Wednesday, December 30, 2009


it's don't settle! Whether it be shoes, a man or lining for a Chanel style jacket I have finally learned to have a little patience and wait to find exactly what I'm looking for. I know this blog is officially over but I had to find the lining I really wanted for this pink, gray and brown boucle. I wanted a print rather than a solid and it took about 25 swatches mailed from stores coast to coast, a trip to Nashville, OK City and NYC before I found it. Paron Fabrics came through for me with this brown abstract floral on a cream background and I am now well on my way to completing my second jacket. I am using Susan Khalje's techniques that I learned last fall in the class I took with her in ST. Louis. The pieces are all quilted, basted together and ready for a fitting. I am anticipating that the fitting will require some extra time since the last jacket was a much heavier wool boucle and I also want this one to have more wearing ease.

It has been fun to watch everyone's progress. I have been impressed by all the creativity, learned from the different ways problems have been solved and will miss logging on to see the latest. Bye for now.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Country Girl Couture: Deco Vibe Flippy Skirt

There is one solution...magic corset undies. That beaded cardigan is just beautiful.
Country Girl Couture: Deco Vibe Flippy Skirt

Saturday, December 19, 2009


The Chanel Knock Off

What did I learn?
  • This fabric, silk/linen/cotton- not so good for a Chanel. This fabric has the structure of a cloth diaper. This jacket could be wadded up into a small ball if so desired. And it just might. So, it does resemble an earlier Chanel that is more sweater weight than a structured jacket.
  • My next, true Chanel (months from now) will not have plaids. These were aligned perfectly and once the quilted lining was installed, this jacket shrank, moved, and shifted like you would not believe.
  • I think this fabric stretched. How can that be?
  • The quilted lining was a good experience. Laborious, but invaluable.
  • Trim disaster. I ran out of trim for the bottom of the jacket. Why is it that I can buy enough toilet paper to last my household until Y3K, but neglect to purchase an extra yard of trim, now sold out? So we picked a similar match and if you don't look too close.........
  • The faux Chanel CC gold buttons D1 insisted on. They do look kinda official. Purchased from MandJTrimming NYC.
  • She loves it. Whisked away to college before I had the chance to take decent pictures.
  • I recall Birgitte from Bubblegum for Breakfast referring to her Chanel as a "ragamuffin". Amen sister. I get it.
  • Overall-I enjoyed the experience. It does not meet my sanity standards, but for a first run, it was a great education, and I have one happy customer...........

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Quilting sneak peak

I first want to thank all the ladies that are bringing me their support. I would never have been able to undergo this project without your comments. This SAL is fantastic and I am learning so much everyday.As you can see back sections are sewn including the quilted lining .


To achieve this I am following Claire Schaeffer's method in Couture Sewing Techniques
This book is invaluable.


 After I quilted the lining the vertical seams were hand sewn with bee waxed thread


As is explained in Claire's book, one important difference between upscale Ready to wear and Haute-Couture is the huge amount of hand sewing used in Haute-Couture. For permanent sewing you have waxed your sewing thread before.
Ann from Ann's Fashion Studio sent me this great reference concerning tailoring techniques, including how to wax your thread. I know it is time consuming but I hope it will pay off. Furthermore, I find this hand sewing very pleasant to do.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Finished: Gold Chanel-Style Jacket for the Holidays

Glad this jacket is finally finished, and just in time to wear to holiday parties. I plan on wearing it most often with a white-and-navy striped French sailor's shirt and jeans. Here are the details (apologies for borrowing this from my Lindsay T Sews blog post):

  • Fabric: Metallic bouclé from Mood Fabrics in NYC that is gold on one side and silver on the other; you could ostensibly choose either or. Supposedly this fabric is from Ralph Lauren. Lining is sheer white silk organza and the Hong Kong seams are finished in silk charmeuse, also from Mood.
  • Trim: A blue braid with gold accents from M&J Trims. I really wanted to find a bolder trim but my teenage daughter was with me at M&J and she has all the patience there of an antsy two-year-old strapped in a stroller.

