Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Souvenirs de France

Several years ago one of the women in my patchwork club made a beautiful red wall hanging. She had several bags of left over fabric and when I expressed interest she "loaned" them to me. I was to take what I needed and give back the rest. I did not want a wall hanging, when I looked at those fabrics, I wanted a jacket.

In my stash I have an old pattern for a jacket that I have modified and made more than once. My pattern is on a piece of plastic and in the pattern pack are my notes of where I changed the original (I seem to recall Simplicity, vintage, 1980s...) I changed the sleeves so they were less cupped and symmetrical (something you do not do for shirts, but for a loose jacket it is just easier to assemble. 

Years ago, when rag quilts were all the rage I made a jacket using this pattern. I still wear it. I added patch pockets and came up with a fun easy way to attach the collar. This collar attachment is to easy so someone must have done it before, but my notes are really from the early days of the internet where we did not have the resources we have now. I have it in my notes what to do, good thing too because to reinvent the wheel would take me a little thought process.

All of the red pieces meant that I needed to piece them together. I decided to do the rag quilt method again just because I thought the texture would be nice with the red, mostly linen, fabrics. As this is a souvenir I wanted to capture what I like about France. So here is a tour of my jacket.

In an old copy of Mon Ouvrage I found a raised work French knot butterfly. I love butterflies. I forgot to write down the publication date of the butterfly, but it is most likely late 1940 to early 1950.

Here it is on my jacket
Since I sew, I wanted  a dress form. From Pinterest I found a couple of ornate ones and so I copied and modified one of them I found.  To the left is my drawing and there it is on the jacket.
Next up was the  Eiffel Tower of course. Again I found photos and traced off the design.
I love cats but can not have one, or any pet for that matter. Going again on line I found images of cats and drew my rendition of what a proper french cat would do given the chance.
Here it is on the jacket. Pierre, le chat rouge needed a moustache, don't you think?

One of the techniques we learned at my patchwork club was Broderie Swiss or chicken scratch (horrible name). Here is the piece that I was able to incorporate into the jacket.
 In an vintage copy of La Mode Illustree I found a line backstitch pattern. This pattern was one of 4, the other 3 you had to mail order for a small fee. Just darn! I do not think I can order it now. the other 3 designs were just as nice as this one. I failed, like the butterfly to write down the dates of the publication, but it was most likely 1897. 
I copied it off and then penciled in the lines so that they could be better seen. It was then traced on to the fabric. Here is my rendition of the design

Finally what the jacket looks like in its entirety, here is the front:

And back:


  1. Absolutely beautiful Jean!! Love it!!

  2. Jean, what a fabulous jacket!!! You did an excellent job on making this. I love the artwork and I know you will treasure it for many years to come.

  3. Jean, this is a beautiful jacket; you always make beautiful clothing.