It’s finally finished!

Part of my #makenine 2019 Challenge is this pattern, Islander Sewing Systems Jacket Express. I have made this pattern before here. This time though, I was determined not to make the same mistake again. (Putting the buttons and buttonholes on the wrong sides – seriously!!!!)

If you would like to read and see the photos for this jacket from the beginning, start here and then here. I’m so happy to be finished and so happy with my new Jeans jacket. I only had a few steps left – Jeans buttons and buttonholes – but it seemed like forever to get a chance to sit down at my machine and sew!

First off, I asked on Instagram which Jeans button should I use?

The majority answer was the darker ones on the right! Thank you fellow sewists!

Next step was the buttonholes, six of them. I did a practice on a scrap piece of fabric and when it turned out well I continued with the four on the front and the two cuffs. I didn’t use my topstitching thread for these buttonholes – just a matching polyester thread. My Janome buttonhole foot did a fine job. I always start with the cuffs because they are always buttoned up and no one really notices them. Then as my confidence grows, I work my way up to the top buttonhole last – because that one is usually always undone. (Yes, that is a Minion bandaid. That’s how I roll!)

When I headed for my sewing table this morning, what did I see? It’s no wonder my sewing is covered with cat hair!

Sophie in the Sun

So after I found a new spot for Sophie to nap and brushed the cat hair off of my jacket, I took a good look at my jacket. It still needed something… not sure what… but as you can see, my inspiration photo wasn’t just a really cool jacket with really cool fabric, there had to be something more too!

My Inspiration – the young lady on the left

So I took a visit to my Pinterest boards and rediscovered these …

That put me on a hunt through my fabric stash for some embroidery or lace. I didn’t have anything in black or red, but I did have lots of white lace (an old white “lace” tablecloth).

Cutting the flowered sections out of the tablecloth was easy. I then tried a couple of different sewing machine feet and settled for my free motion quilting foot. I was happy to have a “needle down” setting on my sewing machine so that every time I stopped sewing not only did my needle stay down, but my free motion quilting foot did too – holding the lace to my fabric. It took a little getting used to to sew with this foot. Every time the needle came up the foot came up too so that I could maneuver the fabric to sew around the outline of the flowers. I probably wasn’t using the proper technique, but I was successful in sewing on my lace flowers. And it was fun!

Next came attaching the Jeans buttons. I’ve done this before and I rather like tapping the buttons together with my little hammer. I always first practice attaching a couple of Jeans buttons on scrap fabric until I am comfortable with the process. I also always let Mr. Green Thumb know what I’m up to because if he hears hammering he always runs to see what’s being built!

My awl made a neat hole for the Jeans button post to easily go through the layers of fabric.

Place the Jeans button post on the flat bottom holder and the button will be held on the top holder. I had to remove the little piece from the top holder as this Jeans Button style didn’t have a hole it would fit into!


Time to sandwich it all together. Jeans button holder, Jeans button post sitting on the holder and pushed through the hole made by my awl, Jeans button on top and holder placed carefully down on it.

Three little taps with my little hammer.

Jeans button on and not bent! Practice done, let’s tackle the real thing!

I was outside in my sweater, sitting on the concrete steps, hammering on these Jeans buttons, and I just about froze … even though the sun was high in the clear blue sky. Luckily I only had 6 Jeans buttons to attach. I was quite surprised though, when I went out again a little while later to take photos of my new Jean Jacket, how warm my jacket kept me! It is quite heavy for denim. I could still see the odd patch of snow here and there in the garden and the pond was still frozen, but I should have been wearing sunglasses!

This pattern is definitely not for a fitted jacket, and some might want to make a size smaller, but I find it really comfortable and roomy enough to wear a sweater or hoodie underneath.

I took some inside shots too, since everything outside seemed to have a glare! Every time I see the back of the jacket I am reminded of when I constantly told our kids I have “eyes in the back of my head”. Well now I sort of do and better yet, they seem to follow your every move!

