Turning 40 - A Review


Hey guess what?  It's officially my 40th birthday day!   I've been celebrating all month because a "birthday month" is a thing and I'm secretly dramatic. Or maybe that's not a secret. Does a not dramatic person wear a hat like this?   No girl, they probably don't wear hats at all....poor hat-less bastards.
It's been awhile since we had a purely silly blog post, what with me not actually blogging and all.  I thought this might be a fun way to commemorate my 40th birthday. Also my sewing mojo has taken a mini-vacation leaving me with lots of time to do other stuff.  Like write random blog posts, search for reasonably priced bakelite and eat too much chocolate.  (Desmond's leftover Easter candy is in peril.) So let's have some fun with my edited review temple below. Don't worry, there's still a husband comment.

Pattern   Age
The big 40. Officially middle aged? Or halfway to becoming my true self? Basically a crotchety old lady who knits, eats cookies and only watches PBS dramas of Jane Austen novels. (We're just going to pretend my real true self isn't a "V" lizard human intent on using the rest of you for fuel.)  Honestly I'm just relieved to be back at an age that I can remember.  Try remembering that you're 37 for a year. It's impossible.

Fabrics used  Influences
This 40 year old self is brought to you by... avoiding social interactions to read too many books. Being raised on so many old movies that my teenage crushes were Clark Gable, Charlton Heston and Yul Brynner. (That is not a joke) Copious ingestion of cake, cookies and chocolate bars. And finally filling my brain with so many song lyrics that I spontaneously start singing something 95% of the time. My family loooooves this.  (No they don't.)

Baby Heather.  I'm just giving you this one to show that I arrived on this planet with more hair than was necessary. Now we're fast forwarding to where I started dressing myself and it's scary.

Child who wore too many things her grandmother bought at "Cow Town"  Wait, I'm just now finding out there's a rodeo there?  Shit, I would have enjoyed a rodeo more than factory seconds bought on the cheap.

That stage where I was too big to fit into kids clothing but for some reason didn't fit into teenager clothing?  All I remember is having to buy clothing from the middle aged ladies department. You make a lot of friends in middle school that way. (No you don't.)

The early 90's vest phase.  I don't remember having a vest phase but I just counted 4 different vest outfits section of the photo album. And that's the only the outfits my Mother thought to take a picture of.  Confession - I've been thinking about sewing a vest for about 4 months now. Would this be a vest reboot?

Mid 90's ill advised flannel shirt semi grunge phase.  Nothing like totally obscuring your waist so you look 20lbs heavier.

Late 90's phase when I wore khakis and T-shirt from surf shops. I have no idea why this happened. I hate the beach and am very unathletic.  Why this just a late 90's trend? You can see my friend Steve's outfit is equally bland so may be it was. Oh and we used to be somewhat tan.  We're still friends but we don't tan. We just text each other about how much we hate the sun.... exactly 2 weeks ago. (We both decided to clean our houses instead. Just call us the life of the party!)

Early Aughts "I have to train people older than me for a living so I buy everything from J Crew" phase. That one explains itself.

Late Aughts "I'm cold all the time but can afford to buy a lot of cashmere turtlenecks" phase. This is when I met Mr. B.

2012 - Post Desmond and when I started sewing again.

2018 - Gasp the Present!

Confessions/Advice  Pros/Cons
Pros of being 40
- I used to be really concerned about "What Other People Thought!" in my younger years.  Now I don't give a damn.  It's really wonderful and freeing.

- On a related note my decision to become the local eccentric is working out really well.  I've always been a weird lone wolf on the edges of society.  Now I'm also well dressed and confidently wearing a killer hat while doing my own thing.  Most people seem to like it.
Cons of being 40
- I spend a fair amount of time on Youtube looking for stretches to fix various muscle knots. Have I been using my body incorrectly for 40 years?  The answer is yes. Oh and I take a lot of supplements now and fiber.  All of you in your 20's and 30's enjoy not worrying about your fiber intake while you can.

