Thursday, September 23, 2010

Chanel Jackets - Things You Need to Know

This is my first Chanel jacket using the couture methods and already I have learned a few things that aren't quite out there and that I will employ when I make the next one. 
      Tenet #1 - Buy way more fabric than you will need. What you see above is what is left from cutting out the lining. I have nothing left of the boucle, I mean nothing. Reason being you are cutting out blocks of fabric. The shell/boucle fabric requires 2 inch seam allowances due to fit, ravelling issues, and the bulk of the seam allowances being stitched down to stabilize the garment. The lining should be even larger. You can see in the illustration from Great Sewn Clothes that the lining fabric is larger. So once again, BUY WAY MORE FABRIC THAN YOU NEED.

      Tenet #2 -  Don't overthink this whole process. I am a wicked overthinker from way back.I marked the straight  of grain of shell and lining and matched that up first. To get accurate quilting lines on the back bodice pieces I basted the shell and lining fabric and  basted the quilting lines, sort of. Then I still didn't really know if this was right.  Not feeling secure and accurate, I used 1/4 inch masking tape to mark all the quilting lines. WAY OVERKILL. What ended up working better was  just marking the first line with masking tape, /1/4 inch, and using my quilting bar on my sewing machine to get the rest of the lines accurate.  Don't try and turn this into brain surgery.
Here you can see I eventually got it done. You can see the thread tracing on the piece I turned back.

My next effort will be doing the buttonholes in the jacket front, by hand, yikes! That brings us to Tenet #3 and this is back tracking.

      Tenet #3 -  Thread trace all of your pieces on to your boucle leaving those two inch seam allowances. Then I stitched each piece 5/8 of an inch away with a triple zigzag. ( I told you I was an overthinker.) This was to control the ravelling. Now here is the important part.
       Don't cut out your piece until you work with it. So right now I have the bodice backs cut from the traced yardage and nothing else. The rest is still one big piece of boucle. After I cut off the next pattern piece to work on  it goes right to the serger to serge all the edges. I am trying to give this fabric absolute minimal opportunity to unravel. Then I will proceed with the quilting or whatever is next.

I know these photos aren't too exciting given the colors of the fabric involved but if nothing else I also hope these few hints will help you out if you choose to make one of these jackets, a la couture. I have also decided to keep track of the time involved to make this puppy. Just curious........Bunny

Yesterday I went out in the grey afternoon as between morning and afternoon the trees seemed to have put on a  color. This little stunted maple out on the island is always the first to turn. Summer's over!...Bunny









14 comments:

  1. I haven't made a Chanel, but look forward to doing so, someday. Good advice about over-thinking. I tend to do it too. And great advice about not cutting the piece until it's ready to be worked on. Thank you. Your landscape is breath-taking.

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  2. If anyone can do it (and do it right), it's you! I remember being startled when Susan grabbed the shears and started cutting my charmeuse lining (once I had the boucle basted to it), just chopping around everything. Yowzers.

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  3. Maybe just a tad bit of over thinking going on here. You are a talented experienced sewer just keep repeating that mantra. I like the idea of the method, but the cardigan jacket with a high neck is not the most flattering style for my large bust. Chanel made some jackets with lapels, the question is, did she make them this way too?

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  4. This project is next on my "TO Do" list. My fabric is a very loose weave boucle. Are you using an interlining as well? I can't tell by your pictures. And, thanks for the references you are using. I look forward to seeing the completed jacket.

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  5. I too will be curious about your total time. I did the less time consuming way for the two I've done and am thrilled with them. But I have some Louise Cutting boucle aging and it might deserve the totally couture method. Either way, it's delight to have a cozy, comfy chic jacket at the end.

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  6. When I made my daughter;s Chanel jacket I kept telling myself "this is a test run". You can cry (overthink) or smile(what-ever). I chose the middle approach. Yours will be lovely!

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  7. This is fabulous. I don't have the self control do this much work, but I admire you (and everyone else who can). Thanks for posting.

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  8. Summer is on it;s way here! The trees are in blossom and little green buds are on others. Today is actually quite warm at 21C. But your picture is just as beautiful. Love those maples.
    Thanks for the tips on the jacket. One day I will get to it...

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  9. It's really interesting to see how you make a classic Chanel jacket. Everything you sew is so beautiful that I am sure this will be too!

    Back in July I flew through Heathrow airport, where there are loads of high end shops. I spent some time in the Chanel store looking at jackets out of curiosity and to kill time. Out of the 4 I looked at, none had quilted lining at all. All had very thin silk lining, and I could see the seam allowances and darts through it. The style at that moment seemed to be lapels, but no collars. The trims were subtle and made out of the jacket fabrics. That's all I remember.

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  10. Bunny, thanks for those tips. That little sketch at the top, what book is that from?

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  11. Given the alternative (under-thinking, under-doing), I think over-thinking is all that bad! We all do that, especially when it's the first time, or if I haven't done something in a while! I think the real hang-up (if there is one) to a Chanel jacket is the time. As long as you take your time with it, it really does look great! Looks great - can't wait to see how this comes out.

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  12. I totally agree with all your thoughts. When my student made hers last year under my coaching, I told her the same things. Cut plenty of seam allowance, take a deep breath and just sew!

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  13. I always learn so much from you. Thank you for explaining what you are doing any why. The jacket will be wonderful.

    Nonie

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  14. Thanks for sharing this valuable info/advice, Bunny!

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