Another moto, really? I just can’t help myself! Yes, there is a limit to how many of these I need in my closet, but I will say that they are so fun to sew and it was really fun to try this new pattern from Mimi G, Simplicity 8174. I am getting better and better at constructing them, and that is so deeply satisfying! I think they look great with jeans, which I wear most of the time.
As, mentioned in my last post for the Stylemaker Fall Fabrics tour, I had planned to make a nice, easy vest for the tour. But one night, snuggling on the couch with my dot, both of us scrolling through YouTube videos, her for Minecraft and Seven Super Girls and me for makeup tutorials, I realized that there are some fun sewing videos up there. I started watching the Mimi G tutorial for her moto jacket and was mesmerized by the idea that she was going to film making an entire moto jacket in 35 minutes. I watched enough to make me think, sure, I have time to whip up a moto jacket with that beautiful green suede. Right? So I got up the next day with hope in my eyes.
I did not finish my jacket in 35 minutes, or even an hour. Surprise! It took me an intense 2 days from morning until night. But the video was very nice to follow because I tend to over-analyze and hesitate. The video just showed me the next step, then the next, then the next, even though I know all the steps to make a moto jacket by now. It helped keep me focused and kept me company.
Quick review of the videos – I’ve watched MimiG’s other, more simple pattern videos and she goes into depth about the basic steps, but this one was full steam ahead. It made me think that perhaps she wants or needs her videos all to be about 30 minutes, so a simple top video is very detailed and hand-holding and the moto jacket was rushed. I guess if you want to watch a video about how to construct a knit turtleneck crop top, you are probably a beginner and want that kind level of detail. But what if that same beginner saw that MimiG also had a video for her Moto jacket and dove into that? There could be some challenges, though for the most part she does show you all of the steps. It is just a lot to cover – zippered pockets, belt loops, waistband, full lining etc. This jacket certainly has more pieces and complicated construction than the Lisette Moto jacket I’ve made a couple times.
I did mess up a little because I like to assemble the lining first. I think I got this tip from Sew Crafty Chemist, and it is a good one. You can check fit with your lining and, with your lining out of the way, you can get excited about sewing your fashion fabric. Has anyone made a jacket and got it all sewn together and started jumping for joy only to realize that you still had to make an entire addtional jacket lining? So I changed my order of construction just slightly and it got me a little confused in the video tutorial. I jumped the gun on a step and had to pick a bit out. Boo. But making the lining first is one of my favorite new discoveries.
But this suede! It is so nice and crisp for a jacket but still soft and pet-able. It unpicked very nicely, actually. It also sewed and steamed well. Yes, suede adds quite a few more steps. I sewed each side of my seam allowances down. I love topstitching and I have the luxury of 2 machines set up so I can go back and forth, so that wasn’t so bad. I do exhort you to trim, trim, trim! Keep those seams as flexible as possible. Because of the texture and weight of the fabric it does take some muscle to cut out (so many pieces!) and trim (every single seam allowance!)
But really, why did it take so long to make? Well, it is all those great details! The front zippered pockets took quite a while, and I almost left them off, but I got lured into them since you do those pockets so early in the process I thought, why not? I’ll tell you why not – because I didn’t have exactly the right zippers, they were an inch too long, and that made me have to recalculate and redraw the lines and pretty much made my pocket insertion much less precise than I hoped. The kicker is that those pocket zippers don’t match my front zipper! I didn’t think it was too bad until I got it all finished and it was glaringly obvious the zippers don’t match. My daughter even mentioned it. All because I was trying not to have to run to the store, but ended up going anyway to buy the gold buttons. Ugh.
So I did the pockets before I got bogged down by the little details of the epaulettes and waistband, etc. But those are such great design features and even though they were so difficult to make in the suede, they elevate this jacket into extra special, don’t they? The key with the suede is that there was no chance of getting a crisp corner by sewing then turning those tabs inside out. I sewed the point, turned them, then folded the straight edges in and topstiched around. The suede was steamable, but those tiny tabs were fiddly and difficult to bend. It was a struggle. I feel like that ate up half a day alone…
My other favorite detail is the shoulder vents. The back lays so nicely and is such a unique detail. The jacket fit is really good! I didn’t make any adjustments, just chose 1 size smaller than my measurements, and I love the slim fit. Wait – I lie. When I sewed up the lining I noticed the sleeves were loose so I took those in almost an inch. That took out some of the ease out of the sleeve cap, too, making it a breeze to set in the sleeves. I was a little worried about setting in the sleeves because suede can be a little unforgiving and I was prepared to rip it out if it didn’t go well, but no need. This time.
I marvel at this jacket! I can’t believe I made it myself. I’ve been bringing it everywhere, but the reality is that it is still too warm to wear it here. If you need a warm layer, this fabric fits the bill. I have it down in my sewing room on my dress form so I can admire it until I can wear it out. I’m looking forward to that day! My suede jacket dreams have come true!
- MimiG video is nice to follow along with, but there are still tricky construction details to contend with
- I made a size 12, one size smaller than my measurements, with slimmed sleeves, and I really like the fit
- The details make this jacket a showstopper. While making it you can decide which of the details you want to add or subtract.