- I have turned into that adult who goes, "OH MY GOD, YOU'VE GOTTEN SO BIG!"  God I hated that person when I was a kid.  Also things are "too sweet" or "too rich" now.  And I wear leopard print which I swore never to do.  Oh well, I'm owning it now.  Kids grow up too fast, those marshmallow peeps are way too sweet and leopard print rules. Soft kitty, round kitty, little pile of fluff.

Husband Family Comments
Husband - "I noticed that you're a lot hotter than many of the 40 year olds I know."

Son - "I don't really care, Carver's Mom is way older than you." (Who's Carver? Husband Steve says he's one of Desmond's classmates.  Really? the only one I can remember is Sal because his grandfather looks like, and I quote Des -"One of those rich guys who look poor." Me - "Do you mean stereotypical Italian movie mobsters?"  Des- "YES!")

Froggie - "I do hope you're still sharing the chocolate cake."

My Final Thoughts
I'd like to thank my mother for her "young face" genes. She used to win us prizes at the "guess my age" attraction at the fair every time. Also my younger self for starting to use sunscreen in her early 20's.  Oh and my vampire eyes that keep me from going out in the sun period.  HISSS, IT BURNS! Where is my sun hat and two pairs of sunglasses!? (Also not a joke.)

Other than my face vanity I'm pretty happy with this whole getting older thing. Younger me spent a lot of time trying to be something I'm not. A socially normal person. And no one bought it because it's obvious that I'm not that.  As a semi-close relative told me in 2012, "Well you've always been odd, but not in a bad way."  I'm a lot happier now that I've embraced my oddness with as much bright colors and hats as possible.

I think that's enough introspection for one day. Let's all sit down have some cake and talk about summer sewing plans. :)

2017 Flashback - I might be too pale for this dress


Is there an expiration date on unblogged garments? It's not like any of you live near me and are thinking, "God Heather, I've seen you wear that dress for 3 months. You're blogging about it now?  As far as you all know this dress never existed until now.  Well if you've forgotten about any instagram progress posts in the summer of 2017.  I'll just get out my "Men in Black" light stick forgetting thing and take care of those memories. Ha! Now let me tell you all about my "new dress" the Dragnor pattern from "How to do Fashion."
Come to think of it I should have waited until it was summer and passed this off as a fresh new make. Ta Da, my hair is mysteriously less gray around the temples for one blog post. What is my secret! Witchy trickery of course. Definitely not living through 3 consecutive traumatic events that happened one after another in a space of 3 weeks. *insert crazed laughter*  (Seriously though the 3rd quarter of my 2017 was a shit show which I can't really talk about since none of the events happened directly to me or my husband/kid.  But I was only 1 degree removed so there was plenty of feelings and stress to drive me more than a little crazy. But enough about real life stuff that's a bummer, let's talk about sewing.)
So back in 2017 I'd been eyeing the How to do fashion site for a bit.  Nanna's style is similar to my own and I always like trying new pattern brands to see what they're like.  I chose to go with the Dragnor pattern because it looked like a good match for some vintage border print in the stash.  See, look at the pretty fruity border!
I purchased the PDF version and had a positive experience with it.   The layout of all the pattern tiles was nice and clear and I didn't have any trouble getting the pieces to fit together.  As is my habit I traced a copy of the pattern onto trace paper and made my fitting changes on that version. One thing to note is that the sewing instructions are not in the PDF download.  You need to go back to the website and download another PDF.  The link to the instructions is clearly marked in the pattern purchasing area, just thought I'd mention it.  The dress itself was easy to put together.  I like the fact that the bodice comes with a full lining, so you don't have to worry about neckline and armhole facings flipping around.  There's also a nice amount of bra coverage for those of us who prefer not to wear strapless bras. (I'm definitely in this camp because strapless bras just end up at my waist.)
Overall this was a fun sew and I was excited to put this dress on......only to find it looked a lot better on the hanger than on me.  Ru Ro Reorge. What went wrong?

