Tag Archives: Simplicity 6602

All I need now are the bellbottoms

Simplicity 6602

Thank you everyone who reassured me about my jacket’s cuteness in the comments to the last post—I know I’ve written before about that horrible sinking feeling mid-project, and I know I’m not alone :).  This time around was a little different because I wasn’t convinced it wasn’t going to fit—I just wasn’t sure it would be flattering on me. I still don’t know that it’ll replace the Springy Little Coat in my heart, but I think it’s a decently cute little jacket anyway. And I do love the finishing.

So hmm, what to cover? The pattern, again, is Simplicity 6602, from 1974.

I decided against the topstitching. It worked well in samples in the middle of the cloth, but as soon as I tried edgestitching it went wonky. I had an insane moment where I considered ripping the cuffs and collar and adding piping, but I resisted (mostly because self-fabric piping would’ve been too bulky and I didn’t think I would be able to match the colour perfectly otherwise. And for whatever reason, I’m picturing tone-on-tone piping for this, not contrast).

Cuffs of Doooooom

The collar went on fine. The cuffs drove me absolutely bonkers. Seriously, I had them on, off, on, off, on a different way… and they’re still not perfect. I’m not sure if they were drafted too narrow or if it’s just my sleeve stretching out with handling, or an artefact of the flared shape of the cuffs, but they were too short for the wrist-diametre of the sleeves. So I narrowed the sleeves rather than re-make the cuffs. In the end they’re all right, although at least one of them has the side that I meant to be inside on the outside. Having ripped it three times at that point, I left it. I didn’t do any turn-of-cloth alterations this time around and I really should have. Mea culpa. I have such a hard time visualizing which side’s going to end up facing out when doing this kind of fold-back cuff. Maybe when I’ve done eight or ten more…

Back view. I think I would probably like a bit more flare in the peplum.

On the up side, I got the tight curves of the cuffs sewn much more smoothly than I usually manage, so I’m kinda stoked about that. I shortened my stitch length and sewed slowly but continuously. At times like this I really wish my machine had a slow setting, but anyway. I also used the trick where you press the seam of the cuff open before turning it, and it really does help the curve turn more smoothly. Who knew? (Yes, I’m bone-headed that way… it seems like there’s a lot of good sewing advice I hear, but then don’t absorb until I’ve learnt it the hard way.)

Hmm, what else? This is officially the best facing/hem finish I’ve ever done, facilitated by the lack of lining and the bound edges of both pieces. The pattern would have you finish the bottom of the facing

Front facing and hem

by tacking by hand, but I did it by machine and turned it up and it worked peachy. I even managed a nearly-invisible hem, again facilitated by the binding. I may just bind all my hems in the future. I did tack the facing in place at the waistband and the shoulder seams. The facing/collar/neck combination is super bulky and doesn’t lay very smoothly despite my best efforts. Possibly using Sherry’s collar technique would’ve helped, but silly me, I followed the pattern instructions. I know, it’s so unlike me. I also think I might’ve benefited from a square-shoulder adjustment this time around—it’s something I’ve often suspected I should need but it hasn’t seemed like a big problem in the past so I haven’t attempted it. It’s not a huge problem here, if only because the collar covers that area, but I think at least some of the wrinkling is probably from that.

Button and snap

There is a single button closure in the front (perfect for using up one of those striking, solitary vintage buttons). I was a little concerned that the top would gape—the pattern illustration shows a nice, close finish right at the bottom of the collar, but there’s no obvious way to achieve this. Well, on arriving at that point in the instructions, all is revealed: or rather, a single large, heavy-duty snap is called for. Fortunately I had picked up a couple thinking I might use one on the Springy Coat (I haven’t yet, the slight gaping doesn’t really bother me while I’m wearing it). I was hoping for clear plastic, but all they had was metal… ah well. It’s more “vintage”, right?

I was SO excited to try out my new buttonholer. One big keyhole button should do the trick perfectly, right?


Psst, kid, wanna buy a seam binding?

