Monday, August 31, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
In Cannes, where I was last week, there is a Chanel shop. I'm not brave enough just to go into the shop and see what's there (price tags for up to 5000 euro are not in my budget), but I took some pictures from the shop window. Hope you like to see them too. Next time I'll write more on sewing a jacket, first I must catch up on reading here.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Do you ever have one of those moments when one minor and relatively irrelevant thing makes you completely change your mind and decision you previously made? I have those moments quite frequently, and today was the day I changed my mind on pattern. The reason was the trim band I found for the Chanel coat I'm about to sew. Seeing that band was a love at first sight, and all of the sudden I had a crystal clear vision of my future coat in my head.
I wanted to make a coat where the band would be the major feature. This meant the pattern would have to be quite simple. Hence, I decided to alter the coat pattern, and make it work for my idea. Consequently, it would make the coat construction much easier.
Here's the idea:
I will alter the pattern so that it incorporates shoulder princess seams, and I'll make a mandarin collar. The idea is to avoid overlapping the front panels of the coat, so I bought metal frogs (I hope they are called that way), that would replace the buttons.
And here are my fabrics and notions:
Now that I have all of the requirements gathered on one place, I can start with sewing. Yey!
Friday, August 28, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
The pattern is Vogue 7975 and the fabric a beautiful lightweight loosely woven wool coating in lavender, pink and aubergine tones.
Something I hadn't realised until cutting out the muslin is that the pattern is sized as a "Misses". When I checked my body measurements against the chart I noticed I was between a size 12 and 14, when I am usually a size 10. Since the pattern I'd already purchased was sized 6-8-10 I made the muslin in size 10 and surprisingly it required only minor adjustment at the hip (despite the variation between the pattern measurements and my actual body measurements). In fact, it appears to be a perfect fit everywhere with only slightly extra hip width needed at the front (less than .5 cm on each princess seam below the waist line).
I do love the cut of this jacket; it seems to be very well designed and elegant in its simplicity. I've decided on View B, with full-length sleeves and no buttons. If there is enough fabric over at the end it would be lovely to make a matching skirt as well.
Is anyone else working with wool? I'm not sure of the best way to pre-treat the fabric. I'd rather not take it to the dry cleaners, so am considering steaming it in the drier with a wet towel or rolling it in a wet sheet over night, then steam pressing it with the iron. These are two suggestions I read on the Great Coat Sew-Along archive.
I am also wondering about fusing a very lightweight (possibly stretch) interfacing to the fabric before cutting, instead of quilting the fabric to the lining. The fabric is a loose weave and I thought this might help stabilise it. However I don't want to loose the soft cardigan like quality and drape of the Chanel jacket design. There is an interesting and informative discussion on this topic over at Lindsay T's blog,
… and, having read further on Lindsay's wonderful site (under tag 'Chanel') I am feeling more confident about the interface as my fabric sounds like it is a similar weave, my pattern is the same and I LOVE Lindsay's finished jacket. So, after pre-treating the fabric, next step is to fuse a very lightweight interfacing to my wool, initially as a patch test to ensure I don't loose the softness I'm after.
I'm enjoying everyone's posts and looking forward to the Chanel journey.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
- - - - - - - - - -
This may be a stupid question - and it could be that I already know the answer - but what is the difference between a jersey knit and a knit fabric as I would understand it today such as a two way or a four way stretch? Is jersey an old fashioned term or does it refer to some characteristic?
Wickipedia (which makes me think that jersey is simply a knit fabric) says - Jersey is a knit fabric used predominately for clothing manufacture. It was originally made of wool but is now made of wool, cotton, and synthetic fibers. The fabric can be very stretchy single knitted, usually light-weight, jersey with one flat side and one piled side. When made with a light weight yarn, this is the fabric most often used to make t-shirts. Or, it can be a double knitted jersey, with less stretch, that creates a heavier fabric of two single jerseys knitted together to leave the two flat sides on the outsides of the fabric with the piles to the middle.
