Sunday, May 29, 2011

Classic French Jacket Class: Day 2

All I can say about this one is that it was a long long day...

Sleep: 7 hours of undisturbed sleep! (no kids around)
Alcohol intake: 2 glasses of white wine.
Meals skipped: 2
Exercise: none
Shopping: Michael's fabrics (what did I want there, again?)

7:00 a.m. I am wide awake before the alarm goes on! This is what children do to a normal person. If someone told me fifteen years ago that I would wake up around 7, on my own, I would have laughed... 

I put on the TV and tune in to CNN ... ? ... The first thing I hear them say is that New Zealand is still there! Right... of course, it's the Judgement Day today and by the time I woke up, New Zealand was supposed to be gone, right? 

Anyway I am ready to have my breakfast!

8:00 a.m. Breakfast in the hotel, at the Northern Lights restaurant. Does anyone know why would a hotel in Baltimore call its restaurant 'Northern Lights'? I was thinking about it as I entered our sewing room at

8:40 a.m. Whoa, Susan is already here and my fellow couturiers are already queuing to get fitted! I thought I was early...

11:00 a.m. we all gather around Susan's table to marvel at each other's fabrics and trims! Susan comments on our choices.

That's Becky's fabric and trims. She was telling us that even though this jacket is quite expensive, it would amortize over years, costing just $10 per week. Whoa, I note it down - it's a great reason for taking this class after all. 

see my fabric on the right, with all the sparkling going on?

Susan demonstrates the jacket she made for the Threads feature (Issue 121). She shows us all the typical characteristics of this jacket, including quilting, seam allowances, abut lining, pockets, trims, buttons....

Jacket seams are open at some places offering a peek inside. We all ooh and aah as Susan explains us that these jackets are a completely independent subcategory of couture.

We quickly grab our notebooks and start taking notes. Susan stops us saying she got seven-page instructions for us. She will send them to us after the class, she says. "You would freak out if you saw them now," she explains. That's a comforting thought, right?

12:00 a.m. or close to this time we are all sent back to our tables to true our muslins and to start cutting fashion fabric and lining.

Those of us who bought fabric that needs to be matched realize that we are going to spend our evenings in the sewing room! Sleeves for jackets that need matching are not cut yet, we will fit them on the finished bodice to be able to match them precisely.

Phew, all bodice pieces are matched - we can now cut fashion fabric get on to the next step: quilting. Susan shows us how to prepare the fabric for quilting.

Look, my table is in the back, next to the window :-)
Lining is cut right after fashion fabric
Meanwhile, I decide to join a few of my fellow classmates on the way to Michael's fabrics - I am still not sure what lining to use and decide to buy 3 yards of crepe de chine. I get a handful of new coat weight wool swatches there and end up buying a beautiful off-white tropical wool suiting... Nice! I see some Chanel bouclés at Michael's as well.

7 p.m. Susan gives us some 'homework' - we need to finish quilting. With a couple of classmates we stay up until 2 a.m. next day...

(to be continued)


  1. OOOh - I'm loving this! It sounds like you're having loads fun and learn a lot!

  2. Such wonderful fabric choices, what a great day!

  3. I'm still recovering! I think I need a vacation :-)

  4. me too, Rosie - in fact, my jacket is done - the only thing is that the chain is longer than the hem, so I need to get it cut by someone, none of my tools at home worked with that chain! maybe tomorrow at lunch I will make a quick tour to the trim store and get a box of macaroons... yummy

  5. Greeting from Ausralia,
    Just love your blog and your jacket turned out beautifully. Can you please tell me where the brown boucle fabric with little pieces of ribbon threads (shot of Susan's hand and a pair of scissors and a bag of pale blue trim in your pictures was purchased? i am just reading thru your tips on quilting the lining and need to know if I should serge my fabric edges? also, did you underline your jacket too? I am watching Susan's couture dress class on Cratsy and applying these principles for my french jacket. she is just incredible and I have learnt so much. thanks.....

  6. I admire the beautiful materials and trimmings good luck for the course and have fun

  7. I admire the beautiful materials and trimmings good luck for the course and have fun

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