Thursday, August 20, 2009

Back to business!

Hello everybody,

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! :)


  1. I am no expert but I believe they did not have shoulder pads. However this is your jacket and you need to wear it. If you want shoulder pads put them in. I tried them when I got to that stage of the construction and didn't like them so took them out. I would put it between the shell and the lining.
    Facings - some have, some don't - again up to you! Use interfacing if the fabric requires it. Chanel didn't, but now we have such great interfacings you would be mad not to, if you feel it needs it.
    Personally I say don't get too caught up in the 'rules' for making a Chanel jacket. If you look at Chanel jackets over the years they were constructed in different ways (with/without facing, etc). Anyways, that is my opinion (others may not agree). Make a jacket you know you will love and wear. Coco Chanel was not a rule follower!

  2. You have some of the EXACT same questions that I was planning to post here today!

    Facings: The Chanel jackets I've seen do have facings of fashion fabric. I've heard that the facings were sometimes so unique that you "have to" wear the jacket with the accompanying Chanel shirt. My pattern (V8259) does use facings, so I got some wild and crazy looking silk, but I am wondering about whether it should also be quilted. In Couture Sewing Techniques (Shaeffer) on page 183 there is a Chanel jacket with a pink gingham facing. It does not appear to be quilted, but it's hard to tell from the small photo.
    (To see this photo, go to amazon:
    and click on the book cover photo, then type in "The lining of the Chanel jacket is quilted in rectangles" and search inside the book for page 183.)

    Interfacing: I also thought that Chanel jackets have no interfacing, but my pattern calls for sew-in interfacing, so I'm not sure what to do here.

    Collar: My pattern has a collar, but I will be removing it, so I need some guidance about how to remove the collar for a plain, round neckline.

    Shoulder pads: I am going without shoulder pads for a more cardigan look.

    I agree with Sue's previous comment that Chanel was not a rule follower, so I am not as concerned with the "rules" so much as I am concerned about making a well-constructed garment.