Friday, July 31, 2015

Pineapple Express denim jacket

This blog post title is not referring to the movie Pineapple Express - a movie comedy with Seth Rogan from a few years ago - but I could not resist calling it that. As it turns out, my latest project is based on what I learned by sewing the Jacket Express, and uses this pineapple print white denim. So in my mind - Pineapple Express.
Earlier this spring I saw the fabric on the Girl Charlee website and showed it to my mom because like me, she has a hard time resisting a tropical print. And I had always wanted to make the Jacket Express pattern for her. In fact I bought the Craftsy class to get the pattern, and figured I would make one for myself to try it. As it turned out that faded red denim jacket is something  wear all the time. For this version I made a muslin in her size and when she tried it on she hated it. I was annoyed but now I can admit that the fit and shape were just not right. So I played around with it, adjusted some of the pieces and tried again. No luck. At that point she said "I like the denim jacket I have, can't you just make one like that?"   um, yeah...but I was trying to avoid doing that. However in the end it was the better way to go.

OK, prepare your eyeballs but this one is a bit crazy.

Denim white jacket pineapple fabric, front view

But kind of cute in a novelty way. And it came out so well!  Now I want to remake next year in a different denim.
Here is the original jacket which I copied.  If you would like to see how I copy the garment here is a post where I copied my own denim jacket, and here is a post showing how I copied a shirt. That second post has more of the details on how to do it. I use a mixture of methods and I do recommend the Craftsy class on how to copy garments, it is quite good. Also the instructor (Steffani Lincecum) has a book on the topic which I got once at my local library so that is an option as well.

Denim jacket original

So my copy looks darn close to the original. I lightened up this dark denim one so you can see the seam lines. I think that jackets are actually the easiest thing to copy, as the pieces on a jacket are mostly small so while it may seem daunting, I just go step by step with all the components, then test the pattern.

Jacket on J close up
And here is my mom modeling her pineapple jacket. The sleeves are long but she likes to flip up the cuffs so I just copied as is.
The only change I made from the original was to add a bit in the upper yoke to account for slight curvature at the upper back - which we will all have after years and years of hunching over computers etc. To accommodate that I added two darts which you can't even see on the outside but are more visible on the inside. I used plain white cotton for the back yoke to make it lighter and also so the pattern would not show through.

Denim white jacket back inside

The jacket front is kind of interesting as it appeared to have very little shaping but as I copied the pieces I noticed that the center front panel is curved and makes a slight princess seam shape. Also that tricky center front panel is what creates the pocket bag, and while it was a bit of a pain to replicate it does work nicely.

Denim white jacket inside front

You can see the front shaping better when the jacket is flat on my worktable. At the upper yoke is just a flap, no pocket as I drew the line on unusable pockets! But I thought it needed the flap. Although then I skipped the button there. Oh well.

Denim white jacket pocket and cuff close up

I really learned a lot from that Craftsy Jacket Express class and used that order of construction here. Also the when, where and how to topstitch as she explains it is very good. That class is called "Sew Better Sew Faster" and it is apt. I think I made that first red denim jacket in about 9 hours and this one was even quicker.

One of the most important things in making your own pattern is to put lots of markings. Reference dots to mark where the collar ends, or were the yoke meets the sleeve. They really help when you go to sew it up.

Denim white jacket close up collar

Another look at mom, and about 10 minutes after I took this we jumped in the pool as it was over 100˚F that day. My folks put the pool in when my sister and I were about 2 and 4, we learned to swim that year and my dad always said that was one of the best "investments" he ever made :) Back in my pre-air-conditioned childhood, we were out there from morning to late at night. And my mom would say "sure, it's fine for you kids but I can't cook our dinner in the pool". Mothers always have the last word!

jacket on J

No more jackets for a while, I just sewed up some of my other Girl Charlee knits and also completed a dress for Heather using one of her fabrics from Mood in NY. So that will be on the blog soon.

I do have enough fabric left from this project - do you think a denim pineapple skirt for me would look goofy or fun? You know I am going to sew it up and see.

Stay cool and enjoy your summer sewing. Or step away from the machine and go outside! I think that's what I will do.


Today's SunnyGal garden photo is a Shasta daisy (I think that is what it is) that I got at a local plant sale. And it is finally spreading out a bit - I want that carpet of daisies to happen.



  1. Gorgeous work, as always Beth! I am amazed by your jacket-making skills!

  2. Hey, it is not summer for all your readers! I am looking forward to spring and I can almost feel it in the air. Love the jacket. Lucky mum!

  3. Cute jacket for your lucky mum. The pineapple print is very on trend at the moment: definately make a skirt from the left over.

  4. I like the pineapple print! The jacket looks so great on your mom!

  5. Love love this jacket. What a refreshing and pretty way to use this print. Your mom looks wonderful in it.

  6. I love this jacket -- the print is so cool and your mom looks great in it! Funny you mentioned the curvature in the back -- I just made a simple jacket for my mom and when I took it down to So Cal this past week, I noticed a slight curve in her upper back (which I didn't accommodate for). Your solution is a good thing to keep in mind!

  7. This is a fine jacket! Love the fabric design.

  8. I think this is a cool print. It's a good class I used it to make to pyjama jacket instead. Your mum looks great.
    I'd make a pencil skirt with the leftovers.
    You sound like you're having a great Summer. All the best,

  9. I'm sure it was a load of work to copy the original, but it came out great!

  10. Great jacket and yes make the pineapple skirt!!!
    I must make a denim jacket!!

  11. Your mother looks great and that jacket is soo cute on her.

  12. I love the pineapple jacket! Your Mom looks so casually stylish in it!

  13. I love the jacket you made your mom, fabulous job. What about a pair of shorts from the fabric?

  14. Adorable, my tender eyeballs did have to adjust a bit though

  15. Adore the pineapple jacket. Your mom looks fantastic modeling it!