- Maybe I'm too pale for this much white background.  I hear some of you saying, "Don't worry Heather, you just need to wear this in the summer when you have more color." Well these pictures were taken at the end of summer sooooo this is my summer color.  My aversion to the sun is good for the face wrinkle situation, but maybe not for wearing white.

- Maybe I got the proportions off a bit.  Thanks to my low bust point the inset area had to be reduced 1" in width. The skirt length also might be a bit too long.

- Maybe a waist inset is not the best design feature on my body.  Kind of highlights the whole pear shaped situation.
To be honest I'm not entirely sure why this is a bit of a miss. Maybe you guys can weigh in.

Dragnor from How to do Fashion. I used the non draped neckline for my version.

Fabrics used
Vintage cotton border print bought from Etsy a number of years ago.

Pattern changes/alterations
1. Raised the front and back necklines about .5"
2. Made standard .5" forward shoulder adjustment.
3. Took .25" off strap height on both the front and back.
4. Added 1" of length to top of front bodice and removed 1" of length from waist inset.

- I did try to fully line the entire dress for opacity but that created too much volume in the skirt area. The finished garment only has a lined bodice.

- Despite taking in the shoulder straps they still feel too long.

- I might have enjoyed this angry outtake so much that it became my FB profile pic until this month. Oh and strangers will DM you and ask why you're using such an unflattering picture as your profile. (For Irony, Duh!)

Husband Comment
"Red and white, first aid colors. You could be a nurse, a fruity nurse."

My Final Thoughts
Long story short, great pattern. My execution, not so much.  So do any of you have thoughts on how to rework this dress? The fabric is so pretty and I don't want it to go to waste. I'd be ever so thankful for you recommendations.

It's an Easter Miracle


This could be an Easter miracle or more of a Dr. Frankenstein hooking up a corpse to lighting sort of situation.  Either way you slice it, the blog is ALIVE! ALIVE I TELL YOU!!!!! *cue manic laughter*
Sooooo how's everybody been?  Over here it's been snowing....every week. On the one hand I've gotten a few extra sewing days in. On the other I'm all, "I'm getting to old for this shit" every time my eye falls on the camera tripod. Unless you've got a winter coat to model who wants to go saddle up their team of huskies to go get some blog photos?  (Confession, if I did have a team of huskies I would 100% do a photo shoot with them. It would be a disaster, but probably hilarious.)

Anywooo, today it wasn't snowing or torrential raining and I thought, "Hey I've got myself all made up. Might as well take some blog photos." Looking around I saw that my son was distracted with his new Easter Shark* and my husband was happily eating his easter chocolate. I grabbed the tripod and ran out of the house before they could grab me and demand more food. FREEEDOM!   Well freedom to squint into the sun while dog walkers at the park wonder what the hell I'm doing. (BTW - One of them did tell me my outfit was fantastic.)
This wasn't what I'd planned to wear for Easter. There's a nice blue/white floral rayon number all ready to go for a festive Spring celebration....except it doesn't feel like Spring yet.  After sticking my head out the door I said, "NOPE, not suffering for fashion today....other than my shoe choice. Let's pull out the wool." And low, I clothed myself of in the fleece of a sheep and was happy. But how did I get here you might ask? Oh, oh, oh, I'll tell you.

