Whew! That was one deep dive in my sewing stash; it yielded a kit for making the aptly named “Fling Thing” by Canadian designer Linda MacPhee. I bought the kit after being enchanted by this cover of Sew News, October 1999 issue.
What would a Texan be doing with bulky wool melton, you ask? Well, you kind of had to be there…..
The pattern: it came with the kit, printed on recycled newsprint, which has yellowed by just sitting in my stash for the past 19 years.
The garment is mostly linear in design, with front drapes which you have the option of flinging over your shoulders, and it has a high-low hem (in 1999!). There is an option for lining the back and sleeves. This garment is extremely loose. According to the guide sheet on the pattern there is 12 inches of ease!! After measuring up, there was no question that I should use the small size even after accounting for the garments I will be wearing this coat over.
So, why did I veer to add a little bit of an A line to the side seams (red marker in the picture)? Well, it’s a just-in-case, reflexive type action by pear shaped people like me. By the way, yes you can see handwritten words and markings on the newsprint. Ah, the early days of independent pattern companies.
I am not tracing this pattern – if it does not work, the whole thing’s going in the bin. Did I say the included seam allowance is 3/8 inch?
The flowered appliques and the primary color blocking is what really attracted me to get this kit way back in 1999. Take away the embellishment, and its just a drape front, loose coat/topper. The pictured coat shows a yellow yoke (one piece yoke for front and back) with a red drape and a blue drape. And, just look at the cute flowers and dots on the yoke and drapes. So adorable!
The wool melton in the kit is thick and bulky; the black, especially, was so bulky and scratchy that I had to soak it, squeeze it out and roll it up in a very large towel and a bedsheet to absorb the water, and spread it out to dry. It took almost a week to completely dry but did soften up reasonably.
Sewing research: I pulled out two books to see how I could proceed. Sandra Betzina’s Fabric Savvy and Claire Shaeffer’s Fabric Sewing Guide. I have just cut it out but haven’t proceeded with the sewing, and am inclined toward using a lapped seamfor better bulk management. Will that work with a 3/8” seam allowance included in the pattern? The pattern is linear and loose enough (even the small size) that if I take a larger allowance, it will be fine.
Finally, I will get to wear this topper/coat at the end of March in …. Chicago! What’s the weather like in Chicago in late march?
All serious wool-melton sewers out there, please chime in.
Happy Valentines Day, y’all!
6 thoughts on “Fling Thing in Wool Melton, designed by Linda MacPhee, 1999”
I am sure your coat will be stunning, as are all of the garments you create :-). Looked on Linda’s website, and this pattern is no longer offered:-(. Would love to have a go at making this. Best wishes. Looking forward to admiring your final garment (and your yea and nays regarding the pattern itself).
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Thank you, Janet! I will be happy to save this pattern for you. We’ll connect after I’m done with my coat.
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It should be cold and brisk, with winds blowing off the lake. Or it could be a heat wave :o) You just never know here in the midwest!
I can’t wait to see this finished! The fabrics look beautiful!
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Thanks for the weather info! I will be bringing the coat (hopefully, it will turn out good) – just in case there’s a cold front. 🙂
3/8″ overlap seams are perfect! 20 years in Colorado gave me a lot of time to sew with wool. I can’t wait to see it finished!
Oh, you bought the kit! Yay Previous You! I love this era of pattern making. They are just starting to show up at the thrift store (don’t trash these, kids! Put them on Ebay so I can buy them!) because people bought them and were overwhelmed by the size of the pieces. The newsprint was the medium of choice for independent designers (everyone used to live by a newspaper you might get to do a run for you), SewNews was vital to getting the word out (and running the ads) about these companies and those independent sewing shops always had a little wall space for a local gal. And yes, they were gals.
I have made a few of the MacPhee jackets and worn them all to bits. Most of them are more instructions than patterns, so her sense of humor and playfulness shines through. Even if you aren’t considering making one, they are worth your time to look at.
And I’m going to want to borrow a photo from you for a post about this. I’ll ask your permission when I get there.