Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Mini-Wardrobe Progress & Setbacks: Cardi/Jacket Muslin!

With a little over a week to go for the mini-wardrobe contest, I have one finished polka dot top and... a muslin of the double knit chartreuse cardigan jacket (yes, I know I said I was going to switch to lime... but I'm a chartreuse girl at heart). To refresh your memory, here was my sketch of the jacket:

Mini-Wardrobe Cardigan Color Choices

The pattern is McCall's 5529, a belted unlined raglan-sleeved cardigan/jacket with peplum (oh how I love a peplum!), designed for wovens or stable knits. I believe it's out of print in the envelope edition, but I bought it as a download from SewingPatterns.com and tediously taped it all together:

McCalls 5529 Jackets

And here are the flats:

McCalls 5529 Jackets Back Flats Detail

I started with view B, with the more gathered/ruffled peplum and self-fabric belt. I went with a size 14 and did my usual major FBA. Since I haven't had a waist in some time, I shortened the bodice by about 4 inches to make use of my "empire waist" (aka underbust).

I had no illusions of making a wearable muslin this time, so I used some hateful, stiff, wrinkle-prone and cheap-feeling red cotton lycra knit with a similar stretch to my doubleknit fashion fabric and wrote all over it with permanent marker. I didn't have enough for all the pieces, so I arbitrarily cut the sleeves off at the elbow (which I WON'T do in the final!) and left off the collar for now.

I'd never made a jacket per se before, but I have made a raglan-sleeved hoodie, and the construction for this was just as quick and easy--made from a knit, it's really a glorified girly sweatshirt.

Below is the result, before belting. I tried it on with the polka dot top and a shirred skirt similar to the one I plan to sew for the contest. (Apologies for the awful low-quality flash photos, but I had my camera set wrong and by the time I realized I was just too tired for a redo.)

McCalls 5529 Jacket Muslin, Before Belting...

Initial thoughts:

  • My FBA didn't quite do the trick. It is a jacket, after all, meant to be worn over other things. I think I need maybe another inch or two total width for it to meet more easily in front. Also, the horizontal bust dart is too low (it should point to the apex).
  • Gathered peplum + gathered skirt = gather overload. It's just too much fullness all over. So for the final, I think I'll switch to the smoother circular view C peplum.
  • The back fit seems just fine.
  • What is UP with these SLEEVES? I love raglan tops, but... the sleeves themselves seem too loose/baggy... and the the armhole is too deep which means it feels super-tight and pulls in a nasty way when I lift my arms. Is this just the nature of raglans and I've never noticed before? Do I need an underarm gusset? How deep can a raglan armhole be? I guess I need to dig through my reference books...
  • Speaking of sleeves, it's pretty hot out lately--I wonder if I should make them short, instead of full-length? Then again, long sleeves are good in chilly air-conditioned offices...
  • The back length is good, but the "waist" seam in front is too low, nowhere near my "empire" waist.

Of course, this thing is meant to be belted. So I grabbed a random belt to test the effect, and then tried it with the front pinned up for a proper empire look:

McCalls 5529 Jacket Muslin, With Belt

Much better, right? It's almost a cute peplumed bolero. Maybe I don't even need the collar--I could just bind the edges, maybe with some cute foldover elastic.

I'm going to think about it for a day or two, and in the meantime try to finish my skirt and muslin the Parfait dress...

IF my sewing machine cooperates... That's the setback I mentioned. My normally hardy Viking Platinum 730 seemed to be having some major issues with tension and skipped stitches last night. I'm hoping it was just that crummy red cotton lycra fabric, so I'll test it tonight on a plain woven... but if she has to go into the shop, I'll probably have to give up on the contest unless I can make substitute garments with a serger/hand-sewing combo. Maybe this could explain my shirring struggles?


  1. Wow, your on a blogging roll! 3 posts in one night! I think you're trying to monopolize all my time away from other blogs haha

    Personally I think you should do long sleeves (like you said, cool air-conditioned offices!) and definitely do the collar, it sort of looks incomplete without (but it is cute)

  2. Cute... great progress on the muslin. I think it looks great without a collar, too!

  3. Ooh, a week! Did you have to say that? Ouch!

    As for the sleeves - is it possible your armhole is fine and the shoulder needs more room? try slashing your muslin over the shoulder and see if that helps? Sometimes raglans don't leave enough room in the shoulder area.

    Good luck with the machine, and don't give up -- maybe they can have it back to you quickly!

  4. I actually think you're really close. I also like it without the collar and the short sleeves but you should probably save that for a second non-pregnant nursing version. I also like it long in the front, somehow having the front pulled up makes it look like it doesn't fit and you outgrew it. Wow, you are definitely moving along fast, I'm still stuck at the beginning of my 3rd piece in the contest.

  5. I have to say I like it more when you keep it longer in the front too, like in the first pictures.

    I'm impressed with all the progress you make in so little time! Very inspirational.


I'd love to hear from you! But no ads please--I'll just have to delete them.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...