At the beginning of the month I went on a pattern buying bender since it's only way to get myself excited about sewing up fabric that's as old as my son. Just give me something new and shiny!   As usual Etsy came through and hooked me up with a new Hollywood Pattern. Bam!
All winter I'd been staring at this glen plaid and thinking, "That would look nice in a suit jacket with some pleather. But what pattern would work?" Nothing really came to mind even though there are a healthy number of suit patterns in my stash.  But when I first clapped eyes on Hollywood 989 I knew it would be perfect.
The illustration doesn't show a version with contrast fabrics even though the construction makes it easy to add them. The collar is inserted in similar to a button down shirt collar, so you don't have to worry about piecing a facing on the inside.  The pocket flaps are only decorative, no worrying about sewing bias bound pockets in pleather.  I also decided to do the undersleeves in pleather so there wasn't a nasty plaid mismatch on the back sleeve seam.  There's some extra ease in the elbow area so it was impossible to match the two pieces across the seam.
One other interesting design element is that the jacket does not have a side seam in the normal place.  The front piece wraps around to where the back bodice dart might be positioned. A fish eye dart is used to shape the side seam instead. But you'll have to take my word for it because my plaid matching is obscuring all vertical seams.  Thank god for that CB seam because that make sway back adjustments even easier. (Looks like I need to take out a bit more for the sway back looking at these pics. Darn curvy backside.)

Hollywood 989 - Jacket only.  Probably should grade up the skirt because a one with an inverted pleat would be a nice addition to the wardrobe.

Fabrics used
Plaid wool with a bit of a boucle texture/medium weight pleather. Both of these are long stashed Emmaonesock purchases.  The cobalt lining is also from the stash, originally from Gorgeous Fabrics.  In fact even the interfacing, shoulder pads and buttons are stash. A 100% stash project!

Pattern changes/alterations
1. Graded the pattern up to a 36" bust.
2. Standard for me forward shoulder adjustment of 1/2" to shoulder and sleeve cap
3. Decreased sleeve cap height 1/2".
4. 1/2" extra ease added to waist and hip for my pear shape.
5. 1/4" sway back adjustment.
6. Took 1/2" out of the center back seam at the waist.

- No tricky construction issues on this one if you're an old hat at jackets.  See what I did there, old hat. *wink, wink*
- Desmond convinced me on using these buttons that were in the stash.  I was going to self cover some buttons with pleather instead.  After mocking one of those up I admitted that Desmond's pick looked better. More Sparkle!

Husband Comment
Him - "Oh it's got shiny parts. It's like a hybrid of a leather jacket and hounds tooth." 
Me - "It's plaid, not houndstooth."
Him - "Are you sure?"
Me - "YEESS. Who has a fashion design degree around here?"
Him - "Hmmmm, well the plaid is houndstoothy."
My Final Thoughts
This baby turned out just like it looked in my head.  I've also worn it all day and wore like a dream. So warm and comfy. This patterns is going in the "would make again" pile.
My sewing machine has been humming all winter so there are plenty of garments I could show you.  But will I?  Maybe Frankenstein's monster could ghost write for me. His grasp of English is probably better.  Until then enjoy your chocolate haul!

*Easter Shark patent pending. It's a real thing and not something I just made up for my shark obsessed 7 year old.  The Easter shark brings steaks, chocolate, and a stuffed shark for you to hug. He's awesome for all ages.

Bandwagon Sewing - Simplicity 1554


Hello everyone, hope you are enjoying the beginning of Fall. Or as I call it about these parts, "Just die already summer."  Oh course summer is aware it almost succeeded in breaking me this year and is sticking around trying to finish the job. Not gonna work summer, all my Halloween window clings are elevating my mood. I'm also on a sugar high from bite sized Halloween candies. (A 10 pound bag will last me till Halloween proper...right? God, when will I learn never to break the candy bag seal.)

The small upside of it being 85 and disgustingly humid is that I got photos of all the summer sewing you know nothing about. Let me quantify that, photos of all the summer garments.  Not all my summer sewing was seasonally appropriate. Two fully lined wool jackets and one unlined wool blouse/jacket were also completed during the season of too much sun.  One lesson I have learned is that Christmas garment sewing (for yourself) doesn't get done if you wait till the 4th quarter.  This year my closest has more red/green/black garments for my Christmas theme dressing needs. I can barely wait!

