Islander Jacket Express – Finished!

Hurrah I hear you cry! About time – Hood has finished her jacket. Yes, this has taken far longer than it should have – but I am pretty happy with the result. It would be good to know how long it took to actually sew it, rather than how long it has taken because of life getting in the way.

The finished article

The finished article 

Topstitching and pocket detail

Topstitching and pocket detail

Now that the jacket has buttons on, and the total impression is given, I am not too concerned about the ‘correctional facility’ orange. It is pretty bright – no escaping that – but it will be fine if it is worn with a more subdued colour. The buttons (not studs as I had intended) look very good, and the buttonholes were beautifully worked by the old Singer hand crank machine with buttonhole attachment. Beautifully. Better than my computerized Pfaff would have managed despite costing way more than the old Singer.

As I had the Singer out I decided to try the top stitching (with the upholstery thread I used) with the old girl. I did the jackets topstitching on the spare Janome machine I keep as I couldn’t get a really good tension on the Pfaff and needed to adjust the bottom tension to get a good(ish) finish. Even having spent a fairly significant time messing with the tensions on the Janome to get the result I wanted I really wasn’t 100% happy. As a result I am afraid I did get a little slapdash, so the topstitching doesn’t stand up to really close examination. Step up the old Singer. Without doing anything to the tensions (and I only changed the needle because I couldn’t physically get the thread through the eye!) the result was amazing. Truly amazing. I am never going to topstitch on another machine again. I know that Melissa had made a comment about the quality of topstitch she got from her old hand crank machine in her jeans post. So what did they know about building machines then that seems to have got lost?

Singer on left  Modern machine  on the right.

Singer on left Modern machine on the right.

So, what did I get out of this Craftsy course?

  • I don’t need to pin the bejaysus out of everything. I now have the confidence to use many fewer pins, even if not going ‘pinless’.
  • Rotary cutters are much more useful than I thought. And a gift to sore joints.
  • Frixion pens are wonderful. Really, really wonderful. A great new tool in my armory.
  • My vision is worse than I thought! Thank  you Janet Pray for bringing the magnifying visor to my attention. I have used these on a number of jobs since I had them delivered, and I can’t imagine being without them now. I no longer care about walking the house looking like an alien.

If I hadn’t learned anything from the sewing side the new knowledge about the Rolson magnifyer, and the Frixion pens alone would justify the cost of the course for me. I have sewn since childhood, but always ‘domestic’ methods, so it was good to see the way that Janet batched the processes so that you worked more efficiently. The booklet with the pattern gave most of the information needed to work in this fashion, but the video lessons were great. For anyone who is fairly new to sewing (though I think a certain amount of knowledge would be helpful) this is a great course. Even dinosaurs like me learned new tricks from it.




15 Comments on “Islander Jacket Express – Finished!”

  1. Sewbussted says:

    The jacket looks great and I am going to take your advice and get a visor.

  2. Karen says:

    Your jacket is fantastic!! I love it:) Aren’t the Craftsy classes wonderful. I took Knit to Flatter and loved it.

  3. Well done – it looks great!

  4. Gorgeous and I adore the colour!

  5. mrsmole says:

    How lucky that you have an old Singer that whips through tough jobs without whining and jerking! If you can change the Janome presser foot tension to less than normal it might have done a better job and using a thicker sharp needle sometimes gets the job done. You will certainly turn heads when you wear this jacket out in public…stand back for compliments!

    • The needle was a new 100 Jeans needle that I thought was well up to the job (was in the Singer!) but I hadn’t thought about the foot pressure. I will try that out when I get a chance. Thank you for the suggestion 🙂

  6. Gail says:

    Seriously good jacket, even if the top-stitching was tough going.

  7. Great jacket, so professional looking with the topstitching and what a great colour. Lovely job

  8. Miss J says:

    Nice work! I think the orange makes the jacket pop and I think it actually looks better than the one used on the pattern sleeve itself!

    I’ll have a go at this pattern myself, but I may have to see if I can tweek it a bit to suit my figure.

    Thank you for the Craftsy review it’s been an interesting read.

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