Friday, 26 January 2018

My Chanel-type jacket - part 3. It's finished.




My last post about this jacket was over 4 months ago as I was busy with family things and making the outfits for the murder mystery weekend (with of course the exception of David’s Franciscan monk’s outfit that he made entirely by himself), posted earlier. However, I hadn’t completely forgotten about the jacket.



This post has been part written on each of several days. Today I just wanted to get it posted (I'm still feeling rather unwell). The quality of the photos could be better (understatement!)



After my last post, I removed the sleeves, reduced the size of the seam allowance in order to give a bit more space for my biceps and re-attached to the armscye. Previously, my pattern matching was absolutely perfect but for some reason I couldn’t get it perfect this time - strange as the sleeve attachment previously was very wonky as I discovered when I was removing - the seam width changed a few times and in places I had double or even triple stitched as I was having issues inserting the sleeves originally. I had to consider how many times it was appropriate to redo and took advice from Rory and Dan (Gillian's classes were finished) - their advice was that the sleeves hung beautifully and the pattern matching was fine so to leave. I took their advice. I also had to take into account that while this jacket will work for me, the sleeves are too short and although the fringe will hopefully disguise that, I’m not really a fringe person!! So this could be a really fancy wearable toile! No, not a toile as I will consider it a finished jacket but it will highlight any future changes required.

The next step was to create the fringe. As suggested by both Mary (Cloning Couture) in comment on my last blog post and Kate at my weekend sewing trip, I did try cutting the fabric strips on the bias and compared this to straight stitching. However, I preferred the appearance of the straight fabric strips. In addition, I had originally auditioned two fabric strips on top of the lining but found I preferred only one as it was less full - as I said above, I’m not really a fringe/frilly person and I found the two layers to be a bit ‘too much’. Anyway, I told myself, Chanel actually used the selvedge from the fabric (I considered that too) and one layer appeared closer to that. I used the lining fabric cut on the bias to allow it to go around corners more readily. Some people have asked me about this and how I did it. I'll have a look to see if I have any photos - I think I do but my computer is in intensive care and I've bought a new one which I haven't got set up as yet. I might have some on my phone. I'll post if I can - or perhaps post at a later date. I can't check at the moment.




I created the fringe strips in my sewing bee with Rory. Sorry Rory for the incredible mess this made (glad I wasn’t doing it at home!!). I couldn’t believe how many threads and the amount of lint from my fabric strips! I did have to trim the strips afterwards as they were a little too wide. Even more mess. I attached the strips to the bias cut lining and was ready to go.

I had already marked my jacket just inside the seam allowance with machine stitching, which would also act as stay stitching. Gillian had said to put tape around the neckline but as I was adding two layers of lining underneath into the neckline turnover, I decided, rightly or wrongly, that I didn’t need to do this.

I attached the lining part of the strips to the jacket fronts and neckline, just like you do with piping, carefully ensuring that the junction between the lining and the fabric lay along the stitching line. This was more difficult than it sounds as I could scarcely see my staystitching. Maybe I should have used a contrast colour of thread. I pinned and then tacked. I quite enjoy the process of tacking (basting) by hand and feel that it made it more likely for the horizontal patterns on the fringe and the jacket to match. I then machine stitched the fringe to the right side of the fabric. I did this at my last class of the year with Lyn, who helped me with the corners. I found it very difficult to sew with the bulk of the fabric on my right as was required for one of the corners. I didn't add fringing to the bottom hem. Despite my care, the pattern between jacket fronts and fringe doesn't exactly match but I’ve decided to leave it as I don’t want to carry the jacket unfinished over to 2018!


Ha! It's now 2018. Don't say you're surprised that I didn't get the jacket finished! In December, I started and completed the long-promised red silk dress for Helen, made a few Christmas presents and finished my knitted waistcoat. I did a little on the jacket but I'm unfortunately not someone who can watch TV while working and I usually watch with David in the latter part of the evening. If I'm really pushed, I'll sew right up to bedtime but I prefer not to do that.

