Friday, April 24, 2009

Angst Three Ways

Paulette talked me into taking a Couture Jacket class at our local fabric boutique, Seams Like Home. Here's the verbage,
"Learn Custom Couture construction methods using one of Claire Schaeffer’s Jacket Pattern. Linda is a professional dressmaker and student of Claire Schaeffer. She will assist you in fitting and constructing the jacket using couture methods as outlined in the pattern instructions. This class is for those with intermediate to advanced sewing skill and/or a commitment to work to this level. The goal of this class is to complete the jacket to wear to the Claire Schaeffer event being held the weekend of July 17th.
Saturday, April 25, Initial meeting for class overview and instructions, 12noon-3pm
Sunday, May 3, 17, 31, June 7, 14, 28, and July 12, 12noon-5pm"

I'm excited because it'll be my first real sewing instruction since middle school but I'm intimidated because, well, it's my first sewing instruction since middle school. I've never really had any "real" training other than hands-on, make-it-work training. The skill level is pegged at intermediate so I'm sure I'll be okay. But still, I know there is going to be a lot of hand stitching. Hand stitching really isn't my forte. I don't really even know many handstitches or what they are for. I just don't want to seem like I don't belong in the class. Boy, all this angst over something that is supposed to be fun. Well, I'm sure I'll get over it. I'll learn the handstitches I don't know and I'll be a better person for it, right? I'm giving you my internal pep talk right now. Or, as I tell my son all the time, toughen up Buttercup. I need to internalize that.
One of the requirements is that we choose a Claire Schaeffer jacket pattern from Vogue. Claire is going to be here and the instructor wants us all to have Claire jackets when we meet her. Problem is, I gave up on Vogue (and the other three) last year and haven't even talked to them since. I have horrible issues fitting the Big 4. This is another reason for angst. I think I'll have to make big time alterations. I'm kind of spoiled in that regard because I don't have to make many for BWOF. Again, it will be a good experience for me but I'm not looking forward to all the altering. I have never made a fitted jacket that didn't have shoulder issues. The petite shoulder to bust adjustment seems to solve most of the problems with BWOF but I'm opening a whole new can o' beans with a Vogue pattern.
Ok, and the last reason for angst. I'm not in love with any of the Claire Shaeffer patterns.
Totally not me. I can't get past the trim and buttons. I have a hard time visualizing something that will look nice.


This one is better than the cream one.



This is the one I'll probably buy. By default. I'm not in love but I'm not disliking it either. I guess . . .



Ewwwwww. I can't move past the pink.



Again, no. No. And hell no.
This is my favorite one but you know what? It's OOP, of course. I'm not even totally in love with this one but I could make it work. Well, maybe. I don't know. I like the Chanel jackets that Lindsey T makes.


See? I'm just ho-hum about them all. But, I'll learn how to handstitch and hopefully fit a jacket. And I'm not wanting people to say, "Gorsh, you'll do great!" I'm just giving you a taste of my brain on this topic. I know I'll do fine but there is just this teensy weensy part of me that will have to get The Pep Talk. You know what I mean.

31 comments:

Myra said...

Check out ebay and out of the ashes patterns for the OOP one, you may luck out. I prefer and think it fits more your style the 2nd one that ties at the waist off to the side.

Ann's Fashion Studio said...

You'll be fine :)and and it sounds like a great class, and you will get to meet Claire Shaeffer- bonus!
I am just finishing up Claire Shaeffer's Vogue 8259 and I love it. I think you would like this pattern. I'll be posting pictures etc..hopefully by tomorrow.

gwensews said...

This is a wonderful opportunity. I would assume you will get some fitting instruction along with the construction techniques. Even if you don't feel comfortable in highly tailored jackets, what you learn will carry throughout your life. You'll be able to tailor a coat, for instance, beautifully.

Bunny said...

In my book, you could teach the class! I was wondering if they will have you do a muslin as part of the class or maybe you should do one before starting? I do the petite adjustment you mentioned with Vogue and have been pleased with the results.

Vicki said...

Lucky, lucky you! You could go for the first jacket but shorten it to say high hip (or whatever length suits you). It would look cute over a turtleneck (polo neck) top and jeans. It is a very basic style and you could do so may incarnations of it (with or without trim)

Marsha said...

