Saturday, 19 October 2019

My Flashy Pendleton 49er Style Jacket

It has been an extremely busy year so far. Some things were rather unpleasant and demoralizing, I feel a bit worn down (and think I also look like it), but at least I tried to find enough time to make lots of things to wear. Sewing mends the soul they say. A denim skirt, trousers, breezy feedsack blouses for the hot summer and stuff for the kids, and a dress for my daughter for her First Communion... I'm quite pleased with what I achieved. (I will try to catch up with some posts!) And I deeply hope our family life will slow down in autumn and winter, and of course there are many more sewing projects.

Only a few remaing scraps...

Talking of autumn, in late August the unusual hot weather ended suddenly and I became well aware (read: I was panicking) that I have too little casual stuff to wear for the cold season.

I love boxy plaid jackets. I know, many people don't like paids, as they're bold, eye-catching, often a bit too colorful, but I have a soft spot for them. Nothing for the faint-hearted. Some of you may remember the winter plaid jacket I made 3 years ago. Now I needed something less heavy for the transitional season.

Ever since I have been drooling over vintage pictures of ladies in Pendelton style plaid jackets. Paired with wide-legged trousers they are the epitome of vintage casual style for me. Not very flattering, but so comfortable! So I looked for a pattern, and found the McCall's pattern 3242 that seems to be pretty much like the Pendleton 49er jacket. The 49er was, as its name suggests, launched in 1949, and it was - and still is - a huge success. They still produce a modernised version, and vintage ones are quite sought after.
Women surely had worn they're husbands' or brothers' jackets and shirts before, especially for work during WW2, but it was after the war that women's leisure wear included more and more sporty garments like trousers and comfortable jackets. The pattern is from 1955, and it has it all - shoulder pleat, cuffed sleeves, back yoke with gathers, notched collar and - big patch pockets!

 I admit, I couldn't keep my resolution and got weak during our summer holidays, when I found several wool fabrics in a fabulously crammed fabric shop in Northern Italy. The plaid fabric I bought was lightweight and seemed to be perfect, and I fell in love with the green and teal the moment I saw it. The weave was not very dense, and I had to be careful not to stretch the material too much. I was glad for decades of experience with plaid matching. The pattern placement was challenging, as I had a bit too little material. But I was able to cut all the pieces and the pockets even on the bias (which requires more fabric).

The remaining scraps...

My pattern is a vintage size M (14-16), and as usual I didn't bother to make a muslin. The finished jacket is a tad lose because I added some width to be on the safe side (which was not necessary), but I like it that way. I had a bigger scrap of chartreuse green silk I used for the yoke lining and for the shoulder pads I made. I have very square shoulders and ready-made pads often are too massive and stiff. The shoulder pleats caused some trouble and I didn't like the first "true to the pattern" version. That's why it took several weeks to finish the jacket, I got a but frustrated before I decided to change the darts slightly.
I will definitely make another one. As I said, I bought more fabric down in Italy, and there's even more in my stash, but maybe I will add half an inch to the sleeve length and the cuff width. Otherwise I will skip the additional width.

Choosing buttons is always part of the fun when sewing. The original 49er jacket had mother-of-pearl buttons, but I wanted something less striking. These Spanish vintage buttons were sold as bakelite, but they're galalith (a similar material based on milk, mainly produced in France and other European countries). They're not exactly the same chartreuse color, but they blend in well, and they're big and heavy, just as I like them.
The best feature are the pockets. They' re essential for me, they carry my phone, keys, bus tickets, my son's cars and stones, and other stuff.

I can wear all kind of stuff underneath it. Like blouses, thin sweaters or cool, funny t-shirts. The one pictured was created by the lovely Susi of "The Pink Bungaloo" –  this one it "Willy the Weener" quoting one of Hank Willaims' songs! She has an Etsy shop, so if you want this special t-shirt too, please buy from her and support an independent small business. (But hurry, some designs are available for a limited time only.) And no, I don't receive a commission nor do I get paid to mention her – I just love her creations.

This jacket is really a useful and fun garment, perfect for the cold season, great to combine with various colours from the plaid. Hello autumn!

Fabric: pure lightweight wool plaid fabric from Italy
Pattern: McCall's 3242, size M
Buttons: vintage galalith buttons bought in France
Trousers: self-made after a heavily modified Eva Dress Pattern (1940 Wide Leg/Simplicity 3322), I added the front pockets, because I need pockets
T-Shirt: "Willy the Weener" by The Pink Bungaloo
Glasses: no idea...
Poppy Felt Brooch: self-made
Earrings: vintage bakelite hoops

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