Next step was to turn up the jacket hem and stitch it in place. I placed curtain chain weight in the hem fold and secured that at seam lines and the ends. This was the process if there is no fringing - I'm not completely sure how I would have done this with fringing. Just a minor modification to the process, I feel.



I said I didn't like the double fringing but the single seems a bit scrappy. I think maybe I'm just not a fringing person. I decided I'd continue, though. Next time I'd go for braiding - I would've done with this one if the sleeves had been long enough. I bought a choice of braid and of buttons but haven't used either.

Next, the lining seams. Sleeves first. The under layer of lining is smoothed across the seam and pinned in place down the seam line. It's then cut level with the fabric edge (forgot to say seam allowances were trimmed). Then the other side is smoothed across and folded under level with the seam line and the first pin taken out and transferred to keep the two lining areas in place. In some cases, I had stitched my quilting lines too close to the seam lines - I needed more side than I had anticipated. So I had to unpick a fair bit of my quilting and re-tie my threads. This is an ongoing task. Next time, I would be aware of just how far away from the edges I need to stay and this would save quite a bit of time.



It isn't too difficult - but, boy, is it tedious! I do hope it will be strong enough! I'd hate my lining to start falling apart.



I continued in this vein, a little bit each day. Things did move on and the hand sewing was often a relief from the day. Today (Thursday 25 January), I had just the sleeve lining/jacket lining armscye junction to do. I took it to class with Lyn - I haven't been well, not yet recovered and wanted a simple almost mindless task. Lyn advised folding the jacket seam allowances towards the sleeve rather than opening them out as elsewhere. She felt this would give a nice shape. I did this, then smoothed the under layer of lining over, pinned then tacked them in place, identifying the stitching line. Here Lyn offered an important piece of advice - the need to ensure the lining is not pulled too tight. I had been pulling too tight so adjusted that. After I pinned the over lining over, I tacked and removed the pins so I could try the jacket on. I think it looks pretty good. When I tried on, the tacking stitch was under pressure in one area so I added a little extra there.

I finished stitching one sleeve in place and managed to get the other stitched in place tonight.

I'm not putting pockets - or mock pockets, as you no doubt guessed.

So that's it finished!
I'm quite excited now that I see it finished!

It's rather crushed so I'll hang on Madame and steam tomorrow. David liked it when I tried it on and said he'll take some photos tomorrow.

I didn't steam before I took the photos as I was worried about losing what little light there was available. I also realised just now as I was finishing this post, that I didn't put the chain on around the lining/hem junction - after all that searching for suitable chain!! I'll probably leave it off.

Summary of resources used:
Chanel jacket class by Gillian Hargreaves - 2 days. I attended with Margaret (The Crafty Creek), who has blogged about the course. I'm not sure if she has finished the jacket as there has been no further blog post.
The Iconic Tweed Jacket by Lorna Knight (Craftsy class) I bought this a while ago and hadn't watched. I found it a great class and enjoyed the instructor but her methods were slightly different from those I was following from Gillian.
Books by Claire Schaefer
Assistance in class from Rory (Centre Front Studios) and from Lyn (WEA) as mentioned in body of text.

Then on to other projects!


30 comments:

  1. Beautiful. This blue looks very nice on you. I also like the cut/style of your jacket it's more fitted than boxy & at least to me looks nicer than the usual Chanel style. I think your fringe amount is perfect too. It doesn't look over done just right (I'm not a ruffle friend type of gal either).
    Becca G

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    1. Thank you, so much. I like the jacket and will wear it (I have made other jackets which languish in the wardrobe). I'm an earlier blog post I had pinned on 2 layers of fringe and do think that's to much, for me at least.

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  2. It's beautiful! I need one JUST LIKE IT! I love the blue, but I do have a brown WIP, so I need to get cracking.

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    1. Thank you. I took rather a while making it but it could've been a lot faster.

