I have been ploughing on with the Jacket Express from Islander Sewing Systems. I watch and re-watch the Craftsy video by Janet Pray and despite having made jackets before, with placket pockets and with top stitching, there is a lot to learn from Janet Pray. Small things, it’s true, but invaluable nonetheless. I can’t say that I can easily follow the logic of the sewing sequences, and I haven’t found the booklet which comes with the pattern in lieu of the instructions you usually get very easy to understand as the sequence of sewing steps isn’t in the usual order. However, notwithstanding the aforesaid [a bit of legal speak there, – couldn’t resist – sorry!] if I forget my previous [self taught] programming, of course it works out right in the end.
This jacket has an abundance of top stitching. Furthermore it has double top stitching in parallel lines, so it had me a little worried to say the least as the slightest deviation shouts out. I chickened out and used an almost matching thread and that gave me the confidence I needed.
It’s beginning to look a bit like a jacket. This is the left front, I have the back and right front finished and all the other components [sleeves, collar etc] finished and ready to go. Janet Pray expects precision and makes it easy to get as close to this as possible, hence the chalk lines on the welt pocket, which had me sweating pogs the first time, but the second time it went like a dream. I was most worried about the top pocket and stop stitching, but no problems there either, so I am quite optimistic about the outcome. The only thing I would change is my choice of fabric, it is needle cord of an indeterminate colour and whilst not unattractive the ribbing on the needle cord makes top stitching more trying. This is an unlined jacket, so the inside has to be quite neat so I got an opportunity to try out my overlocker [serger]. An unlined jacket makes me a bit nervous especially one with so many seams and bits but it does keep you on your toes to do thing properly as it will all show. I’d like to do this jacket again in a nicer fabric and with braver topstitching, but we’ll see, it could be that I am fed up to the eye teeth with this version by the time I finish.
On the other hand, this is what the rust jacket now looks like;
but I am optimistic that I have identified the fitting problem and will press on with it when I finish my Jacket Express. I am determined to get this right and the Craftsy classes I enrolled in include one on fitting and another on the structure and finishing the inside of tailored garments, which although I have done tailoring before the additional points and insights have again been very instructional and extremely helpful. I find I can learn a lot from text books but there is nothing quite like another human being actually showing you how its done, and if that being is an expert then you’re quids in.