Make an Easy-to-Sew Swing Jacket

Nancy Zieman Swing Jacket2

Make an Easy-to-Sew Swing Jacket

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Nancy Zieman Swing Jacket2 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.

NancyZieman McCalls7201 JacketFlatsNancyZieman McCalls7201 JacketFlatBacks 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.
NancyZieman McCalls7201 Jacket a
NancyZieman McCalls7201 Jacket b2
  • Serge or zigzag the edges to prevent unnecessary raveling during the sewing process and to keep your project neat!

NancyZieman McCalls7201 Jacket dNancyZieman McCalls7201 Jacket c Stitch Shoulder Seams

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

NancyZieman McCalls7201 Jacket e

  • Stitch the shoulder seams using the recommended seam allowance.

NancyZieman McCalls7201 Jacket f

  • Press seams flat; then press seams open.

NancyZieman McCalls7201 Jacket gNancyZieman McCalls7201 Jacket hNote 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. How To Make a Tailors Pressing Roll by Nancy Zieman Set-in Sleeves—Both Views

  • Mark the center of the sleeve cap with a pin or non-permanent fabric marker.
NancyZieman McCalls7201 Jacket i
  • Place a pin at each notch along the cap.
NancyZieman McCalls7201 Jacket j
  • 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.

NancyZieman McCalls7201 Jacket k

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

NancyZieman McCalls7201 Jacket l Stitch Underarm Seams—Both Views

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

NancyZieman McCalls7201 Jacket m

  • Press the seams flat; then press open.

NancyZieman McCalls7201 Jacket n 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
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  • Barbara R.
    August 11, 2015

    I would love to make the asymmetrical style jacked in a light-to-mid weight wool.

  • Kristine F
    August 11, 2015

    I think I would make a patchwork pattern with batik fabrics and then cut the parts from there – possibly using a complimentary batik for the lining. Thank you for the sew along Nancy; it’s just what I need to try garment sewing.

  • Bonnye
    August 11, 2015

    I would use a beautiful coral linen material.

  • Alice Y.
    August 11, 2015

    I would like the short version in a fleece for easy care and warmth

  • Alice
    August 11, 2015

    I made my own fabric by felting wool that I bought from a sheep rancher. I think this jacket would be ideal.

  • Karen
    August 11, 2015

    I have some Bare Knits fleece in my stash that I might try, just not sure if its the correct weight fabric.

  • Carol
    August 11, 2015

    Hi Nancy, My jacket will be sewn with a corduroy for fall. Best wishes to you.

  • Tif
    August 11, 2015

    I have some beautiful blue, light textured, wool boucle that would be fabulous made up in your new swing jacket pattern.

  • Nikki
    August 11, 2015

    I’d like to try it in knit, maybe a sweater type knit? I like the drapey-ness of it, especially for the asymmetrical version. Would that work?

  • Charlotte
    August 11, 2015

    I have a wonderful piece of batik (would use the underlining suggestion).

  • janH
    August 11, 2015

    I hope fleece with work for a very casual jacket.

  • Marcia Wood
    August 11, 2015

    I love this style. I have a piece of synthetic batik that I want to use. Hope I have enough yardage.

  • Adecia
    August 11, 2015

    I would use a lightweight linen or eyelet fabric

  • Kathy Skiados
    August 11, 2015

    Bought your pattern as soon as I saw it! Just looking for the perfect material. Saturdays are early for me waiting to see if you’ll be on Maryland Public Television and disappointed when you’re not. Thanks for the years of creative education you’ve given us!

  • Amy Brant
    August 11, 2015

    Black silk boucle will sew up into an elegant evening jacket.

  • Sue Raddatz
    August 11, 2015

    Nancy, your new Easy-to-Sew Swing Jacket is so on-trend and stunning! With your tutorial, you’ve sparked me to get my machine out, serviced and start sewing again now that I’m retired. I’m visualizing making a challis jacket with perhaps a touch of a contrasting color along the edge of the front. Thank you.

