McCalls 8121, How to Beat Winter Blues, Welcoming Warmth with a Moto Jacket

Let’s take a quick look at McCalls 8121 (M8121), one of my favorite makes of the season.

Pattern Features of the Moto Jacket

This is a single sewing pattern. Therefore, there is only one view, with enough pattern pieces to kill you. Literally. I needed to get into my happy sewing space to make this work.

Fabric options for M8121

You have a ton of fabric options with this McCalls 8121. I used black hexagonal stretch cosplay leather, and it’s divine. It’s soft to the touch but visually looks like leather. It came for Joann Fabrics and was designed and marketed by Yayahan. It was supposed to be a pair of pants but has yet to make it that far. One afternoon I was in my sewing space, touched it, and I knew at that point it was a jacket.

I used bright purple crepe-backed satin for the lining for a pop of color in McCalls 8121. It was a nice contrast to this fabric’s black superhero hexagons. Honestly, there are a bunch of different creative options here, right? Don’t get too furry, though. If you use a thicker material for the lining, consider using it only for the main sections and not the sleeves because sewing the zippers at the end of the sleeve would be challenging, though not impossible.

I’ve seen other sewists use flannel and other woven materials. It would suit this jacket as long as it’s a stable fabric. Indeed, stay away from jersey or anything flimsy or that has a super soft hand.

McCalls 8121 Petite adjustments

Again, I needed to realize that — I. AM. Short. I needed to tighten up a few measurements with this pattern. I’m losing weight, and from time to time, the fluctuations make it difficult to sew something that fits in anticipation of loss.

African American Women in an alley in spanx wearing McCalls 8121 moto jacket

Pattern/Sewing Snags

Moreover, I hated sewing the sleeves the way the pattern company suggested. If I sew this pattern again, I will revert to the old-school method. There is quite a bit of hand sewing to install the sleeve that may be partially necessary.

African American Women standing on the sidewalk in spanx wearing McCalls 8121 moto jacket

M8121 Warning: the sleeves took me a while to get right. Make sure you get lots of sleep, and only do this when you are comfortable and energized. I was fussing and pulling out stitches in the ninth hour and had to return to it later.

In the future, I would make these changes:

  • Decrease the sleeve length by 1.5 inches.
  • Decrease the entire garment length by 2.25 inches
  • Decrease the side seam\taper the side seams

Skills needed to sew this moto jacket

African American Women walking across the street in spanx wearing McCalls 8121 moto jacket

Listen, if you can’t sew a zipper, practice somewhere else. This is not the pattern to start on. There is a moto jacket zipper, two welt pocket zippers, and zippers on the sleeves. We have zippers galore! Hence, to sew McCalls 8121, you must be proficient at sewing zippers.

Hacks for Moto Jacket M8121

  • Contrast the bottom band
  • Contrast the vent
  • Make the right and left side of the jacket different colors

Styling tips for McCalls 8121

Pair with a crop top or some pseduo-slubby top like McCalls 8024 jeans, or go for these Sam Edelman Heels; the Hazel is one of my favorites.

So, have you sewn a moto jacket? How did it turn out?