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.

2014-10-16 19.26.35

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…


16 thoughts on “V8991 Claire Shaeffer jacket – wearable muslin and some tips

  1. Im am making this jacket and Im having problems with sewing 6 Side Front and 1 Front together. The instruction on this part is not that clear. For me its the top quarter part doesn’t match up. I lined the darts up and pinned everything together but still that top quarter do not match up. You you provide advice on this is you remember what you did on this piece. Thanks in advance


    • Hi Channell, I’m afraid it’s a while back now. I don’t remember a problem with this. Are you sewing the left front to the left side front and the same for the right, sometimes if fabrics don’t have an obvious right and wrong side it can be easily mixed up. Sorry I’m not much more help, good luck with your make!


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  5. Well, despite the pain, it looks great in the photos! The braiding in particular really works well 🙂 I’ve been close to the bin-stage a couple of times, but only after the wanting-to-throw-it-across-the-room stage, grrrr…. I’ve learnt to slow down and not be overly ambitious with my pattern selection, unless I’ve got a large chunk of time to myself…


  6. Oh Wow! I think I just fell down a rabbithole. Okay, my curiosity about those buttonholes got the best of me and I googled Claire Schaefer and thread buttonholes. This lovely lady is the queen of couture sewing perhaps? Lots of very interesting links! I am so excited, and thinking of giving a tailored Chanel-esque jacket a go! And speaking of jackets…your muslin looks pretty darn fine!!! Really quite lovely…and no, we don’t see the buttonholes up close, or notice the pattern doesn’t exactly line up at the back, so wear it with satisfaction! The location is superb…makes me think of my beloved Okanagan wine country. Now, back to those buttonholes…they do look like hand sewn buttonholes….here’s a link to detailed instructions…stumbled across her blog just days ago…and I love it! PS A little ah ha moment about using proper hand sewing needles, thanks!

    Couture Frabjous Tested Technique: Chanel Faux Bound Buttonholes


    • Thanks Sue and thanks for that link. I’d done a cursory google but hadn’t found much. I’ll be studying that and the other links, down the rabbithole indeed! The location is Brindabella Hills winerey not far from home. I think it is so beautiful. The rolling hills remind me of Italy. It doesn’t hurt that we are having the most glorious spring weather. Look forward to reading of your Chanel-esque adventures, a whole world of new learning and fun. Chanel-esque is a good word, I might have to use that.


    • It’s so true. I guess being so close to what you make you are always fully aware of the problems.I love the fabric but it’s certainly tricky and it snags all over the place. It’s been a good learning experince.


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