Tuesday, March 25, 2008

McCall"s 5525- Pattern Review

Pattern: McCall’s 5525

Description: Misses’ and Women’s lined jackets, coats and belt: Semi-fitted, lined, double-breasted jacket and coat have collar, lengths and sleeve variations, shoulder pads, princess seams and side front pockets. Coats B, D and E have back vent, jackets A, C, coats, B, D, E have belt carriers; jacket C, coat E have epaulets with button closure; coat E has pocket flaps with button trim, jacket C, coat E have collar tab; jacket C has front yoke, jacket C, coat E have back buttoned yoke; coats B, E, jacket C have sleeves with button bands, jacket A, C, coast B, D, E have topstitch trim, button closure, jackets A, C and coast D, E have self-tie belt. Description from the pattern envelope.

Sizing: Misses’ 8 to 16 and Womens’ 18W to 24W. I made my 18 year-old daughter a size 10.

Instructions: I really thought the instructions were quite good and the steps were in a nice order. There are many views so pay close attention to which view you are making and the correct instructions. This is the first McCall’s pattern I have made in quite awhile but found it to be a good pattern. I thought many of the basic sewing steps were included: staystiching, basting, topstitching, to name a few. The pocket instructions for the side front pockets were easy-to-follow with nice diagrams. Do note on the side front pockets, the bottom buttons are at the pocket levels. So if you sew all the way through with the buttons, the pocket will be closed.

Likes/Dislikes: I loved the style of the pattern plus all the variations you can make it your own. Just read the description again, to appreciate the variations and boggle the mind the mind a bit. The princess seams are plus for fitting needs.

I really didn’t have any dislikes. Well, one, it does take some time to cut out. Many pattern pieces for the coat, lining and interfacing.

The sleeve was very difficult to ease, not a fault of the pattern but the fabric.

Changes: I made view C but due to fabric restrictions, I had to eliminate the the front yoke and back vent. In the end, I really like the coat without these elements. I also decided to eliminate the sleeve bands and the epaulets, just too many design elements. I didn't think my daughter would want a coat that appeared busy instead I wanted a more subtle yet classic design with the bright fabric for her age.

I wanted a self-fabric belt but wanted it to stand out from the coat. I decided to topstitch the belt to make it a bit different from the fabric.
My topstitching thread is two strands of rayon embroidery thread, which proved to be a nice thickness for sewing. The bobbin is sewing thread in a matching color. The rayon top thread and the sewing thread bobbin did pose one problem. I was topstitching the front opening and realized the bobbin thread would show when the front was folded back for the collar/facings. My solution was to mark the placement of the belt on the front, I then was able to sew with the rayon thread on the right side (the side that would show) and it met under the belt. I hope this makes sense. I sewed with the facing up for the folded back collar part for the top half until the belt marking, then turned the coat over with the outside of the coat up and stitched from the belt marking to the bottom of the jacket.

Also, the pattern does not have you bind the edge of the front facing at the point where the lining will not cover. I used a bit of the lining cover and did a binding at this point. One other change, was a bit of ribbon for a hanging loop.

Finally, buttons proved to be a challenge with the orange fabric. I could not find a match for the orange fabric or aqua topstitching, solution – self-covered buttons. I interfaced a section of fabric and topstitched rows 3/8” apart.

Sizing changes:
I should have made a broad back alteration. This daughter is a softball pitcher (fastpitch) and has broad shoulders/back from all the pitching. At the first fitting, we knew she needed more room. I let out the CB seam and that seemed to be plenty. Another thing she noticed and didn’t care for were the armholes. My daughter said they were very tight, so I stitched between the notches, 3/8” deeper armholes and she liked this change.

I tried on this jacket for fitting purposes, we are very similar in size, and I would like to make this jacket for myself. I thought the sleeves ran very short, I am 3” taller than my daughter, so that is some of the difference but I would probably add 2” to the sleeve length.

Fabric: An interesting find from Wal-Mart, it feels like somewhat waterproof fabric. The fabric does not ravel and is dense. I used a 90 needle, this was due to the fabric and the ease of threading 2 rayon threads for the topstitching. The lining was a silky-type Joann’s find. I was going to use this for me but the it worked too perfectly for the jacket. I did fuse interfacing to the entire orange jacket fabric, it added some weight to the fabric and the fusible interfacing prevented the lining from showing through.

