Saturday, June 4, 2011

I have them all!!

I now own all of the Claire Shaeffer Custom Couture patterns for Vogue...I think.  I have searched underneath every rock I could find and I believe my collection is now complete.  Of course, this is more than a collection.  I intend to make each one of these patterns (even if I think the garment is ugly) so I can practice couture sewing techniques. 

The final patterns to complete the collection are:

Vogue 7718
This pattern is rated for average difficulty and it was printed in 2003.  Not exactly a top I would wear but maybe a different fabric could make it more modern-looking.


Vogue 8732
This is the latest edition to the collection; printed in 2011 and is rated average for difficulty.  What girl couldn't use a jacket like this?


Vogue 7658
This is your basic mock wrap dress but the design is in the details.  This pattern is rated average for difficulty and was printed in 2002.


Vogue 7634
Printed in 2002, this is the purple velvet coat that many have drooled over.  Heck, I might even make it in purple!  This pattern was printed in 2002 and is rated average for difficulty.


The most difficult patterns to find (in my size anyway) were #7634, #7658, and #7718.  Every other pattern is readily available on eBay or for sale in a sewing forum somewhere.  I stumbled upon these 3 patterns in a Yahoo group for selling sewing-related items.  I ran a quick search for Claire Shaeffer items and found a very old post advertising these 3 patterns for $5.00 each.  (Yes, I know. I basically stole them.)  I contacted the seller and she still had these patterns more than a year later.  In less than a week, my search was finally over.

So which pattern from the entire collection is my favorite?

It has to be #8333.  That was my first purchase and what prompted me to buy the whole collection.  I love a smartly tailored jacket and the pocket detail is so great.


My least favorite has to be the skirt.  I hate the color but once I put that aside, my eyes are immediately drawn to the gathers at the waistband.  Not sleek and modern at all but maybe the gathers will hide my belly.  (Or maybe I should just stop eating so much Mint Oreo ice cream.  YUM!)

Vogue 7803
This pattern is rated average for difficulty and was printed in 2003.  Oh, yeah.  And the color is awful. 


On a side note, some people have asked why I haven't been posting.  Honestly, I'm flattered that anyone is reading this often enough to notice that I'm slacking at blogging.  I've had many balls in the air.  Some are things I want to do and some are things I have to do.  Like find a job, for instance--don't want to do it.  This economy is just awful.  I was blind to how bad it was when I was employed.  DH and I had been paying down debt and building up savings for quite some time so I was sheltered from the impact of a bad economy.  Now that I don't have a job, my bank account balances have been on my mind daily.  I've decided to take matters into my own hands.  I've applied for at least 50 jobs...seriously.  I've had 3 interviews.  I'm fed up with trying to make others see my worth, my value as a potential employee.  What's worse is I haven't enjoyed my work for the last 4-5 years anyway.  I've contemplated starting my own sewing business for several years now.  I'm finally putting this plan into action.  It will be in baby steps but I feel a sense of relief knowing that one day in the forseeable future, I don't have to answer to anyone but myself AND I will love my job.  An added bonus, my husband is proud of me for following my dreams.  He's a keeper!

So that's what I've been up to lately.  I spent yesterday refolding and organizing my entire fabric stash.  I know, it's a little obsessive-compulsive but it gets the creative juices flowing.  I have 2 very large piles of fabric prepped for cutting and projects picked out for all of them (mostly totes, clutches, knit tops, and pajamas).  Next up is pattern alterations and cutting out the fabric.  I'm in my happy place right now. 

May your happy place be in your sewing room (without interruption from pets and husbands)!



  1. What a great collection to have. You will learn so much as you make these patterns. I like the classic fitted shape of Vogue 8333 the best.

    I'm going to snag V8692 - had never noticed it before, so thanks!

    Best of luck with building your new career. What an adventure.

  2. Kudos to you for being so brave! The hardest part about starting your business is taking those first few steps (or so I've heard). Sorry to hear about your troubles with finding a job, I'd imagine it's very discouraging.

  3. wow, Julie, are we competing in collecting Schaeffer patterns? I am still missing the two coats - but I am mainly collecting the patterns to learn couture techniques, rather than sew all the garments.

    And, I wish you good luck and all the best with your new undertaking - I have been playing with the idea for a while, but with three kids, its still a little risky. I am so impressed by your confidence!


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