I have always been fascinated by the Chanel Jacket and longed to learn how to make one. As I cannot afford to fly to the US for a workshop with Susan Khalje I decided to take 2 days off work last September and paid for a 2 day Chanel Jacket course at the Alison Smith School of Sewing. The cost of the course was £192 which was paid in advance.
I was very disappointed with the course in terms of value for money – I cannot fault the tutor who was very knowledgeable and very patient but the facilities did not allow for 3 of us to have enough space to cut things out simultaneously, there was only one ironing board which meant a queue – a lot of time was spent cutting out a pattern and doing some hand sewing and not much time on the actual construction of a jacket – to be honest it would have been better if the tutor had just showed us these elements of construction.
I think the thing that got me the most was that on the second day I was asked to pay £45 for materials. There was no mention of this on the booking form or confirmation letter. I was a bit miffed about this to say the least especially as I went home with half a jacket that was of absolutely no use to me at all. I would have a hard time justifying a £45 spend on fabric when there is nothing to show for it. Unfortunately this did taint the whole course for me. I paid up reluctantly but not without complaining first.
I have noticed that the school now offers a 3 day course in which you do actually make a Chanel Jacket for yourself – this is a much better idea. When I came home I thought that it would have been much better if, in preparation for the course I could have gone with a toile that fitted me, the materials for the jacket and then spent the course putting it all together. I cannot, with hindsight, see what I got out of the course that a bit of research and trying out for myself could not have achieved. Not recommended for anyone with a serious intention of making a Chanel Jacket.
On the plus side the staff there were lovely and the shop does have a lovely range of fabrics. I would be interested to know what others think of this course if they have been on it.