Conclusion: A fun, rewarding project that made my teenage daughter very happy. Orange is her favorite color and when I first started this project, she walked into my sewing room. Right away in a very excited voice she states, “What are you making?” I reply a jacket. I didn’t expand and say a jacket for you. The next night I tell her to come into the sewing room, then I explain it is for her and I need her to try it on. Then much more excitement and she stays in my sewing room for quite some time, asking questions about my sewing equipment and sewing notions. A fun evening for both of us, maybe I should sew another garment for her!

My only concern is the fabric is prone to wrinkles, this might drive me crazy each time my daughter wears it. I hope the wrinkles give the appearance the fabric is suppose to be that way!

topstiched belt, covered buttons, topstitching:
Hanger loop from ribbon:
Lining and the binding on the facing:

One more note, this jacket too all week and a weekend. I snuck into my sewing room each day to work on it. This was a fun project, that was quite challenging. I do believe I am ready for a quick knit shirt but first I need to finish a BWOF denim skirt. Review soon!


  1. There is so many wonderful details to this trench! Love the topstitching, the covered buttons and the lining. It is fun! I sure hope your daughter appreciates what a wonderful job you did on this trench!

  2. This jacket is great - and in such a fun color. I especially love that you used some of your topstitched fabric to even cover the buttons!

  3. Lori, this is a such a wonderful jacket! Your little touches are just gorgeous! If your daughter decides she doesn't like the color, I'll be happy to take it off your hands... Fabulous!!!!!!

  4. Lori,
    I love the jacket! The color is beautiful!

  5. Love the colors!!! Beautiful jacket!

  6. I love it! The colour is wonderful!

  7. How beautiful, no wonder your daughter is very happy with it. And isn't it fun to share some mother/daughter time near the sewing machine?

  8. great jacket! she will get a lot of use out of it....and lots of compliments. :)


  9. Wow! Great jacket!

  10. My 22 yr old daughter picked out this same pattern for a jacket made out of khaki! She is an athlete, too, and usually needs a broad-back alteration. Nice to see this made up in such a lovely color!

  11. Love the lining, the ribbon loop, the topstitching, the color...

  12. The jacket looks wonderful. I love the use of the contrasting topstitching. One note on the sleeve, it is not your fabric it is the pattern. I'm working on the same jacket using a stretch cotton sateen and I also had trouble easing in the cap.

  13. What a CUTE jacket. Love the topstitching!

  14. Gorgeous jacket - you're daughter is such a lucky girl!!!!!

  15. Anonymous2:05 PM

    I love this jacket! And your lining is out of this world!I am currently making a BWOF jacket,(its going to be a long project is all I will say- 30+hrs so far). I have bought other fabric also intended for the BWOF pattern , but having read your review I think it will be this pattern!

    So So

  16. Lori,
    The jacket is so special. The topstitching really makes the belt.
    As I said before, you are such a good mom and you have wonderful daughters that apppreciate your sewing for them
    Donna W

  17. Just read your review on PR and snuck over here to see the rest of the pics. Very nice work! Love that color!

  18. This jacket is fabulous! The color with the contrast top-stitching and all the other details make it truly one of a kind that your daughter is sure to receive many many compliments on.

  19. This is just gorgeous. I'll bet she wears it with a smile.

  20. Anonymous11:54 PM

    Lovely jacket, and beautiful work. Did I tell that orange is my favorite color, too? Any fabric left? How about a tote bag to match?

  21. GREAT JOB!!! I just love everything about this project.

    That you surprised your daughter with something she likes!
    That you made it in such a fun color!
    That you use the fun lining and topstitching!
    That I'm getting ready to start my trench so we're twin sewing again!


    Seriously, this is a great jacket.

  22. Oh my goodness, Lori, that is so cute! I love the color and style, and I think you were right on in eliminating those design elements. It looks perfect and the color is great, too.

  23. Lori, this is BEAUTIFUL! I love every single detail! Thank you so much for this detailed review!

  24. Very, very nice! Great work, Lori.

  25. This is absolutely gorgeous! Love the topstitching, love the aqua-orange combination, love the lining, love the pattern... I guess I love everything about it!