McCalls 6531 as a utility jacket

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My love affair with M6531 continues – I made this version with a utility jacket style in mind 🙂

line art

Going into this project, I had no idea that what I wanted to create is often called a utility jacket – or work jacket. I kept looking at jeans jackets and stumbled on this style. Hundreds of image reviews later, I was ready to go!

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So, typical characteristics of a utility jacket: sturdy cotton fabric (twill, denim, drill), hip-length, roomy pockets, some kind of waist treatment (casing with elastic, cord, or belt), lots of buttons, simple collar, set-in long sleeves, and no cuff. A very basic, made-to-purpose jacket.

This pattern has options for all of the above, but also has great sleeves and a pretty banded front band.

6531line

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This Seaweed cotton/lycra twill from Fabric Mart is perfect for the jacket. It has 30% stretch horizontally and 20% stretch vertically, but does not feel ‘rubbery’. It’s very heavy, similar to a hefty bull denim, and does not wrinkle at all, no matter how much I mistreat it. It does ravel, so I serged all the edges of the cut pieces before I started sewing – it just makes the construction process so much easier and pleasant.

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A few sewing notes:

  • This is the size medium – it’s a bit oversized, and I think I’ll use the size small for future versions.
  • I used a 90/14 needle, long stitch, and low presser foot pressure. No problems at all.
  • The seams are faux flat-felled, because the fabric is just too heavy for a true flat fell.
  • I fashioned my own pocket, which finished at 7″ tall and 6 1/4″ wide.
  • The waistband casing fits perfectly to the jacket. I opted for 3/4″ wide knit elastic instead of any kind of belt – no fuss!
  • I love the added detail of the cording in the collar.
  • I tried many many times to get a good buttonhole (on scraps!), but the stretch worked against me no matter which style buttonhole I used. So instead, I used six #4 sew-on snaps, topped with simple work buttons on the outside.
  • Caution – the sleeves on the pattern are quite short. I added 1 3/4″ to the sleeve, and then, an additional 1″ wide band to finish.

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This color is difficult to photograph, but the last 3 pics are correct – it’s a great color.

And if it looks familiar, this is the same pattern I used to make my ripstop jacket (here). They look so different!

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I spent days on this project, and it was so much fun that I’m sorry to be done. Ha. I have some sage green Brussels washer linen next to me. I’ll be cutting it out this afternoon, and I think the linen will be another look entirely.

Happy weekend! Coco

9 thoughts on “McCalls 6531 as a utility jacket

  1. I adore this!!!!! Thanks for showing it as I need something like this and ended up buying a way too expensive indie pattern that isn’t as nice as this!

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  2. Hi Coco, another wonderful job with detail workmanship at every turn. I agree on a smaller size, but if you need to layer underneath at any time, you have a bit of extra room. Still it looks great on you. I appreciate all the information you provide, where to buy this fabric, how to lengthen the sleeve, seam finishes and so on. THANKS and as always I keep checking your site for the next great garment you make and I squeal with delight when you have a new post as I know it will be GOOD!

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  3. I am very impressed with your results from this pattern. It’s exactly the type of jacket I would find useful and wear everyday. I like your colour choice too – I could see it looking good with many of the traditional ‘bottom half’ colours.

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