Class · Review · Sewing

Tuesdays with Gertie: Uncle? (And Introducing Tuesdays with Claire!)

This year I’m sewing along with Gertie from Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing Claire Shaeffer, using her Custom Couture Collection pattern Vogue V8333. A bunch of other talented seamsters and I have joined up through the Craftsy online community to make her Starlet Suit. Here’s a reflection on my efforts to sew well.

Though I was really hoping I’d finally figured out the fit of the Starlet Suit Jacket last week, it was clear from your comments that the back still wasn’t quite right. I tried all the tips and tricks you guys suggested, but those sleeve puckers came back regardless of how I eased in that upper back princess seam. Now, perhaps I just needed to set the sleeves in differently, use larger shoulder pads, or adjust another seam in some magic way to make it all come together. But, for now I call uncle.

Since I did want to make some forward progress, I went digging through my pattern stash since I knew I’d inherited several nice jacket patterns. I found Vogue V8333, which not only vaguely resembles the Starlet Suit Jacket but also provides couture instructions by Claire Shaeffer. I decided it couldn’t hurt to make up a new muslin out of this pattern just to see.  Could it really be any worse?

It was so much better. I need a little bit more time wearing the muslin, but I think it’s close to fitting me without any adjustments.  It feels like cheating to use a different pattern from the class, but I really just need something that’s going to work.  One day I’ll know enough to get the Starlet Suit Jacket pattern to work for me, but that day doesn’t seem to be now.  And, I’m actually really excited to get to use Claire Shaeffer’s written instructions with Gertie’s video instructions as I move through jacket construction.  Tuesdays with Gertie and Claire, anyone?

Also, thank you all so much for your kind words last week.  It means so much to me to know how caring and supporting the online sewing community is.  You guys are all so spectacular.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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15 thoughts on “Tuesdays with Gertie: Uncle? (And Introducing Tuesdays with Claire!)

  1. It’s not cheating, Amy. Some patterns fit better than others and are drafted better than others, and each pattern company requires certain tweaks to make the perfect fit. Glad you are happier with the muslin. It will make the project much more enjoyable!

  2. I came so close to ditching the Starlet for this pattern (which I own and also intend to make – next tailoring project). I don’t think the Starlet is worth the effort. Not when there are so many other well-drafted jackets to choose from. You can always use the good instruction from the Craftsy course with the Schaeffer pattern and get the best of both worlds.

  3. I thing you should go with the V8333 (but I’m biased, it’s my dream project…). The goal is sewing a jacket that you like and fits you, altering the pattern is only one step in a long process. If you like the style and the V8333 looks better, why not?

    I think the Craftsy class is great for sewing tips and “how to’s” regardless the pattern used.

    From what I’ve read online the V8333 is great for learning new tailoring skills. A great jacket is a long term project as it is, so having a great fitting muslin is a good (and necessary) baseline.

    Also, you probably don’t need/want two jackets with the same look, so you might want to choose anyway. The V8333 received many positive reviews so just out of curiosity, why not try it?

  4. +1 on switching patterns. I think you’re the third person online who I see having trouble with the fit on the Starlet suit – I personally would switch at this point.

    As a side note, I was following this series with great interest, wondering if your fit for the Starlet pattern will be ok. Guess not ;(

  5. Now that should be a fantastic jacket!! It must be such a relief to start off with a better fit. I have that pattern as well so, now, I’m even more excited to see your results!

  6. Finding a pattern that goes together well AND fits great already AND has tips from Claire Shaeffer? Sounds like a win to me!

    If you’re up for a couple of adjustments, you can make that V8333 closer in style to the Starlet style by adding flare below the waist at all the seams and shortening the sleeves to 3/4 length.

  7. Hi Amy! If for you the V8333 works, you should go with it. I was considering to draft my own pattern for this course, but I felt also like cheating for not using the original pattern, but the truth is that besides learning a lot of new skills, I want to wear what I make.

  8. to echo what others have said, if it works for you then go for it! we all accept that certain styles from certain shops/ brands fo jeans etc fit us better than others, so why not sewing patterns?

  9. I don’t think its cheating at all! If Claire’s pattern fits you better thats what you should use, simply because you want to have something you can actually wear by the end of the course. I bet the written couture instructions plus Gertie’s class will make for quite a heady combination! So much hand sewing!! I’m so excited!

  10. I love systems and working within a frame, so I understand how sometimes it feels like “cheating” to change course. And I’ll kill myself trying to make something work! I thought you might have a laugh at this blogger’s post:

    http://cargocultcraft.com/2010/04/14/simplicity-4750-when-the-pattern-is-your-frenemy/

    I read it a couple of years ago when I was struggling with a jacket pattern over and over and really thought there was SOMETHING I was doing wrong. It put my mind at ease to move on… and laugh at my sheer willpower.

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