Next project? I’ve got my pattern picked out and my fabric chosen for the #sewover50 #so50visible Challenge on Instagram! Are you joining this Challenge? Deadline is March 15th!

Happy Sewing!

STASH BUSTING WITH THIS PROJECT? 3 meters. I still have enough of the print to happily make a bag or two and I still have enough of the black denim for a pair of jeans – already cut out! Now that makes 131.2 meters left in my fabric stash!

So to continue my …

#makenine2019 and my Islander Sewing Systems “Jacket Express”!

Last week my sewing got off to a rough start! First of all a couple of Fridays ago, I couldn’t get home without taking a good run, a few times, at the first of many hills we have … without success. I abandoned my vehicle on the side of the road and as I was walking home in the snow I saw a few vehicles in the ditch, and passed a firetruck and an ambulance! After a 4 km walk in the fresh snow, a Good Samaritin gave me a ride the rest of the way. We don’t usually get snow – but never fail, as soon as you say “We didn’t get any snow this winter!” It WILL snow!

What followed next was two full days without power, then me laid up because I threw my back out, and then a couple of days of me TRYING to get to work in the snow. (whine, whine, whine!)

All in all it added up to a VERY CRANKY LINDA WHO COULDN’T SEW! I swear next summer I am going to restore my Dear Aunt’s 1948 Singer 15-88 treadle cabinet. As you can see, the machine itself is in wonderful shape now. I just need to fix up the treadle cabinet. Then we shall see if a power outage can interfere with my sewing time! Seriously!

So when my life settled down, what did I get accomplished on my really, really cool Island Sewing Systems “Jacket Express”?

First I had to figure out how to finish off the seams of the pocket bag. Yes, I know it’s on the inside, but like all jean jackets, this jacket isn’t lined and everything just hangs out. So I sewed on some single fold bias tape (RED!) and hand sewed it down on the side that faces out. Hmm … needs some pressing!

Next, my favourite part – the “Burrito”! The first time I did a “Burrito” was during Janet Pray’s Craftsy class that I bought, which included this “Jacket Express” pattern. Ever since, any time I can change a pattern to do the Burrito technique on the yolk, I certainly do it!

Janet Pray explains it waaay better than I do, but the front and back yolks are sewn on to the bodice and back pieces. Then the shoulder seams are sewn on the inside back and front yolk pieces. Then you roll your jacket up inside to the shoulder seam and sew the outside back and front yolk pieces together at the shoulders, holding your burrito filling inside! Now you pull your burrito fillings out one side and “PRESTO” like magic your jacket and yolks have a wonderful, professional finish! Press and do your topstitching! (I’ve done the burrito before here too, maybe with more description and photos?)

Then I sewed on the sleeves, which was easy because the sleeve underarm seams and the jacket side seams weren’t sewn up yet, and I topstitched those sleeve head seams.

Then to attach the cuff, Janet Pray does something she calls a cuff “Burrito”. (Again, better explained by Janet!) You sew on the inside cuffs and fold them back on to your sleeve. Pin your outside cuff on top, right sides together, sandwiching the sleeve between the two. You bunch your sleeve inside the cuff a bit so that you can pin part of the opening shut too. You don’t want to catch your sleeve in any of your pinning! Pin and sew from an inch or so where the opening for turning starts, all around the three sides, to about an inch or so again to where the opening finishes. When finished, you pull your sleeve out of the opening and it is MOSTLY sewn up. The amount of hand sewing you have left to do is minimal!

What’s left to do now? Just some more topstitching (which I love) and the Jeans Buttons and buttonholes (hopefully this time, I’ll sew them on the correct side!!!). When I was able to drive again, I bought a couple of styles of Jeans Buttons. We’ll have to decide which style looks better, won’t we? Then comes the photos. I don’t know if the snow will still be around when I am ready for photos. We accumulated 23 cm of snow in just a day or two and it is disappearing rather quickly! Here’s the “before melt” photos … next blog post there will be “after melt” photos … with my cool jean jacket!

