I have been pondering buttonholes… but first let me tell you about one of the best Craftsy courses I have taken, Sew Better, Sew Faster, featuring a pattern from Islander Sewing Systems, Jacket Express #218. (Not being paid to say this neither, just my opinion!)
I have taken about a dozen Craftsy courses – some free, some not. THIS Craftsy course is one of my favourites – and I only have two favourites so far, guess I’m a tough sell.
I have always wanted to make another jean jacket, this time not a BLUE jean jacket like the one I wore during Me Made May 2014. My sister and I found this lovely fabric a while ago – an Annette Stretch Pique Print, 97% cotton 3% spandex. I pre washed it and it came out so soft. So between that and the abstract flower design on the fabric, I love it.
Now I don’t want to go through the whole process step by step, but I thought I might give you some of the do’s and don’ts I discovered.
DO! There are 19 pieces, make sure you cut on the right size line for each one because there are a lot of lines! I think I messed up cutting out the most clearly marked piece – don’t know quite how I salvaged that one, but the fabric was very forgiving!
DO! When you cut out the fabric and interfacing, mine was fusible, make sure you haven’t cut out two right front facings – I did – good thing I had some of fabric and interfacing left over!
DO! Use your 1/4″ seam foot and you blind hem foot for all the top stitching, if you have them. It will be a lot easier and more uniform.
The instructions were to topstitch two rows, one close to the edge of the jacket and one along the inside facing edge on the fronts and hem. I wasn’t keen on doing that and just did my usual double row of topstitching.
DO! Watch the video, Ms. Pray has plenty of hints, and read the instruction booklet as you sew. I made the pockets, gathering the edges as instructed, a new to me technique. I ironed the pockets flat, then realized they were ironed with the wrong side in.
Their way was to put the pocket facing on the inside (obviously), instead of on the outside, so the right side would peek out from under the flap.
DO! Use the extra long marking lines and their easy instructions for welt pockets. Best I have ever made!
After I ironed them, my welt pockets just melted into place like they belonged there. DON’T get carried away with your topstitching and sew your pockets shut though!
DO! the “Burrito” technique Ms. Pray demonstrates and describes. An easy way to sew the back yoke to the front yoke.
DON’T run out of topstitching thread! I did when I only had 2 more inches of topstitching left to do. I panicked for a moment, then searched madly through my sewing supplies, then I found a spool of “Button and Craft” thread. It was black so I gave it a shot. I did that final 2 inches slowly and carefully, and it worked!
And finally the buttons and the buttonholes.. I have never had my sewing machine behave so well – no … so beautifully – when sewing buttonholes.
But when I finished all my buttonholes and hand sewed my buttons on, I had a nagging feeling that something was not quite right. Then I realized it – all the button ups in my closet, handmade or RTW, all button up right over left. I had finished my jean jacket left over right!
I checked the internet and learned a lot. I found blogs on the subject from Tilly and the Buttons and The Cutting Class. The Traditional way is right over left for women and left over right for men. There are many explanations for this, but the most archaic explanation was – men were thought to dress themselves, so buttonholes were on the left to make it easy to button with the right hand. Women were thought to be dressed by their servants, so buttonholes were on the right to make it easier for the servants to button.
This made me ponder my buttonholes… and, as I have an aversion to the archaic notion of “being dressed by servants”, I’m liking my new look! I am very happy with my “New Favourite” Jean Jacket!
Happy Sewing! And to my fellow Canadian Sewists… Happy Thanksgiving weekend!