Let's put a pin in the merits of wool and roll the clock back to June to some of the last bit of stash busting that happened this summer. (Hazards of working at a fabric store.) May I present Simplicity 1554, my second favorite blouse pattern.
OK so usually I buy vintage patterns just because of the look of the fashion illustration or the design details.  I've rarely seen a completed garment on someone else and then went to look for a copy of the pattern. However this blouse kept popping up on Instagram on other vintage ladies accounts.  They'd mention the pattern number and I'd look it up every time. After about the 3rd of 4th time it was obvious I'd better just buy the damn thing already.
This one is labeled "Simple to make" which is mostly true. I'd guess that making bound buttonholes wasn't as big of a deal in the 40's if it was your only option.  The style is easy to fit due to the kimono sleeve and the waist area not being especially fitted. There are two tucks in the back waist mostly to reduce bulk in the hip area.

The pattern gives you a variety of neckline options but they all share the same shirred detail at the shoulder.  This particular design element will join the category of button buttonholes in that it's fiddly AF to make, but you're happy to have done it afterwards.  The pattern comes with a stay piece for the gathered area. You have to hem the stay piece, run 5 parallel lines of gathering on  the shoulder of the blouse, tie off the gathers, then hand stitch the stay piece on the wrong side of the blouse to reinforce everything.  The thought, "why am I doing this?" ran through my head more than once.
However current me is pretty pleased about this picture. Gathers and a dragonfly brooch? Sweeet.

The rest of the construction is straight forward if you've had prior shirt making experience.  The collar on version 1 has no stand, so you just sandwich it in the facings and call it done.  All the hems are rolled, which you can do by hand or machine.

Simplicity 1554 -View 1.

Fabrics used
Polka dot stretch cotton from Gertie's etsy store.  That glorious summer in 2013 when she sold yardage from NY and I bought soooo much fabric and wish I'd bought even more.  This may be the last piece from that stash building hull.

Pattern changes/alterations
1. Graded up the pattern to a 36" bust.
2. Put in standard 1/2" forward shoulder adjustment.

Those of you who follow me on Instagram may remember that I completed all the bound buttonholes on the front only to discover they were not evenly spaced.  I had to cut a new front and start from scratch. Why do these things always happen with bound buttonholes? Pretty sure someone cursed me for stealing their bite sized candy bar.

Husband Comment
"More polka dots for my sours!"  (He is "sweets", I am "sours" and as they say, the shoe fits.)

My Final Thoughts
This blouse was my most worn make of the summer.  While it didn't knock McCall's 4265 out of the top blouse spot, I keep wishing a black windowpane plaid version would spontaneously appear in my closet.  The kimono sleeves and loose fit made it great for all but the hottest weather. Most of the time I paired it with this black circle skirt, but it also looks nice with an A-line skirt of pants.  Overall I'd highly recommend getting your hands on a copy of Simplicity 1554 if you're looking for a good wardrobe builder.
I've got two more summer dresses to show you....hopefully before December. Maybe frog can hide all my electronic devices until the blogging is caught up. Bad bloggers don't get match 3 games or 10 pound bag of Halloween candy.

When Ebay closes a door, Etsy opens a window - Hollywood 1411


I'm sure you'll all agree with me that spending a quarter of your feel time searching the internet for new sewing patterns is perfectly normal. Just something we seamstress's do to relax and is in no way tied to us being pattern addicts. Thrill of the hunt? Nonsense!  I just need to use up all that fabric I have in the bedroom. Anyway, now that we've got that out of the way let me tell you my tale of the pattern that almost got away.
One day I was checking my ebay saved search results for Hollywood patterns. (A perfectly normal thing to do and not something an addict might set up to get their daily hit of vintage.)  I was delighted to see a new to me design in Hollywood 1411.
Did some pattern drafter of long ago design this exactly for me?  They combined all of my favorite things, shirt dresses, scalloped necklines, and pockets. Oh My!  This pattern had to BE MINE! So I bid on that puppy and happily planned what fabrics and buttons to use.

