French Jackets

More Chanel

I found fabric for the Little French Jacket Sew Along. This is a metallic tweed and I found a lovely light lilac charmeuse for the lining. Also found buttons but I’m still searching for trim. Fortunately the trim goes on last, so I have time.



I found this photo and fabric and want to finish this before starting the quilted jacket. Here is the photo and I found an almost prefect match at B & J Fabrics.



I used a basic princess line jacket and added the shaped insert at the waist. The challenge was matching this plaid pattern. I cut a full pattern, both right and left sides, so everything could be laid out before cutting.ImageImage

The pattern has no seam allowances. Thread trace around each piece. Without seam allowances, it’s much easier to see exactly where the match points are. I decided to underline this jacket with silk organza. I usually throw the organza in the washer, dryer and then press. That makes the organza softer and preshrinks it. Baste the organza to each pattern piece, making sure to match the grain lines.

There is inly one way to match this pattern and that’s to thread baste each seam from the right side. Turn one seam allowance under, match the plaid and slip stitch. This will hold your fabric without slipping when it is machine stitched. I slip baste with matching thread (in this case black), so it doesn’t need to be removed. You will need to remove the seam line tracing thread.



End all machine stitching where two seam lines cross and tie a knot. Don’t cross one seam with another. It’s amazing how much more fluid the garment feels if you take this extra step. I can elaborate if this isn’t clear.

Finally got the jacket body together! All that basting and matching does take time. I found the prefect white enameled studs on EBay. They are about 12mm in size and looked best to me placed with about 2 cm between each one.



Some photos of the jacket so far.ImageImageImageImageImage

One more sleeve to go. Don’t cut the sleeves until your jacket body is finished. I make a muslin sleeve, pin it into the garment, and mark where the plaid pattern needs to be placed. I then take the muslin sleeve and lay it on the fabric. Allow generous seam allowances in case you need to move up or down to perfectly match the fabric.

Thank you for following my blog. I realize some of this is very technical but please post comments and I’ll try and clarify anything you aren’t sure of. I love couture sewing and appreciate the time and skill that goes into those spectacular runway designs.

I’ll get this jacket (and hopefully skirt) finished and start on the quilted jacket next week. Please check back for updates.

couture sewing, Evening Wear

Runway Dress, Part 2

Now that you have yards of assorted strips you are ready to start attaching them to the tulle under-dress. Only the right side seam of the dress has been sewn, so lay it out flat. Decide how long the finished dress is and mark a hemline 10 inches above the finished length. I used the polyester organza and cut a strip 21 inches wide and the hemline width plus 1 inch. Fold this wide strip right sides together and sew 1/2 inch seams along the short sides. Turn right side out and press only the seams; leave the bottom edge as a soft roll. Polyester organza doesn’t want to press flat, so the fabric will help to maintain this rolled edge look. Sew the strip on the line you have marked, establishing the finished length of the dress.

Now work your way up placing the strips as you like using the photograph as a guide. I hand sewed them in place as I feel that hand stitches make a softer, more fluid garment. You can also machine sew. The ultrasuede was difficult to hand sew, so I used the machine for those strips.ImageImageImage

Stop at the waist. Decide the shape of the neckline and the placement of the uppermost strips. I used a double layer of the polyester organza, stay stitched the neckline and armholes. Then hand rolled the edges catching only the undermost layer of fabric.ImageImage

Work your way down to the waist in the same manner. I found hand sewing the bust area much easier to control than machine sewing. Stop when you reach the waist. Sew a length of satin ribbon to cover the raw edges at the waist. Sew the left side sean inserting an invisible zipper. I also left a slit from the hem to mid-thigh.




Views of the inside showing rows of hand stitching.Image


The finished work