Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine Pink Jacket

Happy Valentine's Day to all!
Pink is pretty far down on my list of colors for apparel and even home décor, so my having actually sewn a pink jacket seems like the perfect topic for a Valentine's Day post.

This soft denim is a very pale pink with gray (or beige, depending on the light) embroidery.

It was originally intended for jeans, but having decided that I prefer darker colors on my lower half, the fabric stayed folded on the shelf until I opened up the Craftsy course Sew Better, Sew Faster. It's a project and technique course in which "garment industry secrets" are applied to sewing this Islander pattern for a modern jean jacket.

I'd actually signed up for the industry secrets, not for the jacket pattern, since the pattern photos did not look very flattering, but rather quite boxy and floppy. Still, I figured that following the instructor through the making of the jacket was the best way to learn these coveted secrets.

I will start by saying that although the course did not change my sewing life, there was one clever method of turning the garment to apply a yoke facing that I am quite delighted with. Other than that, most of the "secrets" are things that anyone who has been sewing for some time will pick up automatically. For example, in the garment industry they don't pin pieces together before stitching. I think we all know that already, and I would be surprised if there is anyone, who has been sewing for a few years, who still pins every seam together. Another example of a garment industry practice is order of construction: sewing all the seams, whether for the body, sleeve, collar, before topstitching, rather than sewing and topstitching each one in turn. Doesn't this seem rather obvious?

As expected, the jacket pattern was no great revelation either. For a pattern with front and back princess seams, and three (yes! three!) sleeve seams, I would expect a more fitted shape, but maybe it is meant to provide a blank canvas for people to fit to their own figures.
Surprisingly, I like it. It is boxy and floppy, but it is supposed to be casual so I don't mind the looseness and droopy shoulders so much.

The fabric is still a favorite and after scouring four fabric stores, I finally found buttons that I think are perfect.

It has some nice details, like the rounded collar and cuffs.

Even though I was disappointed in the course, I think this was a win overall, with a cute, casual jacket and an interesting yoke application that I can use on shirts as well. I would say this particular course is good for intermediate-beginners, that is, you know how to use your machine and have made some garments, but you haven't been sewing for so long that nothing is "secret" any longer. I will be watching the course again (one of the great things about Craftsy) to see if I missed any other gems.

Have you taken any Craftsy courses recently? Or other online classes? Did they meet your expectations?


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