Tuesday, August 2, 2011

McCalls 6294 - Black Jacket

More pics

I've been needing (and wanting) a black jacket for years. (A black coat too, for that matter, but it must wait for another day.) But I keep making outerwear that is more "visually interesting." I love my unique jackets and coats, but sometimes you just need black.

In fact, I wanted to use this pattern for my fall 6-pack but before I cut into my special Emma One Sock fabric, I tested it out in this black, novelty J.N.Y. (Jones New York) fabric from FabricMart. (As of this writing, they have another 10 yards.)

This novelty fabric, an acrylic wool blend, is very unusual. The right side is almost a textural plaid, where the plaid is formed by smooth and fuzzy areas. The reverse side is shiny. I am not a fan of shiny, so I used the right side. When you cut it, it sheds fluff. It looks something like a boucle, but it is not. It behaves as if it is primarily a metallic fiber. It is not a particularly soft fabric, especially the shiny side, so it's a good candidate for a lined garment. It's weird, but I like weird.

The fabric is somewhat sheer. Because I did not want the polka dot lining to show through, I fused the entire jacket with black Angel Weft interfacing from Apple Annie's. I really love Angel Weft and must thank Kathryn of I Made This! for the recommendation. Angel Weft retains the hand of the fabric - it does not make the fabric stiff when fused. (If you don't know Kathryn's blog, you should. Everything she makes is utterly impeccable.)


  • J.N.Y. Novelty weave, wool blend from FabricMart: 32% Acrylic, 32% wool, 37% nylon, 9% polyester. (812735)
  • Lining: Black and white, rayon twill polka dot border print from Gorgeous Fabrics. A more wiggly, ravelly fabric has not been known to man. But it was polka dots!
  • Angel Weft interfacing, in black, from Apple Annie's.
  • Hook closure from Britex.

Alterations and Modifications:

  • 3" Princess seam FBA in the side front.
  • Narrowed the shoulder by 3/4".
  • Removed the hip shaping making it more rectangular - more like me.
  • Nipped the side seams and front princess seams in 1/4" at the waist to give it a tiny bit of shaping. This little tweak created a more flattering, less boxy, silhouette.
  • Shortened the sleeve by 3/4". (I first shortened the sleevy by 1-1/2", but it was too short and I had to back it off by 3/4".)

Construction Notes:

  • When I did the FBA, I goofed. When performing an FBA, after altering the side front pattern piece, it becomes longer. You then have to lengthen the center front pattern piece by the same amount so the pieces will fit together. I accidentally lengthened the side front instead - so the side fronts were too long and the center fronts were too short. I had cut out the entire body of the jacket and fused each piece with interfacing before I realized my mistake. Because I had enough leftover fabric, I re-cut the front pieces to the correct length, and I cut the pockets out of the former front pieces. I also shortened the side fronts to the proper length. Rather than re-cut the front facings, I pieced them to the correct length. It was merely an annoying mistake and not a disastrous one.
  • As directed, the pockets are not lined. I lined them.

    Lined pockets. These pockets are sewn into the front princess seam, so the inner edges are left raw.

  • The collar was too wide. I narrowed it at the points by approx 1.5".

    Amount I cut away from the collar points

  • This pattern is designed not to close. I believe this jacket is inspired by a very popular Givenchy jacket from 2008. The Givenchy jacket uses a hook closure at the bust and I also used a single closure at the bust line.

    Auditioning closures

  • Final closure


I was considering this jacket for my Fall 6-pack. Now that I've tested it out in this fabric, I think I will find another pattern for that project. It's fine and I will use it, but it's not quite what I had in mind. Also, this jacket is a bit snug through the back. I started with my usual size 18, and tried on the pattern tissue and the in-process jacket many times, but once I put the sleeves on, it was too snug. If I use this pattern again, I need to do a narrow back adjustment, which is unusual for me.


Worn closed

Worn open

Polka-dot lining peeping out

I lightened the photo a tad so you can see the interesting seaming at the back.