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!

McCall’s M7390 – I sort of like it.

I bought this pattern, McCall’s M7390, a while ago and have waited all this time to find a striped fabric that would work.  I did find a 100% linen with wide uneven stripes which I liked, but when the sales person measured it up, there was only 1.4 m left on the bolt.  My pattern said I needed 1.6.  Oh so what … I bought it anyway.  I’ll just have to make the short sleeved version with no pockets.  Hopefully I can make the short sleeved version, instead of the no sleeved version!

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!

I was very pleased that the stripes on this fabric were properly placed along the grain.  Sometimes they make a real mess of things – you follow the grain and your stripes are at an angle!

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I have to have the perfect Zippered Crossbody bag … (Part 2)

I have really been enjoying this project!  My inspiration was the Sallie Tomato Zippy Crossbody Bag.  I started it last post here and finished it just this week.

There weren’t many details to finish it off.  Let me show you how I did it …

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What can I say? I still had some denim strips left!

And I’m certainly not one to waste recycled denim!  So let’s make another bag.  This one is not quite big enough to hold my iPad, not like the last one I made.  This one seemed to go together quicker too!  Perhaps it wasn’t as “fancy” or perhaps I’m actually getting used to throwing them together?!?

Again, I started by sewing my strips together, pressing them, ironing on the fusible interfacing, and trimming the two outer bag walls to the right size.

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!! Continue reading

How to sew a recycled denim handbag.

I was trying to think of an eye-catching, mysterious title for my blog post.  I couldn’t.  I have too been immersed in bag making lately – sewing creatively, instead of blogging creatively!  

The only other handbags I’ve made I posted about here and here.  I made one of them for my sister – she’s seems to be happy with it.  I made her’s by copying something she already had.

This time I wanted to make a handbag for myself out of 100% recycled materials, specifically denim.  I have been collecting a few images on my Pinterest and I’m quite inspired by this recycled denim Chobe Bag with the denim strips sewn together.

Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

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A perfect place for my pockets.

Perhaps you remember my denim skirt?  I spent a couple of days trying to decide whether to sew on the back pockets, or not.  Well, I have found a perfect place for them!

A while ago, I found the FREE pdf pattern from By Hand London, the Polly Top.  I knew it would be perfect for the leftover fabric I end up with occasionally… and I certainly had some left when I finished my denim skirt.

Does anyone else piece together pdf patterns the same as me?  I always seem to piece together one pattern piece at a time and then immediately cut it out.  I guess I feel like I am accomplishing something that way?  Here you can see my first piece taking shape – like putting a puzzle together.

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More on my denim skirt…

Hello all, me again.  I’ve had a couple of “distractions” over the last week therefore I haven’t quite finished my denim skirt, but I thought I would show you what I have accomplished so far – and perhaps this week you might even get a laugh out of it!

I started my denim skirt by cutting out a Sewaholic Hollyburn skirt pattern here and making my back pockets, and doing my topstitching and flat felled seams here.

Now it is time to sew my jeans fly front.  My one side is interfaced, double fold bias tape is sewn on the rough edge and the piece is sewn on to my left side front (if I am looking at the skirt).  The interfacing will never show as this piece is folded over to the inside.

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I’ve decided to make a denim skirt…

from my Sewaholic Hollyburn skirt pattern.  I cut this pattern out last week from some 100% pre-washed cotton I found in my stash.  I still have a good metre or so left so I’ll have to think of another project for it.  Do any of you have a favourite tank top pattern that could use the remainder of my 100% cotton denim?

Since this is the fourth time I have cut out a Sewaholic Hollyburn, I think it is definitely one of my TNT patterns.

My skirt is coming together well.  The thought of topstitching and revits and Jeans buttons makes me SMILE!  

I started this skirt by making my interfaced back pockets.  I just cut a large rectangle shape, as the Hollyburn didn’t have a pattern piece for this.  I precisely measured for my angled corners.  I marked the centre point of the bottom with my Chaco liner and I measured two inches up on each side and made marks there too.

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What do you get when you cross a …

needle with a tiger – A pinstripe!

What do you get when you cross a bodice pattern block, a Sewaholic Hollyburn skirt and a vintage Butterick pattern?  Let me show you!

In the ’80s I remember having a red polyester knit dress – similar to the one here without a collar.  I loved it!

I decided to make another one for myself using this Butterick pattern and this knit fabric.  I’m not sure what its content is – I just found it in my stash.  I love the print.  Is this paisley or floral – or paisley floral?  or floral paisley? Continue reading