The Motor City Express Jacket

Hi Everyone!

I have recently taken the “Sew Better, Sew Faster: Smart Construction” class on Craftsy with Janet Pray.


I usually only buy the classes when they were on sale and I think I got this one for $19.99.  However, I just purchased the Craftsy unlimited on sale for $105.00 for year, and I must say I love it so much better than purchasing individual classes.  I think by purchasing for the year, I am definitely getting more value out of it.


I love Janet’s attitude and tips that she gives.  She gives a lot of instutry techniques that makes your sewing faster.

I love her tips and find her techniques very useful.

I really like the design of her Jacket.  The class came with Janet’s pattern called “The Motor City Express Jacket”.  I paid for this class about a year ago, but just got around to making the jacket.


I liked the look and style of it, even though I tend to not wear jackets.

I thought that I would like it in wool felt.  Last summer my family went to the Detroit Zoo in Michigan.  Just a couple miles from the zoo was a fabric store in Royal Oak MI, called Haberman Fabrics.  I had seen their name advertised in a Threads magazine, so my family accompanied me to the fabric store (great support!).

They did have some great fabrics and too many to choose from.  Well I found some wool felt and asked for it to be cut.  The sales lady said that it was $89 a yard!!!  Wow, I don’t think I am ready to cut into $89 a yard fabric just yet!!  For that, I know I would have to make something couture and something I would wear a lot, like a nice winter coat for years.  But truthfully, I don’t have that budget for that either, not with a 2 year old in daycare!

Anyways, I did end up purchasing this purple denim fabric for $11 a yard.  I love purple.  I initially thought jeans, but then I thought how about a jacket!

I did end up making a muslin to determine the fit.




It turned out pretty well, I liked how the seams lined up and the arm fit good.  I did have to do a sway back adjustment and pinch out some excess fabric in the back and a little in the front.  I am glad that I made the muslin.

I believe I cut out a size 12 at neck and shoulders and graded to 14 at hips.  I did shorten it a little as I wanted it to come up and hit my hips at the right spot.

The class guided me through all the construction aspects of making the jacket.


Here you can see my full bust adjustment on the front.



Here I had to put the zipper on the gusset for the sleeve.  The book instructions were great, but I was really glad I had the class to follow.  This is the first jacket I have made like this and with all the zippers.

Here is my finished jacket:



I used black duponi for the contrast to add some style to the jacket.  I also used fashion zippers to add more style to it.

I had purple lining I used for the inside.


Here it is on me:


Pattern used:  Motor City Express Jacket by Islander Sewing Patterns

Size cut:  size 12 at neck graded to size 14

Adjustments:  did full bust adjustment, sway back, make a 1/2″ shorter.  I have a pear shaped so I ten to always have to do the smaller shoulders with larger hips.  My measurements are 40-33-44.

Pros’:  glad I had the class, easy to follow instructions were clear.

Cons’:  not sure I love the fabric.  It does feel too stiff even though I washed it and it feels rough to wear.  I love the purple, but it has not stretch and just doesn’t move well.  Maybe jeans would have been better.

I all, I love the way it looks, turned out great, but I don’t love the way it feels.  I must admit I have only worn it once.

However, I am not really into jackets right now, as with a 2 year old, I mostly do knits and easy to move clothes.  At work it is very casually and I tend throw on leggings, knit dress and sweater, again for ease and comfortable.

But I hope as he gets older I will get back into being into style and can wear this jacket!

Until next time!