Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Finished but only just begun

My jacket has been completed for some time now but I didn't want to post until I was reasonably satisfied with it.
The silk tweed fabric was beautiful – a gift sent from my friend Cindy - but I wasn’t happy with it. The braid around the neckline, front and hem of the garment didn’t work and I hated the boxy look of the neckline. This morning I the lights came on and I realized that my jacket would look so much better with the braid removed and the neckline turned back into a revere.
Now I love it. It hangs much better on my body than the dressform and the pockets are aligned. I'll post a picture of it on soon.
While I didn’t use the Chanel method of quilting the lining (my fabric was too lightweight), my silk lining makes this garment feel quite luxurious to wear. I didn’t use shoulder pads that the pattern asked for because I wanted a cardigan feel.
Why just the beginning? Because I want to apply what I learned on a winter Chanel jacket in wool boucle with quilted lining. And next time I’ll make a v-neckline or collared jacket which suits me better.

Finished and Grateful

I finished and haven't gotten around to doing all the detail photos, but if you've seen the inside of one Chanel jacket, you've seen them all, right?

I couldn't have done this project without the help and guidance of Susan Khalje, both in-person at the Sit and Sew class in NYC and also with her wonderful Threads article. I will definitely do another, now that I've know how it's done properly, and where I need to improve for next time.

Job well done to all of you who have finished and to those of you with "works in progress". You will reach the finish line, it just takes lots of time and patience!

Fabric - Haberman Fabrics, Royal Oak Michigan
Trim & Buttons - M & J Trims, New York City
Lining - Lace Star, New York City

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Not a UFO but...

Hello! The last month has not seen much progress on my Chanel jacket, although I have been playing with different ideas (still) for the trim and today bought the chain. It is almost finished and possibly would be if it were winter. However it is summer here, the fabric is wool and the weather is hot (like super hot) so I have put it aside for now. It will not be forgotten though ... I have it on my dress form with various trim combinations pinned to it and am so looking forward to wearing it in the Autumn. I'm still following all the posts, enjoying the reviews and will post again, if the sew-along is still open, when I pick up the project next. Thanks Cindy and Antoinette, this was a great idea and I've learnt heaps. It's been so enjoyable and fun to sew with such a lovely group.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Shabby chic: done at last!

My #1 trial Chanel: finished and inaugurated at work, and then - in the middle of taking pics just now, it "unfinished" itself. As luck would have it, the bottom hook broke- OK, I broke it, wanting to first tighten it a tad, then un-tighten. I will, of course, replace it - and all the others, as these here, though a great colour match to the rest, appear have been designed with form but no function - they keep popping open. Arrrrgh.

So, do I love it? Ummmmmm.... I DO love the three piece sleeve with the in your face vent and buttons running up to the earlobes! I'm not crazy about the slightly rumpled look, or the fact that my chain is too light to give the hem a good downwards tug - I think I'll replace that too. I think I might eventually replace the trim, if I can find something better, as this thin little twisted cord is doing a terrific disappearing act (you didn't even notice it was there?! what did I tell you!)

I love my leather buttons! Isn't it nice how the little things can give us so much pleasure?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Chanel Deadline

I am not going to make the Chanel deadline-but I don't think that is a problem. I am learning a lot and know what I am going to do differently when I make my own jacket-next year.
  • Thread tracing- I hand sewed each seam line with bright red thread. The entire time I kept wondering why this could not have been accomplished with chalk. If you know the couture reason, please let me know. I am sure it has something to do with perfection and quality..............

Quilted Lining-the next time I will be exact with my pins and inches. Thank goodness for the quilting foot. This fabric is bumpy and shifts like quicksand.
I am enjoying the process. D1 is very excited. I will be more meticulous with the next Chanel....

Sew Chanel, Sew Happy

I certainly need a deadline to finish sewing projects so thank you for encouraging me to get this one done. I was heading to NYC on Nov. 7, a combined PR, Maryland ASG and friend visit so I wanted to complete this project...and happily, I did.
Recap, I used my TNT princess seam jacket pattern, Simplicity 4698, a tweedy silk, rayon, cotton blend I think from fabric Mart, the stitich and flip technique from Shannon Gifford's online class at, Ambiance lining and I followed the Louise Cutting article from Threads #121, the Master Class on raw edges. here are the results.

I spent weeks deciding on the trim since I was so taken with what the rest of you have done on your jackets. I bought ribbons at the Chantilly, VA sewing expo, in San Francisco at Britex and the beautiful Ribbonerie but ended up letting the fabric doing the talking. There were plenty of colors in thei tweed and every trim either seemed too contrived or cheesy looking. I loved the Louise Cutting technique, just 1" bias strips of the tweed stitich on then lightly brushed with nail brush. I will definitely use this idea again.

Saturday, November 7, 2009


This is the top that I wanted to make specifically for my Chanel inspired jacket. This is McCall's 5708 that I made the protype of earlier just to try the pattern out.

Part 3 of the Chanel inspired jacket will be a matching pencil skirt. I'll come back to show pictures as soon as I get everything finished....until then HAPPY SEWING!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Can you believe it?

My DH is taking me out on a (long overdue!) date tonight, and I really wanted to wear my jacket, so I have been hand sewing like a mad fiend for the last 2 days, but I did it! It's done!
And my chain, of course. I took Digs tip and bought it at Home Depot, and it is great! I really love my jacket. Next time, I'll do it up right, but I'm still happy with my first lined jacket. I am so glad that I had the opportunity to sew along with the wonderful group. The inspiration and help has really been invaluable to me on this journey.

Thank you!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Trim for the Chanel

Today I am working on my Chanel jacket. I am taking a break from cutting out the charmeuse lining. More on that later...I was playing around with the trim too and decided to use a bit of fringe with the ric rac, velvet trim.
Here it is on the fashion fabric. I adore the pink! It reminds me when my girls were babies and we were surrounded by this soft, innocent color.
What do you think? And I am in need of advice...should I hand sew the velvet trim to the fringe then hand sew it to the jacket? I am guessing yes, but I just need a little reassurance! Thank you in advance.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Moving along...

Since I am totally cheating and bagged the lining without quilting it, my jacket is pretty much constructed. Now I have to set aside my machine and start in on the hand work.
I'm happy how it went together so far, but I'm not sure how I want to place my trim. Right on the edge or offset slightly?
Every time I look at it I "decide" to do something different.

What do you think?

WIP : 3rd version of my muslin

Last Friday, I tested my altered muslin. I made those alterations looking myself in the mirror as I had no dressform. As I expected the result was far from satisfactory.

Sunday, I brought the jacket to my sister who is a professional drafter. She was so helpful.
She pinned all that needed to be altered and I made a 3rd version of my muslin yesterday.
Moreover, my mother lent me her dress form, so that I can work more efficiently.

Here's how it looks like this morning

Today, I will work on the sleeves and hem lime.
I expect to cut my fabric tomorrow. I am so impatient to do so.
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