McCall’s Palmer/Pletsch Pattern M7818 by Melissa Watson
I had so much fun sewing this jacket, McCall’s Palmer/Pletsch M7818. It had been a long time since I’d made a blazer jacket and I’ve missed sewing one. This classic style is back in fashion now. For the newest look, wear it with a tee.
My daughter, Melissa Watson, designed this pattern. She was 17 when she made her first blazer. At the time, Marta Alto and I were writing the jacket book, Jackets for Real People, and we wanted to see if someone who’d never sewn a blazer could make one by just reading and following the instructions. Melissa was it. She used my McCall’s 8-Hour Blazer pattern from 1980.
She chose cotton velveteen. (Oh my! But a kid has to sew what she envisions wearing!) A photo of her wearing her newly sewn jacket is in the jackets book.
This jacket has subtle waist shaping, medium-width lapels, double vents in the back, a single button, optional single- or double-welt pockets, two-piece sleeves, and a full lining.
McCall’s used men’s sizing for this unisex jacket. It will therefore be a classic fit for men. But for Misses sizes 8 through 12, it will be a “boyfriend” fit as you see on the model shown on the pattern envelope.
I sew with a size 12 pattern, so I used the small (12–14, which means it is actually a size 14). Because of that and my narrow shoulders, I had to set the sleeves in a little closer for a better shoulder/chest fit. I always have to enlarge the waist and hips in a size 12, so I didn’t have to add as much to the 14. I rarely enlarge the hip area enough to button the jacket because I will never wear it buttoned. (You may be able to see that I didn’t even cut open the buttonhole!)
This navy wool has fine white threads woven in the weft direction. I’m amazed that I was able to pack the jacket in a suitcase and have it come out ready to wear with no pressing. When buying wool, squeeze a bunch in your hand and then release to see how quickly the wrinkles go away. That will be a clue to wrinkling.
Ambiance rayon is my favorite. It’s very soft and comfortable to wear and comes in lots of colors.
My cutting table is a folding cardboard that I pin straight into—a great timesaver.
CHANGES I MADE TO THE PATTERN
Follow the tissue-fitting instructions in the guidesheet. I shortened all of the body pieces by 2”.
I lengthened the facing the amount the front was lengthened in the full bust adjustment. After that, I had to shorten the facing the same 2” as the body pieces. I did this lower in the curved area and then trued the curve.
The pattern has a prefigured mitered vent on the back pieces. I filled it in because I may want to change the length. I then followed the instructions for a mitered vent in our jacket book, Jackets for Real People.
I wanted to add piping to the lining and also an inside pocket for my cellphone. I had 1/3-yard pieces of three cotton prints plus a silk scarf I was willing to sacrifice. I liked the top print the best. I cut this cotton print on the bias.
I made the inside welt pocket below the bustline on the left front (since I’m right-handed).
I sewed the piping to the facing and then sewed the lining in place from the facing side, following the piping stitching. The piping is not corded so it is sometimes called flat piping, and Australians call it a “peeper.” (See how the Aussies use peepers for creativity in the Palmer/Pletsch book Knits for Real People.)
I sewed the welt pocket through the piping and facing, following the instructions in Jackets for Real People.
One more thing I added to the pattern is a back stay out of muslin. A back stay is not usually shown in patterns, but it adds strength and helps the jacket maintain its shape when on the hanger. And you can anchor a shoulder pad to it.
To make a back stay pattern, lap seams of back and side panel and cut with center back on the fold. Have a depth of 4-6” at the center back, curving to the underarm where the depth is 2-3”. In the photo above you can see my high round back and forward shoulder alterations.
Because my fabric is very soft, I decided not to do the traditional welt pocket with a flap. I used this idea instead that I saw in an Akris jacket. The pocket is in the side panel seam with a flap sewn in place just above the opening. (A coaster is in the pocket opening—prettier than my hand!)
If you do want to sew a no-fail double-welt pocket with a flap, it is easy to do if you use the “draw it on Pellon” method in Jackets for Real People and in the pattern guidesheet. There are lots of easy steps and it will be perfect. All sewing is done on lines you’ve drawn on the Pellon with a sharp lead pencil.
It took me a week, off and on, to sew this jacket. I like handwork, so I saved that to do while watching the news with my husband. He had never seen me sew a garment from start to finish when I sewed in my sewing room on the third floor of our old house. Now that we are in a condo and my “sewing room” is the condo, he was amazed how much time it took and admired me for being so tenacious. I will wear the jacket many more hours than it took me to sew it. Plus, I enjoyed making it and now have the satisfaction of wearing my own creation! PERFECT!
When you make this jacket, please do follow the guidesheet. It is full of fit and sewing information! As is our book Jackets for Real People.
JACKETS FOR REAL PEOPLE
Tissue-fitting assures a well-fitted final garment.
No need to custom tailor when we have high quality fusible interfacings.
The double-welt pocket in the guidesheet came from our book.
I added a side seam pocket under the welt flap.
mitered vent instructions
TAKE A TAILORING WORKSHOP
If you’d love to immerse yourselves in tailoring techniques, consider taking our 5-Day Tailoring workshop in Bellevue, Washington. You will learn cutting and marking accuracy, interfacings and proper fusing, fit, shoulder and chest shaping, shaped darts, careful trimming and quality pressing, sleeve heads, bound buttonholes, patch and welt pockets, linings, and perfect hems. Truly, all of your sewing will improve after you learn to tailor. Tailor any jacket style under the expert guidance offered by Palmer/Pletsch Certified Instructor Nancy Seifert.