Prepare For Take Off

Of course, it was too good to be true. We all knew it was too good to be true. It’s a truism in the sewing world that:

As night follows day, so disaster will follow smug success.

The shockingly successful start to the McCalls 5815 jacket ground to a halt in stupendous fashion on Friday night.

Picture the scene. I had the house to myself and had cooked a lovely Jamie Oliver risotto. (From his 20-minute recipe iPhone app download. I love JO but he tells a big, fat fib when he says that this risotto can be cooked in 20 minutes. What risotto in the world can be cooked in 20 minutes?)

Anyway. With the dishwasher stacked and the telly on, my sewing machine sent out its siren call: Come to me, come to me. Come and shipwreck yourself on my rocks. I was powerless to resist. Two hours later, after sewing, pressing, handsewing and easing in an arm, I was hard at it. With the seam ripper. Such a small instrument of torture, don’t you think? Must have been invented by an evil genius.

Instrument of torture, invented by evil genius

My only regret is that I didn’t take a photo of the arm piece before ripping it back out. It was big. It was flappy. I could have taken off and flown to France with a couple of those babies on my arms. I felt the need to roll the sleeve up and strike a pose like this:

Then I remembered that a) the Eighties revival hasn’t gone this far yet and b) gun ownership is illegal in the UK.

So what have I learnt? I need to trim some inches off those arms – big time. Even then they’ll still be, ahem, roomy. That’s okay. I’ve done some Internet checking (thank goodness for other selfless bloggers) and I can see that over at Susan Sews, there’s a version of the jacket with long, roomy sleeves. You can see what I mean here. This is the way the pattern is meant to be, but with my sizing issues (I bought the wrong size pattern, remember?) I think things just got a bit out of control there.

Whilst doing all this, I think I also need to take an inch off the shoulders. They’re in danger of drooping off my own shoulders. (I am beginning to get a bit paranoid about my shoulders. Are they too small? I feel a detailed body measuring session looming.)

Two other problems have raised their ugly head with this pattern:

1. I’ve realised I have an event coming up where I will need to look presentable. This jacket, if I could finish it, would really suit the day. Oh no. Is that a deadline hoving into view? Always dangerous.

But pulling in the other direction…

2. I keep seeing other things I want to sew. All those selfless bloggers are sending out their own siren calls. Make this, make this. Come and shipwreck yourself on these rocks. Don’t believe me? Check out Gertie’s latest blog post. How super, super cute is that outfit?

Get your nose to the grindstone, Karen. Get on with your muslin. And no more looking at other people’s Finished Objects.

Happily, I wore my Rooibos dress again this weekend. Mother and sisters cooed over it. It’s getting a lot of wear that dress. I think it’s what I could tentatively call … A Success!


Another evening’s sewing and three inches off the total sleeve circumference leave me with this. What do you think? To my eye at least, it’s less like a flappy wing and more like a sleeve. All constructive criticism welcome!

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2 Responses to Prepare For Take Off

  1. Gigi says:

    Well, it does look like quite a good sleeve! But, I agree, that pattern is much too large for you from the looks of it. Number one problem in the sewing world, I believe, is buying patterns by full bust measurement.

    No gun ownership in the UK? Really? Wow. You know we Yanks love to bear arms. 🙂

    • Hi Gigi. Thanks so much for your comments – the last one in particular made me laugh! When you say the problem is buying patterns by full bust measurement do you mean that we should go by our bust measurement or shouldn’t go by our bust measurement? Thank you! All help appreciated.

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