I have been in much the same boat as Judith workwise. The new curriculum has been kicking my butt and combined with the death of my beloved father-in-law, I haven't really felt like blogging and I certainly haven't been sewing as much.
This is what I have been working on for the past month. McCalls 5525, which has rave reviews on PR. When I saw Erica's blue version, I was in love with the pattern and went and actually bought a pattern from the store.
Anyway, the purple sateen was my test version of the pattern. Since this took many hours to complete and I have an extensive sewing to-do list, I don't think I am going to get another one made this year (as great as the pattern is). I think I ended up making view C – the short version with the shoulder flap, epaulets and back flaps. I corrected the back flap (drafted unevenly as pointed out by Erica) but missed in the reviews that I scanned that the pockets are tiny. Good thing it only gets fresh around here rather than freezing. I don't need pockets for keeping my hand warm.
I probably could have bagged the lining, but I decided to hand sew the lining in just for kicks. I used black rayon seam binding to hide the raw seam where the lining, hem and facing meet. There were only a few minor things that I changed. I decided to sew the buttons on the shoulders before sewing in the shoulder pads since I thought it would be much easier. My little tab did not get a keyhole button since my machine would not jump the jump at the collar seam so I needed to sew the buttonhole from the other way. At least there is a buttonhole there - I thought it would look a little funny without one. I used iron on interfacing rather than sew in. I used my Singer press without the steam for an easy result.