Wow! I'm so envious. What a great opportunity. Enjoy the journey!

Kat said...

The one you might buy is the one I have in my stash. I love that curved hemline, but other than that, a jacket is a jacket. And really, I bought the pattern more for the pattern instruction details more than anything else. That was about a year ago and I still haven't even opened up the pattern yet. Although I did look at the pattern cover a few days ago.

kiltsnquilts said...

It is hard to look past the fabric on the pattern envelope sometimes! I actually think the pink style might be good for you, the others might be too long. I always try to look at the line drawings on the back, I do the same in BWOF and head for the line drawings page first :-) Is having a Claire Shaeffer pattern a 'requirement' of the class or just something the instructor has 'suggested'? Sorry, the rebel in me would be tempted to question it if none of them suit! :-0 As far as hand stitches, there really aren't that many, and if you have confidence in your abilities (which you should with the great garments you turn out) then you will be fine, enjoy :-)

Arlene said...

I like the second like Myra. I could see you in that, maybe in a different color....

Paulette said...

Dawn - I am looking forward to being in the class with you....I'll get to see your talent at work!!! Linda is a GREAT instructor - that orange silk dress on my site - yea, it looks good because she helped! Can't wait, can't wait, can't WAIT!!!!

BTW - Linda is looking forward to meeting you; she's read some of your reviews on PR. :D

Kristine said...

I completely understand your need for an internal pep talk! But, if the instructor is looking forward to meeting you, that speaks volumes! Nothing to worry about! I think it's funny that I was just researching fitting classes online today myself...

Mommymita said...

I can't tell you how much time and fabric I have wasted on the "big four".... go for the black tie jacket - it may look better if you crop it and raise the tie a bit, Claire wouldn't mind a few style adjustments would she?

sounds like you'll learn a lot of great skills and just enough to know what rules you can break! Go and add a little sass to the class!

Nancy K said...

Why don't you take the third one and change it up a bit. They are all a little old or staid for you. They are too staid for me and I'm a lot older than you! Crop the jacket, change the pockets, widen or narrow the lapels. It is basic enough that you could do a lot to it. Even the one that's oop if you can find it can be changed to make it more stylish. Again, shorten the jacket, make a more whimsical trim. Change the pockets. Take a look at how Marc Jacobs changes traditional jackets. Take a look at the current Chanel line and see how KL modernizes the traditional jacket. The hand stitches are not hard, they are even fun to do after you get the hang of it. It is really quite wonderful to see how the construction process molds the fabric. Make sure you get a fabric worthy of your efforts. I took French couture lessons many years ago after being a self taught sewist. Learning from an expert is such a great opportunity. Enjoy.

Anonymous said...

Hi,

Forget about the colour, I made this jacket in a cool wool, blues/yellow, the instructions are great, the fit? I have 4 of Claire's books, have attended workshops with her.

Look at the style lines not the colour............a tailored jacket is a work of art.

Natasha said...

Hi,

I enjoy your blog, but never comment. But I did just finish a tailoring class and wanted to add my 2 cents. We had no required pattern for the class, just that our pattern have certain elements: a notched collar, welt pockets, 2 piece sleeve and such. So people used all kinds of patterns from different companies, and some had drafted their own. That was actually part of the fun of the class -- to see how the instructor advised people to handle unusual details, and to see all the jackets take shape in their different forms.

So my advice to you is:
1. Pick something with a notched collar. Tailoring a notched collar is a great thing to learn, and if you can do that, the shawl and mandarin collars will be a piece of cake later.
2. Choose a design you love. Negotiate with your instructor about using another pattern company if you have to, but seriously -- you're going to be spending hours every week working on that thing, and you want to love the result and feel like it looks great on you. You're paying for the class, you should get to make a design you at least want to wear. You can buy an SB pattern for the instructions if that's part of the issue.
3. Find a design that's challenging to your skills. You'll have the instructor to help you get through the rough spots, and how often will you have that much hands-on help again?
4. Splurge on great fabric. Again, you're going to be spending so much time on this thing that you want the fabric to be worth it. I fiddled with every part of my jacket so much (4 welt pockets! 3 bound buttonholes!) that by the end, if I had chosen a cheaper fabric, it probably would have looked kind of shopworn.