One of the aspects that I enjoyed about Chanel's personality when reading Chanel and Her World was how she went against the norm of the time creating comfortable garments using menswear and non-traditional fabrics. So far, I plan to use a "jersey" fabric.
Thanks - Myrna
Monday, August 24, 2009
The things that bother me are facing and insertion of the collar. The collar should be sandwiched between the shell and the facing fabrics. If the lining is supposed to be quilted to the shell fabric, I am not sure how will I apply the collar... I've been meditating a lot on this issue.
I might sew the top shoulder yokes and insert the collar, quilt the lining to the shell fabric (the yoke parts), and then attach to the yokes the rest of the coat front and back panels (which would be pre-quilted)? Any suggestions?
Oh, and here's my fabric:
I haven't found the right lining yet, but I saw a nice deep purple satin silk, with unusual print. And, I still have to find the trim and buttons, something in deep purple as well, I think.
Questions-In nearly everything I have read it seems that Chanel did not use interfacing in her jackets. In the Vogue pattern I'm using, #8259, Claire Schaeffer interfaces every piece. I am interested in what interfacing others are using in order to keep the jacket light. I'm almost settled on black silk charmeuse for the lining; white would get too dirty and I haven't found anything with a pattern that I like.
Have I missed a source for the chain? Also, I'm having a tough time with the buttons. If you have any additional sources I'd love to hear about them.
I am off work today so I plan to trace my pattern and cut out the muslin. I'm so excited!
What I have learned for this next jacket is that when quilting, even the small pieces, stay at least 1 1/2 inches away from the seam line. I had my quilting too close and when I actually constructed the jacket, I had to remove lots of quilting so that I could hand sew the lining in and it left holes in my charmeuse.
I would strongly advise that for a first jacket, you not put in a collar. Nobody in our workshop used a collar. The trims add plenty of style around the neckline.
Count on 200+ hours on your jacket.
I have one under construction now that is a rusty color and the lining is a cream background print with turkish slippers in the print. I am hand quilting this going around the motifs. I don't know if this has been done before and I hope the hand quilting doesn't look funny so I am trying to keep the quilting even.
I really should finish a skirt to go with my initial jacket. It shouldn't take so long to make but I have been dwaddling over that. I don't really have anything to wear with my jacket and if I were to purchase clothes I could afford, they wouldn't be worthy of the work I put into the jacket. It requires a skirt made by the same method!
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Wrinkles on the back are a bit exaggerated by the camera. However, I think I will loosen those seams a bit.
Ladies, I have another question for you. I was thinking of the coat construction and quilting the lining. I wanted to sew by machine all the front/back panels of the shell and lining, and then sew the shoulder seams, apply the collar, and then quilt the lining to the shell. This way I would have to sew the lining seams by hand only on the sides. Do you think it would work?
Saturday, August 22, 2009
When teaching a Chanel workshop, I begin with trims. I examined about 200 suits and have a couple of dozen of my own.
We spend the first day exploring a variety of trims that you can make from self-fabric, lining, or easy-to-find materials. (Very few jackets actually have braid.)
Determining a trim at the outset is particularly important when using either self-fabric or lining because you must think about where you are going to get the fabric for the trim or if you must cut the lining larger. I recommend purchasing 1/4 to1/2 extra to be sure you have enough fabric. That can be expensive, but it insures that you can create the design you want and won't be disappointed because you don't have enough fabric.
My workshop students make half of a sample jacket. If they want to take the workshop again, they can make a jacket for themselves. However, it's very difficult to make a jacket in 40 hrs., even if you have already fitted a muslin.
Hope things are going well.
BWOF patterns usually fit me really well, so I'm pretty certain I'll be using one of those. Here are a few choices:
BWOF 12-2007-103 (sans crazy fur collar & cuffs)
03-2008-120 -obviously just the jacket :-)
04-2008-104 A This one is cute, and I could just leave out the zipper. I'm not sure how well all those crazy shapes would work with quilting though.
