I’m so glad to be done with my safari jacket with bellows and pleated flap pockets! It took me about two weeks to make it. It had to made in small segments since I’ve been so busy, what with hosting Thanksgiving and all the various Christmas parties and school events lately. Then it took me a few days to get the pocket size right, and figure out how to sew the things. I made so many versions of these dang pockets.
The black bits were just a last minute experiment. I like how it turned out. All the materials I used from pattern tofabric and buttons, were purchased with my Joann coupons! I was quite pleased with the quality of the cotton twill, too. I’ve been trying to stay away from downtown LA fabric shopping . Lord knows, I already have enough projects lined up!
I wanted to try bellows pockets, so I spent about three days learning all I could about sewing them. It’s probably the hardest pocket I’ve ever made and no, they aren’t perfect, but not bad for a first time….the top pleated patch pockets are a piece of cake compared to these. THe bellows pop out to allow lots of stuff inside. Yeah, I know I won’t be stuffing any maps in this jacket, but I like the look.Here is an example of the most perfect bellows pocket I’ve seen…. a thing of beauty from Bookster tailoring.All in all, McCall’s 79058 was a pretty good pattern, but I did make a muslin. Pattern and construction details.
I cut a size 12 and added about 3/4 inch on each side with a full bust adjustment. I also adjusted for a sway back. I thought maybe the sleeve had too much ease, so I drafted my own from the directions in my old pattern making textbook, and guess what? The sleeve I drafted was exactly the same as the one that came with the pattern. So I guess they got it right, or at least made a textbook sleeve.
There was major flaw to this pattern. The buttonholes are vertical instead of horizontal. I went ahead and sewed them without second guessing the pattern, but then realized something about them just looked off. After a bit of online sleuthing, I checked all the buttonholes in jackets in the closet. They were all horizontal, not vertical. Apparently vertical buttonholes are only suitable for shirts, not jackets. Maybe there are some exceptions?The reason for this is to avoid problematic gaping in a jacket, and I do have a bit of problematic gaping, not seen here but seen when I move. But what the hey, it will do. Just a warning to those of you who want to try this pattern.
I did draft the pockets and epaulets, and the jacket by itself is quite plain, with no lapels. The pattern also has only four buttonholes, which looked too sparse after I sewed them. I added an extra buttonhole between each one I already had made. One or two too may I think, but it was an afterthought. Having more buttons gives it a more vintage look
Styling detail Ralph Lauren jodphurs with boots by Ivanka Trump McCall’s 7058 is a good canvas for me for other styles, since I’ve worked out most of the fitting issues and can use it as a block. The sleeves are pulling a bit at the cap, though. Maybe I cut them slightly off grain. There is two inches of ease in the sleeve, and it’s hard to ease a stiff fabric like twill vs. a more malleable wool without puckering. I wanted to remove some ease, but the sleeve was already snug. Removing ease would make it even tighter. I’m sure there is way to do it, though! I did learn that raising the armhole of a pattern can add more movement to a sleeve. I’m going to try that next time, as it’s a little difficult to raise up my arms in this jacket. I took these photos with my dad at his house this morning. My dad was very ill last year. He had cancer, then bad complications from the radiation treatments. This was really hard for our family as we all love him so much, and I was so worried about him. So it was a great sign that he felt like, or at least was open to the idea, of taking photos again, today. He’s been feeling better recently. He used to take a lot of my photos and I really enjoyed the time spent with him, from scouting out interesting locations in our old town, to learning about photography editing in his office. Knowing he will be with us for hopefully many more years, is the best Christmas gift.
Well, now I can start on some Christmas sewing. It’s about time!