Whatever pattern you end up using, I'm sure it will be a ton of fun, and you'll create an awesome jacket by the end!

Natasha

Sandra said...

I can totally see you in the second pattern, the one tied on the side. It's probably the most versatile one for you as well.
If not, I'm with NancyK: take the third one and make it yours.
Either way I'm sure you'll have fun in the class. Wish I could come... ;)

Christina said...

Those jackets don't really do anything for me either but I guess the learning process is the main point. I know you can change up one of those patterns to suit you.

neighbourhood.gal said...

Not reading the other comments---

The side tie one looks more like you to me. For what it's worth.

Paulette said...

Hey Dawn - you asked about my orange pea coat....bought it a few years ago at Nord's...it was one of those "must have" items...so glad I got it. BUT...I want to make one just like it now.

Claudine said...

Your end result won't necessarily look exactly like the picture on the pattern. I made a jacket from the last pattern listed (the Chanel jacket). The changes I made were fairly substantial, and possibly beyond the scope of your class, but it may give you some ideas about possibilities you may not have considered.
Claire Scheaffer jacket

Elaray said...

I'd have the same reservations: I don't use big fours and I'm not in love with the CS patterns. In spite of your reservations, this is a great learning opportunity and I'm sure it will be fun once you get started. Adjust your expectations and it will be great!

Dana said...

Oh the anxiety of the unknown! I'm so jealous - you're going to make new sewing friends in real life!

I immediately thought of Lindsey T's jackets for you. I love the way they look with jeans. I think the pink one could be a replacement for the OOP just think of it in a different fabric...with different buttons.

meredithp said...

Since this seems like a great learning opportunity, and that's why you're doing this, I'd definitely go for a notched collar and lapel jacket. If you can master that, you can do anything! You might get more use than you think out of a classic blazer. As for the fitting, your instructor is there to help you. I would explain your issues (with Vogue) before the class. I think you'll be great. It's SO much fun getting together with other sewers. I like the fact that it is such a long class. I would love to go.

eword10 said...

Oh I am so excited for you. You will learn a lot I'm sure despite not being happy about the patterns. I am about to take Kenneth King's moulage class and I'm just a beginner. So I am fearful about my skill set. But I am very certain I will learn a lot. Have fun!

Gorgeous Things said...

I completely agree with you about the patterns. For my taste they are really rather boring. BUT... if you look at any of the YSL-inspired ones, you'll learn a ton about how he shaped the shoulders. I'm using her studies of YSL shoulders to make my Marfy jacket. There are subtle but very definite shaping things that she (and he) does. I hope you love the class!

Martha said...

I think the second one, 8428, would look great on you. I'm really looking forward to reading about this, so....

Toughen up, Buttercup!

Sally said...

I'd be feeling all the same angst you are, Dawn. I've only had one sewing lesson in Jr. High by my mom, but I've been sewing ever since. I'm not a tailored jacket person myself, and the only one I could even see myself possibly making or wearing is the reddish one -- it looks more "fun" and stylish. BUT, the best part is getting to take the class and spend time doing something you love with other people who also love to sew! You will have so much fun and will learn so much!!!

Debbie Cook said...

I think the rebel in me would be looking for a BWOF jacket that has classic lines and separate lining pieces. It's not like BWOF has a dearth of jacket patterns. ;-) You could then buy the CS pattern that comes closest and use her techniques to construct it. At least with using a BWOF pattern, you wouldn't have to add fitting issues to the "boring" style issues.

Lindsay T said...

I agree with Nancy K about taking one of these and changing it up to suit your tastes. What about a little boxy jacket like the ones J.Crew and Zara always show? Those seem more your style but still are Chanel in spirit, though more youthful. A couple of the CS patterns could be modified. I am going to make a Chanel-style white summer jacket that's sort of deconstructed (serged edges for example) like the cool jackets I saw at Zara last night. This sounds like an awesome class and I am extremely envious!

angie.a said...

Ok you made me angsty and I'm not even taking the d@mn class! :P

Mountain Thyme said...

Well, honey. Get past the pink, 'cause after I have looked at all you sew, I think that would suit you best. What color was that vest you just finished? That would have been awful on you in pink, but the way it turned out was beautiful, no?