French Jacket Class: Day 5

I kickstart the morning by quilting my sleeve pieces and sewing them together, in between waiting my turn for the ironing and sleeve boards to tidy up my seams.

Thankfully someone does indeed have a blunt embroidery needle with a big eye so I can weave that errant orange piece back into place!

It takes the better part of the day to turn two of these (each with three seams):


Into this:


Then fell stitching the 6 sleeve seams and my 4 remaining bodice lining seams together… phew.

The sleeve vents complicated things a little, but look great now complete!

Before the end of the day, I also managed to sew shut my shoulder seams, before fell stitching the lining together:


Considering the progress to date and the fact that there is only one official day left of the class… I’m wondering how close I’ll get to actually completing this! There is still an incredible amount of work to be done. Apparently this jacket takes the Chanel atelier 70 hours to complete – I think my first attempt might be a little closer to 100+ hours, and I’m beginning to understand just how much value is in the $6-7000 price tag of a RTW Chanel jacket (not to even mention the $25-30k price tag for the couture version).

And here we are – I managed to get 2 of the 3 seams in each sleeve to match:

IMG_6410 IMG_6415



  1. So beautiful! I love the mix of colors and textures.
    Very interesting, I love the look of the quilted lining.

    1. hehe, so glad to know you’re enjoying it. And just as soon as I wake from the sewing stupor that I’ve fallen into after finishing up last week… I’ll write about the next one – promise!

  2. This jacket is beginning to show it’s beauty. Great work Melanie, you really are giving it your very best.

  3. It’s beautiful to watch something take shape. It’s going to be a stunning jacket! I only hope mine (I’m having a red hot go at it with the LFJ sew along), turns out nearly as beautiful as yours.

  4. Your work so far is impeccable, so I can understand how it has taken this long. I was tempted to start one of own but I don’t think I have enough patience!

    1. It’s very definitely a labour of love… I’m sure you can do a RTW version of this if you wanted a quickie approach, but really – nothing quite compares to what I now call ‘slow sewing’. It’s so very worth the effort :)

  5. It is great to be able to follow your progress on this jacket! It will be an amazing jacket when finished, I love how the inside is going to look almost just as good as the outside.

  6. Your sleeves looks amazing. Just one question pops to mind while I’m doing a marathon read of your posts …. was there a particular reason why you chose batiste over silk organsa for your interlining? Knowing that Susan is such a silk organsa fan.

    1. Yes! There is, very much so. Organza is a really quite stiff, bouyant fabric – it doesn’t have much give. It’s great for underlining fabrics that need support, but it significantly changes the ‘hand’ of lighter fabrics. The whole point of the quilting process in a french jacket is to provide the support that the loosely woven boucle needs, whilst still maintaining the cardigan-like feel – it’s very soft and supple. Very much like a jumper/sweater/pullover (whichever you like to call it). The super soft and light batiste provided a little extra support to my (extremely) loosely woven fabric without changing the hand of it. In the same way that you wouldn’t underline a silk charmuese with organza (rather, a crepe de chin would be suitable) because it would counteract the drape and ruin the fluidity of the charmuese, you wouldn’t underline boucle with organza. I hope that makes sense!

  7. actually, melanie, if you check out a real RTW chanel jacket, you’ll see that yours is of infinitely higher quality. they don’t even quilt the linings anymore!!

    1. You know, I keep meaning to go into a Chanel boutique to both fondle and try on their versions to compare. Whats the point if they don’t quilt the lining?? Shame!

      1. i got into a massive row with a chanel boutique sales woman one afternoon for fondling a jacket and then explaining to her how completely NOT couture it was. almost got evicted! :-)

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