Monday, October 18, 2010

Back to the Chanel Jacket!

It took a while but I am back to sewing. Our final wave of fall foliage visitors has left and we are not expecting any more until Christmas. Bun and Ern's Bed and Breakfast is closed! I loved having our company and we made some great memories but it does feel good to just sit and absorb the quiet!

The first order of business was to return to the CJ. The lining is all seamed, except for the sleeves. The sleeves haven't even been cut out and won't be until the front is complete. I needed to make some templates for the neckline and the pockets and did so out of file folders hanging around. The neckline has a rounded corner at CF and I placed the template on the fabric front and pressed the fabric around it to get a nice shape. I used the back neckline template to adjust the neckline as it had stretched some. After all of the neckline was pressed over the templates the 3/4 SA was catchstitched in place. Then a selvedge tape was catstitched on top of that, easing in the excess. After that the neckline was pressed and looked great. You'd never know I eased that neckline back into shape.
After the neckline it was time to deal with pockets and trim.
I didn't use any particular guide or direction, choosing instead to make patch pockets the way I always do. I cut out the pocket with half inch seam allowances from the fashion fabric. I add another half inch to the top as well as this will fold to the inside of the pocket and you won't see a lining edge. Then I line up the upper edge of the fashion fabric pocket with the selvedge edge of the lining and stitch the half inch seam. Using the selvedge edge here stabilizes the pocket and prevents stretching at the upper edge, all without taping the edge. You can see that the lining is way bigger than the pocket. As far as a pattern, I forgot to trace it off. Instead I used my wearable muslin, but cut down the pocket size even further. Being petite, I always cut down the details and felt the last jacket's pockets could have been just a touch smaller. I press the seam open. Then I fold the lining and pocket to the back, leaving a half inch margin at the top as shown below. Next comes another good press.
Next I take my rotary cutter and cut the lining to match the front of the pocket as seen above. Now it is time to stitch on the trim.
My final choice was to pull some of the threads from the fabric and weave them thru the braid in groups of four, two brown and two pink. This is handstitched across the top of the pocket with a healthy inch and a half extending beyond the pocket edge. Once the braid was stitched on I turn the lining and FF right sides together and stitched the pocket, leaving an opening to turn.
You can see here how each side of the pocket is pinned on the opposite side. This is so I can stitch directionally from each side of the opening and still be able to pull out my pins. Make sense? Directional stitching should help the pocket retain its shape. I am close to finishing the hip pockets and the breast pockets are complete. When doing patch pockets on anything always check and recheck that the pockets are the exact same size. It is amazing how they can pick up discrepancies in their sizes from stitching and stretching, albeit unintentional. They need to be a perfect match. I had to do a couple of adjustments on these to get them just right. The opening for turning was left on the center bottom of the pocket. It was turned and pressed and is ready to be stitched on.

I am pretty sure that I am going to place the pockets differently than the pattern dictates. I really like the smaller pockets placed at the waistline with just a bit of space between the hip and upper pockets, just like you see on Coco above. This is the way the pockets are placed on the Khalje jacket in the Threads article and I think it is a less boxy look and more flattering to the feminine form. I believe Erica B did her jacket this way.

Tomorrow will be either the backside of the button holes in the lining or the hem. Back with more....Bunny


  1. I will be making a Chanel-style jacket in the next few months, so thanks for the contruction posts. I find them very helpful.

  2. It's going to be amazing (no big surprise there), I *love* what you did with the trim! So perfect!

  3. I am envious of the exquisite care that you are taking in making this jacket. I am always in some mad rush for a deadline. I see that I need to just learn to enjoy the art of sewing, not just hurry up and add something to the closet.

  4. Yes, the trim is beautiful--such a good idea!

  5. Smart idea for the trim. Yes, those pockets have to be perfect, since often they are the only detail on a jacket.

  6. I have been working on two plaid suits for my granddaughters ages 8 and 7. The skirts have kilt style pleats in the front, and the jackets are chanel type. And the only trim are those pockets, which I cut on the bias.

    They found the synthetic wool in my stash. It is plaid and is about 13 years old. This is proof that if you keep it long enough, it will come back in style.

    It is primarily bright pink and they could just invision it with black turtle necks and leggings. I will finish the second jacket tonight, and then all I will need to do is hem the skirts. They are so simple, but are so cute.

    I have loved seeing how you construct your garments. You inspire me.

  7. You have such attention to detail. Your jacket will be worthy of couture. I wonder if you'll make a coordinating skirt? Oh, and a Chanel bag, for sure!

  8. I love the trim, it's just perfect for the jacket. It's going to be beautiful and I can't wait to see it finished.

  9. I just discovered your blog and am amazed at your skills, beautiful garments, and the tutorials. Thank you for sharing your talent!

  10. Hi there Bunny,

    Can you go into the detail of how you set in your sleeves please. I have spotted your posting about moulding the sleeve cap and you mention Acro interfacing cut on the bias. I have not heard of Acro here in the U.K. and would like to know more. I am due to put in my sleeves soon.........would love to make a good job of them, and yours always look amazing. Gosh, the cashmere sleeves in the coat you made are superbly immaculate. I want mine to look as good......I WISH!!


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