Over on Pattern Review there was a sew-along for people enrolled in the Sew Better, Sew Faster, Garment Industry Secrets Craftsy Class by Janet Pray. In the class Janet takes you through the construction of her Jacket Express pattern, while teaching you industry techniques to improve and speed up your sewing skills. We learned things like pinless sewing, burrito technique for yokes and cuffs, topstitching and cutting tips. The class was well worth my time and money because I’m finding that I’m automatically using these techniques in my sewing without thinking about it, and yes, I’m sewing faster!
I used a grey linen for my jacket. I only had 2 yards so I made a collarless version, still keeping the same linen for the facings, yoke and pockets. I could have switched things up with another fabric but I wanted a clean, simple look. To make it collarless I just copied the shape of the neckline to make a facing (a technique I learned in another Craftsy class: Underneath It All with Linda Lee). Then I attached that facing piece to the front facing and I was good to go with the rest of the instructions. You do have to be exact with the measurements around that curve for a nice, clean look.
I really loved doing the topstitching! I used two threads through one needle of a light grey poly thread. I admit a good part of my success was from using a topstitch needle from Superior Threads – what a nice needle – and my old Bernina 1230, which makes such a beautiful stitch.
I adjusted the fit by taking in the waist a small amount, and I expanded the hip area as much as the side seam allowances would allow, then adjusted the facing the same amount. The upper back looks a bit baggy, but that room is nice when I put the jacket on over something thicker or when I need some extra movement room.
Recently Craftsy put up another Janet Pray jacket construction class, The Motor City Express in Sew Better, Sew Smarter, Smart Construction. I nabbed that one when it was on sale for $19.99, and I’m looking forward to making it soon.