Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Fabric Fantasies

I live in the U.S. desert Southwest where we wear light-colored cottons in the summer and dark-colored cottons in the winter. Someone recently gave me some luscious cranberry cashmere that would be perfect with black braid and silver buttons. I might use it for my Chanel jacket project, but I'd probably only be able to wear it once a year when I'm at a conference in the Midwest or Northeast. And handling wool in August and September isn't my idea of fun.

A few searches have yielded a couple of possibilities. A "creamy organic cotton boucle" at and a cotton double-knit fabric in off-white or black . Chanel used a lot of jersey, but I've never seen an actual example so I don't know what underlining fabric was used and how it affected the drape.

A linen/cotton or linen/rayon blend might also be good. It seems to me that the jacket works because it is soft in spite of its boxy shape. Any fabric suggestions, especially regarding cotton, linen, or silk, will be gratefully received!


  1. Cheryl, I laughed when I read your opening sentence because I feel the same way here in Austin! We do get about 3 months out of the year I could wear a wool jacket, though. :) I read so much about Chanel's championing of jersey in that book Chanel and Her World, and there were photos, but I couldn't tell it was jersey rather than any other fabric, and there were not clues about overall garment construction that I saw. Glad you are sewing along and I'm really curious to see where you end up with fabric.

  2. I live here in the Northeast and my wool bouclé faux-Chanel jacket gets really warm. With the bouclé, the interlining and the lining, it's toasty to wear. So I hear you warm climate people.

    I think you ought to choose whatever fabric that works for you. Look at all the different fabrics Lagerfeld uses for his Chanel interpretations. He's done fantastic Chanel jackets in denim, for example. You may need to skip the quilting process if you aren't working in bouclé, but that may not be a bad thing...

  3. I love in the tropics, so I understand your plight! Today while we are still technically in winter, it is 29degrees celsius. I recently bought a black and white boucle from Gorgeous Fabrics called See the World in Black and White - you can find it here -

    It's a very light rayon boucle that might work in your climate. It looks silvery on the website but it is a definite black and white and I think you could use either side.

    I'm interpreting this sew along as a Chanel inspired rather than a strict adherence sewalong, so I think it's fine to choose something that works for you. Looking forward to seeing what another warm climate person makes!