I prefer rainy winter weather myself, that’s probably why I like living here – which do you prefer – snowy winters or rainy winters?

Happy Sewing!

STASH BUSTING WITH THIS PROJECT? Not finished yet! But I am putting a good dent in my 134.2 meters with this Jacket!

How many ways are there to sew a pocket?

I’ve started the first garment of my #makenine2019! Top left corner … my jean jacket …

#makenine2019

… with a cool twist! I want it to look as close as possible to the one my Inspiration is wearing! (the lady on the left) I don’t want to use leather though and I can only assume what the back looks like because I can’t see it in the photo. But I am inspired!

I was quite pleased to find 3.5 metres of black (yes, it is black) denim in my stash. It’s been there for a while. It feels like it has a bit of stretch to it, so it should be comfortable. I’m hoping to squeeze the jacket AND a pair of jeans out of this length. It should help that I want to add in some contrasting fabric.

Of course, my fabric stash doesn’t have anything to make the contrasting panels in my jacket – I’ll have to go FABRIC SHOPPING!

I did get a bit distracted … I ended up buying 3 more metres of 100% cotton bleached indigo denim. The colour was fabulous! I’m sure I’ll find something to make with it.

Now for the contrasting fabric … as soon as I found this fabric, I knew it was what I wanted to use for the contrasting panels. The wrong side of it had large stripes of red that I wasn’t too fond of, but at least the red was woven into the fabric tightly and there were no fibres hanging to get caught on anything. I was quite surprised to find this fabric, 50% polyester/50% cotton, in the “home decor” section of the store. I love it!

I’ve decided on my pattern choices – Vogue V8774, for the jeans, and Islander Sewing Systems “Jacket Express” for the jacket. I got this jacket pattern with a Craftsy course by Janet Pray and really enjoyed it! I have made this jacket before here, (over four years ago!) and I still wear and love it!

Starting with the jean jacket, I decided on cutting the corners square, instead of rounded. Also, when I was fusing on the interfacing, I noticed that I would have to be very careful putting this one together as only one side of the back denim fabric looks black to me, the other is a dark gray, which I definitely don’t want.

Sewing seams and topstitching. I could topstitch all night. Love it!

Then I started these front pockets. By the way, how many ways are there to make a pocket? Here’s the interfacing fused onto the facing and sewn onto the front, right sides together.

Facing pressed towards the inside.

Pockets prepared, making sure the right side is on the inside.

More topstitching.

Pockets basted onto the inside of the jacket using black thread with the right sides facing down towards the machine.

More topstitching on the right side of the front of the jacket, around the pocket edges. Have you ever seen a pocket put together like this before? Know of any other pattern that does it this way? I mean, it’s not impossible to do, just different than usual. As I cut it out and sew it, I can’t help but think that it might be easier to do a usual patch pocket on the front of the jacket. You would just have to put a cut out and a facing on the patch pocket piece. What do you think?

Now the welt pockets seem to be made with a more familiar method.

Pocket welt sewn on in the exact right spot!

Pocket lining sewn on in the exact right spot! Then comes the dreaded moment – I have to CUT a slit into my jacket front between the two edges and turn the pocket welt and lining to the inside!

Everything turned into the inside and pressed. A bit of edge stitching around the sides and top of the opening (Reminding myself not to sew the pocket shut!) Then the last piece of the pocket bag is sewn onto the pocket welt and lining.

So have you seen this method of sewing pockets in any other patterns? It’s a first for me!

Happy Sewing!

STASH BUSTING WITH THIS PROJECT?  Well unfortunately I started out 2019 by buying 3 metres of blue cotton denim and 1 metre of this wild polyester/cotton. Although I am hoping to have enough of the wild polyester/cotton left to make myself a bag (surprise, surprise) of course! So there is now 134.2 meters in the fabric stash!

