures previously - here or in Instagram but I am repeating as the outfit is complete! Here's the link to the silk blouse post. And I think next winter I will wear the jacket with blouse and bow. It's such a beautiful color.

front blue 2-side on form

I have enough fabric remaining to make a skirt but that might just be too much! although I held up the dot side to the jacket and it looked quite good. Maybe a mini skirt worn with boots and a turtleneck? A project for the fall when wool wearing weather returns.

blue wool jacket front view

Now I'm striding onward to the next project 😀.

Which this weekend is two days of classes at Hello Stitch Studio, on Sat. we have the Bondi dress, and on Sunday our Pattern Fitting and Adjustment class (I think the Fit Lab portion might be full - but there is space in the classroom session, and we repeat this class regularly so check back).

I recently indulged in the ruffle trend so I have a summer silk top to share, and a dress with a strategically placed opening which is far cuter than I expected. Plus a Random Threads soon.

Happy almost summer sewing,

Today's garden photo, a pink snapdragon with some purple-blue pansies in the background.




  1. It does look like gorgeous wool - especially in the close up pictures. Such a great idea to exploit this double sided wool and jacket pattern to their fullest!

  2. I love the wool! All of your planning time really paid off on this jacket. It's beautiful.

  3. Very nice jacket! I love seeing the jacket from dream to conception.

  4. Another beautiful garment! I agree the colors of the jacket and the blouse are gorgeous. I so wish I didn’t live across the country from you, as I would love to take some classes you teach. I think you are a very lovely lady and I imagine you as being a patient teacher. Love the garden photos!

  5. So inspiring thanks for mentioning this pattern as it offers so many possibilities

  6. Beautiful jacket! I went back to see the Bondi dress post, and again I am interested in making it. And such beautiful flowers in your photo.

  7. What a beautiful result. Stellar pattern matching. Thanks for the step-by-step. I think a skirt would look fabulous with the jacket and blouse. Hope you make one and show us the whole ensemble with boots! The snapdragons are out of this world. I love all your flower shots. Thanks.

  8. Wow, that is a fabulous fabric and a great jacket! Im often buying reversible fabrics but then my imagination runs dry trying to think how to use both sides. I have to remember this pattern. Thanks for sharing (and i love it with the bow blouse, next fall show us a pic of you wearing both together).

  9. Love your jacket. I made a similar shape a few years back and was surprised how much I liked it. But the construction on yours is superb. I don't live in a cold climate so made it very simply out of a pre quilted fabric and bond the edges.... I'd love to take a class in making a jacket with you. It totally intrigues me. But!, I'm across the world from you

  10. I'm interested in the pattern. I really love your version. It goes well with the blouse!

  11. Oooh, that fabric does indeed look absolutely gorgeous, and the little jacket is lovely!