Friday, July 31, 2009

Decision made.

Today while I was in Salvage ( a vintage supply shop near where I live) I found this retro (1970) Chanel jacket pattern.

I've long wanted to do something with this jacket purchased over 20 years ago by my husband for many hundreds of pounds in London and worn twice. That's not the travesty it sounds: neither the cut nor the colour suit him

The quality of the hounds tooth and the lining make it worth trying to salvage something out of (check out the pedigree on the button, yes, it really is vintage Armani).

Yes, I will have to do a lot of unpicking. Yes, I will have to do a lot of careful and clever cutting and some delicate reseaming. Yes, I'm up for the challenge.

Chanel deserves a trip for fabric

What fun to do this jacket, and great fun that the gang here is prompting everyone to do one! A great chance to hone my mothballed skills in this AND get a new jacket for me!!!

So first is design - on the site is the Winter 09/10 collection and there's this:I love this jacket - I love everything about it, but wonder if it will suit for a Chanel styled jacket - the quilting, the whole feel of the jacket. So I also find black my fav classic color and of course hard to see, but I like the body style of this, and love the collar of the first, so this will be my design....
So this is my line drawing I'll work with....buttoned to waist, longer sleeves, probably a "kissy" type closure (where CF meets but doesn't overlap), stand up and stand away collar, no rounded extended shoulders (like the top design), and fairly classic, as these are meant to last.

Next fabric.... (and these are with my iPhone so they're not the best!) Although I can't take the time for a trip to NY to get fabric for this, I can trek to Dallas for the day and visit my favorite haunt there, Fabrique. If you're in the Southern Plains area, this is well worth a trip to visit. The girls there are so accommodating and willing to please, that I've rarely been disappointed. This is where I got the fabric for my muse's wedding and I do love their wares!

And although this looks like a Pucci accident, it really is fabulous....and maybe a slight redo in the design, as I love this print and may use part of it as binding for the jacket. And I love the black tweed, although it's hard to see in this picture, but wanted something relatively plain so that I could have the freedom to quilt the pattern of the lining or just whatever and got that. I also loved the colors in the lining/charmeuse as although the gray isn't in my family of colors, everything else is.

Here's another pic to show more of the tweed:
As far as the trim, it is fairly nondescript, as I will probably visit a fabulous shop in the historical capital city of my fair state, Sealed with a Kiss - they have killer yarns, and I will probably get something to tone with that yellow/beige to weave into the trim - at least that's Plan A! As far as buttons, I have two sets of Chanel buttons in my collection, so I will wait and see where I am...maybe a faux trip to NY to M & J via the net!

So Many Chanel Jackets, So Little Time

Hmm, what's a girl to make?

On the one hand, I love this red Chanel jacket from the 2008/09 Paris-Moscou collection with its cleverly placed trim:

On the other hand, I could use a cream-colored version of this jacket below (sort of the reverse of this faux-Chanel jacket I made last winter):
Read this New York Times article where T fashion director Anne Christensen defends paying $4,710 for a Chanel jacket. (photo also from The New York Times)

I also have this fabulous metallic bouclé I bought at Mood Fabrics last month that I'd love to do something nifty with. Arrgghh! So many options.

At any rate, nothing will get done in August, other than possibly making a jacket muslin for Susan Khalje and Kenneth King to critique in the class I am taking with them in four weeks. In September I'll start to get serious. Many thanks to Cindy and Antoinette for organizing this sew-along!
Hi everyone. My name is Sarah. I have another blog about my sewing projects. Feel free to check it out here. I am excited to participate in this sew along. I have wanted to try to tackel a Chanel jacket for sometime but always felt just a little intimidated by it. I stumbled across this blog this morning and I thought 'why not try it now?' I have been doing a little research to find the right inspiration for what I want to do. It is between these two options right now. The one on left is what Anne Hathaway wore in The Devil Wears Prada. I think that if I did this one I would try to make it as close as possible to the original. If I make the one the below from the Chanel Spring 2008 collection, I will probably remove the top pockets and reverse the colors. What do you think?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Just a note for now

Hello from the Netherlands, Europe. Some of you may know me from my own blog on which I tell about my sewing projects.
Since I've seen such beautiful Chanel-style jackets being made by several talented seamstresses, I've been longing to make one. This sew along will hopefully get me started. Though not right now, as I'll be away for a few weeks in August. I won't start before September.
Enough time to consider whether to use the classic way as described by Claire Shaeffer in her book "Couture sewing details" which I read again yesterday. This technique is also described in Threads no. 121 by Susan Khalje, which I bought last year through Ebay. It's not available from Taunton press anymore.

