I bought this more because woolen ponchos are in the fashion magazines, than because I thought it would actually flatter me. Usually I don’t buy “if’s” but it was a pattern sale and I thought it worth a few bucks investment in cheapo pattern tissue and an old sheet. I often find McCall’s pattern cut much too large in the neckline and didn’t have too high of hopes as I whipped up the muslin. But this time I sold McCall’s short. I underestimated the design and am quite pleased with my muslin.
- If you usually find ponchos to be too floppy and unstructured for you this pattern designs subtle structure into itself using belting, buttons and collars. Also the heft of the fabrics suggested gives the garment a more tailored look.
- For those who are new to tailoring it provides an opportunity to work with wool but not having to go the full monte with a traditional jacket. Here you can concentrate on perfecting buttonholes, collars and topstitching with a professional finish. There aren’t a lot of seams, underlining or other fussy details.
- Flattering to many figures. If you are an hourglass go ahead and put in that belt. Pear-shaped, use a spunky color to accent your top half and add the standard collar. If you want to deemphasize your bust area use a darker color and the band collar. No matter your height, the length is easy to adjust.
- The pattern instructions mention using a lining but offers no lining pattern nor advice for cutting one. You may find some terrific double knit that can remain unlined, but if you are using wool, line it.
- And again, my recurring complaint, the collar is way too wide. Though I am plus-size I have a long, narrow face and big collars look frumpy on me. I put the tissue collar up to my face and without any kind of practice muslin I went ahead and cut it back a good inch all around.
Some Assembly Required:
There is no back facing to hide your collar edge. The pattern offers a way of applying the collar and facing at once. The portion of the collar that will lay on your neck is pulled back and you sew from facing through undercollar and back onto the facing. More tailored jackets do include a back facing, I believe, but this method got the job done.
The rest of the construction is very run of the mill and you probably won’t need your pattern instructions.
For my practice muslin I used a polar fleece blanket whose edging was torn after getting caught in the turnstile of the washing machine. I wanted a material with more heft than sheeting and that approximated the suggested fashion fabric for this design. I didn’t try to match or center the lined print but it came out okay anyway.
I didn’t interface my hem on the practice muslin but the rounded hemline might need special treatment when sewn in other fabrics.
Will I Sew it Again:
Yes, I have my material collected for a brown woolen lined with red brocade, both fabrics from my stash. I will show you the pics when I get it finished.
Advice to Others:
Make an informed judgment about how wide you want the collar. If you are not one to successfully wear super-chunky jewelry then the extra wide collar might not be for you. I found the collar to be beautifully shaped after sewing but in need of a paring.
Cutting a lining shouldn’t be difficult as the pattern pieces are simple. Consult a sewing manual about how to cut a lining from an unlined pattern.
If you are worried about wavy rolling seaming on the collar consider binding the outside edges.
Overall Style Grade: A, Despite my reservations the style is cute.
Results Grade: A, If you are using a double knit the sewing is simple, and if you want to dip into tailoring woolens the design is basic enough to provide some challenge but not overwhelm.
What I am Up to Lately
I am jumping from project to project lately. I am trying to titrate off of caffeine so my energy levels are widely varying to say the least. I hope to finish the poncho in the brown wool, but I am also working on McCalls 5884 a tie-front blouse. The blouse seems to have a lot of the frump factor built into the design but I think it can be overcome. We’ll see.