|Update 2/10/2014: I made this jacket yet again using a white Vera Wang fabric that I picked up a few years ago from Fabric.com. I used the instructions from Thewallina and Leisa's French jacket sew along last fall, as well as info from Claire Shaeffer's book, The Couture Cardigan Jacket. This was the first time that I trimmed one of my jackets and the first time that I sewed the sleeves in by hand rather than by machine. I love sewing these jackets, although I am always surprised at how long it takes me. |
Hem, quilting and chain
Trim and hand sewn button hole
Pattern Description: Claire Shaeffer's Custom Couture Collection--Chanel style pattern now out of print. From the pattern envelope: "This is a semi-fitted, partially interfaced jacket, below waist has princess seams (no side seams), stand collar, patch pockets, long three piece sleeves with buttoned vents an purchased trim. A: Couture construction techniques, quilting details, contrast front and sleeve facins, collar lining."
Pattern Sizing: A (6-8-10)
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, only less boxy and not yet trimmed.
Were the instructions easy to follow? The instructions are very detailed. This pattern is worth having just for the 8 pages of Claire's detailed instructions. There are many steps to follow, but they are well explained and illustrated. No single step is all that difficult. That said, I mostly followed Angela Wolf's instructions from her quilted jacket class.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love the details of Chanel couture style construction. I have been wanting to make a Chanel jacket since I returned to sewing in 2009. I finally got up the courage to make one (or two, actually) when I took Angela Wolf's quilted jacket class. This was a wonderful class and very helpful!
The collar is cut as a straight piece and then shaped using steam. I was uncertain about this step, but Claire's explanation was fantastic. I sewed three rows of machine basting then pulled the threads to curve the upper edge of the collar into the required shape and steamed. The steam worked like magic to shape the collar with no bunching or rippling! I did the same thing to fit the sleeves. Wool is so responsive to shaping--it is such a pleasure to work with!
In this pattern, each body piece is quilted to the lining piece before the whole is sewn together, the seam allowances are tacked down to the body, and then the silk lining is hand stitched together over the body seams.
The three piece sleeves allow the cuffs to sit at the top of the wrist where the buttons (and trim) are most visible.
Fabric Used: I used a Chanel wool tweed purchased from Gorgeous Fabrics. It is one of those fabrics that I just love to pet.
The lining is a burgundy silk charmeuse from Delectable Mountain Fabrics.
The buttons are also from Delectable Mountain Fabrics. I interfaced the collar, button holes and fabric behind the buttons with Fashion Sewing Supply's Pro-Weft medium weight fusible interfacing.
This is the first time I've worked with a plaid, and I found it quite challenging to match up. I cut everything in a single layer and worked hard to cut it so that it would match up. I also cut 1" seam allowances so that I would have more wiggle room for matching anything I hadn't cut quite right. My seam ripper and I spent a lot of quality time trying to match everything just so.
The chain is from M&J Trim.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I worked with Angela Wolf extensively on making this a fitted jacket rather than a boxy jacket. I reshaped the center back seam extensively, and all the other seams as well to scoop out the waist. I also did an FBA which was fairly easy to do with the shoulder princess seams. I shortened the sleeves, which is standard for me, and I narrowed the shoulders which is also standard for me.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? This jacket and the first one I sewed in Fabric.com's silk tweed with silk twill lining from fabricmartfabrics.com and glass buttons from Delectable Mountain Fabrics, each took me over 6 weeks to sew. I would keep thinking I was near the end and then realize that there were still a whole lot more steps left. I discovered that I love hand sewing--it is quiet and zen like and allows fantastic control over the results. I highly recommend this pattern if you have it in stash. I will probably sew this again, and again, and again....
Blue silk version
Blue silk version buttoned
Conclusion: This is a fabulous pattern for a classic piece. It is definitely a time consuming project, but is very rewarding to sew. In this Discussion comparing the new Vogue 8804 to this pattern, I listed some of the similarities and differences between this pattern and 8804. If you don't have 8259, 8804 looks like a great alternative.