  • DeeDee Weir
    August 11, 2015

    I have a dress that is yelling for this so I would use an eyelet and line it.

  • Lauren
    August 11, 2015

    I would use velveteen!! I just love the look of this jacket! Great tutorial, thank you!!

  • Peggy Riordan
    August 11, 2015

    I would use a midweight wool, fleece, sweatshirt material, or wool challis. I think several materials could be used, depending upon how the sewer wants it to swing, a lot or a little.

  • Diana G.
    August 11, 2015

    Oh so many fabrics one could make this out of .. but I think velvet would be my preference for me. Thank you for the chance to win !!

  • Sharon E
    August 11, 2015

    I think I light wool tweed would be nice. A modern version of Chanel.

    August 11, 2015

    I can’t wait to get this pattern. It works for Spring and Fall.
    I think I will try a Batik.

  • Maggie Drafts
    August 11, 2015

    Thanks, Nancy. I want to use a midweigh denim , embellished with beautiful machine embroidery! AND, since my birthday is August 26 it would be a very nice birthday gift!

  • Theresa Brooks
    August 11, 2015

    I have some fleece that would be great for this!

  • Carolyn
    August 11, 2015

    I am thinking of making two of these for the fall/winter. I will try a lightweight fleece in the shorter length for a quick, run-an-errand-throw-on jacket. The other, a dressier version in the longer length out of a black silk faille with a beautiful decorative button, all from my stash. Come Spring and Summer, one can use this pattern again and again! So many options here. Thanks for the inspiration and a chance to win this winning pattern of yours!

  • Sue Martin
    August 11, 2015

    With winter lurking in the not too distant future, I’m thinking of using a drapery, light wool blend. This looks like a great addition to any wardrobe.

  • Cyndi
    August 11, 2015

    With all of the wonderful fabrics available today I might have to make more than one jacket! I can see making a jacket using an embroidered denim to wear with jeans or maybe a light weight rayon to wear with slacks. So many choices!! Thank you for the give away!

  • Martha
    August 11, 2015

    I have a piece of fabric with nap on one side side that needs a pattern. Would work great!

  • Denise Penn
    August 11, 2015

    Have a lovely light grey wool tweed that I’ve been hoarding until I found the perfect pattern. And I think this is it!!

  • Dorothy S.
    August 11, 2015

    I would love to make one out of a light weight fabric. Thanks for a great give-a-way!

  • Norma Phillips
    August 11, 2015

    Each year my Mother, who made everything I wore on an old Singer Treadle machine, would make me a new “spring” coat. I didn’t understand why I needed one just for spring but I got one anyway. This jacket reminds me of the loose fitting “springy” coats I wore so I will make this in a light-weight pastel with a bright zingy lining – and think of my Mother every time I wore it.

  • Shirley Covert
    August 11, 2015

    I love this pattern. I would make the first one in linen with underlining but can see it in so many other fabrics and for so many occasions.

  • MaryAnn
    August 11, 2015

    Love this look, I would use a stretch gabardine because its a classic fabric that’s easy to sew and needs no lining and its nice fabric for all seasons.

  • Fab
    August 11, 2015

    Silk, with a lining-perfect for special occasions

  • Cherie
    August 11, 2015

    I’d probably make this in a light weight wool or wool blend.

  • Loretta Headrick
    August 11, 2015

    Nancy, thank you for sharing this. I wondered: I would like to use the length of the assymetrical jacket, but the traditional front of the shorter jacket. Would lengthening the shorter jacket significantly change the way it would hang or look from the front?

  • maryann gamble
    August 11, 2015

    I love the style of this jacket. I would use a stretch gabardine as it is an all weather fabric that needs no lining and is easy to sew. It would look great over slacks or as a jacket over a plain sheath dress.

