Saturday, 27 August 2011

McCall's 5432

I have had this pattern in my stash for a few years, picked up on a whim due to the bright colours used in the outfit. What was I thinking??? No way could I ever pull this off myself!!! The interest in the shoulder detail did grab my attention, as to the mandarin collar, even though I knew they were easy features to pull off. So, this was the week to give it a try. I was a bit apprehensive when only one other person on PatternReview had tried making the jacket that it was going to turn out to be a real dud...what did everyone else see that I didn’t??? Anyway, make it I did and here are my thoughts...

My finished version.....

My final verdict – not a bad little everyday jacket. I was after a jacket for work, one that wasn’t involved to make and would be easy to wear. We are coming into our Spring here ‘Down Under’ so a lined jacket is not needed. And being a teacher of little 8 year olds, a jacket that I wouldn’t cry over if paint or grubby hands touched was also needed. McCall’s 5432 seemed to fit the bill on this occasion. So simple and easy to construct, just a few hours work from start (cutting out paper pattern) to finish. An effortless jacket to add to the working wearable wardrobe. So here is a quick review of my thoughts...

The back didn’t have any yoke feature, seam with a vent, or pleat details. In other words a very plain back. Which reads to me as having no ‘give’ for movement. So instantly I decided to use a fabric with some stretch component to overcome this.

Fabric used is a cotton blend stretch in cream (so not like the pattern colours!!!), and a beautiful Japanese contrast fabric in ‘my colours’. You might be able to glimpse the gold print on top.

With 7 pages of instructions there was sure to be plenty of hints and tips to refresh my memory. Though, for such a basic jacket it was a bit on the over-kill side. But on the flip side, for a beginner these instructions would have been ideal.

Front band is quick and easy to apply, though the tedious aspect of hand sewing the inside was my first ‘yuk’ moment. Not a great fan of hand sewing, but bit my tongue and continued on. Really, some may want to use the ditch in the seam method, but I do think this would show on the outside in an unattractive way if your sewing wasn’t precise. So on with the hand sewing...

Sleeve insert detail is interesting, and actually breaks up the sleeve head. Without this feature the ‘boring’ factor of a basic jacket would have won out.
Cute little cuffs also add interest to the sleeve. As carolynw pointed out, the instructions have you inserting the split on the inside – not an attractive or comfortable choice. So as suggested by carolynw I turned this little feature to the outside.

Funny thing, while taking these photos outside, as I zoomed into the cuff area a bee flying past decided that this might be a stunning flower to land on!!!

Mandarin collar is another unusual aspect of the jacket – quick and easy to whip up, if you don’t mind another bout of hand stitching!!!

I changed the way to finish the seams from the instructions, from serging to French seams. It is my personal preference to have all inside seams on garments finished to a high level and even though this is just a quick everyday jacket it was also to receive attention to the seams. So, all seams have been finished with French seams to encase the fraying threads of the jacket. With the jacket having such few seams anyway, a few extra minutes spent on this really didn't amount to much.

Overall a great jacket for work. On completion I am keen to remember this jacket in future, to be made up in an evening organza fabric to be worn over a LBD. Maybe shorten the sleeves to ¾ for this. I can see it being very simple and elegant at a formal event as a pre/post cover-up in lieu of a wrap. So all that is needed now is to wear it to work on Monday and gauge the comments for the final verdict. Fingers crossed!!!


  1. Simple and elegant - I'm happy that I found your blog; I'm loving your creations :)

  2. I've had this pattern for ages and still like it. I appreciate your suggestions. Of course, I'm going to make it more difficult by making it convertible from a jacket to a vest with zipped-in sleeves.