Week in Review

There’s lots to say but little to show! Sewing like mad doesn’t always lead to a completed garment which isn’t always a bad thing.

Tomorrow I start my long awaited couture class with Susan Khalje in Baltimore. The choice of what to make was easy after concluding I would never attempt this garment on my own.  What am I making?

V7975The French Jacket aka The Chanel Jacket. I want to learn to do it correctly.

 The class requires some dedicated preparation and I’ve spent much of the week making a ‘proper’ muslin. After pressing my pieces and making the petite adjustment, I measured and marked the seam lines before cutting the muslin pieces.


Once cut, the seamlines were traced on to the muslin and then stitched with dark thread resulting in a thread-traced muslin.


The process is not for anyone desiring instant gratification. ;)


Finally, I basted all of the pieces together and now I’m ready for class.


This week my true gratification came from the printed word rather than fabric! On Tuesday, my hometown newspaper contacted me about featuring an article on my blog as part of its fashion series.  Recognition for a job well done may be one of the best sources of gratification ever. The writer neatly summarized my two-year blogging journey seen online here.

Screen Shot 2013-09-29 at 8.36.50 PM

But as I was cleaning the sewing room to pack for my trip I came across the cowl neck pattern piece to the Renfro top I cut while trying to decide which version to make.

“Why not?” I thought.

Now I can go from this


to this in a snap.


A little taste of the tangible to keep me moving in the right direction :)

Best wishes to all !


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96 Responses to Week in Review

  1. poppykettle says:

    I’ll see you tomorrow morning then :) I’ve just spent one week with Susan and it’s been incredible. You won’t be disappointed!

  2. Good luck and have fun in your class!

  3. Marguerite says:

    What a great article. I’m so happy that you are getting recognition. There are tons of sewing bloggers out there, but as I have said before…you have that je ne sais quoi that makes yours special. I will be eagerly awaiting all the info from your class. I have read all of Claire Sheaffer’s articles on the Chanel jacket, have every book out there on Chanel and spent a good half hour studying one of the iconic jackets in a NYC Chanel boutique! BUT sadly have never attempted one. I’m looking forward to yours for inspiration!!!! Good luck with it.

    • Thank you, Marguerite! The jacket expensive and slow going which helps to understand the retail cost. I’m learning so much and hope to do a post int the next day or so about the class “)

  4. Lori says:

    Have a wonderful time at your class with Susan, it will be amazing I am sure. Congrats on the feature article, so exciting.

  5. Art Attack says:

    Congrats on yet another level of fame, Sarah! Enjoy your week with Susan. And won’t Cissie be there, as well? You two will have a blast! I keep thinking I want to take that class but I simply hate all that handwork. I think I will enjoy it vicariously through you! Can’t wait to see the fab Chanel jacket you end up with!

    • Hi Dorcas! Cissie is here along with cute Melanie from Poppykettle and several other wonderful women. It is all work and no play so far but I’m learning tons :) Many thanks for the comment! ………I finally used the machine late yesterday.

  6. Oh, wow…I’m so impressed! I actually – and very optimistically – bought that pattern last year! So excited to see what you do with it! Looking forward to a full report on your class – I know you’ll get so much out of it :)

    LOVE the cowl – what a neat idea! Very clever – you might just start a new trend: the convertible top! Congrats, too, on the article…very well deserved!

    Have fun learning!

    • Thank you, Cheryl!
      I’ve discovered the pattern is little more than a starting point with Susan who is a lovely and masterful teacher…… and I couldn’t resist sewing the cowl before I left ;)

  7. Mary Lynn says:

    The sky’s the limit for you! And might I add………very well deserved :-) You have such a flare for color, flattering styles and wonderful writing and people skills! Look forward to hearing about the Susan Khalje class. I hope you’ll come back to Charleston and show us your fabulous Chanel!

  8. Maggie Edger says:

    I do look forward to reading the sewing articles about you this fall and seeing your fabulous Chanel upon completion. A Maggie

  9. Lexley- Brisbane AU says:

    I am so excited for you and cannot wait for your posts on this class!!! that is the same pattern I used and 5 muslins later could not perfect a close fit…and it’s all about a snug comfortable fit that is hard to perfect – but in saying this, you will have Susan guiding you and mentoring on the classic french style jacket…. Have a wonderful time and make sure you get plenty of sleep! All the best…..

