Tuesday, 4 November 2014

French jacket, construction


Ahh, the never ending story of the French jacket! After finishing quilting the lining to the bouclé it was time to start assembling. Mind you, this is by NO means a tutorial. Just me documenting my struggle using various resources in an attempt to make my first couture cardigan jacket. Usually you would sew the outer shell from your fashion fabric, the inner shell from your lining pieces and then sew the two together. With lining and fashion fabric already joined a different order was needed. First I pinned and basted all vertical seams in the bouclé. The lining was carefully folded out of the way.


The seam lines were stitched by machine. (These pictures were taken very early in the morning, hence the blue undertone). This is what it looked like when all princess seams and side seams were sewn.


After pressing the seams, using a silk organza press cloth, the seam allowances had to be trimmed. I cut them so that the seam allowances lined up with the first row of quilting. A very precise job! When all seam allowances lay flat I carefully trimmed the lining. The lining seams were pinned as lapped seams with one lining piece pinned just passed the bouclé seam, the other one folded just over it, the final seam ending up directly over the bouclé seam. Hmmm, not the best explanation but if you like to see more of this technique I do recommend these video's by Leisa of A Challenging Sew. The seams were then closed by hand, using a fell stitch. 



Cutting, cleaning and hand stitching of the seams took me about an hour for each seam. There are six in the bodice and four in the sleeves.



As much as I like hand stitching, it is of course very time consuming. There is still so much more to do! Putting in the sleeves, finishing front edges and hems, sewing on trim, a chain, maybe pockets. This could easily take up all available sewing time till Christmas. Now that I finished the bodice seams, cut the sleeves and basted the shoulders I feel like it's time for a different approach. Just three pieces to deal with now, it's on a hanger and I can easily put it out of the way. I will continue working on this jacket, but since it's a summer jacket there is no rush. From now on it will be a side project, instead of dominating all work spaces in my sewing room. I'll put in some hours when I have the time, but it will no longer be an obstacle that's keeping me from my autumn/winter sewing plans.

This is what it looks like now. A hot mess, slowly taking shape. 




To be continued!



10 comments:

  1. Good for you taking your time. It can get very tedious at this point, and that's when the urge to rush can make things look sloppy. However, the handsewing can be pleasant if you take it a little at a time. The last time I made one of these jackets, I did it all in a month, and had tendonitis in my sewing thumb for weeks!

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    1. No! Certainly not looking for any injuries in my beloved sewing thumb :) I really want to get some fall and Christmas sewing done and then I'll pick this jacket up again.

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  2. Your jacket is going to be a masterpiece.

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    1. Thanks for the vote of confidence, we'll see!

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  3. Cool lining! I would want to wear this jacket the lining side up :)

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    1. I've been asking myself more than once if it would be weird to wear it inside out ;)

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  4. Someone has estimated that these jackets take at least 70 hours of work from beginning to end, so it's best not to be in a rush!! At one point in each of these jackets I have made, I thought I would never see the end - it seems there is always one more detail. Your jacket will be lovely, eminently wearable and is sure to gather many compliments when it is finished!

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    1. Thanks, Karen. I started counting the hours I put into this project but lost track. Never mind, I love slow sewing and I can see how this jacket will brighten up my sewing room on a cold and dark February day. Now over to some seasonally appropriate sewing!

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  5. Just stopping by to see how your couture sewing was coming along. Wow! Complicated looking. You will be so proud and satisfied when you get through. After this, the world of sewing is yours! Can't wait to see it posted in MAGAM blog - Excited!!

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    1. Hi Sharon, thanks for stopping by! It is really not as complicated as it looks, just a lot of hand sewing and a lot of mess in the sewing room. Not the kind of project to work on during busy months, but it will be so nice to pick it up again in the new year!

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