Tag Archives: sewing class

A Crafty Craftsy Class Boosted my Sewing Self-Esteem

by jenny

People sometimes ooh and ahh over the featured sewing projects in the blog, and I have to laugh that they think I have superior talent and ability, or something. Truthfully, if I can do it, just about anyone (who has been sewing for decades and decades) can do it. Sewing never came naturally to me.

My mom was a Home Ec major in college. Even though she went into the medical field and also later taught public school, her college major included cooking, and sewing clothes, drapes, and slipcovers for furniture. Late in life, she made some fantastic Baltimore Album quilts which, in my mind, are very complex items to sew. She was somewhat ambidextrous and she was good at math, but claimed she had no artistic ability.

My brain was apparently wired very differently. She considered me pretty much unteachable.

My junior high school Home Ec teacher, Miz Thomas, was in a continuous state of teeth gritting whenever I (along with my equally good-for-nothing classroom work group) was in contact with her. I did manage to make a red A-line skirt in her class (I think my mom finished it). This launched a long career of me imagining great items of clothing, and falling short when it came to actually making them and being willing to show up in public wearing them.

Fast forward a generous number of decades, to me taking a Craftsy Class online, about Garment Industry Secrets with Janet Pray.  The real object of the class was to make a jacket that is rather like a classic Jean Jacket, but with a couple of different details. The pattern features some design elements that are a bit complex for my humble little repertoire: interfaced collar and cuffs, topstitching, curved seams, front button placket, topstitched breast pockets with flaps, and welt pockets in the lower front, and they want you to sew without using pins.

I chose a fabric that was not at all recommended. Why did I do this? If I was going to go through all the motions of conformity, and had traced the pattern and painstakingly cut it out, why would I use a fabric that wouldn’t provided happy results? One, I had this fabric in the stash for at least 10 years. Two, although I have a large fabric stash, it has lots of 1-yard pieces, but not too many 3 1/2 yard pieces of anything. And I didn’t want to buy a nice big expensive pile of yardage to make a mess out of.  And three, I thought it might look good with a purple department-store-bought dress I already own and am not ashamed to wear in public.

So although my project wasn’t glitch-free, I was ok with the result, I had a good time doing the class, and as the pattern and the tutorial are still good, I look forward to trying another take on the jacket some time.

jacket craftsbyjennyskip.com
finished Islander jacket from Craftsy Class

True Confessions! Some of the problems I caused in the project that I had to overcome:

Thought the cuffs were 2 collar pieces and sewed them together, and trimmed and clipped the seam allowance before I realized they were cuffs, not collar. Had to pick all out with seam ripper.

Chose a sheer, burn-out fabric that was actually see-through in some places, showing serging on the underside of the seam allowances. It didn’t take long pressure with a hot iron very well, to adhere the interfacing, and the texture was somewhat crinkly, and it got scorched in a number of places. Because of the sheerness, I decided not to make the welt pockets because I thought it would look too busy in the torso area. Using the recommended jacket-weight fabric, all you’d see on the outside would be the small diagonal neatly-trimmed and topstitched slash pocket openings  in the torso area.

Ripped out an imperfect seam in the sleeve, and re-sewed it only to notice later that the burn-out roses in the fabric were shredded by the seam-ripping and also burned by the iron. Had to cut out and re-sew a new 3-piece sleeve.

Had to re-sew the front facing twice, because it was crooked and puckered.

But overall, I’m happy with the result! You can see more pics of it on the Craftsy projects page.