Monday, July 21, 2008

McCall's 4747 Finished Pictures and Pattern Review

Here's the finished pictures of last week's project, and my review of the pattern (which is also on Pattern Review).


Pattern Description:

Civil War costume for men: Fitted, lined coat, and button fly trousers. I made view B with the long jacket, and double-breasted front closure.

Pattern Sizing:

S-XXXL. I made the size large for the jacket, and it was just slightly big through the back. I used the medium for the pants and had to size them down some as I sewed to make them fit a 32 inch waist.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Yes, I was pleased with how very nice this came out. Very authentic looking in my mind.

Were the instructions easy to follow?

The back of the coat features a center split and two deep pleats at the side back seams. I found the instructions for making the pleats very confusing, but then this was my first time to make a tailored lined jacket for a guy. I was very careful cutting out the pattern and lining the pleat fold lines up correctly, but when I got to the part where I needed to sew the coat skirt to the top, it didn't match up. I ended up having to gather the upper back slightly between the side back seams in order to make all the seams line up correctly.

I either did something wrong with the pleats, even though I was so careful, or the pattern lines are misplaced for the pleats. I would be curious to see if anyone else had this problem.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

Lining instructions were pretty easy to follow and went together well. I was able to make this in 5 days without any major issues.

Fabric Used:

Navy poly-wool blend. Cotton lining. Black velvet ribbon for sides of pants.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:

Had to gather upper back between side back seams as discussed above.

I added shoulder pads between the lining and outer layer to bulk the shoulders up a bit more. Not sure that this is historically accurate though...

I should have lengthened the sleeves...I didn't measure and ended up having to put in a 1/2 inch hem. Yuck! Of course then the lining was then too short to sew to the sleeve hems, so it had to hang free. I did tack it down on the sides of the sleeve seams.

Shortcuts I took:
I sewed the lining hem with a machine straight stitch rather then by hand.
I used the blind hem stitch on my machine for all other hems, rather then sewing by hand as the pattern recommended.
I also sewed the lining down at the waist seam by stitching "in the ditch" from the topside, rather then sewing it by hand. Same for the inner waistband.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

I'd sew it again if you paid me enough!

Yes, I'd recommend this to others, particularly if they are more advanced sewers.


  1. It looks very nice and authentic (but I'm not experienced at all in costume design!). Did you make this for a production of some sort? And I don't blame you for saying you'd make it again if you were paid enough! LOL

  2. AnonymousJuly 21, 2008

    You did a great job, Jessica. It looked very authentic. I can't believe that you did it so fast. I might have to send David your way! :)

  3. AnonymousJuly 21, 2008

    Jessica you did a fabulous job!

  4. WOW! you did a great job with this pattern. It looks like an incredibly difficult pattern, but you pulled it off.

  5. AnonymousJuly 22, 2008

    My compliments to the seamstress! Jessica, you did a beautiful job! I too had some confusion with the coat skirt. I believe that pattern piece 12 has a misprint on the fold line. It reads S, L, M and should read S, M, L. It just didn't make sense and I finally decided to go with the middle line (that read L but should have read M, as I was making a medium size coat) and that gave the proper fit.
    This was quite the project! :-p I would allow myself more time if making this pattern again.
    The fellows looked so very handsome in their uniforms! :-)


  6. Gloria, That was the exact issue I had the pattern too! I scratched my head for a long time over those lines on piece 12 and finally decided that it must be that way for a I went with what was printed, and then it was too small to fit the top in that area. Apparently if yours lined up right, then there was indeed a misprint on the sizes. I will add a note about this later to my review on pattern review so people who make this in the future will be warned!


  7. Amazing! I know it had to be a ton of work, but how fun!

  8. You did a wonderful job. It looks great!!!

  9. Nice job! Did he wear it in a re-enactment?

  10. another person with a problem with the back skirt! i was on a search for someone with a back picture, and you confirmed my issue :) and the puff sleeves. ah i tailored them out.

    yours looks great!!