It’s a long time since I cut out this pattern. I think it was about October 2017, so nearly a year ago. And even longer since I bought it. This was one of the first patterns I bought when I came back to sewing in 2014. It was printed in 2006.
Claire Shaeffer is a brilliant teacher – I have enjoyed reading and using her books. I made up a couple of her patterns. I follow her on Facebook, and at one point she kindly contacted me to congratulate me on making my favourite dress. She doesn’t teach any more, but one of my bucket list plans had been to attend a class with her.
I don’t know exactly the story of Claire’s pattern series, except that they have couture sewing advice clearly outlined in the notes. I made Vogue 8804 a couple of times in both the long and short ways (couture and soft tailoring approaches). Having a look at Claire’s collection it seems likely that she has developed patterns based on interesting vintage designs – maybe jackets, dresses and coats she has in her collection or has examined closely. I think I read that she sees herself primarily as a couture constructor rather than a designer, and I admire her for that. I think there are some beautiful shapes here and if the patterns were available they would be the kind of thing I would like to make up.
This is a really pretty pattern in my view. I love the look of the jacket on the envelope. The collar and lapel, and the waisted look is a 1940s look in my opinion. The sleeves are narrow and well-balanced. Many of Claire’s patterns celebrate an hour-glass figure. Although I have not met Claire herself she appears to be fairly petite and slim with a shaped figure. In any event I think she likes a classic feminine look.
I decided to follow the instructions to make the jacket B – the quick method including a bagged lining. For some reason I haven’t made a jacket with a bagged lining. Also what was new to me was to underlining the whole bodice, everything bar the sleeves, with an iron-on product. So I decided to try it all out.
I haven’t tested this fabric which was sold to me as linen. However I would not be surprised if it included silk as it has a definite sheen. It may also include wool. I would say, although it was inexpensive (about £8 p/m from Simply Fabrics)
It did not occur to me to make a toile on this occasion. I used a fabric that I had bought for another project, a jacket for my son Gus, in the hope that I could make a wearable jacket and learn about the fitting from making it up. I cut out a size 10 which is purportedly for a bust of 32 and a half inches, with a 25 inch waist, and 34 and half inches for the hips. I am actually a bit bigger than this (about 33, 26 and 38) but I do like a fitted look.
Once I had assembled the jacket it was clear there was too much fabric across the centre back. I just pinned it on myself with my hands behind my back, so you can see it is not very accurate. The shoulders and front looked quite nice.
I took 1cm out at each of the seven seams – the two side seams, the centre back seam, the two princess lines, and the style line seams. That’s about 14cms, tapering up and down to the hip! It is quite a lot of fullness to suppress, but I have a fairly narrow back and also I wanted a more interesting style. Often Vogue patterns have quite a lot of ease in them and I have to do something like this.
Although the jacket can be made with couture approaches plan B is not difficult. Even the pocket approach – hiding them in a pleat at the front went together very easily. The sleeves are nice and went in well too. I used shoulder pads. The jacket looks a little bit tight on Camilla, who is a little wide wider in the waist than I am.
All was going swimmingly. However I have got to the bagged out lining. I can’t understand the instructions! I am sure it will make sense once I do it but I am falling over at the first hurdle. I guess the internet will provide a video or more information on how to do it.