The buttonholer did NOT like this stretch corduroy stuff. All my samples bunched and bagged like crazy, with big loops of thread tangling underneath. WTF? Worked fine on other fabrics. Even interfaced, it still had issues. I went ahead with it, only because I know how much I suck at doing manual buttonholes, and the buttonhole on the finished jacket (where it’s going through two layers of corduroy, one of them interfaced, and the lining layer) actually turned out better than any of my samples. Which isn’t saying much, but it will hold, anyway, and is still probably better than I would’ve managed otherwise.

Also works open

The only other thing I’ll say about this pattern is it had notches out the wazoo. I think every single piece, every single seam had a notch, if not two. Some were helpful, but a lot just seem extraneous.

Gratuitous shot

On the subject of a frock-coat for my hubby, I’m happy to say I think this pattern will do the trick nicely. Just omit the patch pockets, add a welt pocket or two, change the side back vents to centre back, and lengthen to about knee length. The rest of the seaming is identical to his jacket. Although I’m not planning this for an immediate project, he may get excited about it and become a pestering pain, in which case it will probably get done sooner than otherwise. I hope not. I have lots of other stuff I should be doing.



Filed under Sewing

70s Jackets

Simplicity 6602

… are possibly not as cute as 70s dresses.

Rather than getting to any of my non-selfish sewing, I started work on Simplicity 6602, out of a narrow-wale stretch corduroy.

This is a fitted, un-lined jacket. I decided to throw caution to the wind and use the same basic alterations as my last 70s Simplicity pattern, shortening the bodice through the armscye and doing a swayback adjustment (oh, and plenty of extra length in the sleeve…)

Simplicity 6602 pattern envelope

This definitely gets the waistband to where it needs to be, although it’s still possible that I would be better served shortening a little less at the armscye and a little more from the lower bodice. I have such a horror of low armscyes, though…

Anyway. At this stage I have to admit it’s feeling a bit more like the somewhat dumpy model photo and less like the fun, svelte illustration on the envelope, but hopefully that will pass.

At least the inside is looking fun. I made bias tape for Hong Kong binding the majority of the seams. I am finally getting better at making my bias-tape (as in, having it come out at least relatively even) and sewing it on a heavy cotton like this was dreamy. This is the first time I’ve bound both sides of the seam allowance separately, and it’s a bit time-consuming, but definitely attractive.

Seam binding and waist-band lining

Stitching porn

The only lining piece is an inside piece for the waistband. The instructions would have you slip-stitch the entire thing down by hand. I couldn’t see a reason not to attach at least one side by machine, so I did, but I dutifully slip-stitched the other. It looks pretty darn good, if I do say so myself. Cotton is so lovely to stitch. (Except that this stretch corduroy loves to pucker when you’re trying to sew an uninterfaced section to an interfaced one. Argh. Anyway.)


I used fusetape around the neckline and shoulders rather than stay-stitching. We’ll see how that holds up. I hope it does—I love it like crazy.

Jacket Collar. I don't know why the closeups all turned out beautifully crisp but this one had to go blurry.

And, just in case I run out of excuses to make jackets for myself, my hubby has decided I should make him a replacement for his rather battered mandarin-collared frock coat, a much-loved garment that is sadly showing its shoddy construction by self-destructing after less than a decade of intermittent wear. Well, and the cigarette burn in the back doesn’t help. Anyway, I may be trying to figure out how to clone that pattern. Or how to draft a man’s jacket. I’m not sure which would be easier (or, more importantly, more fun) at this point. And my fave drafting resource, Modern Pattern Design (by Harriet Pepin, published 1942) at vintagesewing.info, seems to have evaporated (the entire site, actually), which is a tragedy of immense proportions. I may have to actually hunt it down and buy it. I’ve looked at a few other drafting books (albeit not nearly all that are out there) and none of the others seem to combine precision with clarity and lots of nifty details quite as well as Pepin’s. Sniffle.

Now… I need to decide whether or not to topstitch my jacket. The pattern recommends it and the corduroy is a narrow enough wale that it doesn’t seem to distort the stitches particularly in my experiments. But… hmm. I can’t decide.

Also, you have no idea how hard it was not to pipe the collar and cuffs. I may be a piping addict.


Filed under Sewing

The Queue

Cushion cover. Sewing at its least glamorous.

