Tag Archives: chanel style jacket

Jacket Finally Finished

I’m writing this sitting in the sunshine on the deck at my friends’ house in New York. And I’m happy to say that my jacket was finished in time for the trip. Just.


Overall I enjoyed making it, but I have to admit that I’m not altogether pleased with the finished product.

The real problem came when I tried to put the sleeves in. It had all been going so well up to that point! The stripes across the body were matched up beautifully across the seams, and the shoulder seams were chevronned to perfection. I was feeling pretty darned smug about the whole thing!

DSC01535     DSC01544

But then came the sleeves, and it all started to go wrong. No matter what I did, however much I eased them, they just wouldn’t fit in without puckering and tucking and wrinkling. And as for matching the pattern up – forget about it! In the end I put them in, unpicked and redid them about 6 times. And each time I unpicked and redid them, it got worse and the fabric got increasingly stroppy. The left shoulder drooped and no amount of steam would encourage it to behave.


Eventually I decided to call it a day and just live with it. After all, it was my first jacket. And maybe, just maybe, I am too much of a perfectionist.

It was at that point that I realised I didn’t have enough sleeve lining to cover the seam inside the jacket.


Many Bad Words were uttered, and a Not-Insubstantial Amount of Gin and Tonic was consumed.

I decided to sleep on it and come back to it the next day. A good decision, I have to say.

The next day, feeling slightly calmer, and less inclined to burn the damn thing in frustration, I sat down and looked at it again. The only fix I could think of was to dig out the minuscule scraps of lining I had left from the rubbish bin, and attach them to the sleeve head by hand to try and extend the sleeve lining enough.


So that’s what I did.


It was a bugger of a job. But the sleeve lining finally was big enough to cover the seam, and I could finish the lining.

DSC01576 DSC01575

All that was left was to add the patch pockets and the trim, and sew the chain into the bottom hem of the jacket. All of which went like a dream.



 I was ecstatic! It was finally done!

But when I put the jacket on I realised that the problems inserting the sleeves had affected the fit across the chest. It didn’t lie nice and smooth any more. I’m going to live with it, wear it with pride, and take it to my Couture Sewing Class next week to get some expert advice on how to avoid this next time. Because there will definitely be a next time.

After all, it was only the first jacket I ever made, not the last.

Making My First Jacket

Guess what? I’m making my first ever jacket!

I’ve been wanting to make one for a while now, but for oh-so-many reasons I’ve only just got around to doing so. Firstly, the thought of making a jacket always seemed so much more intimidating than making a dress or a skirt, then there was the matter of finding a pattern I liked and fabric that would work well. I kept telling myself that there was no point in investing time and energy in making something that I wasn’t going to wear a lot. And so the jacket-making idea kept on being put on the back burner.

Then I went shopping with Mum a while back, and I finally found a jacket pattern I liked. Actually, let’s make that a pattern I loved! It’s what I’d call a cardigan style jacket, but what my lovely sewing teacher Sabina calls “une vraie Chanel”- it has no collar, no cuffs, no lapels, no buttons, and it’s not particularly fitted. I think this style of jacket can be really elegant, but can easily be either dressed up or dressed down depending on your mood. And, for a first foray into jacket making, it looked reasonably straightforward. So I bought it, with plans to make a summer-weight jacket at some point.


Soon after this, I saw a class on Craftsy to make a classic tweed jacket. I love Craftsy classes, because you can follow along at your own pace, as and when you want, and everything’s always really well explained because you can actually see what’s going on. So I signed up, and found that the class pattern was the one I’d just bought with Mum. Now this was a good sign 🙂

What’s more, the lovely RR had bought me this book on making this kind of jacket as a Christmas gift (aren’t Amazon Wishlists wonderful!). Serendipity indeed!

But what fabric to use?

Well, as it turned out, I actually already had the fabric for this project sitting in my cupboard. I’d bought it on a whim at our local fabric store,where it sat languishing in the remnants bin at half price. There was about  1 1/2m of it and I had no idea what I wanted to use it for, I just liked the colours and the weave and the texture, not to mention it was a pretty good price (well, for Switzerland, in any case!) For the lining, I used some beautiful vivid blue silk dupion – I do so love a bright coloured lining.


And so it all finally came together. Spurred on by the success of the grey shift dress I made for Ms S and Mr E’s wedding, I decided to jump in at the deep end, and use the beautiful but inexpensive fabric to make My First Jacket.  To tell the truth, I was kind of hoping when I started that it would be ready in time for said wedding, so that I could wear my two creations together, but it took me ages to put together the toile, and make the necessary adjustments to the fit. Well, suffice to say that I only actually got round to cutting the fabric out the day before we left, so wearing it to the wedding was a bit of a non-starter. But it is now underway nonetheless.

DSC01537  DSC01534



DSC01546  DSC01548

I’ve been working on the jacket for the past few weeks, and slowly but surely I’m getting there. I know it’s not going to be perfect, but I’ve already learnt a lot, and I’m hoping it will be finished before my trip to the US in June, and my week at Susan Khalje’s Couture Sewing School. I’m going to be making a jacket while I’m there, so this one is partially a trial run, as well as something I hope I can wear during my trip.

Fingers crossed, eh?!