More is Less or French jacket returns to Tokyo

The last two weeks of my life were incredible: non-stop sewing with occasional breaks for lunches/dinners, fabric shopping and tourist visits. Not bad, eh? Because after one week in Baltimore and a couple of days in New York, I spent an entire week in Montreal! But most importantly, the purpose of my trip to Baltimore was fulfilled!

The real color is clearer to see in the picture below. This one was shot with artificial light.


I am probably not the only one who associates Chanel jackets with rich old ladies and finds them rather on the ugly side. But in signing up to Susan's class last year, I wanted to prove myself wrong and create something different and young, yet learning new techniques and hanging out with a gang of women crazy about sewing. It was a success, at least, on the last two fronts! During the week in Baltimore we talked mainly about seam allowances, fraying, grainline and pins with nobody saying that it was boring! A full week of ooh'ing and aah'ing and admiring each other's fabrics and sewing tools!


For those of you who are scared even to think about working on a similar project, good news - the classic French jacket was not that difficult after all. Once the muslin is fitted, gear yourself up for hours of straight machine stitches and hand sewing. Don't expect to find any underlining or super-difficult techniques: everything from the beginning to the end is straightforward and logical.


The only annoying bit (for me) was sewing in the lining under the armscye area! The stressful part was closing the seam without turning the sleeve wrong side out and thus distorting the amount of fabric under the arm.

When I first showed my fabric to the class, many of the students said their eyes ached from the amount of yellow. Judith, who I met during the class last year and who I visited in Montreal after the seminar, wears mainly black. But even she, by the end of the class accepted that "Colors rule!" and bought herself two colorful cuts of fabric!




In my previous post, one of the readers made a comment about the generous seam allowances on the cutting layout and I feel like giving this topic a bit of explanation. The fabrics which we worked with for the creation of the classic French jacket, tweed and bouclé, fray like crazy and so if you cut the seam allowances very short... I'd rather not think about the consequences! Also, wide seam allowances act as emergency spare parts. Quite often during fitting, we adjust parts of the garment so that a spare piece of fabric becomes vital in the construction process.

Luckily for me, most of my fitting alterations required me to remove some fabric rather than the opposite. But here's an example where the wide seam allowance saved the project!


This happened the next day after the muslin was fitted - my shoulders somehow increased in volume and Susan added approximately 2cm to the shoulder seam. If not for the seam allowance, I would have been doomed!

But it was not the case with the lining! This little patch of weird shape would not be there had I cut the seam allowance slightly bigger. Good for me that this was only the inside of the jacket! I would not be thrilled to re-cut the whole section, re-quilt and re-stitch it together if I lacked 2cm on the outer fabric. From now on, my sewing commandment: More (seam allowance) is Less (headache and work and stupid patches).


I'll continue the story of our seminar over the weekend!

Comments

  1. This is lovely! I'm not a big fan of the Chanel jacket, but I love the fitted, flattering cut of this jacket. It really suits you! And you've added so many special details-- nice job!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your jacket is gorgeous! The bold colors are fantastic. Is the lining quilted to the fabric?

    ReplyDelete
  3. It's a real beauty. I vote for color.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Honestly, this is the first Chanel jacket I've seen that didn't seem old lady or stuffy to me. I can certainly appreciate all the beautiful workmanship that goes into them, but they've never been a goal of mine. Your jacket might have changed that! I love the shape you used at the front bottom and the fun lining. It just looks so fresh, beautiful job!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Really modern and chic interpretation... I love the color combo...

    ReplyDelete
  6. To me it has something Brazilian :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I actually like how Karl Lagerfield modernizes some of the most recent Chanel's collections.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Yes, both bodice and sleeves are quilted which is the only way to avoid the fashion fabric from shifting and sagging.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thank you, Sonja! Such a pity my trip to NY was so short and busy. I would have loved to have met with you there!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Wow Inna, I love it!!!! So, so beautiful. Couldn't agree more with you on the colour - it's more than likely I'll be repeating your blind-em-with-colour routine when I'm there in September :D The burda pattern you chose is very modern - I'm doing some research on patterns at the moment, and I'm pretty sure I'm not interested in the boxy cut that is standard - I'm totally loving yours.
    Can't wait to hear more - have you go hook and eye closures at the front, or are you planning to have it open all the time? The fit at the back is magnificent - although I'm sure that's aided by your lovely figure ;)

    ReplyDelete
  11. I couldn't agree more that the colors are perfect and that the pattern you chose was perfect. I am so in love with this jacket and can't wait to hear more about it. I love how you have paired it with jeans and sneakers.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thanks, Melanie! I don't plan to add any closures, although in the beginning I wanted to do snaps. The more my project advanced the more I felt like showing off the lining all the time! On top of that, this is a spring/summer version of the jacket and I would keep it open all the time anyway.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Oh Yeah baby (sorry, I just watched Austin Powers on the weekend)! This is gorgeous. What an incredible amount of work for an amazing result. Thanks for the info on seam allowances and all the photos of the jacket inside and out, really interesting. Totally groovy!

