My Classic French Jacket Adventure!
Updated: Jun 24
My little girl seems to have a penchant for creating beautiful art work. I dubbed her a Talented Little Artist when she was 5 years old, and I started collecting a lot of her art work that she brought home from summer camp and kindergarten.
One day, when she was 6 years old, she brought home a beautiful painting she created and she called it "The Blossoming Tree." I loved it so much that I put in on the door the foyer along with other interesting artwork created by my little ones, but there was something special about "The Blossoming Tree" painting. Every time I passed by it I smiled. I put it on top so that I could see it everyday. There it hung for a couple of years.
One year, I decided I had to do more with that painting, because to me it was just too beautiful, so I decided to turn her painting into fabric. I took a course to learn how to do that. It was a challenging and interesting process. In the end, after seeing the final result of the fabric creation process, I found it astounding.
I draped it around my dress form to see how it looked and to imagine how I could use it. I was not sure how I would put the fabric to use, so I allowed it to hang on the dress form for a while to allow my creative process to evolve.
Several months later I decided to use it as the lining in a Classic French Jacket,
so, I took the Blossoming Tree artwork fabric to the first day of class at The Couture Sewing school (http://susankhalje.com/classes. The teacher also loved it.
The teacher took the class on a field trip to New York to shop for fabulous fabric to use in the creation of our garments. It was an exciting adventure. At my teacher's favorite fabric spot, the Mendel Goldberg's Fabric store on Hester Street, we found fabric brought in from Paris, France and from all around the world (by Alice, the owner of Mendel Goldberg's) . With the help of the owner's daughter, I found a lovely gray fabric that has beautiful silver specs in it.
We thought the gray and silver fabric looked really nice against the blossoming tree fabric as the lining. The gray wool fashion fabric and the artsy lining matched in such a manner that really helped me to map out the trim for the type of Classic French Jacket I wanted to create.
Immediately after the shopping excursion at the fabric store, we headed to M&J trims (New York). I must have analyzed thousands of trims and trim combinations, and that was even prior to arriving in New York. But, I finally decided on the color combination that I wanted the trim to look like. I needed to find the right texture. I had lots of trims in various shades of the particular colors I thought I wanted, but I still had not narrowed it down enough to the exact shade and texture.
After much assessment of what seemed like millions of trims and combinations, I finally made my decision. And the result was a multi layered trim that required 7 rows of hand stitching to hold the multiple layers of trim around the jacket body, sleeves and pockets (whew !). The teacher stated that was pretty much the record on trim stitching!
The end result of the jacket, I might add is heavenly, especially seeing my little girls painting on the inside each time I look at the jacket.
The Jacket is finally done, and my little girl is now 10 years old. The majority of the jacket was hand stitched. Creating a Classic French Jacket is no joke!
Hope you enjoyed the video story of my Classic French Jacket adventure (piano music being played by the Talented Little Artist)!