Then something happened....I just don't remember what.  Near the end of auction I should have been monitoring the bids like an addict a serious seamstress making sure to close the deal.  Guess I had to parent or maybe sleep? Curse you real life for interfering with my sewing acquisitions! Anyway someone else won the pattern with a modest bid and I was weeping into my pillow kind of bummed.
A month later I was still simmering with suppressed anger sad about loosing out on this pattern and decided to do a pattern number search for it on both Ebay and Etsy.  Because I'm not in anyway an addict, I just had the fabric ready to go!   Sadly, but not unexpectedly the searches did not return any results for my lost lovely.  With a heavy sigh I thought, "Well might as well browse Etsy while I'm here. I'll just put in a general Hollywood patterns search."  And yes my friends while I just browsing pages on Etsy this pattern appeared like a mirage in the desert. I blinked in disbelief for about 10 seconds and then pounced on that pattern like a lion upon a gazelle.  Sure that sounds like the phrasing of a pattern addict but.....I'm fine, totally fine.  I may have huffed the pattern when it arrived in my mailbox but that's not out of the ordinary behavior for anyone. Right.. Right?  OK I might have a problem but I can stop when ever I want. (Pay no attention to the open ebay tabs currently on my computer.)
Well my pattern hoarding tendencies paid off in this case because this dress is everything I'd hoped it would be. How could a shirt dress with scallop details and pockets not be?

Hollywood 1411

Fabrics used
Dress weight floral cotton from Emmaonesock.com. (Think we have this in stock still)

Pattern changes/alterations
1. Graded up the pattern from a size 34 bust.  I was able to do the cheater way of adding more ease to the side seams on most of the pattern pieces.  The front skirt was graded in the proper manner because of the scalloped pocket openings.

2. Standard .5" forward shoulder adjustment.

3. Standard dropping of bust dart about 1.5".  The waist tucks were also shortened an 1".

4. Had a little extra fabric floating around in the shoulder area so I pinched it out by making a .25" fold in the shoulder.

Advice - I've noticed that a few of my 40's patterns like to do this thing where the belt has either a curved or pointed edge that sticks out.  Annoyed by this I finally sewed a little snap to the back side to keep the belt in place.

Confessions - Usually I'm pretty good about remembering to put interfacing on cut on facings. For some reason it slipped my mind until finishing up most of the sewing.  I decided to to skip the interfacing all together but it did make sewing buttonholes a complete nightmare.
Otherwise I had one of those really enjoyable sewing experiences that kind of ruin you for other projects.  All I can think of is making the bodice with the set in sleeves for Fall. If I had any suitable fabric for it in that stash I'd be sewing that right now.

Husband Comment
"Oooo that neckline is really nice!" - This one met with approval from both male parties in the house

My Final Thoughts
100% sure I'll be sewing this pattern again and not just the alternate view. The neckline depth is perfect, keeping you cool while not flashing too much cleavage. There's plenty of room for a full range of movement with the kimono sleeves and the A-line skirt. This one is already in the section of the closest that gets worn every week. I could definitely do with another!

P.S. - I may enjoy accessorizing but something the weather does not cooperate.  Curse you hat snatching wind!