    ReplyDelete
  14. hehe :) Actually, the fabric is supposed to match my Converse (●⌒∇⌒●)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Glad to hear you enjoyed it and found some information useful! :) "Danger's my middle name!"

    ReplyDelete
  16. Love the colour and the shape! It looks awesome on you :-)

    I feel envy, it seems a nice adventure and you have learnt many things.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Inna, this is fantastic! I love the shape!

    ReplyDelete
  18. great work, inna. i love getting to enjoy your colors all over again!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hi there! :) Thank you, Devra! Have you advanced much with your jackets?

    ReplyDelete
  20. Gracias, guapa! He aprendido mucho durante esta semana! Me gustó estar con muchas mujeres locas de costura y intercambiar ideas sin parar. Ahora cuando estoy de vuelta mi energía es muy bajo :( Pero ja estoy abrazando de nuevo el medio virtual de costura que me da otro tipo de motivación :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. One of the most beautiful jackets from Susan's class, honestly. I love your trim treatment!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Инна, получилось здорово! Я все хочу поизучать глубже технику всякую, но до пиджаков шанель мне далеко пока:) А подкладка простегана, она что, прямо к желтому пристрачивается?

    ReplyDelete
  23. Спасибо :) Пиджак, на самом деле, жить не тяжело, и в основном техника, которая в нем используется - элементарная. Подкладка простегана к ткани, используем только два слоя ткани. Напишу об этом как раз сегодня :)

    ReplyDelete
  24. Ура! А то я все пытаюсь сама понять, что происходит, но никак, а лезть разобраться все времени не хватает:)

    ReplyDelete
  25. Milena (of the home blues)2 May 2013 at 09:04

    This is too good! Yammi post. So let me get this straight (I am slowly collecting my bits of Chanel-isms from here and there) - the lining is quilted by machine (using two differently colored threads, good idea!) and then the panels are stitched together by machine and the lining panels sewn by hand? Slip stitched?

    ReplyDelete
  26. It's a reverse process: quilting is done first, then stitching the jacket parts together and lastly closing the seams with fell stitch.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Aftеr going over a handful οf the blοg poѕts on youг blog,
    I honestly like your technique of blοggіng.
    I book marked it to my boοκmaгk webpage list and will be сhecκіng bасk іn the near future.
    Plеase checκ оut my web site toо and
    let mе know your opinion.

    Μy ωebsite: click the next web page

    ReplyDelete
  28. You could definitely see your expertise in the article you
    write. The sector hopes for more passionate writers like you who aren't afraid to say how they believe. All the time follow your heart.

    Also visit my site Louis Vuitton Outlet

    ReplyDelete
  29. Hi, I think your blog might be having browser compatibility issues.
    When I look at your website in Ie, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer,
    it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads
    up! Other then that, amazing blog!

    My website - Learn More

    ReplyDelete
  30. Woah! I'm really enjoying the template/theme of this site. It's simple, yet effective.
    A lot of times it's very hard to get that "perfect balance" between superb usability and appearance. I must say you have done a awesome job with this. Additionally, the blog loads very fast for me on Safari. Exceptional Blog!

    Take a look at my site :: Michael Kors Outlet

    ReplyDelete
  31. Remarkable issues here. I am very glad to see your post.
    Thank you a lot and I'm looking ahead to touch you. Will you kindly drop me a mail?

    Also visit my blog ... Louis Vuitton Handbags

    ReplyDelete
  32. Just gorgeous! I love the neckline and the colour. Fresh and modern and very flattering against your fair skin and dark hair.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Well, the making of French jacket is just time consuming due to all hand sewing. As you experienced - once the toil is done and fitted you are more then half way done. This is with every garment.

    I love the colour... it is very sunny and summer-like. Great job!

    I think that the French jacket / Chanel jacket is so versatile that you can wear it to jeans or LBD... that's the buty of it.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Very beautiful elegant jacket - very French indeed. Well, done. Very nice colour and shape.



    I have to comment on your statement "I am probably not the only one who associates Chanel jackets with rich old ladies and finds them rather on the ugly side"......................

    Well I think only people who like classic elegant fashion that will be wearable for more than one or two seasons will love a Chanel jacket. Only people with no sense of classic elegant fashion will think that such a jacket "is on the ugly side".
    By the way Chanel jackets come in very different shapes and colours these days and can be rather "modern" but still timeless. Just have a look at the Chanel website.

    Fashion passes, Style is eternal (Coco Chanel).

    ReplyDelete
  35. I could not agree with you more about the versatility of Chanel jackets today vs 80's or even the beginning of 2000's. Also being able to transform a garment according to your personal taste makes a big difference into perception of this garment. This is probably one big reason why people sew!

    I think your judgement about the "classic elegance" is subjective: there are many modern and edgy garments which can be worn more than one or two seasons too.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular Posts