Saturday, April 7, 2018

McCall 3588: The 'Dragon Jacket'

My latest 1940 McCall make is inspired by the amazing 'Chinese lanterns' exhibit we recently had at the Edinburgh Zoo.  When I saw that these gorgeous lanterns were going to be in Edinburgh, it gave me the push I needed to use some very precious fabric that I had bought in Japan about five years ago – you know those fabrics that are so precious that it takes a lot of time (and courage!) to cut into them? This was definitely that fabric.

It is a fabulous silk linen blend with the most beautiful dusty blue dragons with a splash of reddish-orange.  The design makes the fabric looks hand painted using water colours, it's so beautiful!

So it seemed only fitting that I sew it up for dragon-esque pictures!  How amazing are these giant lanterns?

It took forever for me to decide what to make out of this fabric. Originally, I thought maybe a shirt and then I thought a 1950s skirt might be nice.  But in the end, I thought the classiest and most wear would come from making a tailored blazer jacket.  Enter McCall 3588, a pattern that I was already working on for another project that includes the dress and the jacket (almost finished!).  I just loved the lines of the jacket with the subtle rounded collar and the tucks that lead into the pockets--giving a nice waistline effect.

It does have front and side front pieces as well as back and side back pieces--which was a bit tricky with the dragons.  However, the great thing about this fabric is that the dragons are going in all directions --which ultimately made it easier to match the pieces and gives some fun detail that you don't notice unless you look really the upside down dragons on my pockets.. teehee. I love that.

I'm super duper proud of these pockets too.  The silk linen fabric was a dream to sew with as the linen gives quite a bit of control.

The exhibit had amazing displays of the Chinese zodiac, so I found my animal which is the snake.  Apparently "people born in the year of the snake are very clever.  They enjoy seeking difficult problems and prefer to spend time alone."  Hahaha. Basically it's saying that I'm an introvert. Very good Mr. Snake! hahaha.  Any other snake sign people out there?

The Chinese lanterns were so beautiful at night when they were all lit up!

I paired my new jacket with a red Collectif clothing blouse, a true vintage skirt, a Vivien of Holloway red petticoat and some awesome red and white Bait Footwear 'Veida' shoes.

I just adore these pictures taken by Philip Stanley Dickson (who also shot my 'Film Noir Dress' and my 'Aviator Dress').  This photo captures perfectly how this new jacket makes me feel: excited, bright, and happy with a dash of cheekiness ;) !!

I'm really pleased with the fit of the jacket. I had to grade it up from a B32 to a B34 but with all the different pieces, that was thankfully straightforward by just adding a little bit extra to each seam.  I also lined the jacket with a very light blue fabric.  I have to admit, lining is my LEAST favourite thing to do ever. I don't know why but I will put it off.  Admittedly, the lining wasn't too bad in the end but I was so dreading it. Isn't that funny? I don't know why I hate that bit of sewing so much.  I often forgo lining and will just bind my inside seams but I knew this make deserved a bit of extra attention.  Is it just me or do you have dreaded sewing tasks as well?

Here's a fun behind the scenes photo that is on a time I am standing still while for about 60 seconds people are passing me by....hahaha. how cool is that?  And how massive is that dragon? I just love this photo :)

Happy to have a new dragon jacket in my wardrobe and delighted to get some awesome photos of it with this exhibit!!  For those in Edinburgh or who may be visiting next year--I think it is going to return (probably next winter time) --it's definitely well worth a visit!

YAY for more separates (as you will have noticed that I sew a lot of dresses) --this will be a fun addition to my me-made wardrobe!!  Now to plot and plan pieces to go with it!

Photos: Philip Stanley Dickson
Hair: Vanity Thrills


  1. What a successful match of pattern and materials! I would have been terrified to cut into that precious fabric. And let me add that I'm delighted every time I see a new post of yours in my email. You were always one of my favorite blogs and now you're better and brighter than ever.

  2. Your special fabric waited five years for the occasion. You have made a very special jacket!


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