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.)

This sew along means different things to different people. For some, it's the opportunity to create something of workmanship of the highest quality - the quilted lining, the 3 piece sleeve, the meticulous fit. For others, it's about creating timeless style - the patch pockets, the buttons, the tweed, the trim. For me it's more about sewing in the Chanel spirit. Taking a piece of menswear, and turning it into women's wear in a simple, fitted style. 

I learned a lot about refashioning, that's for sure. I have a deeper respect both for its ethos and the skill it takes to work with small pieces of precut fabric.  Most of the decisions I made for this jacket were predetermined by the original pocket and seam lines.  

I understood something about the proportions of the Chanel - style jacket. The pattern I chose works because the broad shoulder is balanced by the jacket finishing at the fullest part of the hip, and the waist pulled in through the princess seams. It creates the perfect hour glass. Because of the position of the original welt pockets I couldn't actually follow that, and it's a little disappointing. But this is refashioning, you have to work with what you've got.

I wish I could show you a picture of it on me that reflects the work that has gone into this jacket. But that would mean getting up, and glamming up early before my husband left for work. Fat chance, so it's down to the ol' soft focus camera in the mirror trick.   You get the gist. I am now going to sit back and enjoy reading all about your hard work .... in my warm and snuggly Chanel style jacket, of course.

From this:

To this:


  1. Wow! I love the fit and Georgio would be proud. I pattern is so flattering and the tailoring is meticulous. I am in total awe right now!

  2. Already finished! Somehow that just doesn't seem fair. I like what you've done and I think in many ways it is more difficult to restyle a garment when you consider all the limitations imposed by the original. So my hat is off to you for a job well done and ahead of schedule.

  3. Bravo! It is lovely.You really did a wonderful job and your jacket has a wonderful story to accompany it. Expect my jacket somewhere around November 14th....

  4. Fabulous job! I agree with you entirely about what how sewing a Chanel jacket means different things to different people.. love your interpretation!

  5. Total inspiration. I love what you have done, and that you will get to wear your new jacket before it gets too warm. You have literally turned something masculine into something feminine -- very much captured that Chanel spirit. And it looks great with jeans!

    Armani would say "Brava!" Mme. Chanel would say "Bon travail!"

  6. The first finish is in, and so lovely! What a labor of love, and you have inspired me to keep my eyes open for re-fashioning possiblilities.
    I've selected a pattern, need to check the stash for fabric, and shop for trims. Will post soon.

  7. OMG - this looks so fantastic, and not only that you will wear it....that's the most important thing. It's classic and you should be able to wear this for the rest of your life. Whatever time you spent on this (and you did it up so quickly) is well worth it!

    Kudos to you!

  8. that's a true transformation, girl! Great job... once again, I bow to your skills and determination.

  9. Job well done! Amazing refashion, you really set the bar high. Thanks for sharing, it's so inspirational!

  10. How exciting that you have finished!! It looks lovely! Enjoy your new Chanel jacket!

  11. You have done a fantastic job and my thoughts are that refashioning is SO much more work than making a garment from scratch that I take my hat off to you for such a brilliant job.

    The self satisfaction that you will get every time you wear your Chanel jacket will be priceless.

  12. Great job. What fun to re-fashion something. I love the challenge of doing that. Sometimes I think the process is fun enough only you have a lovely jacket to wear too. Enjoy.

    - Myrna

  13. WOW! What a transformation. Really great job!!

    nicola xx

  14. Job well done. Your jacket looks greatttt!