Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Mola Jacket | McCall's 7100


Hello, Friends! We are creeping up to the end of 2020 and BOY, what a year! AMIRITE?! I don't really want to get too much into it, but I DO want to get into this 4-year-old WIP (Work In Progress) that I had sitting around in a bag lol I saw the vision for it all those years ago and it just moved from corner to corner.

This project is my long-awaited Mola Jacket! If you've never heard of "Mola" before, as per Wikipedia "The Mola, or Molas, is a hand-made textile that forms part of the traditional women's clothing of the Kuna people from Panama, Central America". It's a form of art in Panama that has it's history in body painting. The indigenous Indians in Panama (Kuna) use a reverse applique technique to finely stitch the multiple layers of fabric together. The stitches are nearly invisible.

The Kuna people  create some of the most unique and beautiful hand-crafted items with mola patterns. I cannot remember with which trip to Panama I picked up the patches I used for this jacket, but if you want to see some footage of me enjoying Panama, fabric shopping, and spending time with my family, you can check out my Panama Vlog YouTube playlist here.

But before we get too far in here! This jacket is McCall's 7100 (OOP) in size Medium. I have made this jacket once before. The first time I made it, I fully lined it, but I didn't have the desire to do that this time.

The main body fabric is a Pebbled Coating fabric that I got from Fabric Mart over 4 years ago. I originally used it to make this Nuna Hood Scarf and have been plotting on this bomber ever since.

For the ribbing, I used a remnant of ribbing fabric I found in the remnant bin at JoAnn's. It was great quality and I am a remnant bin evangelist! There are so many gems in there.

I feel so strongly about it because there are always great lining fabrics or laces that can be used for linings, pockets, or cutouts. And I, in fact, used another jersey remnant to line the sleeves and for the pockets of this jacket. The jersey sleeves definitely help with taking this jacket on and off with different fabrics.

Before I get to the outside of the jacket, I want to take a little more about the work I put into the inside. Because I didn't want to line the inside of it, I decided I would go the extra mile and add hong kong seam finishes.

And because the instructions for this pattern don't really help with clean seams, I hand-sewed the bottom ribbing to give it a clean finish and I hand-sewed down the seam of the neck ribbing. It took much longer and I'm not a fan of hand-sewing but I'm very glad I did it because it would annoy me every time I looked at it if I didn't lol. For the cuff ribbing, I sandwiched it in between the sleeve and the outer fabric and machine-stitched the sleeves in before adding the neck ribbing.

Now for the patches! All of the mola patches came on large sheets of cotton. I had to cut the cotton from around them (and inside for the back patch). 

I knew I wanted to put the one large patch on the back, but I wasn't sure how to configure the smaller mola patches/Panama patch. I did a poll on Instagram (TWICE!) And this stacked configuration won at the end of the day! It's one I wouldn't have even thought about, but it continues to grow on me.

To actually attach the mola patches, I used Iron-on Liquid Stitch that I found at Wal-Mart. I glued/ironed them down, then I did tiny hand-stitches all the way around every edge and hole with grey thread so that it would blend into the main body fabric.

To put on the Panama patch atop the blue flower, I did not use the liquid stitch. I just hand-stitched around the patch with a matching gold thread.

This is definitely my new favorite jacket and I've already gotten so many compliments on it! I get to showcase my culture without saying a word, and it's ACTUALLY warm and functional.

I'm hoping to continue with this surge of creativity so that I can feel like I'm having FUN with sewing. Since there are fewer and fewer places to go, sewing has started to feel more like a chore instead of something exciting. But I just have to continue to remind myself that sewing for me is therapeutic and has and will help me... especially through these recent trying times.

See you soon!

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