Merry meet all,
I have sewn myself a fleece hoodie from the Mccalls pattern 6614. It seemed simple enough to sew. Oh sure. Oh yeah real easy.
I bought a fabulous mauve/ violet/ blue/ purple color of fleece fabric on discount. I bought a heavy purple knit fabric for the contrast material- hem and cuffs. I also bought a deep purple felt fabric for the hem and cuffs decorated with spiders in black.
The pattern called for a separating zipper, two pockets and a lined hood. I had remnant fabric for the lining of the hood. Thank the Goddess I owned other jackets of a similar pattern which I studied to understand how the whole jacket came together.
I cut out the pattern pieces, read the instructions a few times over for comprehension, and matched pattern piece to fabric piece. Here is where scotch tape and in good condition sewing pins come in handy. (Throw out any pins that are bent. They will never serve your garment.)
Every sewing pattern is unique. Every garment on earth is unique. No two are the same. This is a fact. But it is also true that the standards of a sewing pattern are the same in every pattern. It is the effort that you exert that determines the outcome of your garment. I have read many many sewing patterns. I have discovered time and time again its one thing to read them and another to comprehend the instructions. I thought it would be easy. Nope.
I began by making pockets and adding them to the front pattern piece once I understood how they are made. Then I stitched the back pattern piece to the front piece. I made the two sleeves and stitched them to the jacket. Here is where it got tricky…
The pattern called for cuffs to be added to the sleeves. I cut out the pattern pieces and tried to sew them the way the instructions said to. It may as well have been written in ancient Latin. Right. I cut out the pattern pieces in the purple knit fabric to make them fit and gathered the cuffs. Nope. I cut them out of the same pattern and made the cuffs my way. I pinned them onto the sleeves which I hemmed earlier. I pinned the cuffs on right sides together then on the right side of the fabric up, I turned them out. Then I added the hem and stitched on the purple/ black spider fabric to the hem. The felt fabric is even glittery which adds a cool touch.
I exchanged the deep pink separating zipper (26 inch) for a black 24 inch zipper. I sewed the zipper on the jacket following the instructions. Right. The pattern instructions said to sew the zipper on face down. Well when I was done, it was still face down. I seam ripped the zipper and ironed the fabric. I stitched it on again with the zipper tabs exposed and the zipper on upside down. I seam ripped it again. By this time, what with my patience at an all time LOW and my painful excema making my work painful, I suffered.
Jacket in progress:
I stitched the zipper on again. I then sewed on the facing. I made the hood and stitched it to the jacket. Great. I thought i was done. The hem of the jacket was uneven. The top part of the pockets was uneven. Oh heck.
Enter my wise all-knowing Mother. She made the top part of the pockets even. She also made me seam rip the zipper a FOURTH time. So I did. I didn’t own a zipper foot so unsurprisingly the zipper was easy to remove- again. She sewed in the zipper the way she always does- perfectly. She basted the front openings of the jacket on the wrong side. With great skill and patience, she pinned on the zipper on the wrong and right side. The pins were placed vertically. To this day, I have no idea how she does it. She removes the pins as she sews. She had centered the zipper on the wrong side of the fabric on the basted seam truly on the seam. Then once she stitched in the zipper, the zipper tabs weren’t exposed. The zipper was sewed in professionally. I plan to buy a zipper foot in the future. It allows for more precision. The hem of the jacket is now neat and even. I don’t know how she does it.
She insisted on redoing the facing on one side. She removed the earlier stitching I had done. But the facing came undone after she hand stitched it. I have to sew it again by machine. I didn’t have the instructions with me so she thought she was right. I had to sew in a stay stitch on the facing and hem one edge. I was right. She’s a bit hard headed sometimes. But now except for the facing and fixing the hood, I am done. I have to add a strip of lace to the hood lining. The lace will conceal the exposed seam.
I am happy with the jacket. I don’t know as of yet if I will use it again. But it is a great pattern. Patterns can be modified if need be to suit the seamstress. Just make sure you note the modification on the pattern, the instructions paper, or in a notebook for future reference. Store the pattern pieces once done with them in the pouch of the pattern package or in a large Ziploc bag with the pattern package. Label everything. Store it all in a space that is easy to find. I keep all my patterns in a clear plastic big organizer. You can iron the pattern pieces then store them. It makes putting them back in much easier.
I learned a lot from this project. I am proud now to wear the fleece jacket. Everyone needs one. Moms do too.
Blessed Be, Lady Spiderwitch )O(