09-2008-102 -this technical drawing looks pretty blah, but I really like the view of the jacket on the model.
Here's my material- it's from Vera Wang Lavender collection that fabric.com had earlier. It's a really nice thick, soft boucle- mostly black with white threads woven through.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
I used Erica B's instructions for doing an FBA on a shoulder princess seam. (Thanks for the instructions, Erica B. Sorry for squatting on your website all evening.)
Here's a photo of the front piece (with button band on the right side). As you can see the original pattern piece is on the left and my drafted pattern is on the right with changes for a smaller size and for FBA.
THIS LOOKS TOTALLY CRAZY. The original has a nearly straight line, but my drafted piece has an enormous open parenthesis.
How will this jacket go together with such a crazy looking front piece?
Should I try to draft this again in a different way?
Or is this ready to try on my practice fabric?
Do I need to modify the side front for FBA?
Thanks for your help!
visit me: daily ode of delaïdo
I'm back from my vacation, and ready to start working on my jacket. I haven't made up my mind on the pattern - I'm still stuck with the 2 patterns I mentioned before (BWOF 10/2005 #116 and BWOF 8/2006 #108C), but I think I'm slightly closer to the coat model.
I have read all of your posts, it was really interesting to see others' pattern/fabric choices and jacket construction progress. Many thanks to all of you who wrote detailed instructions and advices on making the Chanel jacket. I can't find any book nor article on the issue in my city, so I'm absorbing information from the internet as much as I can.
I have been constructing the jacket in my mind (a prerequisite brainstorming for me whenever I'm about to use a new technique), and I got stuck with few questions, so I would appreciate if anyone would answer.
1. Do Chanel jackets have shoulder pads? If there are shoulder pads, how are they applied to the jacket (between the shell and lining fabrics, or are they just sewn to the lining)? I can't imagine wearing a coat that doesn't have shoulder pads, so I guess there is an answer to this question.
2. Do Chanel jackets have facings (cut out of fashion fabric)? Is the facing quilted to the shell fabric, just like the lining? What is the order of sewing facing to the jacket (should I sew the facing to the front of the jacket and then hand sew the lining to the facing?)? Also, I'm wondering if the facing needs to be interfaced? As far as I understood, Chanel jackets should not be interfaced at all, but are there any exceptions?
3. If the jacket has a collar (as the coat pattern I'm considering has), what is the order of sewing the collar to the jacket and applying the lining?
I have some idea on how to construct the jacket, but I'm not sure it would be a Chanel technique. So, ladies, please help! :)
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Both fabrics are silk and I have no idea about trims as yet. I am also undecided about the pattern (even though I had chosen one already!)
I have just (sort-of) finished my first jacket (not part of this sew-along). Photos are on my blog if you would like to see it.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
It has a cream base with mauve, aubergine, brown through it and it really lifts my aubergine wool. I'm so happy.
I am trying to find some interesting lining to use. I keep changing my mind about my trim, will I use the fringed edge or braid. I have 2 Chanel jackets and they both have braid and I think I do prefer this style.
I'm also not sure if I will make 3/4 or full length sleeves, will probably make this decision as I'm cutting out my fabric.
Thank you everyone for all your informative posts, they are such a joy to read.
Yesterday I went to Textile Fabric (Nashville) for the first time. Wow! This is the fabric store of my dreams, definitely worth the drive to Tennessee.
Monday, August 17, 2009
Khalje talks about the Chanel-isms such as the chains for the hem and gives great suggestions like adding the trim to the pockets before sewing them to the shell.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
I'm so pleased with how these sleeves came out. I used fleece as a sleeve head support, which is the first time I've tried this technique and it really makes such a nice job.
I had to pull in the centre back and add darts to get enough shaping through the back. It creates some funny effects with the houndstooth.
