A Surfeit of Sewing

Do you ever have so many sewing plans that you don’t know where to begin?  Do you find yourself at a loss of how to prioritize your projects?  Do you look at the calendar and find yourself in disbelief that there are only two months left in the year?  How did that happen?

My answer to those first three questions is Yes, Yes, and Yes.  (My answer to the last question above is “I have no idea,” but that’s my reaction every year when the calendar is about to turn over to November.)

It is very unlike me to have more than one project going at a time.  I like to finish what I start before moving on to something else. However, four different “sewing adventures” are vying for my attention right now, so I think they are going to have to share space and time.

The first item is the one about which I am least concerned.  That is the skirt I am making as a member of the newly minted Susan Khalje Sewing Club (SKC Sewing Club).   Inaugurated in September, this online couture sewing club is by subscription only, but open to all who may already employ couture techniques in their fashion sewing or those who want to learn more about this remarkable method of creating beautiful apparel.  As a way of creating dialogue and offering fitting advice, Susan sent all members a copy of her “skirts” pattern.

This pattern is available in Susan’s online store (see link above.) It is a beautifully drafted pattern, and very versatile. I will be using it often!

Those who choose to follow along (Susan posts video lessons online) are working through the process with their own choice of fabric.  I have chosen to use this lightweight wool herringbone tweed for my skirt:

With my skirt fitted, basted and underlined in silk organza, with darts and seams sewn, I am currently on hold, awaiting our next step.  Bit by bit, this skirt will be finished forthwith, of that I am confident.

An item I had every intention of getting to this Fall is another Classic French Jacket.  I am currently in the process of laying out the pattern on my boucle.

Here is a small swatch of the boucle I am using for the jacket, purchased from Mendel Goldberg Fabrics.

I have revised my expectations now to have, at the very least, the jacket cut out, the outline basting complete, and the lining pieces quilted onto the jacket pieces.  Actually finishing this jacket will no doubt happen in 2019.

For some reason, I have it in my mind to make a white cotton blouse.  Where that came from, I don’t know, but that’s what I want to do. I found this woven-in-stripe Swiss cotton at Britex Fabrics several years ago, and it keeps surfacing in my fabric closet.  I think it is time to make this blouse!

And then there are Christmas dresses for my two granddaughters, to be ready in time for December’s many pre-Christmas activities.  There is no negotiating on these.  They must be finished on time.  I have ordered fabric (kindly through Mulberry Silks and Fine Fabrics, which I had the pleasure to visit on a very recent trip to North Carolina.) Oh, the many (still secret) plans I have for these!

The last two months of 2018 are going to be . . . well . . . very busy indeed.


Filed under Blouses, classic French jacket, couture construction, woolens

16 responses to “A Surfeit of Sewing

  1. Peggy Warren

    Dear Karen,

    I have complete faith in your ability to manage your schedule of tasks! Your fabric selections are divine and I, along with your devoted followers, anxiously await the update on their construction and completion. Oh, Swiss Cotton makes me tingle in anticipation!

    I’m got my own list. I’m working on ”makie” gifts for Christmas. I’ve planned to give 20 aprons, 1 Holiday decorative panel and 12 potholders. I got my inspiration from the photo of your red hen and matching tea cozy. When I saw those two adorable creations I shrieked “ureka” – I know what to do for gifts now!!!! Only 3 aprons and potholders left to finish. You continue to be an inspiration!


    • Oh my goodness! I have made so many potholders, and I find them really satisfying little projects. And who doesn’t need potholders? Or aprons? I am so delighted I gave you some inspiration for your gifts – and quite impressed that you are so far ahead with your Christmas sewing. By the way, that Swiss cotton is quickly becoming number one on my list!

  2. I would love to have only one project going at a time but I seem to get several going at once. I’m sure you will organize and finish everything on time. I’m looking forward to seeing your couture skirt.

    • Isn’t it funny how everyone has their own system (or maybe no system at all!) when it comes to organizing their sewing? As far as the skirt – I could probably go ahead and finish it on my own, but just in case Susan has some special tips to share, I have decided to wait!

  3. Mery

    Oh, what marvelous projects! I’m cheering that you’ll win this race without interference. Can’t wait to see the granddaughters’ delightful creations. Winter hit early here, so for the past ten days it has felt like the holiday season is here already. I like the white fabric and a blouse from it will see lots of wear. Perhaps it’s calling you so you’ll have a marathon session with it before the granddaughters shipment arrives. I’m glad your winter sewing isn’t blind-me black (pretty but makes me blurry just thinking of working on it). I agree with Peggy about your hen sewing being memorable.

    • I think I am going to try to make that white blouse before the Christmas fabric arrives. Once it is here, it will be full speed ahead on those two dresses! We just may have to eat out more often so I have more sewing time!

  4. Mery

    I’m guessing your skirt is a rosy pink? My phone’s coloring isn’t accurate, so it appears here as a lovely coral.

  5. Oh my! What lovely projects. I don’t trust the colours on my iPad but it looks like all three pieces will go together nicely? Or is my colour off? No matter, I look forward to seeing more!

    • Actually the boucle for the jacket and the wool for the skirt do NOT look good together, but that was never my intention. I actually have another jacket (purchased years ago in Scotland) which will be perfect with the skirt, so that’s my plan. Thanks, Linda!

  6. Are the pattern pieces laid out on the boucle from a muslin?

  7. Susan’s skirt pattern will certainly be an absolute delight to sew, and it appears that your herringbone will coordinate with your bouclé? I can not resist a lovely white blouse, and that fabric would not have lasted in my stash, but then I have always been a separates kind of girl, so no surprise there. 😍 Will anticipate the lovely creations coming for your grands, I know they will be unique and exquisitely crafted!

  8. sewdivine


    Hi. I know you primarily through Sarah Gunn’s FB group, 2018 RTW Fasters – that’s how I found out about your blog and received the below email. I am very interested in the SKC Sewing Club and just tried to sign up. I experienced some problems with paypal and requested assistance from her team. I am sure I will hear from someone shortly so they can take my money! LOL Do you know if you can work on any pattern? I have 2 vogue dresses/coats that I was just about to start, and I would like to use couture sewing techniques on them. I have 2 of her videos I purchased from Craftsy, and they have provided some couture techniques, but if the pattern doesn’t specify what to do, I am a little lost other than cutting an organza underling and following the pattern. I would like to incorporate bound button holes, padded shoulders, add a welt pocket instead of patch pocket, etc.


    Sent from Mail for Windows 10

    • Absolutely, you can work on any pattern. Susan makes it clear that no one is obligated to do the skirt project, but it is a great way to learn from other members of the group as well as Susan. Once you have access to the site, you will see lots of different things people are working on. It is just so much fun and a fabulous way to learn. Susan is very responsive to questions; I feel sure you will find it helpful. So glad you are joining!

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