Little red jacket

Finally! I finished my jacket! I meant to make that jacket last year already, but never got around to do it (struggling with RSI doesn’t exactly help either). The Lined Jacket Contest on PR gave me the extra motivation boost I needed, and I managed to enter my project a few days before the deadline!

I’m cross-posting my review below, I hope you won’t mind…

Pattern Description:
McCall’s 5525: MISSES’ AND WOMEN’S LINED JACKETS, COATS AND BELT: Semi-fitted, lined, double-breasted jacket and coat have collar, lengths and sleeve variations, shoulder pads, princess seams and side front pockets;

I made view A, but without the belt: 1) I didn’t have enough fabric for the belt, and 2) I don’t like belts on jackets.

Pattern Sizing:
8-16, 18W-24W. I graded the pattern up to what would be the equivalent of a 26W. By the way, on the garment picture it appears that the jacket is too narrow at the hips area – this is only because my dress form is ‘wearing’ a very poofy petticoat underneath! On me, the jacket isn’t pulling at all.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
I think it does yes. Of course I ain’t as small as the model (and neither is my dress form!) but the general look of it is spot on.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes, they were. The perspective of making a lined jacket is always daunting, so I was really pleased to find clear, concise and logical instructions. I made the jacket, lining included, in about a day, there weren’t any moment of doubt. All the pattern pieces went together beautifully, all notches and circles and squares matching.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I like the rounded collar detail, it’s so different from the classic trench coat style. I also like the top-stitching of the princess seams, the collar and the front flaps, it gives it a neat finish.

My major dislike is the sleeves. I have large upper arms, so I need all the extra room I can get to be comfortable. I measured the sleeves and added an extra 2 cm, using an alteration method similar to the one described here. Unfortunately, I guess I didn’t measure properly because the sleeves are still a bit tight. Not enormously tight, I am still comfortable, but I could have used an extra centimeter! Silly me for not trying on the jacket BEFORE putting the lining in – and I struggled so much with the lining fabric sliding away in all directions (ugh – I hate linings!) that I really didn’t want to unpick the lining to sew the sleeves again with a smaller seam allowance. Lesson learned. Looking at the pictures on the pattern, the sleeves actually look very narrow, which doesn’t really make sense for a jacket or a coat because you’re always going to wear something underneath! (well, most people do 😛 )

Fabric Used:
For the outer shell, I used a cotton/lycra blend I had in my stash, of light-to-medium weight. I pre-treated my outer fabric with a wash-in waterproofing liquid. Look at the pearls of water, illustrating the water-repellent effect!

The lining is an animal print polyester, if I’m not mistaken. Very slippery. It reminded me why I hate sewing linings! Perhaps I should invest in better quality lining fabrics… but I just couldn’t resist the animal print on that one, it looks so nice in contrast to the red outer fabric!

The pattern calls for shoulder pads, and I used felt pads such as these. The shop described them as ‘old-fashioned coat shoulder pads’, but I would describe them as ‘great shoulder pads for tailoring’! They give a nice and sharp shoulder edge, and because they are a bit larger, they ‘wrap’ better around the shoulder. I’m really happy with these pads and I will certainly buy them again for my next coat or jacket.

The interfacing fabric I used is a very lightweight woven fusible, Vlieseline G785. It was recommended to me because of the lycra content and the lighter weight of my outer fabric. The resulting garment is nice and supple, but with enough body to retain its shape. I’m really happy with my choice!

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
As I said above, I graded the pattern to a 26W, and added an extra 2 cm to the upper sleeve width using a standard slash and spread method. I didn’t make the belt, as I don’t like belts on coats or jackets.

Another small change I made is using a large snap instead of a button on the inside. I first made a buttonhole on the left front and sewed a button on the inside on the right, as instructed. But I struggled so much trying to button it when putting on my jacket, that I decided to go for an easier solution: a large snap. Much more user-friendly! Since the buttonhole was already made, I had to close it with a wide zigzag stitch. There’s no way I can hide it, but I can live with that, it’s the flap that goes inside anyway.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I don’t think I will sew it again, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not a great pattern. I just have other unused jackets patterns in my stash! But I would definitely recommend it.

It’s a nice pattern with great variations on the classic trench coat style.



  1. […] were by far the busiest months, with 8 sewing projects completed: from a bellydancing outfit, to a jacket, to several vintage-inspired dresses. The dresses were showcased in a photo shoot, an invitation […]

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