    August 11, 2015

    I will make this jacket with a piece of plaid wool that I have been saving for something that would be easy to match seams and wear often.

  • Patti White
    August 11, 2015

    I would use a lightweight cotton for now and switch to a lightweight wool for Fall. This pattern will make great gifts!

  • Carol P
    August 11, 2015

    Beautiful jackets. I really like them both. Easy to make is sounds wonderful!

  • Glenda Marsh
    August 11, 2015

    If it’d ‘work’ I’d chose a rayon for ‘swingin’!!

  • PamB
    August 11, 2015

    I like the asymmetrical jacket and I think it would look neat in an Asian print.

  • Mercedes Whelan
    August 11, 2015

    I’d like to make the swing jacket in a medium-wt. wool; possibly a tweed.

  • Joyce J
    August 11, 2015

    Have a loose weave fabric so your wonderful instructions for underling are perfect timing for my project. Have a big statement button that will work well.

  • Starla
    August 11, 2015

    Love the jacket! I would try it in fleece, because I’ve never sewed with wool or “fancy” fabrics.

  • Jan
    August 11, 2015

    I have a piece of synthetic linen-like fabric (I don’t know hat the original intent was)! It’s natural linen color will be perfect for this jacket.

  • cheryl
    August 11, 2015

    I want to use a soft polyester. something that doesn’t wrinkle easily.

  • beth
    August 11, 2015

    I would use some pink linen that I have had for a few years and make the long jacket.

  • Deborah
    August 11, 2015

    I will make this jacket out of a black and white light weight tweed that will go with my wardrobe colors of black, white, dark brown, beige, pink and the beautiful color of Paraiba tourmaline.

  • Sandra Chavez
    August 11, 2015

    I have been excited about your Lana Bolito Wool and this seems like the perfect pattern to try it out. I am thinking that perhaps use of a light to medium interfacing would be recommended in order to keep the shape of the jacket?

  • Kati
    August 11, 2015

    I would use a beautiful piece of upholstery material in a burg. paisley print that I have been keeping for a long time to find just the right use.

  • Sandra
    August 11, 2015

    I would make this jacket in a teal twill that I saw at my local fabric store. It is just the right shade to go with many of my other clothes. Didn’t buy it, as didn’t know what I could make with it, but think I will go back and get it. Love the simplicity of this jacket!

  • Mary G
    August 11, 2015

    Oh this looks like a nice project to make before cooler temps prevail. I think I have flannel I will use. : )

  • CarolR
    August 11, 2015

    I think the shorter version would be fun in a sturdy knit to coordinate with the shift dress 1752. I already have the dress pattern.

  • Bev
    August 11, 2015

    Finally, a jacket that I can use my fall colors paisley for. I love the swing factor.

  • Rita Bell
    August 11, 2015

    I would love to make this in a light weight rose fabric. Probably the shorter version.

  • Mary Ellen
    August 11, 2015

    There is a lovely Monet style fabric in my stash that would look great as the longer jacket in this pattern. It looks easy to do. Thanks for the chance at winning the pattern.

  • Lori
    August 11, 2015

    I am thinking this would be lovely in a natural linen midweight so I could wear it in the spring and fall…….thanks for the opportunity

  • Frances
    August 11, 2015

    Ooh, a linen would be nice! I also have some wool suiting that might need a new pattern. LOL! Thanks for the give-away!

  • KayZee
    August 11, 2015

    I love the easy sewing of this jacket! I’d probably use a wool suiting fabric and underline it as you indicated for your linen.

  • Nan V
    August 11, 2015

    I simply love the design, and having lived many years in Australia, I can visualize the jacket in a Donegal tweed. Thanks, Nancy!

  • Gale
    August 11, 2015

    I would like to make it with fleece. Heavy enough to not require a lining and it comes in so many prints to choose from.

  • judy anderson
    August 11, 2015

    I will be using rayon fabric that I hand dyed. This pattern is perfect for it

  • Candice
    August 11, 2015

    I have some medium weight denim, just waiting. I changed my mind on that project, and this is perfect – especially when I add some embroidery accents.

