Hi everyone! I’m thinking of changing my tune a little around here.
Well, since starting this class, I’ve had a steadily growing sense on unease about sharing it with you via this platform. Words aren’t something I’m all that great at using to describe how I feel about something as I usually work on intuition, but I’ll try and explain as best I can.
At what point does knowledge become proprietary? I’m torn between wanting to respect the know-how of the ebullient Susan Khalje (she’s amazing) and wanting to share my experience. Is it fair on her that I come here and talk about everything in detail? (I’ve got a whole stack of drafts which cover in detail what we’ve been working on). Probably not.
But – as I said to Susan – who is going to take over from you after you decide to retire? I want to keep doing these classes – hell, I’m already dreaming of going to Paris. (Alas, we’re supposed to be saving for a house, not to mention paying for a wedding. Sometimes being responsible can be so boring). So the good news is she’s bringing out her own range of videos (Starting with the Classic French Jacket, apparently going to debut pre-Christmas this year – whoo!) but being immortalised in dvd won’t quite fill the void – there really is no one else at this level with the experience and knowledge she has who also can teach, and teach well!! And it was this belief that the value of coming here to do these classes was in the one-on-one teacher time – anyone can sew along (don’t read that badly – I adore a good sewalong) or watch a Craftsy class, but it will never offer the kind of learning you get in person.
On the flip side of the coin, I must have read Marina’s and Gertie’s posts on their Susan Khalje classes oh, I don’t know – 50 times? Each time I read them I got more and more excited about taking these classes. I think talking about it on here gives Susan great publicity and allows those who wouldn’t otherwise be able to take part the chance to see what’s going on. And one of the things I love most about the sewing blogosphere is the positive sharing of experience.
So where does one draw the line? The simple answer is “I don’t know”. So I’ve decided to continue posting about it… but not in a technical manner. I think that is a happy enough medium to quell my unease.
Back to regular programming – because it’s like Christmas morning every 5 minutes here!
A few of the other ladies and I pop down the road to Joann’s – a place I’ve read about in so many other blogs, so it was kinda cool to be able to walk into one, regardless of what people think of it. They have plenty of thread which is what we’ve come for, along with quilting rulers and the Clover fork pins.
There’s not really anything particularly groundbreaking or interesting to report on today – apart from making a fair bit of progress, and it’s all about quilting each of the 7 jacket pieces before joining them together.
Hearing the whirr of multiple sewing machines is a beautiful thing, and it’s a real pleasure to actually do some machine sewing!
Those lines are stitched with the lining facing down, following the grain line of the boucle fabric, in which the top thread is virtually invisible (unless you know what you’re looking for).
The quilting process provides the structure and support to the rather floppy boucle fabric, and gives it a completely new feel. Having a walking foot is an absolute must – you simply couldn’t do this without one. Comparing the hand of my quilted pieces to those of others – they’re now on a more level playing field, whereas before my poor boucle was definitely punching above its weight.
After a steaming and very light pressing (which I can get away with because my boucle doesn’t really have much loft) and Susan shows how to pull the purposely long tail threads through to the inside, which are then knotted and cut short:
The next step is to join the pieces… and this is where you thank your lucky stars you have ginormous seam allowances, because all the handling equals fraying.
I pin to match the boucle’s repeat/pattern starting at the bottom and working my way up to the top – the ability to match stops where the curve of the princess seam starts. Then, using the fork pins to secure the match (with plenty of flipping over to check!) it’s ready to sew.
The rest of this is homework as somehow it’s 6:30 already…
The fork pins do an amazing job of preventing the layers from slipping and you can sew right over them so your match isn’t compromised by taking the pin out just before your fabric goes under the feed dog.
About 90% of the time I got a perfect match with this method, with just a few small spots that I’ll unpick and fix up (like at the left) – a pretty darn good hit rate for sure:
Late at night after the day’s homework is complete – I’ve got this messy-looking but super snuggly thing:
All ready to go for the next fitting tomorrow!