The Selfish Seamstress has decided to take the moral high road and forgive Dan after yesterday’s unfortunate Burda incident. As a gesture of goodwill, I graciously permitted him to take photographs of my newly finished Drama Queen Jacket, McCall 5478 (now out of print) rendered in silvery leopard print duchesse satin.

The lining is some silvery teal slightly iridescent rayon that I discovered in my stash. I think I purchased it in Germany back in 2007 and didn’t even realize I still had some. Awesome. Lining fabrics are one of those things that always seem to be lacking in my stash.

I really loved making up this pattern.  The draft is great and the fit was perfect (it’s one of those patterns that have difference pieces for A/B, C, and D cups).  All I did was grade it down to a size 4 and do a petite alteration as marked on the pattern, and it was spot on. I omitted the pocket flaps and added two inches to the length, and I also skipped the back tab thingy because I wanted to be able to wear this with a belt.

The back has a pleated vent with an underlay and it makes for a very flattering peplum shape- not too exaggerated as to be silly, but just a little bit of flare:

Oops- I see a loose thread that I need to clip there. The prescribed method of attaching the lining at the hem doesn’t make a lot of sense to me because you’re supposed to stitch it over the pleat underlay, which would essentially render the back vent non-functional. Instead I did an invisible hem on the lining and let it hang free, which I sometimes like to do with my jacket linings anyway.

I did two self fabric covered buttons for closure. I could have done a third one, but given that I wanted to belt it, I decided against it. 

I’ve seen a few people style this jacket with a turtleneck, and the envelope itself has the model wearing a turtleneck under this, but I don’t think I could work that look. With this dramatic open portrait collar, a big swath of fabric underneath wouldn’t work on me. Plus, I like putting my clavicle on display.

Oh, I got bitten by a mosquito while we were outside. Yes I know I’m not supposed to scratch it, thanks mom.

Final verdict on this one? Nuh-uh. Elizabeth recently wrote a very thoughtful and interest post about “wadders” and learning from sewing mistakes. And it got me thinking about the various ways in which a project might not work out. This is one of them. From an engineering standpoint, this jacket is a success. It came together well, and it fits great. But cute as I think it is, it’s just wrong for me. As soon as I put it on for Dan to see, he made a face and said, “It’s a little, um… mature for you.  It looks like something your mom would wear.” Ordinarily I would have responded to this by ignoring him for days, and opening my mouth only to say, “If you don’t know, I’m not going to tell you,” in response to his queries about why I was upset. But the truth is that Dan said exactly the same things that I was thinking when I was making it and trying it on in the process. It’s just not right on me.

Ultimately, this jacket feels costumey when I wear it, like a poodle skirt or leisure suit. I can’t see myself wearing it- certainly not to work or out to dinner or to a wedding. Women in their 30s don’t wear dressy suits to weddings, they wear dresses. I also tried it with skinny jeans and tall, high-heeled cordovan boots, and it doesn’t dress down enough either because it’s satin. I could rock this at some sort of vintage-themed cocktail party, but how often does that happen? For any actual real-life events it’s just a bit too wealthy Park Avenue dowager. Maybe in 10 years, we’ll see.

But Dan (and I) are right about one thing- it would look terrific on my mom. She could wear it over a black sheath to a wedding and be a knockout. So I guess she’ll be getting another something in the mail along with her Swallowtail Shawl!

Don’t worry though – I plan to make this great jacket pattern up in a more sedate fabric so that I can wear it to work, and I’ve got plenty more of the leopard fabric earmarked for a hot pencil skirt that I will keep.