Gertie’s New Craftsy Course!

OK, I had not planned this post at all, but then I got a course announcement email from Craftsy for Gertie’s Sew Retro: Starlet Suit Jacket course!

Images from Craftsy

Gertie is one of my sewing heroes and I have learnt so much from the Bombshell Dress course (even if I haven’t made the dress yet…) that when she announced that she’d be doing another course I was quite excited!  When it was revealed that it would be a suit jacket I was a little dubious.  I know.  I committed the heinous crime of doubting Gertie.  But, oh boy, was I wrong to doubt her!  The jacket is so cute with Gerie’s retro flair.  It looks gorgeous as a suit but the jacket on its own would be great with jeans too.

She’s drafted the pattern herself and its in sizes 2 to 24 (there were a lot of comments on the Bombshell course about the limited sizing of the Burda pattern).  Not only that but there is a skirt pattern included so you can make a complete suit!

So, here in bullet points so that I don’t go all hyperbole on you all is the stuff you need to know:

  • Gertie designed the jacket herself (princess seams and a flared waist)
  • It comes with a skirt pattern (although I think I’d go for a pencil skirt instead)
  • It’s got a 1940s vibe
  • Two levels of sewing: the full on tailoring including pad stitching, bound buttonholes, welt pockets; or the less intense fusible interfacing and machined buttonholes
  • There’s currently 50% off making it $39.99 which is about £25.50 (according to Reuters just now) if you get the Craftsy newsletter – if you don’t, leave me a comment or send me an email and I’ll forward it to you! (I don’t know when the offer ends though…)

As its payday tomorrow, I think this will be what I spend my sewing budget on this month!  It’s such a cute jacket and as it has bracelet length sleeves it’ll be perfect for me.  Sleeves that end at my wrist really wind me up and I spend my time constantly pushing them up my arms! On a coat I’d rather they were half way down my hands – what can I say, I have strong opinions on sleeves!

You never know, with Gertie’s help I may actually end up wearing a suit to work…  I just need to find some way of shoe-horning it into my crazy ‘to sew’ list!

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My Husband Thinks I’m Weird

And possibly for good reason, if you don’t make your own clothes.  Although as fellow sewists, I’m hoping you’ll understand?  I was sitting in the car wearing a muslin, with pins all over it that were shortening in a number of places as well as holding up the hem.  Well, what’s the point of making a coat that you can’t drive a car in?!

I’ve been tweaking my Minoru muslin as I want it to be as good as I can currently get it as it’ll be the most expensive thing I’ve made to date and I want to wear it to death this spring.  I did my usual FBA before even making the muslin and then set to trying to perfect it.

The first thing I changed was the torso length.  I’ve taken 2″ out above the elastic and this has got rid of the weird bunching in my lower back  and the funny sag over the elastic at the sides.

I’ve also taken 3″ length out of the sleeves and now the cuff edge is about 1/2 way down the back of my hand which is perfect for me.

The final change I made was to add some width across the upper back.  Now I do have a slightly broader than average back due to spending about 20 years of my life swimming 3-4 times a week.  And whilst I had enough room in the jacket to reach forward and it would be OK for driving I wanted a bit of extra room.  I’ll be toddler wrestling, dog wrestling and more than likely lunging for either or both whilst wearing the jacket and I don’t want to feel restricted in it at all (or risk pinging a seam).  Plus this was the jacket shell only, so the lining is going to add a bit of extra bulk!

I used a slash and spread method, making sure the spread along the neckline is within the gathering area and then trued the sides.

So, my pattern alterations are:

  • 2″ FBA
  • Reduce torso length by 2″ after FBA
  • Reduce sleeve length by 3″
  • Increase upper back width by 2″

The additional construction steps I must remember when making the real deal are:

1.  I need to stay stitch and clip the armhole curve on my jacket front when sewing it to the sleeve.  The FBA has given it a really tight curve and it was a complete nightmare trying to match the sleeve to the front when sewing the muslin so that seam isn’t quite as it should be!  Stay stitching and clipping will enable me to match the two up properly.  I’ll need to mark the stitching line on the sleeve so that I match the two pieces accurately.  This excerpt from Shirt Making by David Page Coffin explains it well.

2.  Use 3 lines of gathering stitch when doing the neckline to collar.  There’s a section on this in the Colette Sewing Handbook and also on Colette Pattern’s Blog and the difference that extra line makes to the end result is amazing!

So I’m all set now.  My fabrics are all pre-washed and my shell has been proofed.  I’ve got my elastic and zippers I just need to take shears to fabric…

Oh, and decide whether I’m making the hood or not.  I have jackets with hoods, but I never use them.  If they’re removable, I take them off and if they’re in the collar, well that’s where they stay!  So I leave you with this (whilst begging the Mr Shakespeare’s forgiveness):

To hood, or not to hood, that is the question!