A more RTW approach is in Threads no 128 from January 2007 "make the jacket in just 15 hours, and then you have time to do some elaborate embellishments".
In any case: I will probably make a rather simple, short jacket style, and don't have a pattern yet. But certainly I will find something appropriate in my stack of BWOF/Knip Mode/Patrones issues. Then the first thing will be to make a muslin.

Looking forward to this fun sew along.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Note from Claire Shaeffer

Claire Shaeffer, popular author of many books on couture sewing techniques and all-around sewing rock star, found our team blog and sent the following email last night:


I just finished teaching a 2-day workshop in Anchorage on Chanel. Here are some resources you might find useful:
  • Vogue 8259; the guide is based on techniques used on a couture Chanel in my collection.
  • Vogue 8369--just a nice design
  • Behind the Seams: Chanel --a cd with info and photos of 20 couture Chanels in my collection; some ready-to-wear, knock-offs, and inspirations. 800+ photos; Some of my suits are in poor condition and the linings have been removed.
  • Couture Sewing Techniques--there is a section on Chanel jackets.
  • Great Sewn Clothes from Threads --reprint of first article on Chanel construction. Most workshops are based on this article.
  • I also wrote several articles for Australian Stitches
  • Chanel and That Suit--workshop in Palm Springs, CA
Happy sewing,


I'll add these resources in a box in the sidebar shortly so you can access the links without having to dig for this post in the future. :)

Hello from Ana

Hello everyone,

My name is Ana. I am from Belgrade, Serbia. I am not a blog writer, but some of you might know me from Burdastyle, as AnaJan.

When I first saw an announcement for this sew along, I had Lindsay's Chanel-Style coat on my mind. I loved it, and I thought of making something similar myself. Now I see Lindsay's participating in this sew along as well :).

I started browsing through my BWOF collection (I am a Burda girl) and found several interesting patterns. Here are my picks:

BWOF 10/2005, #116.

I would probably alter the collar on this one and change it to a mandarin collar. Also, I think I would change the pockets.
I have some beautiful pale purple boucle with discreet golden threads in my stash. I think some dark purple embellishment would work fine with it.

BWOF 8/2006, #108C
I love everything about this jacket, and the whole style the model wears, in general. (Well, I would omit the pink purse - pink and red combination is a definite NO to me). I love the construction of the jacket and I like the zipper - it gives the jacket less formal look, which works for me better.
In case I opt for this model, I'd have to buy a fabric, probably in the same color as on the picture.

Knowing me, I'll change my mind several times before making a final decision on pattern choice. And, I'll probably look for some more interesting patterns, so this is not a final list.

I will be quiet in the following 2 weeks, since I go on a vacation, but I'll try to follow your posts.

See you soon!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My inspiration(s)

This fabric says Chanel Nana chic to me, don't know about you. It's a wool tweed, in aqua and granny lavender. Ever since I saw it I have wanted to make something with it, but I didn't buy it because I know where fabric crushes can lead. To that dead end one way ticket to never being made into anything called "stash".

When I heard about the sew along I knew I had a reason to purchase it and a reason to make it into something. This channel hip length jacket is my inspiration (sorry, don't know where I lifted it from for my inspiration board so can't credit it), but I'm still keeping my mind open, plenty of time. After all, Chanel jackets are not made overnight.

Where to begin...

I am so pleased that a sew-along has finally happened. I can't wait to get started and thrilled with the response of interest. I love that there are sewers of all levels of "Chanel"knowledge involved in the process. I am looking forward to hearing about experiences and sharing our ideas. Also, it sounds as if there is going to be a lot of different projects going on which will be fun--refashioning, vintage pattern, military-style jacket, and even a sewist who has personal shots of the inside of a Chanel jacket!

