Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Classic French Jacket Class: Day 5 (or why it takes 17 hours to set-in the sleeves)

8:30 a.m. I am already in the classroom – the classroom is almost full again. It’s my last full day and I still have to accomplish a lot.

Yesterday, I finally booked my bus back to New York. Rosie, with whom I will be travelling, insisted I do it because ‘Amtrak is just so unreliable’. I gave in and followed her instincts.

Today, I plan to finish the sleeves and the jacket hem, which is currently pinned every half a centimetre. I also want to finish the jacket edges and start sewing on the trim. The sleeves, however, will take up most of the time.

Remember, I told you that it takes seventeen (17) hours to insert sleeves and finish them? Here is the breakdown of the steps, so You know what I am talking about:
  • Make a muslin for the sleeves.
  • Fit the muslin, make necessary alterations
  • cut the fashion fabric and the lining
  • quilt the lining to the fashion fabric
  • clean up the sleeves and finish the vents
  • insert the lower part of the sleeves (by hand!)
  • fit the upper part of the sleeve on the body, pin it, and finish inserting the sleeve by hand.
  • Finish the sleeve seam allowances and cover them with the lining fabric (by hand, again)
  • Try the jacket on  to determine the sleeve length and finish the sleeve hems.

the upper portion of the armscye still has to be fell-stitched
By 2:00 p.m. I was able to finish all, but the last step of the sleeve

Susan quickly explains how to sew on hooks and eyes (I am not using buttons, because my trim is rather opulent) and how to attach the trim.

03:30 p.m. …after sewing eight hooks and eight eyes…. They are loose – I have to resew them

04:00 p.m. …still loose… Are they sliding out, or what?!  I have reinforced them everywhere!

04:30 p.m. Loo-oose!!!!

05:00 p.m. Damn! I cannot believe it! I went through the entire jacket construction epic without a major glitch, and am now failing at sewing on hooks and eyes?

Dawn, another class participant and an extremely helpful and resourceful person, suggests using silk organza to reinforce the loosely woven bouclĂ© underneath. Did I tell you I had to open the edges of the jacket to resew the hooks & eyes?  Anyway, organza helps!

12:00 p.m. I decide to take the remaining work to my room, but, then, fall asleep in my bed while fellstitching the jacket edge again.

This happened because I wasted two hours complaining about my trim. My eyes are tired of looking at it and I have my doubts… I thought it was too dressy – and I wanted to wear it frequently. Shall I use fringed selvedge and chiffon strips instead?.. finally I am able to make a decision!

(to be continued)


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