Sunday, September 14, 2014

McCall's 7026: A Polartec Fleece Jacket (& A Fehr Trade XYT Top)



It's about fall time and I need some lightweight jackets for everyday as well as for running.  I fell fast for McCall's 7026, a pattern with several Lululemon-esque activewear jackets, plus some super basic tights.  I sewed up View B with a few changes.  I've never ever in my life sewed with fleece and I wanted to do it right a quality one.  I got this super soft Polartec Classic 100 for only $3/yard at Mill Yardage.  (FYI: The queen of ugly, cheapy quality fleece, Jo@nn Fabrics, actually carries Polartec fleece now-- I saw several basic colors for $9.99/yard, I am sure it's the Classic 100.)  You can see I tried to take pics in the yard but the sun is shockingly perfect and bright today causing major overexposure and weird shadows!  So I went to the porch next to ye old push lawnmower. 


I made slightly above a 14, graded to above a 16 at the waist and then just above an 18 at the hip.  I added 1" (2 cm) to the arm length as well as for the bodice.  I'd really say I added another 1/2" (1 cm) to the hem as I sewed it up super narrow.  My zipper is the recommended 22".  I could have used the 24"?!  I would like more length on this jacket next time, too.  I for some reason cut a straight size 14 for the arms and sewed it a little snugger then that, the arms are a tad tight. 


The back hemline doesn't dip down low like all the technical drawings indicate.  There is a line on the pattern pieces for the low dipping hem as well as a line for a straight back hem.  The princess seaming is fantastic for easy altering.  I wish the sleeves were two pieces for a more accurate fit.  


I did not do the piping on the seams, I wanted them free so I was able to take in/out anything as I sewed.  I'd do the piping next time.  You can also see I excluded the hand warmer thingies... that is one of the main elements I love about the pattern. Why did I get rid of 'em then?!


Look at the pic right above, it was during sewing while those hand things were on.  They were super awkward with the thick layers of black fleece AND the arm was all bunched up and looked so weird.  They got chopped off.  My next version will have a modified version of the hand cuffs.  And I also hacked out my pockets.  I used a mesh fabric but they added a weird bulk and kept bunching up.  I should have understitched the pocket, this would have helped.  Plus they were in an awkward location in the seams, it just felt weird to put my hands in it. Goodbye pockets.  I'll do pockets in another one.



 The zipper I used is not the best at all.  It's a Coats & Clark separating zipper, it's so crappy. I tried to press it flatter, it's just bumpy and distorts the fabric.  But to be honest, it's not a complete deal breaker, I'll wear this still.  Another modification I will make on Version 2: I will add that little fabric tab that folds over the top of the zipper to stop it from scratching my neck.  You know, that little bit that the lady in purple has on her zipper here on the right.  
The jacket is unlined.  And I totally never got around to blogging about this super cute white Fehr Trade XYT Top (previous version are here, here, and here.)  I used a New Balance spun polyester activewear fabric (from Fabric Mart, but it's no longer available).  It's super soft, lighter weight, but after wearing it for several runs I've decided the fabric may be better for cold weather base layering since it felt like I was retaining more heat the I liked.  The cherries are a nylon/spandex swimwear I got last year from Fabric Fairy (it's not on their site anymore either.)


You can't see it very clearly but the black fleece has these lines running through it.  This material is from the Flawed/Overstock sale and this is actually a "flaw"... but it looks really cool and adds texture.  Plus I was freakishly careful and got every seam and line all lined up ever so perfectly with all that piecing! Happy dance!  No one will ever care besides me though. You can see the lines in the pic below, I had to take it off and hold it up to the light.


This a great little wearable muslin.  I did follow along with directions for maybe 3/4 of the project, and they are solid.  I used my serger for all my seams and took care to switch thread colors when sewing on the pink or the black.  On to the next project!


15 comments:

  1. Whiiiiiine! I went to SRHarris hoping to get fabric for this jacket! :)

    It's really cute and totally works. Plus you know you'll end up making a bunch of these and now you know what to change.

    Cute. Cute. Cute tank!

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    1. Thanks!!! Nothing at SR Harris?! I want to see your version. I am going to do more of these and I LOVE when other people share what they are doing so I can totally steal... borrow there ideas.

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    2. I went with the intent on getting that cherry print fabric I used for DDs top. I'm telling you, this stuff was a DREAM to sew and was sooo soft. And at only $4.50/yd! That explains why it was nowhere to be found 2 weeks later! Someone was smarter than I and didn't leave any behind! :)

      I think I'll go for wearable muslin #1 in either some ponte or sweatshirt fleece that I scored for cheap. I will find the "perfect" fabric!

