Chanel Jacket Part One

After the pajama blitz I needed to recoup. I did some organizing in the cave. I wasn't sure what to sew next as the queue is pretty deep. After a couple of glorious fall days putting my gardens to bed I knew. I'll have two projects going on. My (almost) hand project will finally be my Chanel Jacket. The nip in the air has really put me in the mood to get on with this garment. At the same time I will be working on Sophie's School Dress, a vivid corduroy print number. There is so much hand work in the CJ that I think this will work out great.
You can see here I started to thread trace my muslin. I have not made one of these before. I have tried thread tracing a couple of times with Burda but its not my choice of technique. However, for the CJ, I want to follow the rules, at least according to Schaeffer and Khalje. All adjustments have been made to the pattern. Grain lines are drawn on. It was easy to find the grainline on this wrong side of the boucle as there is a heavy white thread about every 1/4 inch. The muslin was pinned to the back side of my boucle along the grainlines. This still needed some more stabilization so my pattern weights, my rocks, came in handy. I then used a double thread, the better to see,  and found a LONG needle worked much more quickly. I traced around each piece right on the edge. I took care to double back to make sure my corners were well defined. What I am thread tracing is the actual stitching line. The cutting line will be about an inch and a half from that. Boucle ravels tremendously and this one particularly.  The wide seams prevent that from going into the stitching line. I have a plan here. I will trace out every pattern piece on to the yardage. Then I am going to go to the machine and stay stitch all around about an inch out. THEN I will cut out the pieces, after they are all stay stitched.

I used one color for the pattern outline. Then I used a red color thread to do all the marking on each piece. So all the marking is with thread as well. After that I took some blue masking tape and numbered and labeled each piece and stuck the painters tape on it. I did all of this on my cutting table, therefore the back is not happy. I can rotary cut  on that table for hours but for some reason the thread tracing  got to the old "espalda." I had to quit about two thirds of the way and will finish tomorrow.

Here's a little info on this project:

*   The Pattern is Vogue 8259, a Claire Schaeffer pattern that was kindly provided by Summerset. It is currently out of print although it shows up now and then on ebay. I am unable to pull up a picture from the web to show you but you can see examples on PR. Ann's CJ is particularly stunning. I will not be doing a collar and have raised the neckline accordingly. This will be the edge to edge construction.

*   The fabric is a boucle from Banksville Fabrics, can't remember the fiber content at this point but I am guessing cotton/acrylic.  Banksville is on line and functions as a a swatching service. You tell them what you need, pay ten dollars for 36 swatches, and they will "shop" for you and send you good sized samples to peruse. This worked beautifully as I really am one who has to feel and see the fabric and there is no store for at least a hundred miles that would carry such fabrics, never mind have a choice.  They sent me lining samples as requested also. The lining is a taupe/rose 100% silk charmeuse in a solid. It blends beautifully. 

* For reference I am mostly using an article in the Taunton book, "Great Sewn Clothes" by Claire Scaeffer that really takes you thru most of the process. I also have as reference Susan Khalje's article in Threads #121, "Inside a Chanel Jacket". Also, the blog, Go Chanel or Go Home has been a motherload of information and I am so grateful for that.

This is my first attempt at a CJ and if anyone has any imput on their method or use of the various techniques, please feel free to pipe up here. I welcome your imput.

Summer will end this week. It was a beautiful one up here in the Northeast but now the colors of Fall are ready to arrive and pronounce a future of white cold. Here is a picture of the twins at Crane's Beach on the North Shore. Is this not the glory of childhood summer or what?...Bunny


  1. Wow! You are going to be busy making a CJ - good luck! Your fabric is a lovely blend of colors. Have you thought about trim?

  2. good luck!! it looks like you're already working it beautifully! :)

  3. Ah, the CJ. This has been on my list for a long I am looking forward to seeing how you work on yours. The fabric and lining sound lovely.

  4. I am sure that your skills are up to the challenge. I look forward to seeing your progress.

  5. I started a CJ a few years ago but put it away. I'm inspired by your work on it, and will look up those references. I hope I'll still fit into it.

  6. Your CJ will be perfectly tailored, just as all your garments are. Enjoy the process, and I'll be reading along as your progress.

  7. Oh, fabulous! This will be fun to watch. I can see that you've made some alterations to that front piece, having worked with this pattern with a student in the past. It will certainly be more shapely and less boxy.

    I was thinking of making one too, this winter. I love sweaters, jackets not so much and was hoping for a compromise, and I already have the boucle. I'll see what you think when yours is done.

  8. So excited that you are starting your CJ! I'll be watching as you proceed. You will inspire me to finish mine, as I am still attaching my braid! But as you said, with fall in the air, now's the time! You will be thrilled with the pattern and the way it fits. Can't wait to see what is certain to be another fantastic creation!

  9. I nominated you for a beautiful blogger award on my blog!

  10. I loved making my CJ version last fall and you're inspiring me to consider another one soon. I'm eagerly watching and enjoying seeing yours develop.

  11. I had never heard of "thread tracing" before Bunny but with your explanation I can understand how it would be useful on such a ravely (is that a word?) fabric. I've never sewn on boucle but now I won't be afraid to buy it.
    Thanks for teaching us so much of your art & love of sewing!


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