I'm so glad I got to reuse the lining as well. I thought it was beautiful. Because I pinched the facings to make my side panels I had to buy some plain fabric to replace the original facings.
Well, I'm done. I'm really pleased with the result. Surprisingly so, there were times I would have given up on it except my husband was breathing down my neck, "don't make Georgio turn in his grave" "he's not dead yet" "oh well don't make Georgio spin in his rocking chair." (This jacket was originally an 80's power Armani RTW jacket of my husband's that he never wore.)
I've been thinking about maybe, possibly, perhaps, someday making a Chanel-inspired jacket ever since I read that Threads article about the iconic garment nearly four years ago. However, I never actually thought I'd get around to planning and implementing such a lofty goal.
Here's my To Do list, based on Cindy's list from last month:
1. Buy a silk suiting fabric and a silk lining.
2. Figure out the style of jacket and decide on a pattern or a mix of patterns. I have almost decided on using Vogue 8259 with modifications for the neck and button band.
3. Read up on Chanel jacket making and on Chanel herself: books, articles, and blogs. For someone who hasn't sewn much, I have a ton of resources on hand, including several Threads magazines and Couture Sewing Techniques by Shaeffer.
4. Buy a walking foot. I will call my local Viking dealer tomorrow and inquire about it.
5. Buy a good muslin for jackets. I have no idea how to choose an appropriate muslin. Tomorrow I will be visiting Nashville, so I will stop by Textile Fabric for help. If you have suggestions, please leave me a comment.
6. Find a great looking trim and some awesome buttons. Once again, I'll need some coaching on this step.
7. Get a real dress form.
8. Figure out how to do an customised FBA for myself. Ugh, I need a lot of adjustments here and I've never been able to do it with great success.
I am not a greatly experienced sewist. My mother taught me to sew when I was a kid; she taught herself to sew as a teenager by reading Simplicity and McCalls patterns. I've never had any proper sewing classes or instructions and I don't know any experienced sewists in my area, so I will need your guidance and encouragement to help me along. I'm really just a knitter who likes to play with her sewing machine!
Here are a few pictures from the book Chanel Collections and Creations. Photo 1 is from 1960 and photo 2 is from 2003. As beautiful as Lagerfeld's creations are I am admittedly partial to Mademoiselle's. She was all about functional design, elegant simplicity and rejected fashion that was restraining. I chose these 2 photos because I think they showcase the difference between Chanel today and Chanel, the original. The 60's version looks like I could just throw it on and run to the grocery store. Whereas, Lagerfeld's version would definitely be a little over the top for my local Wal Mart!
The center picture, a 2002 design, is my inspiration for this sew along. And yes, I know I just said I liked the vintage designs best but this jacket combines the best of both designers. It is more body conscious thanks to Lagerfeld and yet it has the understated elegance of Mademoiselle. (For the record, I'll be wearing something under my jacket.) Okay, enough of my editorial.
I'll just close with 2 quotes that I think best summarize the vision of the woman whose art still inspires us. " Nothing is more beautiful than freedom of the body" and "Luxury is not the opposite of poverty; it is the opposite of vulgarity."
- Most Chanel jackets have extremely narrow-cut shoulders and small, high armholes. This gives the wearer a lot of range of movement.
- There's usually a narrow side panel which gives the jacket some shape around the waist.
- There is usually a very fitted three piece sleeve.
- The jackets traditional have only two layers: the shell (fashion fabric) and a blouse-weight lining.
- The shell is machine-quilted to the lining. This provides support to the often loosely woven shell fabric. The quilt pattern should depend on your shell fabric design. Horizontal stripes would be quilted with horizontal stitches. A large plaid could be quilted with boxes etc.
- Trim is important to a Chanel jacket. Jacket edges, pockets, and sleeve vents are trimmed.
- This book mentions four main ways to trim the jacket: topstitched trim, grosgrain and plaited-yarn trims, selvage strip with narrow woven band, and piping which is an extension of the lining.