Thursday, November 15, 2012

Black Camel Hair Jacket McCalls 6172

This is my first camel hair project ever!  I have had this piece of black camel hair in my stash for a few years now, and I decided to bite the bullet and cut into it.  Camel hair is is supposed to be lighter and warmer than regular wool.  For such a nice fabric, I wanted to make something that wouldn't go out of style, and I chose McCalls 6172. And I have to say that I am in LOVE with this pattern.   The instructions are so detailed, with so many tips, that it's like taking a class!


This is a Palmer Pletsch pattern, and the best thing about these patterns is that they include all of the lines that you will need for doing most common adjustments.  I did a 1 inch full bust adjustment, 1 inch sleeve width adjustment, 1 inch length adjustment and a 3/8" high round back adjustment.  I have to say, that it is absolutely the best fit that I've ever gotten in a jacket!

The pattern includes very detailed instructions for Perfect Welt Pockets.  I wouldn't say that mine turned out perfect, but they ain't bad!  It takes about 20 steps to do one, so you have to be on your toes the whole time.

Even though this is a real basic wardrobe piece, I think that it could definitely look "old" on me, so I will try to style it with something fun, so that it doesn't end up looking too business like. What do you think of it with the leopard dress and the boots? 

After reading up on sewing with camel hair, I never pressed the iron directly to the fabric. This is because the seam edges can show up on the outside if you press it directly.   I just held the iron above and gave it a lot of steam, then went back with my fingers and finger pressed it.  It would have been better to have a tailor's clapper, and I am putting that on my Christmas wish list.  But the finger pressing worked great.

I lined it with a black china silk, so the whole thing is extremely lightweight, but really quite warm.  The pattern called for interfacing all of the pieces except the sleeves, and I think that gives it a really nice wrinkle-resistant finish.

The one thing that surprised me was that the instructions for lining used a lot of hand sewing, instead of the popular bagging technique.  I e-mailed Pati Palmer to find out if she did this because of some particular reason, and she kindly responded that either way is fine, and that she has instructions for bagging linings in her book, Jackets for Real People.

I will be getting a copy of that book before I make this again.  But I really didn't mind the hand sewing so much.  When I realize that this is one that I will use for a long time, then I don't mind putting a little more effort into it.

Now that I've got the fitting down, I think that I will make this again, in a fun bright color like plum or raspberry like they have on the cover.  I don't usually invest in multiples of patterns, but this one is definitely one that I want to have a back-up copy. 

Happy Sewing!

Ann

16 comments:

  1. This is a beautiful outfit, Ann, especially with the leopard dress and boots--much fresher than a matching suit! I have Jackets for Real People and refer to it all the time.

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    1. Thank you, Elizabeth! I can't wait to get the book now.

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  2. Gorgeous jacket! I have the Jackets books too and love it, definitely worth the investment.

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  3. Good pattern choice. You'll be a whizz at welt pockets now.
    While it's a classic jacket, mixing it with fashionable pieces make you rock.
    Love it.

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    1. Thank you! Not yet a whizz- but maybe after a couple more of these jackets!

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  4. This is a very pretty jacket, it looks great the way you styled it. Great job.

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  5. your jacket is beautiful - I have this pattern waiting to be cut and have earmarked a nice wool and cashmere blend in a camel colour.

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    1. Thanks, pdiddly! I think it would be beautiful in a camel colour too.

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  6. The jacket looks great. A nice classic silhouette that I imagine won't ever go out of style. And how exciting to have achieved such a great fit.

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    1. Thank you Crystal! I hope that I can use it for a very long time.

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  7. Lovely jacket. This is a nice staple to have in your wardrobe. I love the Palmer/Pletsch patterns too. They have the best instructions/tips and all of the adjustment lines are made for you. You can't bet that. ;-)

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  8. What a gorgeous jacket! The cut and the fit are perfect. Can't wait to see your "bright" version, too.

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    1. Thanks, Tia! I should make it soon before I forget how to do those welt pockets!

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