I never know how much to write about planned projects. While it’s hard to resist showing off a new pattern or fabric and expounding on the fabulous garment it will become (or, y’know not), my “queue” is, ah, a bit fluid. A lot of ideas change, or get pushed off as new projects pop to the fore, and stuff can go on the back burner pretty much indefinitely. On the other hand, my theory is to write about whatever I happen to be sewing—and if the only sewing to write about is planning, well, there you go.

That being said, I’m at a transition point. The “let down” of finishing the Spring Coat was rather softened by having the plaid dress already underway, but now that’s done, too, I’m feeling a little floaty. There are several projects I SHOULD tackle, but of course they’re all non-selfish, and therefore not nearly as much fun:

I have to finish my friend’s cushion cover (now that I have the right zipper foot!). I actually made some good progress on this on Sunday, until I realized that somehow, despite loads of careful measuring, my cushion-wall-piece-band (whatever) is a good 7″ too short. So I need to unpick, insert a piece, and re-do the piping. Argh. I put it down. Hopefully I’ll tackle it on the weekend.

My friend Serena's costume coat

And then there’s Serena’s tailcoat. I’ve done most of the initial pattern alterations and really need to whip up a muslin.

I should also whip up the fleece-lined coat for Niece #2, just to get the fabrics out of stash (Now that the fabric has resurfaced). She won’t get to wear it until the fall, but that’s fine as I’m a little afraid she’d drown in it. She will be three in June, which is the size I’m making, but she’s still not 30 lbs (which I’m pretty sure Tyo was by 18 months). A little more time to grow won’t hurt. It needs to get done before the end of June, though, to make sure it gets there this summer.

And of course, there’s Peter’s Jeans Sewalong, which is already underway. I don’t NEED a sewalong to make jeans (although I’m sure I’ll learn plenty, even just reading along), but I certainly could. Tyo’s due for another pair, even if I don’t need any myself. I had thought about making some for the hubby, as finding him jeans is a nightmare, but since he’s picky about their fit and, as you all know, skittish about photography, I figure I’ll leave that headache for some time in the future.

Of course the main problem with all of these projects is that they’re not for me. I really am a selfish seamstress at heart, I guess…

On the practical side, I need to make myself a sweater (or three). I have plenty of fabric, I just need to decide on a style and make them. Partly because I left my lone, hard-working, long-cherished RTW hoodie behind when we went home for Easter, and partly because I will need them come June.

Speaking of which:

I, Tanit-Isis, of Tanit-Isis Sews, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-June ’11. I endeavour to wear entirely handmade clothing, including outerwear (but excluding underwear and socks), each day for the duration of June 2011, and to document this to the best of my abilities.

This is upping my game, if only slightly, as the last couple of times I have still incorporated RTW jackets (SSS) and sweaters (MMM, but just the one hoodie mentioned above). I will also try to avoid repeat outfits (although not repeat items), but I can’t promise these won’t creep in by accident.

A dress I don't need.

On the less practical side, there are at least two dresses in queue—McCall’s 315, and a real, dress-version of the Ceylon out of some grey-blue crepe. I must admit the Ceylon seems much less daunting now that I have my buttonholer!

Crepe Ceylon

And the 70s suit, Simplicity 6602, which could also fulfill Joy’s Bellbottom Challenge

70s Suit in narrow-wale corduroy

Despite the photography, the Ceylon crepe fabric and the corduroy are the exact same shade of dusty blue.

Another 70s jacket

Incidentally, the fabric for this jacket is still preying on my mind. And do you notice, the skirt and waistband detail are basically identical to one view of Colette’s new skirt?

Of course, if you recall, that waistband piece is one of several that are missing from this pattern. But it wouldn’t be hard to replicate.

Hmm. Never mind the Bellbottom Challenge. I’m looking at a whole frickin’ 70s wardrobe!

But first thing’s first. Cushion cover.


UPDATE: Oh yeah! And voting is now open in the Pattern Review Lined Jacket contest, for those of you who are PR members and interested. As Steph points out, these things work better the more people who vote, so go take a look! There are some awesome entries (and no, I’m not just talking about mine.)


Filed under Sewing