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.

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