Monday, October 25, 2010

McCall's 5981 Progress Report

(The print is MUCH more subdued than it looks here and the colors are a bit off. It's always a crap shoot as to what the digicam will do to a fabric.)

Ah, the joys of pattern alterations. I was spoiled sewing all those already-altered TNTs recently. Yesterday was spent finishing up the B/W top from last weekend and then cutting out the jacket pattern and doing an FBA. I did not make a muslin. It's fleece. It's stretchy. And if it somehow fits horribly, I'm indifferent enough that I'll probably just toss it. The fleece has been in the stash for years and years and it's good to finally use it up.

So far, it's coming along OK, but I'm not quite thrilled. The neckline is too low, as you can see with the B/W top I left on Zillie underneath. I don't think I'll have time to go to a Plan B, so I'll just have to suck it up and hope that it's not cold enough to need to zip it up. (No wonder the pattern envelope shows a turtleneck worn underneath.) I also feel kind of linebacker-ish with all that gathered collar. It's a lot of collar. But I'll keep plugging ahead because I have been known to change my mind. ;-) And at this point, all that's left are the sleeves and hems and then I can make a final judgment.

My pattern matching across the front is so-so. The exposed zipper chops it up and I didn't allow for that. If there was no zipper, the motifs would abut and match great. Oh well.

The pattern itself goes together well and everything seems to match up fine. But the instructions have got to be the WORST I have ever seen for a fleece jacket, or knits in general. Things such as fusing interfacing to the facings (you can't press polarfleece on high heat), easing and setting in sleeves in the round, and setting in the zipper in a way I can't even begin to explain except to say that you are somehow supposed to leave the front facing unsewn between the top/collar edge and the hem allowance and then kind of stick the zipper in and fold/press the fabric and facing around it. WTF! Crack smoking writers for sure on this one. If I remember, I'll share the instructions in a later post so you all can have a good laugh too.

I omitted the patch pockets because I didn't want a big wad of fleece hem allowances at my hips. Instead, I added single-layer pocket bags behind the fronts and made sideseam openings. Just like the green Vogue cardigan I recently made. So much like it, in fact, that i just stole those pattern pieces and used them. ;-)

Living in Florida, I don't sew a lot of polarfleece — although I should, judging by the abundant stock at the local Joann's. ;-) It really is such an enjoyable fabric to sew with though, so maybe I should do more fleece gifts. Fleece projects always seem to go fast and minor mistakes are easily hidden in the pile. Not that I've made any.

On another subject, my son is down to his last 30 days of boot camp and I can hardly wait to see him! He's doing very well, his spirits remain high, and we continue to receive lots of letters from him. Those letters are the highlight of my day when they come and stalking the mailman has become the daily routine. I am so glad he's turned out to be a good letter-writer (my son, not the mailman!).

Have a good week!


  1. You may not be feeling the jacket right now but I sure am. I love it. I love the print and the collar. Sometimes were are our own worst critics.

  2. I think of your son often, and hope he's doing well.

    I made polar fleece dresses one winter, when we had a month below 10 degrees. They are heaven against drafts. You do remember those, from living in the Northeast, right? Like when some idiot opens the door?

    You'll love the jacket in SC, even if you're not feeling the love in Florida!

  3. Not keen on polar fleece. Fortunately I live in a warm climate. I am feeling very down on all pattern instruction writers - did they attend the same school as Taiwanese electronics book writers?

  4. I've never understood the stuff that Jo-Ann's stocks in Florida, or anywhere else for that matter.

    I think your matching looks pretty darn good, and I like the fabric. While the abominable wall of fleece in my Jo-Ann's in NC scares me, I must admit, there is nothing more comfy or cozy when the temperatures dip (and you're right, you'll have to leave the state for that, unless you have another winter like last). I actually made window seat cushions for my sewing room (said seats used by felines) out of fleece. Probably not the only cats in the world that have custom seat cushions AND covers. Covers are just boxed "pillowcases" so that they can be easily washed. Inevitable cat fur and cat barf. Do dogs do that too?

    Anyway, you're going to be the best dressed mom there.

  5. I've just been catching up on my blog reading. You are a terrible enabler. I have just back ordered that Ottobre magazine for the cutest tee pattern I have seen for a long time.

  6. I am also liking the jacket and the collar, imagine all of the colors of tees you can wear under it. I would leave the pockets off also but you are doing a great job, keep going. You will get lots of good comments I am sure.


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