McCalls 5766

1.1 Marianna in M57661 Sleeve improvisation McCalls 5766The sun came out today, if rather shyly, which made it ideal weather for giving my McCall’s 5766 its virgin outing. When I finished it some 10 days ago, it was very cold and as I tried the coat on indoors, I could feel a breeze around my legs! Though it’s woollen, this isn’t a warm garment. It even feels light when I pick it up.

I remember once reading how Swedes, or maybe Scandinavians, tend to own four coats: one for the winter, one for autumn, a spring one and – poor souls – a summer one.  Well, this is my April, May and October coat. I apologise for how awfully I’ve styled it (black doesn’t go at all) but I was in a rush to get to Down House with the kids (visiting Charles Darwin’s home has become an Easter tradition as they do a great Egg Hunt).  A dress and high heeled boots or my blue dancing shoes would do this better justice. Also, I’m having a rather enjoyable search for some ballet flats that would go with.

mccalls 5766 times 3

Are you familiar with the concept of “treats” from the book Couture Sewing Techniques? A treat is a finishing touch that makes the handmade garment a pleasure to put on and take off, like a private reminder that your piece is unique.  Well, let me introduce you to the opposite concept in couture: the clanger. This is the shaming mistake, or act of omission, you’d be wise to cover up as anyone in the know will otherwise mark you out as a hopeless amateur.  I’d rather not list all of my clangers as  I’ve rather come round to thinking they don’t matter. The marathon-effort that was McCalls 5766, begun with Shrek in January, is  wearable. I have passed.  Thanks for sticking with me, for your brilliant comments and insights!

1 Coat and Blogstalker

But there are the two main areas in which I’d do things differently the next time:

1. I’d borrow a trick from speed tailoring and back the entire fabric with fusible weft interfacing (discovered herebefore cutting. Not only would it save time finishing the seams, it’ll make the coat warmer too.  And unless I was making a summer coat, I’d probably go for a thicker lining such as satin.

Do you know of any professional place that applies the fusible weft for you in London or thereabouts?  The service is I believe called block fusing but that may be a non-UK term.

2.  I’d do a proper job of tailoring the collar, using collar canvas, pad stitching and lots of steam power.  I just stuck to interfacing as per instructions which was lazy but I was nervous that I’d make a hash job of the notch, having never done that to satisfaction before.  In the end, careful marking and slow sewing ensured the notch worked out fine, but the collar is a bit of a pancake to be honest.

Here’s Gertie’s tutorial on making a proper collar.

Also on the subject of collars, let me share this interesting tip I found in the Morplan’s Tailoring book.  It’s to help ensure that collar doesn’t roll in:

1 Step 1 pin and markBefore you join the garment to the lining and facing, pin them wrong sides together. Pin at the neckhole seam and at the shoulder seams.  Put the coat on your dummy.  If the collar and undercollar are exactly the same size, fine.  If however the undercollar protrudes, mark the edge of the collar with a line of pins.  Now, pin your garment and lining right sides together but match the raw edge of the collar with the line of pins before you sew.1 Bloggie speaks


18 thoughts on “McCalls 5766

  1. Bravo M – not only do you have a lovely Spring coat but also so much learning that you are generously sharing with us. Very useful tips. I loved going to Downe House when our kids were small. I remember once finding a field full of around 20 giant puff balls nearby. It was like the aliens had landed. happy Easter.

    • I’ve only been at Easter so it looks like a damp autumn is also a perfect time to go. I think I can guess which field you mean, with the Kent countryside rolling beyond.

  2. Well done you!
    I love the curve at the front, the flash of jewel coloured lining and what you’ve done with the sleeves.
    If I do ever decide to tackle a coat, I shall come back here and re-read all of your helpful tips.

  3. Lovely, you have made a great job of it. The colour and shape are very flattering on you.

    Thank you for not listing all the changers. Us bloggers are all such perfectionists, we have a habit of putting all the bad bits out there, when really most people won’t recognise a mistake when they see one.

    We love going to Down House as well! But we haven’t been for Easter

  4. You did a great job, so worth all that stress and time taking. The fabric is very spring like and you can always wear it during the summer if you go to Sweden!

  5. The coat looks great – and unless you point out its deficiencies (and I know we sewers have a habit of doing that) then all you will get is amazed comment that ‘you can make a coat!’
    I love the couture books idea about treats and may adopt that.

  6. I love the coat and thanks for the tips! I am about to tackle my first coat ( I’ll probably finish for spring 2016) its a cocoon coat with no collar, so thought it should be a doddle, but 3 toiles later…I have some fuschia pink wool crepe from my favourite shop Simply Fabrics, Brixton. which would be great for evenings as well as spring ( and won’t be a disaster if it goes all wrong as it only cost £6 p.m.) Will definitely back with fusible, wasn’t going to but I think I will having read your post. Morley have one of those press iron things which we can use for block fusing so will have a go next term!

    • I still haven’t made that trip to Simply Fabrics in Brixton but Fuschia Pink Wool Crepe sounds wonderful. Good luck!

      It’s a great resource, Morley; unfortunately I work on Tuesday afternoons so can’t make the course.

  7. Lovely!! You look great and thanks for sharing the tips, which I will file away for future reference as tailoring a coat is in my near future. Speaking of different levels of warmth, you can always come and visit us in Canada. 🙂 I have about a half-dozen coats. It was in the teens and then yesterday there was snow. “Spring” is like this, so I understand the Swedes perfectly. Nice work and thanks again for the tips. I especially like the idea of a “treat.”

  8. Wow your coat is finally done, congratulations! It looks really professional from the outside so I wouldn’t worry about those changers. Also, that is a lot of coats. I have one but where I live there might be only 2 days in Winter cold enough for one, it tends to rain and rain but not get cold.

  9. Well done for making a coat! I am impressed. The style really suits you and if there are mistakes, nobody would ever be able to spot them.

  10. Thank you all so much for your approval and praise! It’s always exciting when someone comments on your project; even nicer when it’s positive.
    🙂 xx

  11. Wow, that is a coat I’d wear Marianna – great job. The lilac is so soft and pretty. I’ve found me a genial block fusing guy and look forward to trying his service for my next jacket. Sent this post to Pocket for my future reference! Thanks.

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