What I liked, didn’t, and still wanna do!

Over the last few weeks I’ve had a lot of non-sewing time which I just couldn’t tolerate.  To pacify myself, I spent my spare time reading sewing blogs – a lot of them had their roundups of last year.

It made me think about what I liked, didn’t, and still wanna do with my sewing.

So for my first post of the new year, let’s keep it simple! Continue reading

Learning something new…

For the past few weeks I have been working on my Islander Sewing Systems, “MotorCity Express jacket“. I received this pattern when I purchased the Craftsy course “Sew Better, Sew Faster: Smart Construction“.  

I have worked on the facings and lining layer, my sleeve gusset zippers and zipper pockets, and last week my fashion fabric layer

This week I bagged the lining!  I have, sort of, bagged linings before.  But this pattern had a final step for the sleeve layers that I have never done before, one that made for less hand sewing and more machine sewing – always a bonus! Continue reading

It’s better with interfacing.

As you might remember, I have been working on my Motor City Express Jacket, which I started here and here.  I received this pattern when I purchased the Craftsy course “Sew Better, Sew Faster: Smart Construction“.  (I just love it when the courses I want go on sale!)  I am so looking forward to wearing my finished jacket soon!  (When our temperatures cool down though – it was terribly hot again Saturday afternoon – 90F or 32C – we are just not used to that!)

Last week, another Linda (of Remake Remodel Recycle) was mentioning in the comments section of my post about using interfacing to put the pattern markings on as I was having difficulty marking my fabric.  I couldn’t stop wondering about the lack of instruction in this pattern regarding the use of interfacing on the pocket openings.  The pattern instructed to use interfacing around the neck and arm openings and the hem, etc., but not the pocket openings, which I was something I wasn’t used to.  Maybe I was missing something.   Continue reading

A little bit of this and a little bit of that…

I usually find lots of sewing time on the weekends, tucked between chores and errands and spending time with my family.  Last weekend was a busy one though, with not much sewing time.  Instead, it was a fun weekend in Vancouver with my sister, who would like me to sew a MOG (Mother of the Groom) dress for her for her son’s wedding in February.  We spent the day shopping for fabric for her.  I thought you might like to see what she bought and sent home with me … I’ve got lots to blog about in the future!

I like this dress pattern, McCall’s M7084.  My sister likes the top with the contrasting inserts shown in view C, but with the collar and sleeves of view D, so we have a blue made of 97% cotton, 3% spandex, with the white print for the inserts, again 97% cotton, 3% spandex. 

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This one is McCall’s M7169, view A, with view C sleeves, with the brownish flowers in the centre panel and the black for the sides.  Both these fabrics are cotton with spandex too.

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This one is a vintage pattern from 1978, Simplicity 8510.  It must be a favourite of my sister’s for her to keep it safe all this time.  The fabric is a similar beige as in the pattern photo, linen-like, 70% polyester, 30% rayon.  (It is deceiving sitting on my bedspread so ignore the pink flowered fabric!)

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Next, another vintage pattern, McCall’s 4408, and another pattern favourite from 1989.  She would like the skirt shorter, just under the knees, than in the pattern photo though.  The black print is a 100% polyester, the brown print and the “Clark Gable” print are both 100% cotton.

imageMy sister’s last purchase was the MOG dress fabric.   Continue reading

Now that’s HOT!

We are completely lacking in energy here.  The temperature hit 32 C (89 F) today.  Not a common thing for us!  The whole family just lounged around waiting for the cooling fan to rotate towards them.

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Needless to say, after a long work week and today’s heat nothing much has been accomplished.  But I did get a lovely package in the mail and another from a friend at work.  Let me show you …

Continue reading

Status

Pondering buttonholes…

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.

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!

Nice dress! Thanks, I made 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.

Continue reading