Bright Yellow Janet Jacket
Posted in Projects on Saturday the 20th October 2018 by Vicki Ormerod
Hello, everyone I am back again on the Minerva Crafts blog but first, let me tell you a little bit about how I got into making my own clothes in the first place. Of course the thought of sewing my own garments was in my head for a while (you can read more on this in my blog
if you want) but what gave me the final nudge was the fact that in late 2016 I desperately tried to find a bright yellow blazer - you know the sort of lemony/sunny yellow. The only place where I could find something that remotely resembled what I was looking for, was a slightly dubious site on the internet. My boyfriend casually told me to just make one myself. Excuse me? We had just moved in together and he noticed my (old) sewing machine standing around on a shelf on the second floor of our new apartment. I then told him that making a jacket was one of the most difficult things to make and I had never been able to make a garment for myself that was not a (historical) costume and that there was no way EVER I would be able to make my dream jacket. Then winter came and went and it was time to think about summer colours and lighter jackets again and I decided I would try to learn sewing my own clothes. Let’s be honest, you just do not start your sewing journey by picking a jacket as your first project. (Allthough at that time, I was overly confident in my sewing skills, haha). Gradually over one year I tackled one difficult garment category after another (a coat, jeans, bras, a shirtdress, blouses etc.) until finally my inbox pinged and I got the opportunity to review this Suiting Fabric
from Minerva Crafts. You can imagine how my heart started to race “Oh, please let there be a yellow one, please, please, please”. And there it was. The perfect shade of yellow.
It’s not easy to find a modern and yet smart looking jacket pattern. Please, do correct me if I’m wrong and send me all your suggestions, I’d love to hear them. After a while, I landed on the StyleArc site and chose three patterns to buy and choose from later. In the end I chose the Janet Jacket (BTW: so weird, every time I write or say Janet I hear the song from the Rocky Horror Show).
I prewashed the fabric as per the suggestions on the site and it came out of the washing machine practically wrinkle free. After this I ironed it for good measure and started to cut out the individual pieces.
As a lining I chose this abstract print polyester Lining Fabric
from Minerva Crafts because I wanted a sassy and fun look on the inside of my jacket (I envisioned everyone saying oooooooh when I’d take my jacket of ;-))
After cutting out, I sewed together the shell fabric by first sewing the back and front pieces together and then attaching them to each other at the shoulder seams. Now don’t go and judge me on this because the instructions of this jacket were really, uuuuhm, challenging to say the least. They really expect you to know what you are doing by giving you merely 15 short sentences and no illustrations to make the Janet. As I sewed a coat with fantastic instructions last autumn, I could refer to them for the most part. On a bright note, the fabric was actually a dream to work with and it ironed especially well as you can see on this picture.
Next, I inserted the sleeves by sewing a couple of gathering stitches along the sleeve head beforehand. Then it was time to finish all the edges.
Ah, before I forget, I took in the sleeves about 0.5cm on each side of the shoulder/sleeve seam, because the shell looked super wide on me. The lining is made by following the same steps except for leaving a tiny bit of one sleeve seam unfinished (this pattern gives you separate pieces for lining and shell fabric which I appreciated a lot).
This would also be the point where you hand stitch shoulder pads into your jacket if you want them. I did use some with mine.
And then all the guesswork started. I could not – for the life of me – figure out how to attach the lining to the facing at the neckline. The lining edges were rounded at the neck and the neckfacing piece was edgy (???).
After trying a few different approaches with basting stitches I decided to just wing it and sew it together with a slight curve. You would never notice it unless you were the pattern designer.
Attaching the lining at the hemline was a similar story. Only when I checked the actual pattern pieces for the stitch lines I could slightly guess where the stitching had to be.
Since then I inspected a lot of jackets and blazers and a lot of them work with hemfacings instead of folding the main fabric to the inside which I would have much preferred.
After that, it was time to “stitch the sleeve lining hems to the main sleeves and fully turn out your jacket”. Not joking here, this is all the instructions said. Thankfully I knew from a previous project how to do it or I would have been lost. You attach the lining to the jacket all the way around apart from the sleeves. Then you attach the sleeves hems to one another. The easiest way to do this is to lay the jacket in front of you with the shell and shell sleeves facing to the left and the lining and its sleeves to the right. They would, of course, meet in the middle because the lining is attached to the shell all the way around. You bring over the sleeves of the lining and fold the right side over the wrong side at the sleeve hem (lining) so that the right side of the sleeve fabric (still lining) is visible. Then you insert this into the corresponding sleeve of the shell. Since you previously made sure the right side of the lining is folded outwards, the two right sides of both sleeve fabrics meet, and then you stitch the sleeve hem all the way around. Do the same with the other side. I know it sounds very confusing and it seems like there is no way that this will ever turn out right, but it will. You can now turnout the whole jacket through the seam left open on one of the sleeve lining seams and voilà suddenly everything falls into place. Give your jacket a good press, hand stitch the last bit of the open seam closed and you are done.
Even the collar turned out quite decent.
Sadly I did not really check if my spotty lining was visible on the outside through the main fabric. You can really see the difference between the faced and unfaced pieces of the shell.
I would recommend, therefore, you either cut two layers of this fabric and treat them as one or you make the smart choice and pick a lining that corresponds with the shell fabric. As of now, I have not taken it apart yet. But I will fix it, I can promise you this, because as I’ve said the tone of yellow is just perfect and the fabric is so lightweight and perfect for spring, summer and autumn.