I’ve been quiet blog-wise of late and for good reason. I took on the challenge of sewing myself a Chanel inspired jacket. Chanel reckon it takes 90 hours to make one couture jacket…yep, I can see why, I lost count, but I think mine did too.
The jacket itself is a short jacket with 3/4 length sleeves or longer. I chose the 3/4 ones as I liked how the sleeves come exactly to the bottom of the jacket. I sewed view B but without the fraying.
There are lots of couture techniques in this jacket, all new to me, and good confidence-builders in getting more comfortable with different techniques. There’s a LOT of hand sewing in this jacket – after machine-quilting, all the lining is hand stitched to the jacket edges, the inside armscye seams are hand stitched, all the ribbon trim (4 metres!!), the braid (4m) and the chain weight is stitched by hand too. There’s no rushing this project, you just have to embrace the process – and get a good TV box set on!
I made the jacket following the Craftsy.com class “The Iconic Tweed Jacket”, it was helpful to have some visual hand-holding for such a monster garment.
The class is expertly tutored by the lovely Lorna Knight, and her gentle Scottish accent guides you through each step wonderfully. It was refreshing not to have to puzzle over sketchy pattern instructions and just watch and learn. The class came with Vogue pattern V7975 which was posted from the U.S so this took a week or two to arrive giving me plenty of time to order the bits and bobs I needed.
I watched the entire class (mostly!) from beginning to end before I began and I’m glad I did, it really does help being able to go over each step again if you aren’t sure first time around. There’s one part which advises you to interface the back of the pockets, so make sure you do this early on as I missed this and it was too late to add after I had added the lining.
As per the class instructions I made a toile (or muslin) from calico fabric first to check the fit. Luckily for me, the size I cut fit first time around, so I didn’t need to make any adjustments on the toile. Although, I had issues with the shoulders being too wide on the finished garment so I had to cut 1.5cm away from each shoulder to make the sleeve sit properly (it kind of hung low before). I’ve seen this feedback from others too, so double check yours if you make this as it’s not that obvious at muslin stage.
The fabric I had in my stash was a loosely woven tweedy type of fabric, much lighter than a winter tweed. It’s very prone to fraying so minimal handling is key. The lining is a dusky pink satin dupion fabric which I’d actually bought ages ago to make into shower caps – so glad I didn’t! I’ve had both fabrics for so long I can’t remember where I got them, but they would have both been reasonably priced as I rarely spend more than £6 per metre – I used 2 metres of each.
A lot of time is spent pattern matching when using this type of fabric, something I hadn’t done before but enjoyed the process once Lorna had explained a few tips and tricks. It’s really important to cut accurately and follow the grain line on this project. Every stage is pattern matched, from the front to the sides to making sure the sleeve matches too. Tricky but not impossible.
My favourite part was quilting the lining. The lining is actually sewn to the outer fabric, so finding a good thread match is key. I chose a sandy colour to blend in with the main outer fashion fabric. You could have a different bobbin thread colour to match your lining, but mine looked ok without having to do this.
Here’s the actual inside of the jacket..I’m chuffed at how neat it turned out..could almost be reversible.
Overall I’m delighted how it turned out. I learned a lot and feel much more confident to tackle other projects. Lorna was brilliant to watch and I really recommend this online class to expand your sewing skills.
Au revoir for now.