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  3. Anne, it really is quite wonderful. It looks beautifully made and bespoke. I personally like the fringing but fully understand you preferring a braided finish. I recall seeing a documentary once about Chanel and saw the little lady that made all of the bespoke braiding for Chanel...she lived on a farm and had weaving looms in a barn. She was given yarns from the fabrics to weave into braids...fascinating process to watch.

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    1. Thank you, Diane. That documentary sounds fascinating. Do you have any details? I'm coming to like the fringe!

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  4. It looks great Anne. I hope to start my jacket this year too and will use the instructions you have listed since I also have the same Vogue pattern you used for your jacket. I also prefer the braided finish and will challenge myself to use the fabric scraps to create the braids by looking at pictures of Chanel jackets. Thanks for sharing. Lamar from San Antonio, TX USA

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    1. Thank you. Good luck with yours. I think we can do a lot with fabric scraps.

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  5. Great jacket, I'm sure I wouldn't have the patience but it does give a lovely finish.
    Btw the blog post is nice and readable for me today. I am using Firefox on a Win 10 PC. I can try as well on my Android tablet. Thanks for sorting it out.

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    1. Thank you. I'm glad the post is working now.

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  6. hi anne - what an abolutely beautifully fitting jacket, you did welll girl. thanks for sharing

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  7. Those looks great and so stylish on you! I'm on the process of making my first jacket!

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    1. Thank you. Good luck with yours.

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  8. This is beautiful Anne! I really like the colour and style on you. The fit is great, hope you transfered all adjustments to the paper pattern. Imagine the range of different jackets you can make with this pattern as your starting point!

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    1. Thank you, Marianne. Confession - no I haven't yet transferred all the markings. There weren't that many, surprisingly. Pinch in back princess seams. Lengthen sleeves for next time (my taste). Like yours, though, this was the longer length which is the shorter on me. You're quite right about the range of jackets I can make from here.

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  9. Exquisite Anne. A perfect fit with perfect fabric choice and trim. Just beautiful.

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  10. The details in the jacket are amazing! I think it looks so beautiful on you. You can tell how much time was put in this jacket as it is incredible!!

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    1. Thank you, Annie. It probably seemed longer than it was - so much procrastination!

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  11. You achieved a phenomenal fit and I love the soft blue with your silver hair. Congratulations and well done!

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    1. Thank you. Yes, I need a soft or muted colour scheme rather than a pure navy.

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  12. What a beautiful job! The fit is perfect as is the color. The fun part about these jackets is deciding on the trims. I’ve found that I need to experiment with each fabric before deciding on which option I like best. The film someone referred to is Signe Chanel and it gives an inside look at the Chanel workrooms. Madame Pouzieux unraveled lengths of Chanel tweed and re-wove it into matching braid. Chanel sent apprentices to learn the technique but they didn’t get it. Sadly she passed away in 2012. The film is on YouTube or you can get the DVD. Great fun to watch.

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    1. Thank you, Mary. I'm actually surprised at how much I like this jacket! Thank you for details of the film. I'll try to watch it. Do you mean that no one else has been able to recreate Mme Pouzieuz's technique? It's very sad how many older skills are being lost

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    2. Chanel is very aware that many of the older skills are in danger of being lost and has been acquiring some of the embroidery, pleating, feather work, etc. to ensure that couture will have access to these artisans and trying to train new artists before the skills are lost. If you can locate a copy, “Haute Couture: Tranesman’s Entrance” is a wonderful insight to some of the artisans who make haute couture possible. There is a chapter about Mme Pouzieux. Much of the equipment she used to create the braids she devised herself. I hope you watch the film; it’s a fascinating view of the couture world.

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    3. Thank you for this. I won't get a chance to look at the film or for the book until the weekend but will try then. I'm relieved that some skills are being retained.

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  13. A wonderful jacket Anne - the fit is perfect and I do love the fabric. Well Done!! (Hope you'll soon be feeling well again.)

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    1. Thank you, Joyce. I hope you are well.

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  14. Your jacket is lovely Anne ---it really does look magnificent. A labour of love and perseverance!

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    1. Thank you, Sarah Liz. It just needs to warm up a bit so I can wear it.

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