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McCall’s 6442

January 7, 2014

Models and sketches on the front of patterns from conventional pattern makers (McCall’s, Butterick, Simplicity, etc.) are notoriously comical. Seldom have I found a pattern and thought, “That’s something I must make!” Take McCall’s 6442, for instance.Take it all in, but focus especially on those boots. And the steely gaze from the girl on the right. I’m sure the jacket is just fine, but it gets lost in everything else.

M6442

But this fall I was reading What I Wore, the blog of Bloomington fashion blogger, Jessica Quirk, and saw McCall’s 6442 made up by a real person who knows how to put an outfit together. I fell immediately in love with it – the fit, the colors, the whole look. It seemed the perfect jacket for fall, and so I immediately set out to make it…and now, four months later, it’s finally done.

Clearly there were some bumps along the way. They weren’t insurmountable by any means, but my motivation skipped and faltered every time I encountered a setback. So, instead of ripping out a sleeve and sewing it back on right away, I’d rip out a sleeve and set everything on the dining table for a month while I anticipated my next move. For me, anticipation usually means the death of a project. Thankfully I’d invested enough money in the fabric and enough time in cutting everything out that I didn’t let myself stop.

jacket front

I used the Eclectic Voyager Fabric in Aztec Dark Green from Jo-Ann’s.  This was the first pattern I’ve made with a fabric that features such a large pattern, and I managed to cut the pieces out so that fabric pattern aligned. Each pattern piece was finished with my serger before I sewed it together so that the interior could remain unlined. Using leather scraps, I created loops to hold the (unusually long) belt in place.

jacket close up

All in all, the fit is nice even though my mannequin isn’t quite filling out the body as it should. Too many trips to NYC has made her wire frame a little wonky. But on our third day of being snowed in, I’m doing you a huge favor by only showing you this jacket on the mannequin. Me modeling it would be as sad as the image on the front of the pattern, ensuring that none of you would ever want to attempt this pattern either.

jacket back

Am I being overcritical, or do McCall’s and the rest of the mainstream pattern makers really need to step up their game if they are going to entice you to buy their patterns?

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. A Carter permalink
    January 7, 2014 6:50 pm

    What amazes me is how the jackets in the drawings on the side bear only a passing resemblance to the ones in the photographs. As if that weren’t enough, it’s rather like the photos in the knitting magazines, where the model is lovely but shows you about half as much as you want to know about the project. Like the fact this coat has a hood. Only the sketch of the brown thing shows that, and considering the blue thing seems to have nothing to do with the other 3 (this is sounding like that song on Sesame Street “One of These Things is Not Like The Others”) how much confidence can you have in that? I’d much rather have the simple front and back shots of your dummy, full of useful information with no distractions, than the feeble attempt at “fashion” photography.

    • Claire permalink*
      January 7, 2014 7:21 pm

      You are so right! If I’m investing my time and money into a project, I want to know the details of it. Forget styling.

  2. maryannk permalink
    January 8, 2014 9:29 am

    It’s beautiful Claire, truly! You should be proud of yourself for successfully completing such a big project!! Love the McCall’s girls, too… reminds me of so many patterns my mom had lying around the house when we were kids. Well done! Can’t wait to see it on you.

    • Claire permalink*
      January 8, 2014 10:38 am

      Thanks, Maryann. I even proudly threw it on this morning for my day of meetings. But soon found myself stuck in the snow and back inside :)

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