Sewing with a Plan 2016 0.17 – McCalls 3938

posted in: Designing, SWAP | 18
Courreges McCalls 7938
McCalls 7938

My big breakthrough this week, in terms of Sewing with a Plan was choosing this pattern.  It is based on a Courreges design and is just what I wanted. Utterly 1960s down to the go-go boots and allows me to make a skirt, top, jacket and coat combo into my Sewing with a Plan collection. I am planning to do a skirt, top and coat, but using different fabrics and textures for each item.

The coat

You can just see the Italian boucle mauve wool, close up, nestling under the pattern; the texture is lovely. I cut out the coat but have yet to decide on the trimming, and what to do about the pockets, which are just flaps! I ask you – flaps! Sure they give a nice bit of waist emphasis on a basically straight unfitted coat. But a coat needs pockets (don’t you agree?). So I will let this simmer for a week or two. And choosing trimming seems to be a bit of a full time job. Too many choices. But I am keen on silver rather than the more obvious navy or charcoal – this is a coat for summer. Recently thinking about US fashions (compared to the UK) I realised that a summer coat is such an English thing. We rarely have weather that allows a simple summer dress and sunnies. It can always turn chilly. A nice warm, but light, coat can be very useful – for traveling in, or to put on when it clouds over. In summer a navy, grey or black coat can be a bit depressing. A sweat-pea coat is what I need instead!

I will also need to think about the lining and buttons.

The skirt

I toiled the skirt. Maybe there is no need with such a simple skirt – back, front, side zip. But because this is such a classic 1960s skirt I wanted to test it exactly as it is. If it works for me it will become a TNT – i wear a 1960s skirt most days. Here it is without a waist band. I think this is the right length for me  (actually 5″ shorter than the pattern!) I am happy with it – a slight A line that is a flattering outline on anyone with a shaped figure (defined waist and larger hips). Since I cut out the coat there is not enough mauve wool left to make a little skirt, but I have an idea.

The blouse

The blouse is a very simple 1960s shell, with a back zip. These sort of tops just don’t feature these days. Under a suit most women would choose a jersey top or a more formal shirt/blouse under a suit. But I love the nice simple neckline and the chance to use a luxurious fabric. So I am planning using a nice mauve silk.

I have given myself four weeks to make this outfit. I will give you an update next week.

18 Responses

  1. thedementedfairy

    I love seeing your work, you choose colours and fabrics so well. I think I particularly enjoy it because they’re completely outside anything that would work for me, so I’m not distracted by thinking things like ‘hmmm, lovely, but I’m not tall enough/thin enough/shapely enough for it’ etc etc. I just love seeing you rock all these cute 60s styles and pretty pastels!

  2. Jay

    Nice fit on the skirt! I agree that it’s pointless having the pocket flaps without the pockets – perhaps it was so it would be a simpler make. The mauve wool is beautiful.

  3. mrsmole

    Lovely sweet pea purple fabric and nothing beats a classic skirt! The only thing with real pockets in a soft weave if the chance of them “relaxing” later and drooping so some extra thought and support is called for. Things are really taking shape now, Kate!

  4. ceci

    Oh, summer coats…..! Living in the US upper south, it was always so strange/amusing to hear a friend from Scotland talk about summer coats – a totally foreign concept here where an unlined linen jacket was MAYBE bearable for sun protection only. I can see that they give scope for pretty pale colors instead of our ubiquitous black winter coats. This will be a lovely addition to your SWAP.


  5. Mary Funt

    Wonderful ideas. Like Mrs. Mole points out pockets need support. Convert the flaps to real jetted pockets with a flap and underline/interface the front pattern section to provide support. Silver trim sounds great. Cut narrow strips of silver leather???

  6. Stephanie

    Love the colour for the coat, K. I had a vintage coat in a somewhat similar style to the ones you’ve shown, but mine was in a pumpkin colour with cream trim. I no longer have it, unfortunately. Incidentally, not sure if you are still planning your trip to Belgium for your birthday. Unfortunately, with oil prices evolving as they are and a variety of other factors, I think it unlikely that I will be able to take that week off. I had held out hope. I hope you have a great time!

    • Stephanie

      Actually, I forgot to mention that mine also did not have pockets, but had rather elaborate pocket flaps/faux openings. I think that more than flaps it was a piece that encircled where the pocket opening would have been. It was authentic to the period in the sense that it was a tailored coat from that period. I’ll see if I can find a photo.

      • Stephanie

        Thanks for understanding, K. If I can come in the end I may yet show up! I’m still waiting on a decision that will determine the workload in that period for sure, which could take a while. I’ve been told that I’ll be very busy until the end of May though.

        I found a picture of me in the coat. It looks to me from the width of the lapel (which I hadn’t remembered) as though it is from 1969 or maybe early 1970s but no later. I bought it at a fripperie in Montreal when I was a student. I found one picture on Pinterest of a Courreges coat from 1969 that has a similar collar. In any case, mine was likely a riff on the style and the faux pockets are interesting – circles with cream-coloured patches.

  7. Annieloveslinen

    You’re on point and definitely choosing shapes and styles than enhance your figure, the skirt is perfect. Disappointing about the pockets but I suppose you could borrow some from another pattern.

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