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.
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.
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.
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.
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?