Little French Jacket and New Book


Hot off the presses and into my hands!¬† ūüėÄ ¬† This is Claire Shaeffer’s latest, Couture Sewing, The Couture Cardigan Jacket.

Amazon will sell these at a more economical price soon, but Taunton Publishers had these in stock and ready to ship. I’m in full planning mode for the little French jacket sew along and just didn’t have the patience to wait. Great delivery time. Taunton did an excellent job.

I am already half way through the book and love the instruction and illustration style.  (Should have shown a few photos..sorry!)  Orderly and easy to understand. Usually I use these as a reference and turn to them about specific problems. This is the first time to actually sit and read my way through a book of this sort. Well worth it.

If you have Claire Shaeffer’s previous couture sewing books, many of the techniques are the same, but I love how she walks us through the steps of putting this jacket together.¬† I haven’t broken out the CD yet, but I expect it to be as good as her Couture Workshop CD which I have.¬† I’ve watched it a few times already and have picked up some great techniques.

Seriously, if I could get past the fitting, I would be a happy woman.  The fitting just ends up making me so mad!

Little French Jacket Sew Along

Inna of TheWallInna and Leisa of A Challenging Sew¬†are hosting a Little French Jacket sew along inspired by the classic Chanel Jacket. ¬†I immediately wanted to join in. ¬†In the last year I have started a few QAL’s that I haven’t finished and have tried to slow down and finish some things on my table. ¬†Even so, I knew I would give this one a try.

I knew I was drawn to the jacket but didn’t realize how many patterns I had. ¬†One in particular I have wanted to make is Claire Shaeffer’s Vogue 8804. ¬†(In the last couple years, I’ve gotten interested in couture techniques. Shaeffer’s patterns include a lot of couture information.)

I also have Vogue 7975.  Marfy has some really nice looking patterns that I would like to try as well.

This past weekend I worked on my first muslin. ¬†It is cut out on a size 20, with the shoulders and arms cut on a 16. ¬†I didn’t try to work in a FBA yet, and I’m glad I didn’t. ¬†The fit is much better than I expected it to be, but there is still some work to do.

FittingFirstThe first issue is too much room at the high chest/neck. ¬†The bust points look a tad high and narrow, but the cross grain above the bust was much more level than I expected. ¬†The waist is rising a little, but it is very little. ¬†I’m going to take in the princess seam at the shoulder enough to take out the ‘ruffle’ I have going on in the high chest and neck. ¬†I think I will let out that seam a bit more at the bust.

I’m tempted to use hair canvas to reinforce that shoulder to chest to make up for the concave above the bust.

FittingFirstRightSideFittingFirstLeftSideTrouble site… I always have issues with the armscye when working with FBA’s. ¬†If anyone has suggestions on making those work, I am all ears.

I have made no fitting adjustments to the waist or back and will save those after I fix the bust.

FittingFirstBackThe back may have a little room, but not enough to complain about I think? ¬†The shoulder/arm shown here are the seam lines (I have the seam allowance ironed under) and I can’t decide if the shoulders are a little wide. ¬†I will shape the waist and will be able to see what else I need after fixing the front.

The sleeve on this pattern is a 3-piece sleeve and it’s sewn and ready to fit as well.

My first jacket will be out of this red boucle I have had in my stash for years. ¬†The color is an awesome red that I love. ¬†I’m shopping for lining and trim but a print silk charmeuse has been a challenge. ¬†I ordered this sample from that I like. ¬†It’s hard to see in this photo, but there are multi color threads running through the selvage. ¬†One is almost a periwinkle blue. ¬†I would like to use the selvage as part of the trim.

DSC_0184_834¬†My daughters and I are making a trip to New Orleans (Louisiana) this Saturday to visit Promenade Fine Fabrics. ¬†I can’t wait to see what they carry.

Whew!  Windy post!  Sorry about that.  If you have any fitting tips and would like to share, I would love to hear your suggestions.

