A very French jacket

I’m writing this post as I recover from attending another brilliant intensive couture workshop run by Susan Khalje, as she takes her couture workshops around Australia again this year.


When Susan first came to Australia I booked into the couture workshop in Sydney and then attended the guipure lace skirt workshop in Brisbane because I thought this was a one-off event. Seizing the moment and making the most of Susan’s couture sewing knowledge is what made me love sewing all over again.

If you ask my colleagues and friends, I’ve never stopped sewing but a few years ago I felt a bit ‘meh’ about sewing. If I’m not sewing, I think about sewing and talk to all of you, about sewing.

Back to my story…

The thought of hand sewing always made me think that I was sewing below par. I really did. Machine sewing was what I thought was the penultimate in sewing. Would you believe I am now a convert to thread tracing seam lines.  Who would have thought!

In the very first course I went to, I was so nervous and I found my anxiety hampered my ability to listen and learn. But you know, in this year’s workshop, I was chilled about being there. Not blase mind you but happy to be there and knowing that what I didn’t know, would soon be a new learning for me. I learnt something new and built on what I already know every day.

I’m recovering and reflecting after powering through the classic French jacket class and having a lovely time with my class mates. We all worked hard during the class and I sewed every night for at least 2 hours a night and sometimes I got up early in the morning to fit in another hour of hand sewing. I did make mistakes along the way and I had to chuckle and then to keep working through these ‘hiccups’.

All week I’ve been eyeing the fabrics that Linton Tweed has on their website with thoughts of a few more classic French jackets this year.

Just to prove a point, here are my guipure lace pieces to date: 1 Guipure lace skirt  2 Guipure emerald and blue dress , 3 the strapless guipure dress, and 4 Rambling rose guipure dress

The second year Susan Khalje came to Australia, I made a Vivienne Westwood suit. The jacket had a faux vest and Susan worked through the whole process with me to a brilliant final suit. I made the skirt when I got home. I worked on the floor to get the pleats on the skirt to sit the way I wanted them to.

This year, I’m working on the most French garment in my entire wardrobe as you’ll spy in my Instagram account.

I’ll head back to catching up on everyone that I’ve missed speaking to this week and then get my classic French jacket finished. So much hand sewing to do … and loving it.

Thanks again to Susan Khalje to coming back to Australia and running her couture workshops.

One comment

  1. Great recap of your projects. After seeing everything together, I’m thinking of looking up Susan here in the U.S. Than you for the inspiration!


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