One of the latest Craftsy classes I enrolled in was ‘Sew Better, Sew Faster’ with Janet Pray. I have already eulogised over this course so I won’t repeat myself, but just as a quick recap for this post. It was this jacket on Cissie Wellons [a]  that prompted this adventure in realms previously not chartered and led me to contemplate making this [b];

[a]img_5150    [b]Island systems 004

As can be seen it looks completely different in different fabrics, and I absolutely love Cissie’s version [picture from Goodbye Valentino’s site as mentioned in a previously post]. It isn’t a style I would naturally think of making for myself, but having signed up for the class and finding it so useful [not just for the process of making the jacket] I thought I’d give it a go. Janet is so clear and concise – and so good – that it gives you confidence. Sadly that confidence was slightly misplaced for me yesterday when I practised my topstitching parallel  curves. The memory still haunts me and I stayed up until gone 1a.m. until I thought I’d cracked it. It did knock my confidence however about how successful this project is going to be  as it has an awful lot of double topstitch, which shows up any imperfections big time. Anyhoo,  to the pattern;

Island systems 001

The pattern has an awful lot of pieces [about a trillion, I swear!]. As I usually trace my size from multi-sized patterns, I gasped when I saw how many there were. However, I soon realised that there were really two sets of multi-sized patterns, which made sense because they went from extra small [32″ bust] to extra large [58″]. I have never before seen a pattern that goes to a 58″ bust, but this pattern caters for all shapes and seizes.

SO, firstly I had to determine my size and find all those pieces that related to it. This meant cutting out every piece of pattern as they weren’t all on the same sheet. This took quite some time. Then I took out those with my size on them. That still left about a billion, – alright a lot,  Now today I have to trace them off using Swedish tracing paper [which I bought from Gloriarty].

Island systems 003

This will take some time and then the dreaded cutting out of fabric. I don’t know why I hate cutting out, it is only fabric after all [I tell myself].

On a light note, we sewers always like something for nothing. A friend gave me a Summer skirt she didn’t want. It was just gathered on a waistband [dirndl style] and was too short for me, so I unpicked the waistband, ironed the fabric and made this; [again apologies for picture quality, it was a very grey day].

Island systems 007 a close up of the buttons Island systems 006

I also saved the silk lining and the zip, so I gained all round, which cheered me up.




I love all things creative and an eternal enthusiast. I am enduringly interested in absolutely everything remotely creative and never happier than when being shown 'how to'.
This entry was posted in coats and jackets, dressmaking, handmade, Life a Work In Progress, me-made wardrobe, Sewing, Works in Progress. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Pingback: DID I NOT LIKE THAT? | lifeaworkinprogress

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