Effortless. That’s the word that best describes my new sewing pattern from The McCall Pattern Company. There are just a few main pattern pieces to this jacket—front, back, sleeves, plus facings— yet the style flows with ease.

M7201-Nancy Zieman Swing Jacket by McCallsThere are two views, a shorter cropped version and an asymmetrical style. In this tutorial, we’ll feature the uneven hemline version as shown above. The fabric is linen—a perfect choice for this casual jacket. You’ll find that the sewing is streamlined, perfect for sewing newbies and welcomed by seasoned seamstresses.

I’ve decided to share the sewing highlights in two blog postings—the follow-up posting will be next week, August 18. Enjoy the process; then wear the jacket with confidence. Underlining Tip The linen I chose was too lightweight. Here’s a simple solution—underline the fabric. This step is optional if you are using a heavier fabric, want a sheer jacket, or prefer the drape of a lighter weight fabric.

  • Cut a second layer for the front, back, and sleeves from a lining fabric. The outer fabric and lining are treated as one.
  • Pin the two layers, wrong sides together.
  • Serge or zigzag the edges to prevent unnecessary raveling during the sewing process and to keep your project neat!

Stitch Shoulder Seams

  • Align and pin right sides and notches of the Jacket Front and Jacket Back at the shoulder seams.

  • Stitch the shoulder seams using the recommended seam allowance.

  • Press seams flat; then press seams open.

Note from Nancy: To prevent the edges of the seams from making an imprint on the right side, press the seams over a sleeve roll. If you don’t have a sleeve roll, tightly roll and tape several magazines or catalogs. Cover with a wool fabric or wool felt and hand stitch. The fabric will absorb the moisture of the iron. Set-in Sleeves—Both Views

  • Mark the center of the sleeve cap with a pin or non-permanent fabric marker.
  • Place a pin at each notch along the cap.
  • Change the stitch length to a basting stitch, 6–8 stitches per inch.
  • From the right side of the fabric, stitch one basting row from notch to notch, along the seamline, 5/8” from the cut edge. Leave 2″–3” thread tails at the beginning and end of the stitching.
  • Stitch a second basting row from notch to notch, approximately ¼” from the cut edge of the sleeve cap.
  • Fasten the threads at one end of the stitch by wrapping them around a pin in a figure eight.
  • Pull the bobbin threads at the opposite end of the stitching until the size of the sleeve matches that of the armhole.
Note from Nancy: I recommend sewing the basting stitches from the right side so that the bobbin threads are on the wrong side. For some magical reason, it is easier to ease the fabric by pulling the bobbin threads than pulling the top threads!
  •  Pin the sleeve into the armhole, right sides together, matching underarm seam and the circle at the cap with the shoulder seam.

  • Stitch the sleeve in place. Press the seam flat, then toward the sleeve. Repeat for the other sleeve.

Stitch Underarm Seams—Both Views

  • Align and pin the side seams and the sleeve underarm seams; stitch.

  • Press the seams flat; then press open.

Let’s stop here for today. The jacket is about half-way finished. You are welcome to sew ahead, or wait for the next installment of this how-to tutorial next week. Sign up for my enews mailing list so you won’t miss it! Click here to join the mailing list.


Updated to add: Please click here to see the next blog post on how we finish the jacket.
For more information on the absolute easiest way to gather a sleeve cap, ease an armhole, or press seams:

The Absolute Easiest Way to Sew Book

This book is a lifetime compilation of techniques that make sewing fun and easy for all skill levels. You’ll learn about sewing tools, easy sewing techniques, how to use a sewing machine and serger, how to select and use fabrics and patterns, and how easy it is to sew simple projects.

Watch The Absolute Easiest Way to Sew (Part One, Part Two, and Part Three) on Sewing With Nancy online. 

To watch Sewing With Nancy on your iPad, iPod Touch, or iPhone, download the app.

The Absolute Easiest way to Sew by Nancy Zieman/Sewing With Nancy

For a chance to win a copy of my new Swing Jacket Pattern, simply leave me a comment sharing what fabric type you’ll be using in your jacket project. A winner will be randomly selected on Aug. 25.

M7201-Nancy Zieman Swing Jacket by McCalls

Don’t forget to enter my Fall Table Runner Challenge—$1000 in prizes!

Nancy Zieman's Fall Table Runner Challenge 2015 BadgeClick here to see how to enter. Make sure you are subscribed to my enews mailing list so you won’t miss a thing. Sign up here.

Bye for now,

Nancy Zieman The Blog
Content in this feed is © copyright 2015 by Nancy Zieman and may not be republished without written permission. You’re welcome to forward the email to a friend or colleague but it’s not okay to add the RSS feed automatically as content on a blog or other website.