Guess what? I finished my 1941 McCall “Misses’ Mannish Jacket,” except for buttonholes, yesterday! I’ve handed my creation over to my capable photographer, Cynthia DeGrand, to shoot it in her studio this afternoon.
This past week found me following Kenneth King’s demos on his DVD set Smart Tailoring to set in the sleeves by hand and machine and complete sewing in the lining by hand according to “old school” methods.
As throughout this “old school” process, I was surprised how much I liked doing the handwork. Hand-basting the sleeve into the armhole gave me more control over distributing the ease, and I had no pins in my path when I machine-sewed the sleeve in place.
Similarly, I enjoyed more control stitching the lining in place by hand than by machine.
When I try Kenneth’s “new school” methods from Smart Tailoring for a second jacket project I’m sure there will be more machine work, and I may be equally satisfied with the result. The big change may be that I will no longer see handwork as fussy or laborious. It certainly doesn’t have to be.
Although I finished the jacket as much as I could, I don’t have buttons for it yet so I can’t make the buttonholes. And without buttons and buttonholes it isn’t done and is still a project, not a garment.
I realized a few weeks ago that I might find wonderful vintage or vintage-looking buttons to go with this vintage pattern and fabric. So I’m waiting till I’m in London a few weeks from now to look in earnest.