I can’t begin to tell you how many fitting books and articles I’ve read. ¬† has quite a few fitting classes that I have taken as well. ¬†Even so, fitting myself is a real challenge. ¬†This is when you want a fitting buddy. ¬†Anyone in north Louisiana reading?? ¬†We need a sewing club. ¬†ūüėÄ

FYI: ¬†For anyone with fitting advice, this is what I’m trying to fit:


By the way, I have started a Pinterest board (actually two) for this jacket and for the fabric and trim. ¬† If you’re sewing along on this jacket and are posting your progress on your blog, Pinterest, Flickr, Instagram, etc, I would love to follow along with you. ¬†Leave a comment with your info. ¬†Have fun!

Marcelle Medallion and Textures (Angela Walters)

Marcelle Medallion and Textures (Angela Walters)

Marcelle Medallion center. I will be using Textures by Angela Walters along with plum/rose accent fabrics. Remaining borders are going to get scrappy.

For more info on the Marcelle Medallion QAL hosted by Penny Poppleton see

The Bag Bostonian

While at QuiltCon in February, I saw the pattern for the Bag Bostonian by Jeeum Quilts.   The Sewing Party had made a couple demos in Enchino Linen that looked fantastic.

BagBostonian.DoneI’ve finally made the bag. ¬†This is actually my test version. ¬†I have some Enchino Linen that I’m really thinking about using for another, but wanted to be sure I didn’t have any issues before cutting into it.

In this version, I’ve used an upholstery weight fabric lined and trimmed with 100% cotton fabric from the Parisville line by Tula Pink. ¬†I chose not to interface because I thought the weight of the main fabric backed with batting and lining would give the bag plenty of body. ¬†I would definitely rethink that if I were to start over. ¬†It has the feel of a carpet bag and I would like more body that would encourage the bag to stand up.

Jeeum Quilts is Korean I believe, and I get the sense this has been translated into English (rather than originally written in English.) ¬†There are a couple spots in the instructions that aren’t totally clear. ¬†On the most part, I could reason through. ¬†One major problem I had was on the side binding. ¬†The pattern was not clear on the size binding to use and the application instructions were not clear. ¬†I ended up making up my own. ¬†I used the same size binding as on the top edge of the bag and laid it over the raw edge of the seam allowance. ¬†I threaded the hook onto the binding strip end that extends past the top and attached that end to the inside lining.

I also found Elizabeth’s blog post that talked about taking a class for this bag. ¬†Seeing what they had done on that side seam helped a lot in deciding how to tackle that. ¬†Elizabeth was gracious enough to share with me how she applied the binding on her purse.

The trim strips are only as long as the sides, plus about 5 inches, to take them along the seam, then over the top of the zipper and down the inside a bit–maybe 16″ that is visible with another 3″ sewn into the boxed corner–maybe 19-20″ in total in length, and about 1 1/2″ in width? They are not bias, but instead cut on the straight of grain.
The seam is sewn with the lining sides together, so all the raw edged seam allowances end up on the outside of the bag. ¬†I have a photo on my blog, and if you look carefully at the middle of the three photos, where I’m talking about the side strip, you can see the seam allowances. ¬†Basically you pin the strip down, top stitch it into place on both sides in order to cover the raw edges of the side seam. ¬†(Elizabeth of Occasional Piece)
Below are a few shots of the bag that may give you an indication of the construction.

BagBostonian Collage

BagBostonian4Other than that, the bag went together really well. ¬†I can definitely see me making more in the future. ¬†I didn’t put pockets inside as I normally do. ¬†I plan to make some small zipper bags to keep things separated in this bag.

Are you wondering what size this bag is?? ¬†Take a look at what I had inside the bag to make it stand up for photos. ¬†These Harry Potter books are pretty darn thick. ¬† I think it’s safe to say the bag is pretty roomy!

The bag bottom and handles were made from leather I picked up at Tandy¬†for a bag class by Don Morin. ¬†I still haven’t made a bag from that Craftsy class! ¬† Still on my to do list though. ¬†I did use some of his tips in this bag though. ¬†The handles are made with many of the tips Don taught.

This is one of my projects this Labor Day weekend.  I have been so busy and still have so much to do.

So, did you sew this weekend or hang out with family and friends?  Either way, I hope you are blessed.