Monday, July 6, 2009

Balmain part 2: First construction thoughts

When I bought the book Classic Tailoring Techniques, by Cabrera/Meyers, some time ago I didn't have any particular project in mind. But I had been making a few jackets and was hungry for more information. Nancy K, you may remember I posted a question on the PatternReview boards about what book to buy, and your insightful answer gave me the push I needed. Thank you.
This jacket, as patsijean pointed out in her comment, will need lots of support due to all the heavy embellishments. When I found the fabric I was so relieved because it truly needs support inside and out. The double wool crepe is quite substantial and will hold up well. I picked a medium firm hair canvas as interfacing and believe it will get the job done. I may have to add an extra layer under each trim section, and will test first to be sure.

In the book there is no mention - I think- of any interfacing in the sleeve itself, which is normal, but this jacket is not normal :)) This is where couture enters the picture. In couture you have to think on your feet and constantly readjust as the project unfolds. Which is something I love to do :))

Hence; I'm not pushing for a July 31 deadline. I'm taking my time and will be enjoying it all the way.

I'm using BWOF (what else!) 02-2008-105 as a start off point. It's so well drafted I only did minimal changes (except for shoulder/sleeve of course.) I will do a separate post, maybe several, on the muslin.


  1. I do use interfacing in the sleeve cap. I have used bias fusible cut in the shape of the sleeve cap. I also use bias haircanvas to ease the sleeve cap and fill the cap, but if you can get mohair (I think that this is what Kenneth King uses) it will also give more support for the sleeve cap. The shoulder pad needs to be very firm too or it will collapse under the weight of the embellishing. I am enjoying your process enormously and look forward to seeing your progress.

  2. What are you using in the upper back for a stay?
    If you have Kenneth Kings book, it might be helpful because he covers how to support a fabric for embellishing.

  3. I have an idea! You could leave this project until August, then come to NYC and take the class taught by Kenneth King and Susan Khalje, where you could work on this jacket under their tutelage. I and a few other bloggers you know will be there. Just a thought! At any rate, I look forward to seeing this jacket blossom.

  4. Yes this is definitely not a project to be rushed - really excited to follow your progress and see the finished piece of art!

  5. I'm so glad that you are going to share your journey of this jacket with us. I know you will take your time to do it exactly right and it will definitely be a work of art!