Over the last week, I've been working on a muslin for McCalls 6441:
The problem: that chestnut, the unusual definition of ease adopted by the Big 4 pattern companies.
Pictures tell a story, here are two that say it all.
And this is the muslin for what is described as a "close fitting" jacket. Sorry, but I find this completely unacceptable.
I am the first to admit that I am no expert when it comes to fitting. But I am not a beginner either. I don't think this is the result of a mistake I've made.
For info, I traced a 14 at the bust according to my high bust measurement, then graded out to an 18 at waist and hip. (I did an FBA.)My measurements at waist and hip place me between 16 and 18, so I went up to 18, expecting to have to deal with some excess. But this is ludicrous.
The thing is, I checked my measurements against McCalls alleged finished pattern measurements. They are completely and utterly wrong. For example, McCalls has the finished pattern measurement at the waist as 92, which would give me 12 cm of ease at the waist. Instead, I have ended up with a finished waist measurement of 105!!!! Similarly, the hip: McCalls alleged finished pattern measurement: 119cm. What I found: 126cm! Gah!
The irony is that this is one of McCalls Palmer/Pletsch fitting patterns.
So now I am trying to decide whether to try and wrestle this muslin into submission, or start the whole thing again, and maybe cut a 14 all over. I don't know. I'll have to go and measure the pattern pieces myself, because McCalls seems unable to do this. Seriously, if I had found a similar jacket in a indie line, I would be sewing that. I never seem to have issues of excessive ease in indie patterns. And I trawled through my back issues of Burda. Plenty of jackets there, but all a bit too tricksy for my level of jacket making. I need to work up to them.
I was hoping to crack on to cutting out the jacket this weekend. Instead I'll be playing mind games with the McCalls designers instead. Not happy.
As ever, any words of wisdom from the sewing community would be most welcome. In any case, this ranty post has helped me blow off some steam.
I'm sure I'll get there at some point. But I'm also sure I'll never open a McCalls catalogue again.