  • Pattern: I guess I'd have to say this is my own basic design. It started out a few years ago as Textile Studios' Mandarin Collar Jacket pattern, but I've altered it so much it really doesn't resemble the original pattern any more. I wanted this design to be very basic and not very fitted, hence no darts or princess seams.

I added lined flap pockets (decorative only) that are topped with piping in silk charmeuse. The most time-consuming part of this jacket was hand-sewing the trim in place.

Here's a close-up of the fabric so you can see it has a split personality: Is it a gold bouclé, or is it silver? I loved the gold side a little more, but I didn't want to hide that fabulous silver beneath a lining. So I decided to use sheer silk organza as a lining because it let the silver peek through.

I treated the bouclé and the organza as one layer, first hand-basting the two fabrics together before any machine sewing to prevent shifting. I Hong Kong-finished all the seams with strips of silk charmeuse and then I catchstitched the seams in place to the organza. The outer edges of the jacket and sleeve hems were bias bound: I stitched the bias strips of charmeuse to the wrong side, then flipped the strips over and stitched in the ditch to tack them down. The raw edges of the bias strip were then covered up by the trim, which I hand-sewed in place.

I got the idea to treat the interior of this jacket this way from a gorgeous Prada jacket I fondled at Saks Fifth Avenue. The lining and the fashion fabric of this jacket were treated as one unit, and the seams were all Hong Kong-finished. The inside was as beautiful as the outside. Now if a jacket was going to be worn a lot I wouldn't necessarily recommend silk organza as a lining–it's just too weak a fabric, even when treated like a layer, to withstand a lot of exposed wear. But for a jacket like this one, which won't get worn a lot, it's fine.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Better Late Than Never…

Through my recent web surfing activities I accidentally stumbled upon this blog and was just thrilled to see the topic of interest; a Sew-A-Long for making a Chanel Jacket, how lovely and exciting!!

I traveled through the accompanying links of the various participants and was pleased to see everyone’s projects in various stages of the construction process. Seeing that there had been a deadline I decided to give it a shot to see if the blog would be continuing and contacted Cindy to sign up

What luck…she mentioned that this sew-a-long would continue through the winter and I saw this as an opportunity to work on a great project and have a “some-what” structured time-frame to complete it in. I am looking forward to working on my jacket and receiving input…first up will be the pattern.

Please visit my post Mail Call…Another Sewing Goodie to help me decide. Let me know what you think and feel about your pattern of choice and any recommendations would be greatly appreciated!

Here are some of my choices:

Vogue 7975

Vogue 8369
Vogue 8259

Looking forward to hearing your ideas!

Thanks ~ mimi o ~

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I am so slow

This prject seems like a never ending story.
I've just sorted out fitting my muslin. Fitting the 3 piece-sleeves took ages. My sister pointed aout that the shouders were too long. So had to shorten them.
I thought I would feel better with a little bit of ease around the biceps line and add 1/4'' around the arm at the sleeve
Here's what it looks like.Plus the sketch my sister made to help me fiitting the sleeve end.

I know I am procrastinating  because I am anxious about quilting the shell to the lining. So yesterday, instead of cutting the fabric and lining I read everything could find concerning this step.
I must say that Claire Schaeffer's Couture Techniques is realy helpful. Eventually I ended making a swap following her method :

1 Cutting rectangles for each section from the shell fabric and the lining fabric about 4in. bigger than the finished garment section

2 Roughly outline the section shape ont the right side of the rectangles

3 Lay the lining wrong side up and top it with the fabric side up aligning grainlines.

4 Pin the sections together on on the intended quilting lines.

5 With diagonal stitches baste between the pinned rows and remove the pins.

That's where I stopped.

Today I will machine quilt the sample and that's where I need your help, please.

Some of you are using a walking foot. What is it and can it be donne with a normal foot?

The dominant colour of my tweed is off white and the lining looks like hand painted splashes (does it make sense to you?) of acid green and  deep purple. I intend to use invisible thread on the lining side because I fear that the off white thread that I want to use for the shell might be disgracious. Does it sounds correct to you? Do you have any other suggestions?

Thanks in advance.

Here are my fabrics. Forget about solid fuschia.