You may remember Easter - Hollywood 1025


Hey guys, do you remember Spring time?  When the flowers were blooming and we weren't dying of oppressive heat? No me neither. My current hobbies are switching out ice packs and bitching about being hot. I'm so Delightful to live with in the summer! #summerhater #nordicgenes #whyamIhashtagginghere

We've probably reached the point that blogging about April makes is ridiculous, but I'm doing it anyway. I didn't entertain/confuse the people driving by my picture location for nothing. (I should make a little sign that says, "Can't understand your drive by yelling," for photo shoots. Right now I just assume they're yelling complement about my hats.)
In the tradition of seamstresses everywhere, I used the Easter holiday as an excuse to sew a new piece of clothing.... and to buy a new hat.  Can I blame my mother for buying me pretty dresses and hats when I was a toddler? I'm just trying to recapture that sugar fueled high of matching dresses and sun hats.  If only I could still find chocolate covered animal crackers that come in a pencil box the trifecta would be complete.
After freezing my butt off previous Easter  Sundays I decided to go with a 3/4 sleeve jacket/blouse made out of cotton sateen for Easter 2017. No worrying about finding matching cardigans this year. Ya hear that Mother Nature?! HA!  (Spoiler Alert - Mother Nature took that as a challenge and made it about 87 degrees on Easter Sunday. F'ing Nature. )

But enough about my personal vendetta with weather, let's talk about sewing. You know I like peplum jackets and Hollywood 1025 is the third version to grace the blog.  This design's claim to fame is that the waist shaping is created with inset pieces. I'd eyed this design a couple of times but couldn't get past all the things that could go wrong grading up insets.  Images of too tiny insets going across my bust danced through my head at night. Then BAM, the pattern showed up in my waist size. Huzzah!  Now my insets won't wind up in unsightly locations. There is a bust dart on the front inset seam that needed to be tweeked due to my low bust point.  The angle is a bit funky but that's why we sew things in bold patterns. You can't see a thing!
As you may have expected, sewing the insets is the trickiest part. I like to mark all my seam allowances around the point of the inset with disappearing marker. Then I clip the allowances a bit and do a bit of basting at the point. Then go in and sew the whole seam on a slightly smaller stitch length than usual. There's always one inset that you have to rip a few times but the rest sewed up fine.

Everything else was pretty standard jacket construction minus a lining. :) That might be while I like jacket/blouses so much.

Hollywood 1025

Fabrics used
Stretch Cotton Sateen from the stash. (An old Emmaonesock purchase.)

Pattern changes/alterations
No grading on this baby, Hooray!
1. Standard .5" forward shoulder adjustment to shoulder seam and sleeve cap.

This was the first time I've made a peplum style in a heavier weight fabric and hoo boy did that make a difference in the body of the peplum. Duh.  The top is supposed to go with the standard A-line 40's skirt but with the fluffy peplum it didn't look right.  (Because flat butts do not run in my family.) Happily I'd sewn up this dark red circle skirt a couple of years ago and it was the right amount of volume to balance out the peplum.

(I also confess that I made a dirndl skirt to go with this and it was so hideous that it went straight into the the trash. We shall never speak of it again.)

Husband Comment
"Very festive color and I like the slightly puffy shoulders."  - I assume he's talking about the shoulder pads. If so I've successfully brainwashed him into also liking shoulder pads.

My Final Thoughts
If you've been reading my drivel for awhile you may have noticed that I have a fondness for the peplum jacket/blouse combo.  They are more versatile if made in a blouse weight fabric. You can layer them with sweaters and they work with more styles of skirts. It was fun to try a different weight of fabric and it worked well in the outfit.  I probably wouldn't do it again though. Better to save that bottom weight sateen for regular jackets.

Not related to the pattern, but when I walked into the yard at church it was a sea of clothing in blue/white or tasteful pastels. As I was gleefully giggling to myself about my searing red ensemble a lady ran up to me and said, "I was dying to know what you were wearing today because you always look fabulous."  Then I talked her ear off about my hat because I'm bad at social interactions and crazy about hats.

P.S. - There's me on the right at age 3 on Easter Sunday. I'm probably that happy about candy but let's pretend it's about hats.