    • Thank you, Lexley! Were it not for Susan my jacket would not fit. PERIOD. My muslin fit nicely except for the upper chest and upper back – was that your problem too? At any rate she fit it beautifully!

      • Lexley- Brisbane AU says:

        It was the same issue I had too. the neckline overlapped and the upper back was not right. Honestly, I gave up after all the muslins I did. I just would love to know how Susan perfects this snug fit required for the classic french jacket. I look forward to your posts. :)

  10. Sigrid says:

    Have a wonderful time, looking forward to your jacket.
    Lovely article too. .

  11. Sarah Liz says:

    I’ll be interested in how this jacket works, Sarah. I have the pattern too. You are lucky to be able to go to the class – I’m sure all of us in the Antipodes are looking forward to your updates so we can learn too! The alterations for fit will be interesting – I’ve learnt that curved princess lines are great for curvy figures, and the straight are great for straight figures. I am so thrilled you received recognition for your efforts – it really is lovely when that happens – humans thrive on recognition – Well done :)

  12. I’m doing the little black jacket sew along that starts this month until the end of the year and Susan Khalje is the mentor for the sew along. I cut out my pattern today and considered what adjustments I would need to the bust before pining it to my muslin and tracing. Keen to hear more about your hands on class with Susan.

  13. Vicki says:

    Sounds like an exciting week and the next one too!

  14. Denny says:

    What a great idea for the cowl neck. I have made 3 cowl tops from that pattern and they present a problem for me – if I try to apply makeup and blow dry my hair the cowl gets in the way so I have to initially re think what to wear. Your solution is absolutely perfect because the cowl can be added after attempting to make myself look beautiful and no more makeup stains or soggy collar from wet hair…….perfect!

    • Thanks, Denny! I found it rather clever but wouldn’t have thought of it if the piece hadn’t been sitting there. At any rate I’m going to enjoy the top much differently than I otherwise would have :)

  15. Annika says:

    I’m so happy for you that you are able to take Susan Khaljes class. I can only dream that one day I will too. Have fun for all of us!!

  16. I´ve for a long time been thinking about sewing a Chanel jacket, but still not got courage enough. Good luch with the couture class – I look forward to see the result.

  17. Jean says:

    Congratulations on receiving recognition in your local newspaper. Well done and well deserved. Hope you enjoy your class with Susan Khalje, and enjoy the process of making your French jacket. Looks like you are well prepared.

  18. I am looking forward to meeting you in class Monday morning!

  19. Julie Starr says:

    I’m certain that there are so many of us cheering you on and taking delight in each of your successes along the way. So wonderful how things like this happen in life, especially when you never go looking for them in the first place. Absorb the coming week like a sponge…can’t wait to hear all about it.

    • Thank you so much, Julie! It’s quite the week. Cissie’s Archer shirts are gorgeous – I’m in for the sew-a-long.
      The class is quite the experience. Enjoyable and enlightening – more soon!

  20. Andrea says:

    Sarah, the article was lovely! How exciting that you’re attending a class of SK’s in person. Can’t wait to see your finished jacket. Have fun!

  21. Welcome to Baltimore! Have a great time in the class; I hear marvelous reports about her teaching. And your fame! LOL, well, deserved, as you are inspirational in the sewing world.

  22. JoanneM says:

    I took Susan’s French Jacket Class in June. Outstanding. Document your journey for you to remember. I then made another jacket (very slowly) when I returned home so as to embed the skills learned :)

    It will be the highlight of your sewing career. Enjoy, learn and be prepared to be ecstatic. I want to go back!

  23. dara says:

    Sarah, I enjoyed reading the beautiful article about you. You are such a talented lady. much success on your new sewing adventure! Happy sewing!

  24. Tia Dia says:

    Congrats on the article! Your blog is breezy, inspiring and full of sewing joy, and this is a well-deserved recognition. Enjoy your sewing with Susan. It’s on my dream list of experiences…. ;)

  25. Becky says:

    What a wonderful article! It summarizes your journey so well. I hope you have a wonderful week and come home with a new Chanel-styled jacket that you adore. Then, please share! I enjoy your blog so much, and it is very inspiring, particularly for those of us who are not at your skill level.

