In a previous post, I introduced the plaid Chanel jacket that provided inspiration for my jacket, given that I had some very similar fabric.  Here are a few pictures of the finished product, but I wanted to share some great things I learned about being creative when you really don’t have enough fabric for the project.

  1. Cut your facings from a complimentary fabric.  Make sure the colour matches, and make sure that the facing is in the same, or similar fabric.
  2. Break your pattern pieces into blocks.  In my case, I didn’t have enough length for my pattern pieces, so first I found a pattern that had lower front pieces (see previous post).  I cut them on the bias as I couldn’t match the plaids on the lengthwise grain.  Then I duplicated this on the arms by creating a lower piece to the sleeve.  In addition, because I was running short on continuous pieces of fabric, I cut the lower sleeve into fronts and backs.  This gave me a seam at the underarm, plus one on the outside.  I shaped the outside seam to match the curve on the lower jacket front, then ensured I ran the trim all around it. A telltale sign of a Chanel jacket is a 3-piece sleeve that allows for a split and trim on the outside of the sleeve, so I reasoned that this was a good design element to add.
  3. Cut pieces on the bias if needed.  In a plaid, it’s fairly obvious that pieces are cut on the bias, but there’s no reason you can’t do it with a plainer fabric as well – even a striped fabric!  Just make sure that you interface your pieces to avoid bias stretch. So for my jacket front pieces, I interfaced them, but cut the interfacing on the straight grain, so the bias doesn’t come into play.
  4. Use facing creatively.  I used a colour facing for the sleeve pieces and for the jacket body.  On the back body, I had to cut leftover pieces of fabric to face it as well, as I didn’t have enough fabric to cut the body back longer and hem it up.  As a result, I ran the lining down to 1″ from the hem, as the facing pieces did not match the plaids – at that point, I was using scrap pieces to create a hem facing for the back. What I should have done was cut facing for the back out of the same red, but I ran out of that as well!

finished facing_lining sleeve2 sleevel1 bottom

Other things I learned (in the “don’t do this again” category)

  1. I didn’t do formal full bust adjustment – just tried to use two pattern sizes.  Never works as nicely.
  2. I could have used red thread in my bobbin when making the buttonholes, or could have been less lazy and made bound buttonholes.
  3. You really do need the scotch tape on the end of braided trim – without it, you will have all kinds of unravelling happen!

Hope my hits and misses give you some food for thought.  Happy sewing!

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