McCall's 3242 - The Pendleton Jacket Knock Off


Last year I feel deeply in love with the Pendleton 49er jacket.  At first I was all, "Oooo look at me, embracing boxy plaid garments. How shocking!"  Then I slowly remembered that my mother had a closet full of 90's style Pendleton suits with plaid jackets and matching kilt style skirts. These were in the hall closet that also held all the family photo albums.  Sometimes you'd tunnel yourself in there to get out the pictures but also to sniff the wool/cedar blocks. (Unrepentant wool sniffer since my early years.) Sooo yes, we all become our parents eventually, but with slight variations. :)  Also I wish I had a closet to fill with just wool and cedar for my boy to sniff.......Digression finished.

After buying my first 49er jacket I discovered a bunch of other great things about the garment.

1. Giant patch pockets you can throw just about anything in. Phones, kids toys, pens, measuring tapes, snacks, your toy frog eating the snacks, etc.

2.  The roomy fit lets you put all manner of shirts underneath.  Well maybe nothing bulky around the wrist area but I can work around that. Three quarter sleeves anyone?

3. Plaid fabric helps hide food stains if you happen to be a be one of those people who's hands randomly release things without your brain's instruction. (I am one of those people.)

4. Wool fabric does it's job of being a great insulator without making you feel overly sweaty.

5. Boxy fit goes great with swing pants and man-ish shoes making it a practical work outfit. (Pants are the Living History Smooth Sailing Trousers once again)
Basically the 49er jacket is exactly the kind of layering garment I want in my life right now.  However the thought to make my own didn't cross my mind until my father gifted me 3 yards of plaid wool for Christmas. Should I try to copy one of my vintage Pendleton jackets or was there a vintage pattern out there that was similar?  To the Internets, the power of Google compels you!

Googling "vintage Pendleton pattern" took me to some long dead message board where several vintage pattern numbers were suggested. I had Froggie write them down for me and then we surfed on over to Etsy to see what was available.  Low and behold Etsy had most of the patterns mentioned and McCall's 3242 was perfect!
Perfect doesn't really describe it because McCall's 3242 is an exact copy of the Pendleton 49er jacket. Shoulder pleat in the same place? Yes.  Back yoke gathers? Yes.  Collar has same curved shape on the outer edge? Yes again!  Obviously someone in charge at McCall's thought this design was popular enough to copy for the sewing public. I thank you sir or madam for doing all the work for me.

Construction was easy pleesy since the style is basically a cross between a jacket and collared shirt. Well as easy as plaid matching can be.  My walking foot does help a bunch to keep everything matched up after it's been pinned. The only construction details I changed was tweaking the pocket placement, flat felling the side seams/under arms and serging the armhole seams at the finish.  At the end you get a very pretty inside where the only exposed seams are the armholes.  Nothing like a pretty inside to make you feel accomplished.

McCall's 3242

Fabrics used
Light weight plaid wool that was a gift.

Pattern changes/alterations
1.Standard forward shoulder adjustment to the shoulder seam and sleeve
2. Reduced with of cuff by .5".
3. Took in side seams about an inch.
4. Lengthened sleeves .5".
5. Reduced the width of the pockets .5".

-The fit came out a bit roomier than I'd wanted.  Probably need to grade the entire pattern down one size for the fit to be similar to my vintage jackets.

-The color in the plaid are probably a little too 60's for regular wear.  I do like that kelly green though.

Husband Comment
"You finally made something with decent pockets. Good job."

Bonus son comment, "That doesn't look to good.  I mean you look good, but that jacket doesn't." (I'm still laughing about this.)

My Final Thoughts
McCall's 3242 is a excellent copy of the Pendleton 49er style. As with our modern Big 4 patterns I think it comes with a little more ease than I'd like.  Mind you I muslined the whole thing up and decided the ease was fine, so I have no one but myself to blame.  I'd like to give this pattern another go with a heavier wool plaid after grading it down a bit. That should give me the exact fit I'm looking for.

Long story short, Excellent pattern but check your sizing. And with that I'll leave you with an action shot.
See you next time with the exact opposite of this jacket.  Fitted, Floral and Floucey, Oh my!
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