  26. Jackie says:

    Congratulations Sarah! I am so glad I found your blog last spring as you have become my inspiration to get back to garment sewing. Per your suggestion, I have taken several Craftsy classes on fit and am completing a fall version of your V8904. Wishing you a wonderful experience in Baltimore and am looking forward to your posts.

  27. Angela says:

    Congratulations on the article! Just like your blog, I hope the article inspires more people to start sewing. Have fun in your class:)

  28. My Sewing Suite says:

    Have a great time. I have always wanted to take a class from her, especially the Paris tour.

  29. Louisam says:

    I found your blog by accident and immediately was excited to follow you as I found you quite charming and loved the pieces you were sewing. Congratulations on the article and enjoy your class! Can’t wait to see the finished piece.

  30. Pam says:

    Wonderful article and well deserved recognition! Count me among your inspired followers. What better reward than a master class? Enjoy!

  31. Miriam says:

    You are officially a celebrity now. You are a type of celebrity we need more of, a good role model! Enjoyed reading the article and of course always enjoy reading your blog.

  32. lisa g says:

    excellent article, and well deserved recognition! i’m definitely one who finds much inspiration here. oh, and fantastic idea about the renfrew cowl… genius!

  33. Cindy says:

    What happy news! A wonderful article recognizing your many achievements, and the sewing class to end all sewing classes! Your resulting jacket will be fabulous, and I’d lay bets that Valentino Garavani himself couldn’t do one whit better. (Does this put pressure on you to excel? Hah! Good.) :=D

  34. Sheree says:

    How wonderful to be able to take that class with Susan. I loved her craftsy couture dress course and find her an amazing teacher. You will learn so much, I am sure. Good article – however I was surprised that the author used your surname instead of Sarah.

  35. Good luck with Susan Khalje’s class! I’m sure your jacket will be stunning. Thanks for linking to that article — I enjoyed reading about your story.

  36. sewruth says:

    You will love your finished jacket! Take your time and enjoy every moment. I’d love to take a master class but there’s the Atlantic between us. I’m looking forward to seeing you wearing the Chanel.

  37. Margie says:

    I have just completed the The Classic French Jacket class with Susan Khalje, and had a wonderful time, learning so much about couture sewing techniques. Susan is a fabulous teacher and inspire all who attended the class, I hope you enjoy the week with her.

  38. Lisa Laree says:

    What a great article! I bet it inspires more folks to give sewing a try…what a wonderful platform you have developed here!

  39. sewdooley says:

    Congratulations on the article. Looking forward to seeing your postings on the class with Susan, especially getting the fit just right for a petite.

  40. Lucinda says:

    Ah, what fun you’ll have! Hoping you soak it all up!

  41. jlundy6116 says:

    Oh, I’m so jealous! I’ve heard nothing but great things about that class. I’m sure you’ll make something gorgeous! And, congrats on the article!

  42. Karen says:

    You will LOVE the class with Susan – being with her is truly inspiring! Congratulations on the wonderful newspaper coverage – and, belatedly, on your daughter’s engagement!

  43. holly says:

    Such a sweet story, and so inspiring! I have had a long hiatus from sewing, now I’m making a fitted dress… very slowly… it’s taken a couple of weeks to find time just to cut out all the pieces. Hoping to get it finished in time for summer (southern hemisphere reader here!). The vintage fabric came from my stash, the Vogue pattern from a thrift shop. It will be a dress for under $20, including zipper!

    • Don’t you just love all of the elements that have come together for you dress? It’s one of the things I love about sewing. Have fun – good luck and many thanks for your comment, Holly!

  44. Gjeometry says:

    Hey!!! Congrats on the article about you in the paper! That’s too kewl!

  45. gingermakes says:

    Oooh, how fun! I can’t wait to see your jacket! And congrats on the blog recognition– that’s so exciting! I didn’t know you lived in Spartanburg! My brother just moved there. :)

  46. Sharon says:

    Enjoy your class and can’t wait to see/hear how it all went. How wonderful to be in the press, fantastic article.

    • Thank you, Sharon! The class has been wonderful so far! I hear Susan is coming to Australia with Kenneth King next year! :)

      • Lexley- Brisbane AU says:

        OK, now my head’s spinning !! Wonderful, coming to AU-have they set a date as yet? I do hope they come to Brisbane-I’ll have to find out more…….

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