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    3. I love that cherry fabric you used on her top. I saw some heart sweater fabric at FM and felt like like I was way too old to own a heart sweater, so I passed it by :( I want it still.

      I got a pile of zippers waiting for me to make V2 of this. They are good ones, not the nasty Joann ones I recent;y bought. They are YKK.

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  2. Awesome running top, I mean jacket, and the top too! Interesting to hear of your hand warmer experience. I like the idea of these but they seem sort of bulky and awkward in real life.

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    1. Thanks!! I hope to get the sort of hand mitt thingy drafted for my next version. It will be long enough to have those thumb holes and have a foldover bit to cover the fingers if I need to. Yeah, the poofy, thickness of fleece did not work for these hand things here.

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  3. Great job, Kathy! I love your color choices. I agree about Joann's fleece - usually pills. Not worth the money. Better to wait and get the good stuff.

    I love the hand warmers on my Nike powerstretch pullover and my Lucy zip-up. In a thicker fleece, I'm not sure I'd want to include the hand warmers. In a thinner version of fleece or windblock style fabric, probably. I go thinner too because I'm usually wearing the jacket or fleece under wrist guards as I skate. Maybe a ribbed knit or a small amount of powerstretch would be a nice combo with your polartec on V2.

    I have been paying close attention to all the little details that are being put into tech garments. That zipper cover is such a wonderful thing! I'll be putting that into my fleece too.

    I love how beautiful the lines are in profile. In many tech garments, the lines can make us look bulkier, broader, and fuller instead of feminine and flatter our curves. McCall's did a great job with this one. The lines are most flattering, especially so when done in color block.

    To my eye, I can see the slightest amount of dipping with the back hemline. I would likely increase more. It's nice not to show off more than you like, and make sure there isn't some crazy draft!

    I love the XYT top on you. Those cherries are adorable! Good to know about the white New Balance spun poly holding heat. Thanks for taking the time to share!!

    Blissful runs & cycling to you.

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    1. Thanks!! Yeah, I totally agree the back dips slightly. I am going to gues that's my doing and not the pattern-- when I was hemming it up I was not doing a perfect job... I knew that this wasn't going to be the golden perfect jacket I wanted, so I was a little lazy.

      I am going to do a version with a technical knit nylon/spandex meant for running, I got a few perfect fabrics ready to go for that. I know the hand mitts will work so much better with that sort of lighter weight, less bulky fabric. I want to do a foldover bit to cover my fingers, too.

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  4. Thanks for the tips about this pattern, Kathy, it looks like a totally wearable first draft. Also, thanks for the tip about the fleece, it is so hard to find good fleece! I've been wanting to make up a half-zip/pullover type top since all my old ones from patagonia are wearing out- do you know of any patterns like that? (I figured I would ask since you are my activewear guru).

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    1. Half zip, pullover.... that's what I am planning to do with this pattern next!!!!!!!! I was just going to cut the front piece as a whole but removing the seam allowances and placing it on the fold. Then I'd go in and slash a line down the front center the length of my zipper and from there. I'm contemplating if I want a facing or not on it. I have several nylon/spandex and poly/spandex activewear knits that are slightly heavier that'll be perfect for this.

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    2. Awesome! Can't wait to see it! I'm kinda nervous about that cutting down the center front thing, but I guess if I look at how my RTW ones are made, I might be able to figure it out.

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  5. Glad to see the jacket made up. Great wearable muslin. I have been waiting anxiously for either Hancock or Joann to carry the new McCalls to no avail. Because I'm in CA I was thinking about mixing mesh athletic with a lighter spandex. It is such a great pattern. Also, I love what you made with the Fehr Trade patterns. I want to try them!

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    1. Thanks! Yeah, my local Joanns don't have the new McCall's least I checked either. I had to order this online. I have some regular nylon/spandex lined up for my next one! I like the idea of mesh, too. Good idea.

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  6. Nice jacket Kathy :) Looks like it is a RTW. You know what I too have a similar color combination in dress weight fabric , on my table. But havent yet thought of what I will make from it LOL

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  7. Great jacket, love the interesting cutout shaping. This is really great for a wearable muslin. It's very understandable that for a trial jacket you weren't going to agonize over getting pockets right because the point is to try out the pattern and resulting garment to see if it's worth more time investment. If the pockets give you grief you could make a mock up of the pocket area with scraps and try out your technique before going live with another fashion fabric. Great that the back looks so good without hassling over swayback alterations and color blocking. The white lines are a styling detail--nice work lining them up.

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