During the next few months, we might be at various stages of our project. I thought, that I would share my doodle notes of my tentative schedule for August. This month is a crazy month at our house between visitors, travel, and the start of school. I am going to take the month to organize my project. You ask what does this mean? is my "to do" list:
1. Buy a Wool Tweed Boucle Fabric (preferably in blue) and a silk lining. (a list of sources will post soon)
2. Figure out the style of jacket and decide on a pattern or a mix of patterns... Right now I am torn between modern and vintage. I do know that I want the "Chanel-ism features" of seams from the shoulders and the three piece sleeve.

3. Read up on Chanel Jacket Making: books, articles, and blogs (list to follow).

4. Buy a walking foot.

5. Buy a good muslin for jackets.
6. Notions--find out what I need besides silk and beeswax thread...

7. Persuade my husband to visit family in NYC in the fall so I can buy trim from Garment District. Unrealistic? Maybe... I need to lure him with some type of football tickets...hmmmm...
Need more thought!
Am I forgetting anything? Please tell!

Inspiration Garment from Chanel Pre-F/W2009 Collection

Hi everyone, glad to see so many of us sewing along and following along! There's no set schedule to this sew-along but Cindy and I were thinking a completion date of Nov 15 would be a good target.

I love the iconic Chanel jacket, but not generally on me. A jacket from the Chanel Pre-F/W2009 collection jumped out from among the costumey Russian-influenced garments, and when I saw this ad featuring said jacket in W two months back, I ripped it out and posted it on my bulletin board.

This jacket doesn't seem over-the-top to me in its embellishment at all. (The styling does -- bedazzled fur hat and oversized baroque chair? -- but that is another matter.) I don't use a lot of trim in most of the clothes I sew for myself, as that would require patience both to find the right trim and then to sew it. So I look forward to learning various techniques for sewing on different kinds of trim generally practicing patience. :)

I'd like to refashion the jacket from some other wool thing -- men's jacket or wool coat or something -- but I've been looking out and so far can't find quite the right source garment. I also haven't decided if I will use a pattern or drape on my form. I've never draped anything that is worn over other clothing, so I'm not accustomed to including so much ease. That's what muslins and first samples are for, right?

With my son going back to school at the end of August, I bet I won't get much serious sewing time with this jacket before then. It's probably realistic to read up on techniques and get my source garment/ fabric, trims, notions, and pattern selected by then, though.

So, fellow sew-alongers -- what are you thinking of for your project?

Hello, Sew-Along Friends!

Hi everyone! My name is Gretchen (Gertie for short) and you can check out my blog about vintage sewing here. I'm super psyched for our jacket sew-along, since I've been meaning to try a Chanel knock-off forever.

I just ordered the pattern I plan on using (above), from this lovely Etsy seller. It's Simplicity #5189, from the early 60's. The jacket in view 2 (the pink) is perfect, don't you think? I might need the matching dress too.

Also, I just wanted to echo Gail's post from yesterday, and recommend the Threads article on choosing trims. It's excellent! I also have two articles in hard copy from back issues of Threads--one is the couture method of making a Chanel-style jacket, and then the other is a shortcut version. I'm definitely leaning towards the shortcut method. I hope that's not cheating!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Would you like to sew along?

If you want to join us, please send an email to me (Antoinette) at info [at] shopvocabulary [dot] com, or to Cindy at colourbynumber.cindy [at] gmail [dot] com. Once we get your email, we will send a blog author invitation to you at your email address and you can start posting right away.

If you've left a blog comment at Cindy's or my blog saying you want to participate but have not sent either of us a direct email, we may not be able to access your email address from your blog or blogger profile to send the blog author invitation. So please do send us a direct email if you want to sew along. And we hope you will!

Have a great week!

Inspiration from the net

Try these items for assistance and inspiration:

Pattern ideas for Chanel style jackets

Looking for the right pattern.
Clockwise: Vogue 7975; Burda 8949; Burda 8184 & New Look 6619

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Making of a Chanel Haute Couture Outfit

Everywhere I turn, I see Chanel! I'd like to smart off and say there's no way I'll be going to this level for my Chanel jacket, but I might be. Just with far more rudimentary tools.

This video is from New York Magazine/ The Cut:

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Inspiration Photos

Rather than violate gobs of copyrights, here's a link to a Google Image search for Chanel jackets. There are so many to choose from and the image bank is constantly updated! One is all you need....