  • Linda C
    August 11, 2015

    I’m new to sewing, but I think I would like to try this in a lightweight/midweight wool

  • Berenice
    August 11, 2015

    I bought this beautiful corduroy several years ago. The length would be perfect for football games.

  • Diane S.
    August 11, 2015

    Wow! That is a tough question. I can see using wool, fleece, suiting, even a brocade. I think which season you plan to wear it in, as well as where, will help make the decision.

  • Fran Johnson
    August 11, 2015

    Dear Nancy,

    I hope you are continuing to improve each day.
    Love this jacket. I have a beautiful piece of silk that my sister-in-law gave me several years ago. Also would love a linen jacket – my favorite material.

  • Kelly Sasman
    August 11, 2015

    I have 3 yards of fabric I purchased at your Sewing Weekend in Beaver Dam 2 years ago that I fell in love with. I’ve been waiting for the perfect pattern and this is it!

  • kathy
    August 11, 2015

    I am thinking a nice light wool would be lovely. Now my daughter is back stateside, we will start our projects. This jacket would look great on her and I can help her with her sewing skills.

  • Renea
    August 11, 2015

    I am thinking a pretty linen would be perfect with this pattern. Thanks for the great giveaway.

  • Joan Sawyer
    August 11, 2015

    This is a beautiful pattern and looks like it would complement many figure types. Boucle sounds like it would be interesting, but then so does corduroy and batik. Thank you for the opportunity to win this pattern.

  • Janice Meisner
    August 11, 2015

    I would lie ruse deniun for testing jacket,

  • Janice Meisner
    August 11, 2015

    I would lie ruse poly silk for testing jacket,

  • Pat
    August 12, 2015

    Another great pattern. Time to get this done for the Fall. Thanks


  • Cynthia
    August 12, 2015

    This is an amazing pattern for a great fall accent to jeans and khakis. My favorite fall fabric is corduroy and will create this jacket with collar and design a cuff sleeve from linen.

  • Rosalyn Schultze
    August 12, 2015

    Your lovely pattern would look great in a lightweight wool which I just happen to have! I hope you are recovering well and will be able to resume your usual activities soon.

  • Anja @ Anja Quilts
    August 12, 2015

    What a great pattern. I think I’d try a linen.

  • Jean Palionis
    August 12, 2015

    Oh! I really like this. I will use a light weight suiting and make a matching pencil skirt! Thank you for a terrific pattern.

  • Joanne Elabedi
    August 12, 2015

    I have a nice medium weight teal colored linen I’d like to make this with. Pretty!

  • Paulette
    August 12, 2015

    Looks like a great quick jacket. I agree with many other comments about sewing it in linen or nice wool flannel.

  • Dale
    August 12, 2015

    Would love to make this jacket in a lightweight tapestry fabric or a lightweight wool! Love the pattern

  • Victoria Hudlun
    August 12, 2015

    I love the pattern!! I would make one For all four seasons in different fabrics such as fleece, linen, cotton, and a few others and add some embroidery to it to spice it up. I also would quilt some material and cut out the pattern and so it together. The possibilities are endless. even if I don’t win I will still bye it.

  • Janice Beitz
    August 13, 2015

    I have some wool knit that would look great made up in this pattern.

  • Rita Gilbert
    August 13, 2015

    This I a beautiful pattern and seems easy. I’m teaching my niece to sew and this is a great jacket for her to get more experience and be in style. Still keeping you In my prayers.

  • Karen J
    August 13, 2015

    Definitely fleece for a fall casual look with jeans.

  • Margie
    August 13, 2015

    I carver rubber stamps. The simple shapes would be a lovely foil for my larger stamps.

  • Sally Z
    August 13, 2015

    Lots of style in this pattern, really like it. I have a wool blend rayon that I would love to try. Hope you are well!!!

