As my loyal readers will remember, last June, whilst in Paris, my mother-in-law and I stumbled upon some lovely cream wool in Marche Saint-Pierre, which Bev ever so lovingly bought for me to whip into a Chanel-style jacket.
I’ve been incredibly nervous about this project. It’s been on my list for a while, but I feel as though there’s a Chanel jacket sewing subculture out there, and I’m nervous to enter the foray. What’s clear is that the Chanel jacket is a sewing rite of passage. Am I ready for it? Probably not! Am I going for it? Urghh … I guess so!
It must be said, though, the upside to taking on such a massive project is that so many of you have done it and blogged about it. There’s no end to the resources out there. Just a few to mention:
And of course, Susan Khalje’sThreadsarticle, ‘Inside a Chanel Jacket’.
So I’m trepidly embarking on this project, starting with the muslin. I have two patterns to draw from. One is the ‘traditional’ pattern, Vogue 7975, recommended by Susan Khalje. The other is a more modern take, McCalls 6441. Both would need some adjustments - I’m looking for a jacket that hits me at the high hip, has bracelet length (and quite slim-cut) sleeves, button closures and front patch pockets. The Vogue pattern gets me closest to this wish-list, but I’m slightly worried about the shape. The classic Chanel silhouette is created by princess seams that extend to the shoulder seam. However, I often find that these seams make my figure look a bit boxy. The McCalls jacket, on the other hand, uses princess seams that curve to the bust and extend to the side. These seams, I find, are usually more flattering for curvier women, such as myself.
So my goal is to create an authentic Chanel ‘look’ in a style that’s best suited to my figure. To do this, I plan to make a muslin for each of these patterns and determine which one works best.
When I get there, my aim is to create a garment that’s reminiscent of the cream jackets in Chanel’s pre-fall 2012 ready-to-wear collection. Rather than use contrast trim, though, I want to create a fringe from the same fabric. The result should be a very subtly elegant jacket that I can dress up or dress down. Here’s hoping!