Thursday, August 29, 2013

French Jacket with Susan Khalje - Day 1

Earlier this month, I took a 5 day couture sewing class with Susan Khalje. I wanted to make a Chanel style jacket.  There were 12 students in the class and it was hosted at an ASG member's home.  (Yes, she had a very large nice home that fit all 12 students and their supplies nicely.)  I showed up on time with my muslin prepared and ready work very hard and learn all I could.
The pattern I chose was Vogue 8804 because I liked the 3/4 sleeves and short length.  I was going to omit the buttons and overlap and use centerfront coat hook closures.  I quickly learned that it might be difficult (some said impossible) to make a Chanel jacket in 5 days and was discouraged and told I should make a regular jacket (with organza underlining).  I wanted to learn how to make a Chanel jacket and was willing to go back to the hotel each night and work until midnight if I had.  Then I learned that my pattern choice was not optimal due to the back darts and the grain of the sleeves.  It was suggested I use Vogue 7975.
This meant I had to make an entirely new muslin and all I could think about is losing one of my 5 days working on a muslin.  One of the other students loaned me her Vogue 7975 and another loaned me some muslin, and I quickly put together another muslin while Susan was fitting the muslins of the other students.  (I don't have any photos of the new muslin because as you can imagine I was frantically working trying to get caught up.)  I managed to get my new muslin done that morning, fitted that afternoon, stitch lines redrawn thread traced and ready to cut out my fashion fabric. Fortunately most of my fitting issues are pretty easy:  taking in the bust, letting out in the hips, expanding the bicep of the sleeve, and some lengthening here and there. By the end of the day I was ready to cut my fashion fabric which I purchased about a year ago from Fabric Mart Fabrics. I managed to pin my pattern pieces to my fabric before the class ended on day 1.  You can see my fabric on the floor in the hotel ready for cutting.

I had to match the plaids and line up the pattern pieces so that everything matched after sewn.  I will cut the three piece sleeves out later because those needed matching and the plaid lines might change after a few more fittings. The main jacket pieces were roughly cut out using 2" seam allowances.
That evening I basted every stitch line. Each line/side basted is a separate piece of thread.
And also basted on the stitch line some silk organza to the shoulder/sleeve area of the 4 side jacket pieces. Susan said it was not necessary to do the entire armseye, just the upper portion. 
The next day I was going to baste the jacket together for another fitting.


While I search for trim for my Chanel/French Jacket I decided to take a break from garments and make  a sewing machine cover.  Inside the Fall issue of Stitch magazine there is a really cute sewing machine cover.  I found the fabric as shown at a local-ish store in Laguna, California called  Sewing Party. The cover has a cute patchwork spool of thread and some really cute sewing related fabric.  It was fairly easy to sew up in a few hours (I had to read and re-read instructions a few times to figure out what they were talking about and still not sure I got it right, but it does look the same.)  The cover is quilted with some simple lines and lined with white cotton muslin. 

Can you see the "spool"?

I got some trim samples from Britex but am not excited about any of them.  I've been scouring the internet looking for trim.  If you have any suggestions on where to get trim for a Chanel/French style jacket let me know.  I'm looking for something off white with maybe a little black and coffee colors.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Where Has the Summer Gone.... Has it really been 3 months?

I cannot believe I haven't posted anything for almost 3 months! I think after the wedding dress I took a break and that break turned into 3 months. I have so much to catch up on.

First, the wedding gown, finished and the happy bride and groom.  The dress was a success.  It fit beautifully, stayed on and in place, and my niece looked beautiful.  I did a full review of the dress PatternReview

Here's the mother of the bride (sorry for the poor quality, and it was a windy day).  The wedding ceremony was at the Presidio overlooking San Francisco Bay.
Both dresses were a challenge to work on.  I am very happy with they way they turned out.

The following is a photo summary of what I've been working on these past couple of months

So you can see, I've still been sewing and churning out garments.  I just recently returned from a 5 day Susan Khalje Couture class. My project was the Chanel/French jacket.  ooo-la-la.  I am now searching for the perfect trim.  I took photos of the construction process and will be posting soon with lots of photos.. promise!