Are you happy to make a blouse, but assume jacket patterns are intimidating ?

In their sewing newsletter for the Winter 2013 season, Palmer-Pletsch have several suggestions for blouse/ shirt patterns that can be made as unlined jackets.

– – –

McCall’s 6436 shirt jacket


This pattern has multiple cup sizes, several collar, sleeve and trim options.
Labelled Easy, but it’s not for novices as it has a collar band, and 2-piece sleeve for easy sleeve placket.

Enthusiastic reviews at Pattern Review.

Make ‘as is’ for a standard shirt-jacket.
Or do a little pattern work. Without collar or cuffs this could make a basic straight jacket pattern, good for a more business-like look.

Palmer-Pletsch McCall’s 6750


Shaped using multiple darts.
So use or leave out darts for lots of options for fitting to your own body shape, or changing the style from fitted to loose.

Palmer-Pletsch use it without waist darts in a knit to make a cardigan,
see 2nd part of their newsletter (link above), page 11.

However, I suspect it would be best just taking these ideas as inspiration, rather than using this pattern, because 3 out of 4 reviewers at Pattern Review had difficulty with fit.
Though as several of the reviewers found this pattern much too large, perhaps it would work better as a jacket !

More on using this McCall’s 6750 pattern as a shirt jacket in Part 1 of the Palmer Pletsch newsletter for Spring 2014.

And instructions for making a cascade front version in Part 2 page 20 of that newsletter.

Palmer-Pletsch McCall’s 6076


This is a little more difficult to sew than the previous one. It has a separate collar and multiple seams for shaping.

Lots of shaping options : shoulder princess, armhole princess, side panel.
Three different bodice blocks here, so a good pattern for getting a lot of fit options sorted out.

Enthusiastic reviews at Pattern Review.

Or do a little pattern work. Make either of the princess seam styles as edge-to-edge and without collar for a ‘French jacket’ look.

Or use the side panel version, which could look more like a man-styled jacket.

Those patterns have stand or convertible collars.

If you prefer a notched collar look for your jackets, how about new Butterick 5924 shirt pattern.


This has multiple cup sizes and 4 sleeve options.

Already 2 good reviews at Pattern Review.

– – –

Several of these are multi-seam styles, so easy options for the current colour blocking look.

All these blouse-shirt patterns suggest using light fabrics.
When making them as a jacket, I see no problem with making these in a medium weight fabric with more body, such as :
medium denim or linen, silk dupioni, wool, velvet, needlecord, tweed, bouclé, medium weight upholstery fabrics such as jacquard and brocade.
Probably not stiff fabrics such as the heaviest linen and denim, gabardine or men’s suiting, thick brocade.

Many options for giving these a more business-like look.
Especially – make in darker fabrics with more body. No need to add interfacing to give a jacket structure, if the fabric itself has some body.

– – –

Some of these patterns might look more like a professional/ business jacket if made without collar or cuffs (which actually makes them easier to sew 😀 )

Combine with matching straight or a-line skirt, or pants, for a light suit.

If you want to layer your jacket version over anything more than a tank/camisole, I suggest making a size larger than usual. (See Sewingplums post on ease levels.)

Do any of these patterns appeal ?

Or have a look at all the blouse patterns you’re comfortable with making, and think which ones would also work well as an unlined jacket.
No shortage of good possibilities 😀

– – –

Patterns and links available October 2013

= = = = = = = = = = = =