French Jacket Class: Day 6

It’s officially the final day, and most of us are starting out still with our Jacket in three separate pieces. The goal is to leave with at least the sleeves pinned in places by Susan – she does this whilst you’re actually in the jacket and I must say – the result is incredible.

Then the sleeve is stitched in – by hand.



The trickiest part is not to catch your lining whilst doing it – I think I catch mine in about three places. ARGH. And all the ladies here are just so lovely and ladylike – that I bite my tongue and keep the swear-fest inside my head. Mum, please skip over this next part of the sentence… but I’m particularly partial to a well-placed f bomb.

And here we are at the starting line:

IMG_6419 IMG_6421

And you can see once again the handy-ness of uber-wide seam allowances when you’re continuing to refine the fitting as you go, with the changes in seam positions from that fitting.

Popping the jacket on for the first time with the sleeves on, I’m amazing at how snug the fit is, but how impeccably it moulds to my body. It’s a bit like a second skin, oddly! Seeing it like this gives me a fresh burst of enthusiasm for completion :)

Then we’re back to more fell stitching…

And with Susan’s help we pin the neckline to the desired shape (which can change based on how your trim will sit – the trim ‘draws’ your eye and can really affect the neckline positioning) which I stay-stitch and then clip.

As many of the others are leaving this afternoon, Susan talks chain, trim and pocket positioning before we depart at the usual 6:30pm. That night I manage to sew up the lining in one of my sleeves:



The other got completed about a week later whilst watching Project Runway with a few of my fellow classmates from the Couture Sewing School. And the proof of improvement can really be seen here – learning the hand of the charmeuse and how to fold it in under itself to the right degree is something you can only do with practise, for sure. The last half of my second sleeve is a bazillion times better looking than my stitching around the first half attempt! The more pins I used, the better control I had.

From here it’s all pretty much up to me, and there’s still a loooong way to go:

– Sewing on the trim (of which there are three that will join together to make one, and I’m guessing there’s going to be at least 2 passes of hand stitching for both)

 – Sewing on the hooks and bars down the front sides

 – Closing up the lining around the edges with that ever present fell stitch

 – Sewing on the chain along the bottom hem. 

That night I start playing with the trim placement:


But for now, it’s getting packed in my suitcase, because I’ll have my hands full with meeting all the fabulous ladies for the Couture Sewing School next week. It will be so delightful to meet in person people who I’ve been exchanging comments with for ever and a day! Not to mention seeing what everyone else is going to be sewing… BRING IT.



  1. Melanie, well done. All this learning of new and wonderful sewing skills is going to really change how you make everything in the future. You have done an amazing job and your jacket is going to be so beautiful. Thank-you for taking us all along for the ride. Enjoy the next week and meeting up with your fellow blog friends.

    1. I certainly did, Marjorie! It was one of the highlights of my trip. And you’re absolutely right – I’m so inspired to really try and have everything I make be just that little bit better than the last. Thank you :)

    1. Thanks Lisa :) I feel a bit odd posting ‘as it happens’ things like this as I wonder if they’re being too boring! Hopefully I’ll have the darn thing finished really soon! :)

  2. Oh my! Such exquisite work. After my workshop the other day I have a renewed interest in hand sewing. This is going to be one precious jacket! :-)

  3. Thank you for taking the time to blog about your class, it has been so insightful and overwhelming! The end result will truly reflect the effort you have put into it. Bravo!

  4. looking great Mel! I hope your having a great time over there, Graeme and I will have to take you out for dinner once you get back so you can tell us all about it

  5. I have loved these posts. I don’t know what Susan feels about it, but this is definitely advertising! I would never have thought of traveling to the US for a week to undertake one of these classes. But you now have me pining the trip. One day….

  6. This. Is. Amazing. Your work has always looked so precise and now it’s gone up to a whole new unimaginable level! I’m so envious of this class, looks like heaven! Looking forward to seeing the finished jacket!

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