You might remember seeing the lovely swing jacket that our Langley Vacuum & Sewing customer, Irene, made recently? I featured it in a recent blog post. Click this link to revisit that blog post. Irene = artistic crystals 3 Irene used Peggy Sager’s Silhouette pattern: Nina’s top.

Perhaps I should have been wearing my sunglasses? .....pretty bright out there for a regular Vancouver day!

Perhaps I should have been wearing my sunglasses? …..pretty bright out there for a regular Vancouver day!

I recently used the same pattern to make a rather different jacket. I used a very soft, thin fashion knit with an African print design – just perfect for a Spring & Fall jacket when you need a little – but not a lot – of warmth. I decided to use the knit fabric to make little circle appliques to apply to the neck band or “lapel” of the jacket – and I made this band a contrasting solid colour: black.  See below how I dealt with a “floppy” soft knit for the appliques.   I knew that if I tried to (a) cut circles from the soft & slippery knit fabric they would end up as anything but perfect circles and that (b) this would go further downhill when I tried to sew the appliques onto my band. So I first ironed a fusible tricot interfacing onto the back of the knit to stabilize it. This firmed it up a little. Obviously I did not want it stiff as a board as that would not work with the soft, flowing feel of the rest of the garment. I also fused knit interfacing to the back of the black band.  I then fused fusible web (Wonder under or similar product) to the back of my applique fabric that already had interfacing. Then I drew little circles using a template – finally cutting all the circles out & peeling the paper backing off each one. These were then placed onto my band in the desired positions & fused in place with my iron & pressing sheet.

close up of the appliques.

close up of the appliques.

I tried out a few different applique stitches for my circles using the same black & African print knits. I did not want the stitching to be too obvious, nor did I want the stitching to distort the edges of the circles. In the end I preferred to use a small zig-zag stitch and a charcoal coloured INVISIFIL thread to secure my appliques. Everything went according to plan as the fabric was suitably stabilized and my circles remained….. round.  I do like it when a plan works as it should!

TIP: I am now using a piece of SILK ORGANZA  as a press cloth and applique pressing sheet. I actually have one that I use for applique only (so only one gets the little glue’ey bits from the fusible web). I was told this was the very best thing to use and it took me a while to find some silk organza yardage – “high end” & specialty fabric stores usually carry it. Some quilt stores might but it is not generally something you will find at a fabric chain or “big box” store. It costs quite a bit more than polyester organza but the 2 are simply not comparable. I then cut up the yardage into several suitable sizes for pressing cloths and neatened the edge with the wavy blade on my rotary cutter – so the raw edges would not fray. You don’t want to hem the edges as this will make a ridge on the pressing cloth which is not desirable.  I LOVE my new silk organza press cloths – I can see through the fabric so I know exactly what is going on underneath as I press and that way I get no surprizes.

Well, back to my version of this lovely swing jacket pattern: it all sewed together very easily & quickly. I decided to hem the sleeves but not the lower edge of the jacket. Yes, I could have hemmed it the way I usually do with my knit garments: stay tape fused to wrong side , fold over & stitch down with my JANOME CPX Coverhem machine on the right side of the hem.  However, I decided to sort of “cheat” this time and just leave it as a raw edge. The knit is not going to fray and being so soft with a fairly curved lower edge, I figured I might affect the lovely soft drape of the garment if I hemmed it.  I am very happy with the garment and I know that I am not going to “bump” into anyone else wearing the exact same garment!

I really like the way the fabric drapes and the curve of the lower edge of the jacket

I really like the way the fabric drapes and the curve of the lower edge of the jacket

This entry was posted in Creativity, Fashion, GARMENT SEWING WITH JANOME, JANOME CPX COVERPRO SERGER, Janome Sewing Machine, MC8900 and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Terry Carter says:

    Very nice Liz.


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