V8991 Claire Shaeffer jacket – wearable muslin and some tips

Do you ever abandon a project entirely? This one was so close.

Here’s my (only just) wearable muslin for the Claire Shaeffer jacket (Vogue 8991). It has so many problems……it was so close to the bin. Hopefully it means the problems will be done and dusted before I embark on the fabric I bought in Italy. I really like the pattern but I definitely need greater skills before I make it up in my French pink and green tweed.



In true sewing blogger form, I’ll point out all the faults that (maybe) the non-sewers of the world won’t notice or at least not from a distance.

First the pattern matching at the back. This should have been easy, but somehow with the very wide seam allowance I gave myself due to the shedding fabric, it was a fail. At least the pattern placement at the front was ok, no decapitated fauns there, always a good thing.


Then there’s the front – it doesn’t have the nice squared off profile that it should have. This was because I didn’t alter the front pieces properly at the muslin stage.

The button holes – aaah the button holes, that’s when the jacket came close to the bin. I didn’t follow the instructions and make thread ones on the fashion fabric and bound on the lining, because I didn’t know what thread button holes. I tried bound button holes in the fashion (tweed-like) fabric, and I left them till the end — don’t try this at home. From there is was all down hill. I ended up with bound on the fabric side, machine on the facing side, then because they looked so ghastly, hand-sewn in embroidery thread. Is this what is meant by thread button holes?


The parts I am happy with: the sleeve vents. I was dreading doing these, they looked complicated but were actually simple.

The braid, as with the vents, looked trickier than it was.


My sewing tips, or what I learnt from this project.

Quilting can be functional. I thought this would be scary, but it makes handling the delicate fabric easier. I went a bit over the top with the quilting. Above and beyond the pattern directions.


Overlock loose weave fabric before sewing. Although totally enclosed in the lining, I found overlocking/serging all the raw edges of the fashion fabric, at the start, prevented (some) shedding.

Make a muslin. Heard this one before? so had I and mostly ignored it.  Before my next jacket or coat I’ll make a muslin till I’m happy with the fit. No more strangely shaped front pieces.

Hand sewing is relaxing with beautiful needles. I really enjoyed the hand sewing, especially since I’ve found these lovely French Bohin needles.

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Practice making button holes. Again, another that I’ve heard so many times before. Note to self…find out what thread button holes are and practice.




Everyone needs a jacket to match the wisteria :)




Pattern: Vogue 8991 – Claire Shaeffer jacket

Fabric: Echino

Lining: Acetate

Notions: silk thread for quilting, braid and buttons.

Lunch: Brindabella Hills

Linking with Visible-Monday-Logo-Public

Do you have disasters that narrowly escape the bin? do tell…

Raw silk deliciousness-Colette Walden shirt

One things I love about sewing is the beautiful fabric you get to work with and then wear.

I have clothes in fabrics that I would be reluctant to pay for in ready-to-wear garments. I have a velvet skirt, a silk-lined cashmere jacket, yum.

Simon also has some loveliness, a few Liberty shirts. However, I think my favorite is this one, made from the most divine raw silk from Tessuti.

Here is Simon’s raw silk Walden shirt at Italian and Sons re-kindling the holiday vibe with some delicious pasta.

Colette negroni walden shirt

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Australian design fabric giveaway!

This fabric is cotton with a screen print design called Mud Ripples by Elizabeth Gandabuma

It’s my first year blog anniversary! and, like others, I thought a giveaway might be in order to celebrate. If you’d like to be entered in the giveaway for this gorgeous fabric (pictured above) from my friends at Nomad Art in Darwin, leave me a comment by 8 October (midnight AEST, giveaway winner selected by random number generator. I will ship world-wide).

I started sewing again when I couldn’t find a wedding dress*  I liked. I bought myself a new machine,  I discovered the sewing blogger world. I became totally addicted to sewing. I think my sewing skills have improved greatly over the last year. I love the creativity, the colours and the fabrics. I love reading about the sewing adventures of the many other bloggers that I follow. Writing the blog has been a great way to document my makes and get feedback. It’s a lovely online community to be part of. Continue reading

Vogue 8991 – Claire Shaeffer jacket – research and muslin

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Hi all, what glorious spring weather here in the bush capital. I got some great feedback on last my post asking for jacket pattern ideas for my wool boucle. Thank you everyone who commented.

I started doing lots of reading.

First to understand the quilting. I was amazed to learn that with Chanel jackets, the machine quilting was considered more desirable than hand quilting. Happy with that. Though I like hand sewing, there’s plenty of it in the jacket without hand-quilting as well.

I also had no idea about the ‘why’ of quilting. It is to provide stability to the loosely woven boucle without adding bulk or taking away from the softness and fluidity. The quilting also stops the pooling of the boucle at the hems.

Many talented sewists have made lovely jackets in similar styles. Jet Set Sewing has made some prize-winning jackets. Mel at Poppy Kettle made a beautiful one doing Susan Khalje’s class. Red Point Tailor has some good insights. I love Margy’s (Fool for Fabric) spectacular Guy Laroche jacket ( thanks Sue, Colourful Canvas) for recommending).

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