Sewing Project – Vogue 8804

Almost two months after starting work, I’m happy to say that my “French Couture” jacket is finished.  Well, almost anyway.  I wore it today for the first time, and there is a bit of tweaking I want to do.   First, I’m going to put a large hook at the collar so I can fasten it.  Also, I’m going to do another dart of shaping on the front.  And the fringe needs a bit more cleaning up.

Of all the dozens of tasks associated with this jacket, by far the most time consuming was the making of the fringe.  I love the way it looks, but I’m really glad I did not know how long it was going to take to make so much of it.  And I thought I had it trimmed nicely, but you can see how shaggy it is after I wore it.  I probably need to take a wide-tooth comb to get all the yarns straight before another trimming.

I decided on two pockets, which are perfect for a cell phone and a twenty dollar bill.

I’m glad I added the collar.  I think it gives the jacket a more casual look.

That silk is so beautiful, but so slippery.  I know that if I were to ever have to work in a couture atelier, I’d be in the tailleur rather than the flou – working with wools rather than silks.

I’ve read so much about how light and comfortable this style jacket is, and I’ve got to agree.  This is a very easy to wear garment.  There is no constriction at all in the arms and across the back.  It is light-weight, yet warm, and the silk feels simply luxurious against the skin.

This jacket is one of the popular sewing projects of the moment.  I have a word – or two – of warning to anyone considering this undertaking.  First, you absolutely have to be confident about your hand sewing skills.  You may have years of experience on the machine, but unless you have a neat slip stitch, forget it.  Also, patience is definitely a virtue.  All that hand stitching takes time, so this is not immediate gratification sewing.

If you insist on continuing on, then I highly recommend Claire Shaeffer’s book and dvd, Couture Sewing: The Couture Cardigan Jacket.  You might also want to get the pattern, Vogue 8804, if for no other reason than to have Claire’s step-by-step directions.  I referred to both the pattern directions and to the book.  Or better yet, attend Claire’s Sewfari  if you are on the west coast, or Susan Khalje’s class which is in Baltimore.   I’ve heard that both are excellent.

I’ve been sewing for close to 50 years, but this project proved that I have so much still to learn.  Some of the things are so simple that I’m crying that it took so long to find out about them.  Probably the biggest revelation was the marking of the top of a pattern piece on the right – as opposed to the wrong – side.  How did I not know to do this?  Claire uses a little stitched X to show the top of the piece and the right side.  This is invaluable when the fabric looks the same on both sides.

I know that many people whine about all the basting that Claire suggests, but basting really is the sewer’s friend.  The one time I skipped the basting, I ended up having to rip and restitch.  Also, thread tracing the seam lines was a huge help in matching corners.  I’ll always thread trace corners from now on.

A big thanks to all of you for being so encouraging and interested.  It helped keep me going when I was all stitched out!

 

34 Comments

Filed under Vintage Sewing

34 responses to “Sewing Project – Vogue 8804

  1. Wow! This is fabulous! I adore the fabric you chose for the lining!

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  2. Well done Lizzie! It looks amazing and I’m so happy you’re happy with the result!

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  3. Christina

    The collar just makes the jacket. Patience rewarded.

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  4. Hi Lizzie, this is truly a lovely garment, and I’m so excited to have followed you through this project. I want to copy you! I have the pattern but will have to find Claire Shaeffer’s dvd and book. Thanks again for sharing what you’re up to!
    Jill

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  5. Gorgeous! Well done! It looks wonderful x

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  6. It’s beautiful! All the patience and meticulous work really paid off! The best & most satisfying projects are the ones that make you grow as a seamstress. =)

    I often mark the right sides of my cut fabric with a safety pin near the top. I guess that’s the quick (and lazy) way of stitching a thread X.

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  7. Well done! And you got a great fit!

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  8. It is fabulous–just as a Chxxxnel should be! Love your cautions. They are well taken. I have not the slightest desire to undertake this kind of project, but I surely do enjoy seeing and hearing about the adventures of those who do. Congratulations on checking a big sewing milestone off the list.

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  9. Lindsay Henderson

    Beautiful work! It’s very Chanel. I really love the lining material you chose.

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  10. So exciting to see the final jacket and it looks gorgeous on you! Definitely the fringe is worth it – a comb will do the trick for the tangles :). Congrats, now you can enjoy it for the holidays!

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  11. It’s lovely, Lizzie! I love both of the fabrics you used, and enjoyed what you said about being in the tailleur rather than the flou – working with wools rather than silks. Thanks for sharing your experience with the project. Great job!

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  12. Oh, Lizzie – it is lovely! Very classy, very wearable and very versatile. Isn’t making a piece like this rewarding – and illuminating? You find out all kinds of things about sewing, about yourself, and about life during the many hours spent on something so time-intensive. What a treat for us, your readers, to see the finished product!

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  13. This looks great! That collar is *sharp*!

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  14. You’ve done a super job Lizzie. Well done. :-) xx

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  15. Ah, très chic, Lizzie! Congratulations on finishing this beautiful project. It’s lovely, and looks perfect on you.

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  16. This designer jacket turned out to be a really nice project (and worth all of that time and effort that you put into it). Now it’s time to take yourself out to lunch wearing it and celebrate!

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  17. Very impressive! This classic, beautifully made jacket looks like something you’ll enjoy wearing for many years.

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  18. that’s a beautiful piece of work.

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  19. The fabric is beautiful and yes, an open weave is very challenging, but you did it! What will you wear under it for the social debut?

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  20. QueensGirl

    Whoa! This turned out great! The fabric is really well suited to the addition of the collar, perfect proportions. Did you use any interfacing between the outer fabric and the silk lining?

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  21. I really appreciate all the compliments! Thanks for helping me celebrate the labor of almost 2 months.

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  22. And I get the best emails! Reader Fred must love those hidden picture puzzles because he found a reindeer in my messy fringe.

    Can you see it?

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  23. Adorable! And I had to grin, because I always size my pockets around my iphone these days. The modern chatelaine.

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  24. Really beautiful and I adore these colors!

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  25. It looks absolutely fabulous Lizzie! Well done!

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  26. Beautiful jacket, Lizzie! Well worth the time it took to create it. I think you will get years of enjoyment wearing something so special, too.

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  27. You are so lucky with this jacket! I LOVE the fabric, fabric colour and lining! You look great in it.
    Yes – it is a lot of work – for me it is enjoyment. One of the things I learned while making this jacket is – NO shortcuts.

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