Channelling my Chanel

A Chanel jacket! What a thing to have in your wardrobe! Well from next week I am starting to make a copy but utilising all the couture techniques that were originally used. Claire Tyler is running a workshop over several weeks to enable her students to make their jacket.

Traditionally a wool tweed has been used. Linton has been one of the preferred tweeds. I was so excited that a while ago I bought the most beautiful tweed from there and was thrilled with it. A beautiful teal colour with fabulous texture.

Isn’t it beautiful? Sadly the photo does not pick up the beautiful silver thread in it which makes the whole cloth have a subtle shimmer. I was all set to make this jacket from this fabric until I read Mary Funt’s blog “Cloning Couture“. This lady is one of most exquisite seamstresses I have ever come across. Her attention to detail is exemplary and I just wish I had an ounce of her talent. But embedded in her blog post was a lament about the loose weave of this fabric. I decided that this was not the fabric for me to start my Chanel journey. I stroked it a couple of times and gazed at it, then wrapped it back up and ordered a tighter weave fabric. I will use it once I feel more confident with the method of construction.

Here is my new fabric choice:

Very different from the teal but lovely colours (Bloomsburysquare fabrics) and I have chosen this (Beckford Silks) as the lining:

They should look good. The colours on here have not translated well but I will keep you up to date with progress.

The pattern I have chosen is this:

I intend to lengthen the jacket and may use just one set of pockets. I want it to be a jacket to wear over trousers or a pencil skirt. I also have an idea of making a dress to wear under it but would I wear it?

Claire, my tutor, studied with Claire Schaeffer, the designer of this pattern so I know I shall be learning from the best. There is no machine stitching in this jacket and the lining is quilted to the jacket. The structure of my course is that there are 5 days of tuition with two to three weeks between classes to enable us to finish the handsewing.

So, despite my anxieties, I am going to have a go and do my best. I will keep you posted!

Back in the Game

My last post was seven months ago! Shameful! Life took a major swerve and much of what was anticipated in my last post did not happen, least of all the Portfolio course. I was so sad to have to postpone it but my deteriorating hip meant I could not even climb the stairs to the sewing room and my planned-for operation in August was brought forwards to May. Holidays were cancelled, plans put on hold while I embraced a ceramic hip and trips to the gym. We are all still together!

So delight of delights I am back into focusing on my sewing and more importantly thinking about how to make the most of my fabrics, my sewing skills and the space I work in.

in this post, I am going to review my plans from seven months ago and then will post separately about the forthcoming plans and projects not least for my sewing room which is having a major makeover.

In the last post I wrote about things I intended to make. Some of those have been finished some have been shelved and some are still on track.

So here is the previous list:

• A Classic Blazer

• Fitted LBD with a devoré and silk evening coat

• A Marfy pattern dress – more of which later

• A dress and coat for a wedding

• A Chanel style jacket for wearing with trousers. (This will probably be made after the course has finished)

The Classic Blazer never materialised.😢. It was scheduled to be part of the course and I just could not manage to make it to the class. Something for another day perhaps? Actually a jeans jacket would be higher up the list. More my style and equally challenging in its way although a little short on tailoring!😁

The Marfy dress is still in the pipeline.

The LBD is on course for this winter. Fortunately the dress and coat for a wedding was made and having made a toile and re-cut the pattern, I am going to use the same for the LBD.

The patterns I used were:

Butterick 6299

I did not make the short jacket but the dress was lovely and after all the fitting work, was perfect. It was made in burgundy dupion silk fromThe Silk Route. I underlined it in silk organza and lined it with bremsilk from MacCulloch and Wallis. It has a beautiful weight to it and feels heavenly to wear.

I made a Sculptural Bucket Coat from Sew Different using Denim Lace from Marcy Tilton. I bought this a couple of years ago when I just loved the fabric and had no idea what I could use it for.

In the end it made a great wedding outfit and I was thrilled.

I really recommend Tree’s sculptural bucket coat it is lovely and can be made in all sorts of fabrics.

So in the interests of brevity, here are a few more makes of the summer. Less challenging but still having their “moments”.😁

The next challenges are the Chanel Jacket next week (more of that later).

In the meantime my finger has twitched over some fabric purchases. Ideas still in the pipeline for them but some are beginning to form.

Good to be back! See you very soon.