45-Minute Turtleneck

After last week’s post of the complicated moto jacket I decided to give myself some instant gratification. Turtlenecks are inexpensive to buy as long as you want black! A muted teal green or the perfect taupe is almost impossible to find. I used to have a purchased funnel neck turtleneck (in black of course) that I loved, but it faded and I tossed it into the Goodwill pile.45mintneck_2webThe Debra Zebra Top by Style ARC is a simple three-piece pattern that sews up in 45-minutes! If you add cutting the three pieces then maybe an hour from start to finish. I did have to make alterations before it became the 45-minute wonder. One must purchase a Style Arc pattern in a single size. I choose a 12 and my first try fit perfectly…too perfectly. Every lump, bump and bra strap showed! The shoulders, sleeves and armhole fit well, but the neck was even too tight. I have very little experience with pattern alterations, but it seemed to me that a pivot from the shoulder would open up the pattern to the bust area and then another pivot would keep that open line straight down. It looks like a FBA but flatter and no dart in the end. It worked! The neck was a simple addition to the seams.45mintneckpattern_web

I proceeded to make two more tops in about 2-1/2 hours, including changing thread etc.45mintneck-back

The seams are serged with very little pinning. The hems are finished with a double needle in my sewing machine. I can do a cover stitch with my serger, but not in 45 minutes! The other advantage of a double needle is the wider choice of thread colors for the hem. BTW, do you know that double needles come in a stretch needle? I didn’t until my Amazon account suggested them.45mintneck_1web

Vroom! Vroom!

I’m not only back, but have just finished a project that I have been working on all summer! With a season filled with friends and trips, I can’t complain about how long this moto jacket took, but it sure seemed like a lot of hours were spent on it. Moto-Jacket

When planning my fall travel wardrobe, the Islander Sewing Systems MotorCity Express jacket seemed perfect for Travel. It came to my attention on a class at Craftsy featuring (and including) the pattern. The hybrid plastic-coated, quilted knit came from Marcy Tilton.com a while back and is perfect for making a raincoat or jacket. Street photographers give the impression that Paris is teeming with moto jackets. It’s also wet there so a lightweight rain jacket will come in handy and be stylish. I own a leather version and it weighs too much to bring on a trip.

So that’s the history, but making the jacket took me forever! First I cut everything out and this pattern has a lot of pieces! There are 26 separate pattern pieces, in 5 different materials including the main and contrast fabrics plus lining, interlining and facing/pocket fabrics. I had piles of fabric everywhere! In addition you had to custom size the zippers, which was no small feat.

I need to add a comment about the Craftsy class. After finishing the zipper section I noticed a comment on the right of the video that said, “WAIT!” There were mistakes in the video! Seriously Craftsy? I’m supposed to notice that note before watching the video? Janet Pray’s note went on “If you have already cut your zipper, go back and re-measure and re-cut.” I ordered these zippers on-line! Luckily, mine were correct since I was also following the included written instructions, but this could have been a nightmare! Craftsy when you find a mistake like this you should re-film the class, or at the very least put the warning in the video.The class was helpful, but I don’t like the class’s order of construction, which is supposedly designed to save time. There are too many steps when you move from piece to piece instead of finishing what you have in your hand. For example I would have prefer to make my entire lining including sleeves, and then my entire fashion fabric including sleeves. Janet Pray’s method had you wait until the end to sew the last sleeve seam (there were 2) and set-on all four sleeves at once. This just left me with nothing completed until close to the end. I like to finish a full portion of the project and put it aside to work on the next portion. I suppose her method would be fine if I had constructed this jacket in days instead of weeks. Every time I picked it up again I needed to figure out where I was in the process.moto-jacket_2

With all that criticism I must say I love this jacket! It fits well and the zippers look great. I did not put the chest pockets on since I don’t need to draw attention to that area of my body with shiny zippers! However, that is the only modification I made which is pretty amazing. I plan on this jacket being able to handle a sweater underneath so the size (medium) is the perfect roomy but still figure flattering silhouette.Moto-Jacket_1