About me

My photo
I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


Follow by Email

Follow me on Instagram


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Where to from here?

I got up this morning and thought I have to decide what to do next. Here, in addition to some work work and student references, are the possibilities:

  1. I cut out Stylearc's Jane overshirt yesterday. I am thinking of the short sleeve version as sort of a camp shirt for the summer as it is dartless, has a yoke, and I like a cotton shirt that doesn't stick to my ribs, not that my ribs are all that easy to find these days. My all time favourite shirt, now 22 years old and still worn this week, is a camp shirt I can't give up because the print is funny. Can't find any snappy prints locally but have some dots that will do. This will be an easy project and a test run of another Stylearc and the last one I brought with me.
  2. Do a bunch of Pattern reviews. I am way behind in this and need to share some things.
  3. Make another House Bra or two. Have the fabric, have the Koolaid to dye some elastic. Of course would wear these immediately.
What's not on this list?

The elephant in the room, or more specifically the bag in the closet.

My Chanel jacket.

The universe has been reminding me that I have committed to do this.

Erica Bunker posted that Chanel video to her blog.

Stylearc released a new Chanel jacket pattern called the Coco jacket, which looks to me like a pretty easy to sew almost jean jacket with trim.

And I am ready to go with a Chanel jacket.

I took the excellent French Jacket course on Pattern Review in January, which I thoroughly enjoyed even if I only got as far as a decent muslin. I have enough fabric and lining for two nice jackets. I have enough trim and chain collected to sink a battleship. 

I would really, really like to have a jacket for the next school year that was as comfortable as everyone says it is.

So what's stopping me?

All my sewing friends who say things like 80 hours of hand-sewing and never again. The seriousness of the whole project, the pressure to do it right, like this is sort of the Phd. of sewing and the Chanel jacket is your dissertation defense.

Now I quite like hand-sewing. It is compatible with TV watching and husband listening, although I have never done it for 80 hours straight. I am capable of doing serious sewing. I am sure I am.

But why am I not jumping out of bed to do it?

Have I turned into some kind of Hawaiian shirt wearing slacker? Have I turned into someone who eats cherry pie in the middle of the afternoon while sitting on an exercise ball? Have I lost my capacity for sewing endurance? 

Would I thank myself when it is done? Is this the best way to spend my last two weeks in a hotel room with a fox terrier? Is this the only thing to do in a hotel room with a fox terrier? Would I ever do it otherwise?

Should I say to hell with it and order the Stylearc pattern and whip that up without quilting the lining when I get home?

Should I do a bit everyday and post about it in the hope you all can drag me through it?

What would you do if you were me?


Jan said...

I say, Go for it!! Jump in head first! I'm making the Chanel jacket with Susan Khalje in Nashville in May. I actually enjoy hand sewing. (Ask me again after the class) So you say I'll have my PhD in sewing? :)

Karin said...

Who says you have to do ALL the handsewing? It's your project, surely you can pick and choose to do the bits that you think will make a real difference.
On another topic, I gave you a sunshine award. I suspect you don't fool around with round-Robbin-awards, but I enjoy your blog so much, I just couldn't resist.

SewRuthie said...

I am probably never going to make a Chanel style jacket becuase 1-the style doesn't really suit me and 2-the handwork indeed puts me off. I frankly have more interesting things to do with 80 hours. So really don't do it unless you want to, there is not surely any peer pressure from the sewing blogosphere, and if there is then stuff it :-)
P.S. Chanel doesn't do anything for me, can you tell?

a little sewing said...

I am with Ruthie on this one. As much as I enjoy looking at the Chanel collections, and reading about Coco Chanel, I can't see myself in one of those jackets. No,not even with jeans.

And I am not into that much fussing over a garment. A couple years ago, I really wanted to learn tailoring. But ever since I made a coat for my stepdaughter, and fusing it, I have lost interest in the more time-consuming methods.

I never say never, though.

On another note, suddenly I want white tops. white shirts. maybe a white jacket. Maybe I am back to 'never too many white shirts?'

Martha said...

I hear you. I feel your pain. I'm in the middle of a Coco jacket though not this particular pattern.

The quilting isn't even the half of it (or even 1/16th). Now I know why Kenneth King says he would rather eat glass than sew with silk charmeuse.

On the other hand, I am still optimistic that I'll love the result. And it is a terrific learning experience. You're all over that as an educator, right?

Go for it!

linda said...

jump in and order the StyleArc, life is too short to spend it agonising over handsewing and quilted linings, as long as you are happy with the finished outcome and more importantly are comfortable wearing it.
Leave the traditional Chanel to the runway and the boardroom.
just my opinion from the less formal, never seen anyone wearing a Chanel jacket, Melbourne Australia.

Bunny said...

I hear you. That's why my latest "French Jacket" was more of a sort of. I cherry picked the techniques I wanted and speeded up the rest. Guess what? It's quilted, feels yummy, and I think looks pretty cool, all of that for about thirty to forty hours of work. I would do it again in a heartbeat.

I think every sewist should make on CJ the traditional way but after that, you are on your own and can do what you want. Good luck. Your description of the Coco jacket as sort of a jean jacket is spot on, very interesting and astute ;).

Lori said...

Oh, my, that Style Arc jacket is gorgeous. I would order it and then pick and choose the hand sewing methods.

BetsyV said...

Do it. I've done 2 now, and I don't regret spending the time on them. There are lots of ways you can choose machine over hand sewing techniques and still have a softly comfortable, really beautiful jacket.

Although I must say, it wouldn't be my first choice of project in a hotel room with a fox terrier!

Dixie said...

Definitely the Style Arc Coco. It's an updated Chanel - updated for today's more casual lifestyle. Go ahead and do whatever hand sewing you want on it, but most importantly, have fun!

Elle said...

Laughing too hard about eating cherry pie in the middle of the afternoon while sitting on an exercise ball to be able to offer any opinion!

KathyS said...

Get the best of both worlds and make a Chanel type jacket. I did. I made Vogue 7975 without all the angst and it looks fine. Only I know it isn't quilted and hand-sewn.
I love the Style Arc pattern and may even be tempted to buy it, but I have a list of Style Arcs as long as my arm, so then again, maybe not :-)