Sunday, August 24, 2008

"Chanel" Jacket Construction

I’m in love.
I’m in love with Chanel
I’m in love with Chanel and boucle
I’m in love with Chanel and boucle and silk
I’m in love with Chanel and boucle and silk and hand stitching

What an experience it is to handle this rag-a-muffin. Each step in this process has been pure pleasure so far, and not on the basic level. On the highest, stratospheric, out-of-this world level.

I so appreciate all of you who left me helpful tips on how to approach this unique jacket construction. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Documenting the process has improved my sewing tremendously (thank heavens for the iPhone!), and all of you play a huge part in that. I always think of what needs to be explained with pictures, and those pictures help me catch errors before it’s too late. Thank you for reading my blog and taking the time to leave a comment.

I made a muslin of BWOF 1-2008-127, eliminated the CB seam, and moved the back waist dart to the back princess seam. I also moved the upper backside toward CB, eliminating some gaposis at the back armhole. I raised the armhole about 3/8” and scooped out a bit in front, and added a bit of coverage to the back. The shoulder seam was moved forward just a tad.

After working with the boucle, I think all of this tweaking was a waste. It’s so drapey and forgiving, these changes will play a minimal (if any) role in the final fit.

Btw, if you're looking for a very fitted princess seamed jacket, BWOF 1-2008-127  is a great pattern. And the shawl collar is super flattering imo.

After taking apart the muslin and cutting off SA, I placed the muslin on right side of the fabric in a single layer. This is where matching the plaid (in my case; the satin ribbons) takes center stage. You will need lots of room around each piece as well, since a minimum of 2” SA is necessary. I thread-traced around each piece, and cut.

Since this is a shawl collar jacket, I needed to make front facings, which is not part of the Chanel construction in the Threads article. I cut four of the front pattern (like the BWOF pattern calls for), and put the facings aside to be quilted/attached later.

For lining, I dyed a piece of silk charmeuse in Light Pink (I know, here comes the dye again- but I didn’t have a choice, honestly! F & S didn’t have the right color.) I placed it on the table, right side facing down, and placed the cut boucle- one piece at the time- on top, right side facing up. I pinned down vertical lines, spaced 1 1/4” apart (due to the ribbon pattern), and 1” away from all seam lines and ending 2” above the hem fold line. I used silk thread- off white in needle, light pink in bobbin-, a walking foot and longer stitch length. I left thread tails at each beginning and stop, which I pulled to the inside and tied off.

Then I pinned the CB on the dressform and pinned the sidebacks, folding in SA, and matching each side square by square. After slip-basting in place on the form, I hand stitched all seams using small back stitches. The shoulder/collar seam point is the tricky part. I fused the point that needs to be cut, stitched the shoulder seams, cut the points and stitched the back neck/collar together. 

I needed three buttonholes, and after quite a bit of experimentation, I used medium fusible interfacing on both the front and welt, the stitched rectangle is 1” long by 1/2” wide. Next, I will make the buttonholes in the facing and quilt the facings on. Then the sleeve... and finally the trim. Very excited about the trim.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Back Home And Dreaming Chanel

Well, I'm back from Laguna Beach- sorta. My mind is still lingering in the peace and quiet of Three Arch Bay. Hopefully, one day...

Caused a bit of inflation yesterday. Spent a good two hours at F & S Fabrics. It was a lot of fun of course. They have the best stuff. And guess what! They'll be online soon! You heard it here first ;-)

I have a wardrobe plan, inspired by the Pattern Review contest. I'll never finish in time, so I'll just go my usual slow speed. It was the jacket contest that caught my attention first. I have been planning on making this Chanel jacket for a few months, and this gave me the kick in the butt I needed. Even got a copy of Threads with the couture article off ebay.

As you can see, all the patterns are from BWOF, hence my fantastically lame title.

In addition to the Chanel jacket, here are two links to other inspiration pieces:

The second skirt is all in my head, and I hope it wants to come out soon...

The boucle doesn't have any pink in it, so I'm weaving in some strands of ribbon yarn and mohair. A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

I liked the Threads article, but was a tad disappointed that she didn't go more into details. Three-piece sleeve? I'd love to know how that's done. Where's the perfect location for that oh-so-important vent? And is interfacing not included in this exercise? How about buttonholes? Or loops?

I'd love your input on this. I tried reading the thread over on Pattern Review, but oh boy, that's a lot of reading!

Hope everyone's having a wonderful summer.