On Saturday it was the second (and final) day of our Chanel Jacket course at the Yorkshire School of Sewing. Anne came down the day before and we spent the evening finishing off our homework and comparing notes! By the time we arrived at Gillian’s house in Roundhay we had quilted all our pieces, tied off the ends and tacked the basic jacket together including one sleeve. I’d tacked mine by hand rather than machine, which did turn out to be an advantage when alterations were made.
The first job of the day was to check the fit, mine needed taking in a bit at the princess line. It was interesting to see how an alteration here made the sleeve fit so much better as the shoulder and the scythe were lifted up and in.
We also learnt alot by watching the fit of each others jackets, there was another lady there this time on day 1 of the course and it was helpful to all learn from each others jackets.
Once we were happy with the fit we could go ahead and stitch the jacket together. The tricky bit here was keeping the lining out of the way! The sleeve was surprisingly easy to stitch as due to the forgiving nature of the fabric any easing could be done with pins, rather than maching basting…and to my surprise it went in beautifully!
Time for another fitting check before pressing. This was my first time using a ham and a sleeve press, I was so impressed I have just ordered one of each!! Gillian stressed the need for gentle pressing, not ironing, letting the steam do the work. As the fabric is so textured we didn’t want it squashing smooth, it was also important not to press the lining by accident, easier said than done when the quilting lines go up close to the seam! All the seams were pressed open, we used a wooden pressing block and laid the seam along the wooden edges to ensure we only pressed the seam.
Once the basic jacket was stitched it was time to put my sewing machine away as the rest is hand sewing! First to do was the hem, it’s a weighted hem so a length of curtain weights were secured at the front seams and at each seam in between, making sure it would just sit and not pull.The hem was stitched up using herringbone stitch, I’ve always used this flat over the fabric, but Gillian taught me how to stitch it inside the hem for a much neater and flatter finish.
The lining is all hand stitched in, keeping it fairly taut by pinning it to the ham, I managed to start one of the seams so I know what I’m doing before it was hometime! Both Anne and myself had jackets which fitted us perfectly by the end of the day, just awaiting lots of hand-sewing! Anne has already written a post about her day and the fitting and alterations of her jacket, it’s interesting to read two accounts of the same day, a tale of two jackets!
Gillian also took time to talk us through the finishing, decoration is very much up to us but she explained how to do mock welt pockets, attaching braid trim, making a fringed edging, adding chain along the inside hem, bias flanges on the inside of my facing, making buttonholes…the choices are endless!
So this is where I am now, awaiting the arrival of my ham so I can stitch the lining in more easily and keeping my eye open for a contrasting flange to give my lining a bit more of a pop!