  • Mary R. Beat
    August 14, 2015

    I love jackets! All female members of my family like jackets. Since I’m an “creative” seamstress, this pattern would work for many artistic designs and all different sizes. Great!!

  • S Nicol
    August 14, 2015

    I have some lovely lightweight felted wool I found on the clearance table that has been waiting for a jacket pattern that I could sew.

  • Gale Betterly
    August 15, 2015

    This looks like an ideal pattern for embellishing. With that said, I am looking forward to making my first one from a closely woven twill or denim weave that will serve as a pallet for the embroidery and other fabric manipulation.

  • Cassy L.
    August 15, 2015

    I would like to sew this in a lightweight wool and another from my quilting cottons.

  • Ruth E. Smith
    August 15, 2015

    I would make this from a polyester linen like fabric that I have in royal blue.

  • Terry A.
    August 17, 2015

    I think I would start with one in fleece.

  • Terry A.
    August 17, 2015

    I would start with one in fleece.

  • bonnie smith
    August 17, 2015

    Maybe a light weight or fleece

  • ppardue
    August 17, 2015

    I have a piece of wool/silk that I have been waiting for just the right pattern. This may be the one.

  • Barbara
    August 17, 2015

    I have dusty Aqua colored crepe fabric that would look really nice and wear black pants or skirt with it.

  • Susan Burns
    August 17, 2015

    I have a soft lightweight checkered wool that I bought in the fabric district in downtown LA a few years ago. I have been saving it as a reminder of my trip, but this pattern is perfect for it!

  • Judith V
    August 18, 2015

    I am going to make this for my granddaughters in lightweight denim.

  • Jackie Judge
    August 18, 2015

    I want to try it in a double sided quilted cotton fabric! Thanks for the opportunity to win this pattern!

  • She
    August 18, 2015

    I want to make this out of denim with a colorful lining.

  • Joyce
    August 18, 2015

    I haven’t sewn clothes in many years. I love this jacket and have trouble finding clothes for church. I would use whatever kind of material you suggest. At 1 time I was a good seamstress. I did suits that were tailored.

  • Ronda Halvorsen
    August 18, 2015

    I love it! I have been saving (hoarding) my Pendleton fabric I purchased at the quilt show in Puyallup, WA (were I had the great honor of finally meeting you in person and helping you gather your wares after class) a couple years back, waiting for just the right pattern, Nancy this is it! SEW happy to see your new episode looking forward to getting my Purse patterns. Thanks again and always for all that you do to inspire young and old!


    Ronda from Bend

  • Nancy P
    August 18, 2015

    This looks like wonderful pattern. I think a jacket in velvet that mr granddaughter could wear to dances and fancy events would be lovely. It is wonderful when patterns are flattering.
    So pleased and relieved that you are recovering/rehabbing.

  • Jeanne
    August 19, 2015

    Small black and white windowpane check men’s suiting woolen. I have had it in my stash forever and excited to use it.

  • Karen Brayton
    August 19, 2015

    This pattetn is great for every age. I would like to make this jacket in a nice double knit wool.

  • Evelyn Honeycutt
    August 19, 2015

    The pattern is charming it is suitable for all figure types. My choice of fabric is a wool flannel. I hope you continue to recover your full strength.

  • Bitzie
    August 21, 2015

    Nancy This is a remarkable pattern. I cant think of any material that you couldn’t use and for different places to wear it. I think it would be attractive for all shapes and sizes. I have enjoyed and learned a lot from your shows
    for many years, Thank you

  • Sharleen
    August 23, 2015

    I would do two versions of your jacket. The first in shot silk and the second in a fine lightweight wool blend. The design is suitable for many fabrics for all seasons and all occasions. Thank you.

  • Wendy S.
    August 23, 2015

    So many options but I think a length of black and white silk blend herringbone in my stash would make a great additon to my wardrobe.

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