Motor City Express Jacket


After all the time I spent preparing the pattern pieces for this project, I was very keen to start sewing. It didn’t start well – I had my needle in the wrong position for two seams before I picked up my mistake. It was only 1/8″ so it was very annoying to unpick and redo it over such a little mistake. Then, as things were starting to go well and I was feeling confident, I could not for the life of me match the front facing to the front lining. Normally the issue would be the lining, I’m terrible at cutting out lining. But it turned out I had cut some sides of the front facing a size too large. Urg!

Throughout the sewing I cycled between thinking “I’ve got this” to “This project is beyond me”. I do have a tendency to be overly ambitious in my creative projects but in many ways it is a good thing. I might not get the outcome that I want but striving for something that is beyond my current skill set pushes me further than I could go cruising through an easy project. I might have felt that this jacket is a train wreck but I still had the sense of satisfaction that I’ve come so far in learning how to sew and that I am learning a lot more from this particular class.

Attaching the sleeves to the rest of the jacket just wouldn’t work! The lining crimped easily but it still didn’t match the jacket so I ended up easing it. And I managed to rip one of the sleeves. I picked it up and the notch ripped! Fuck that, I’m not cutting it out again…so I stitched up the rip and went ahead with attaching it.


And then, after months of agony, I was so close to the end. And the hems were wrong! I don’t know what I did! It looks like I didn’t properly correct the front facing when I cut it wrong way at the beginning. But I really have no idea what I did or how to fix it. So fuck it, I stitched it up as best I could…


So there you go, I finished it. It does not look even remotely professional but fuck yeah, I did it!



That took longer than I thought

I’ve had Craftsy’s Motor City Express Jacket class on my to-do list for well over a year now. This is the biggest project that I’ve ever attempted. I’m not sure I’m yet up to the task.

The class is designed to be as efficient as possible, rather than running back and forth between the sewing machine and iron etc. Despite the efficiency, it is still taking me months just to prep for sewing (I get easily distracted by other hobbies but still…). It’s hard to stay motivated with all this cutting and prep. (And hard to keep my workspace organised.)


So much fabric to cut! And interlining and underlining. I’ve never lined like that before. I can’t say that I’m impressed with my efforts. Not all of the interfacing is fusing to the fabric, causing an ugly bubbling effect on the fabric. I’ve ironed the pieces again and again but it just isn’t fusing, I even managed to burn a section of interfacing! I am hoping that it wont be noticeable when I’m wearing it and natural creases are created but I don’t have much faith in my jacket.

I’m particularly worried because I don’t have any fabric left over in case of an emergency. If I ruin the pieces I’ve cut then that’s it for this project. Game Over. The fabric was in the remnant discount section and there was just enough to cut out each piece. I had thought about making a cream and black jacket but I couldn’t pass up the price of the raspberry fabric, and it was the same colour using in the video tutorials, which I thought looked good.

Finally I am ready to begin sewing! How long will it take?


Surplice Empire Waist Dress

I am so glad that I signed up for the Sewing With Knits class on Craftsy. It’s been great fun and I love working with knits now.

This morning I finished off the surplice empire waist dress. At first I was worried about using elastic on the neckline but it turned out really well. I can’t wait to wear this dress out in public. The only problem is that the fabric is much more transparent than I thought it would be. I need to find myself a slip to wear underneath.

sewing · work

The Paloma Top

All throughout the Sewing With Knits class, Meg McElwee has been wearing her paloma top. It’s a clever strategy as I’m sure I’m not the only one who wanted to make it after watching her classes. I love the stripes running in the different directions. My final fabric even looks similar to Meg’s top.

Unfortunately, things didn’t go so well. The fabric was horrible to cut out and wasn’t fun to sew. The sleeves were a nightmare. I couldn’t get the notches to match without stretching the fabric too much. And the corners were too difficult for me. What are sleeves doing with corners?! I almost gave up entirely but I really wanted my stripy top so in the end I stopped trying to line up everything properly and just sewed the damn thing. I’m too scared to finish the neck so I’ve left it untouched.

Apparently this is a beginner pattern…(;-_-)


It could be worse. I’ll still wear it. It doesn’t look so bad from a distance and no one at work needs to know how it should look. But I’m still really disappointed.

In other news: things are pretty crap right now. Since the company take-over I’ve grown to hate my job. And at the start of the month they announced that we would be relocating in August. My commute is going to change from tolerable to agony. I’ve started hunting for a new job but that isn’t going well. I keep telling myself that a job is better than no job but I honestly don’t know how I’m going to cope.


I hate neckbands

Continuing on with my Sewing With Knits class on Craftsy, I’ve made a few basic tops using some gorgeous designer fabric from a clearance store. It still boggles my mind how cheap the fabric is (particularly when you compare with how expensive the designer clothes are!).

KnitTop1The black collar was a fluke but I love the effect! The collar doesn’t sit well unless I pull the top down and don’t move but it’s my first go so I don’t mind. I could always make another one if I wanted. I have enough of the fabric to make another two or three tops!

My v-neck top wasn’t so fun. The bobbin kept acting up so I had to do some unpicking and a lot of re-threading. Then I got to the neckband and fuck was that impossible. I just could not get that stupid V centered. I was ready to fling the thing across the room when I decided to cut out a new neckband and make start making shit up. It still took a lot of unpicking but I got the collar to overlap at the V. It is far from perfect and doesn’t look as nice as the original design but it does sit better than the other t-shirt and an imperfect collar is better than getting so angry that I set the stupid thing on fire.

It is very windy and an insect bit me

One more striped knit to go! I already have the pieces cut out and waiting.


Craftsy Sewing With Knits

There are a few clearance shops near my work. I normally walk past the one with the designer brands. The dressed mannequins in the window are usually stunning but way beyond what I spend on clothes, even discounted. So I was surprised to learn from a colleague that the store also contained designer fabrics and at great prices. I paid the store a visit and was blown away. Designer fabrics for cheaper than fabrics on sale at a fabric chain store!

I walked out of there with four beautiful fabrics, including three lovely stripped knits. Such self-restraint! As I boarded my train home I realised that I actually had no idea what to do with these fabrics. Whoops! Luckily my colleague helped out again by introducing me to Craftsy, which included the class Sewing With Knits by Meg McElwee. I signed up, printed all the course material at work when no one was looking and then reprinted the patterns when no one was looking because I forgot that the US use a letterhead instead of A4. Oh you crazy Americans 😛

The first class project is a hoodie. None of my designer fabrics were suitable so I went in search of fleece knit at my local chain store. None of the fabrics around the “fleece” sign matched Meg’s description of the fabric. Not that I was sure what it was looking for. I didn’t really follow the fabric lesson. Meg kept saying “wale” and I kept picturing fabric with cartoon whale print. I had no idea which of the many fabrics was a suitable replacement so I panicked and grabbed the nearest thing that didn’t look like pyjamas or was ugly. According to my receipt, it is ribbing. See, I learned something! Thanks receipt. (Oh course, I found fleece fabric in another store after I’d already started and also didn’t have any money).

Can you make a hoodie with ribbing? I’m going to say that it wasn’t a good choice but I quite like the idea of using my new hoodie as PJs. After I wash it. I tried WashAway Wonder Tape and it smells really bad!


I’m really pleased with how well it turned out and how easy it was. It was my first time using a twin needle and I love it! I’ve learned so much from this class and will definitely look into more Craftsy classes when I have money to splurge.

Now onto those designer knits!