Archives for category: Couture

My Chanel Style Jacket is Finished!


Jacket2Finally finished! Very enjoyable project, and I’d like to do more like this. The jacket itself is like a Chanel jacket, in that it feels a bit like wearing a cardigan versus a structured blazer.

I love the beaded trim. But I found that only one row of beads was necessary – I think any more might have overwhelmed the jacket. Would have been different if I had built the trim up with additional fabric and fringe, but this version is very simple.

One thing I did that I’m really happy about is that I made a self-facing on the front the same width as the hem, so I could mitre the bottom corner. Made a nice clean finish. I did run the lining about 1/4 inch away from the finished edges, but I still like that everything is clean, with no serged edge peaking out anywhere.

Trying to find something suitable to put a very small weight in the bottom front – it’s the only place that needs a bit of weight. Maybe a washer or something – local fabric store had nothing. Will just unpick things a bit and tuck the weight in (in it’s own little covering of course).

Now, to find somewhere to wear this!


About to finish the jacket – just have to put the sleeves in, then finish all edges and bead the trim. Couldn’t wait on the beading though, so I did one of the pockets to see whether it would look any good. Beading in a straight line with a variety of beads is a bit challenging, so I think I’ll stitch guide lines to follow – will help me see where the needle should go into the fabric on each stitch.

I will bead up the front, around the neck and around the bottom of each sleeve. Not going to bead around the bottom of the jacket, as sitting would be hard on the beads & thread.

I’m going to do a beaded trim on this jacket, probably 3 lines of beads side-by-side which should end up being about 3/8″ wide. I picked two different sets of beads to match the colors in the jacket.



Hand basting



Thought I’d share a few of the steps in this jacket. Taking lots and lots of time, but still enjoying the process.

The Zen of Sewing: do you love the process or the product?

Most of my sewing projects are about the finished product. I bet many of you are like me – you have an event coming up, which makes it a perfect excuse to make something new! Over the years, I’ve sewed for work, for golf, vacation, dinner out, dinner in, romantic evenings and more. The one thing I haven’t done much of is sewing for the love of the process.

Enter The Contemporary Couture Jacket by Angela Wolf at The process of making a couture jacket is so much more about the journey, that it allows you to relax and not focus on the product. The end will come in time, in the meantime, there is a wealth of things to enjoy:
* Taking the time to make sure that your lines are cut straight and corners are sharp.
* Feeling the texture of the fabric as you work with it.
* Noticing the change in the hand of the fabric as you iron on fusible interfacing to each piece.
* Caring for the fabric by serging around each and every piece.
* Hand basting the lining to the jacket body, in preparation for the machine quilting.
* Sewing machine quilting lines, pressing after each line, and noticing how the lining and body fabric become like one.
* Playing with the beads that will eventually become the trim, and thinking about stitch options.

I’m keeping track of my hours, which are already more than I put into most garments. But I think I’m enjoying this garment more — I have nothing planned to wear the jacket to (may have to manufacture something), but I know that I will absolutely love this jacket every time I wear it.

This process has also re-awakened an interest in tailoring – so I will start planning a tailored jacket for fall, with the intention of enjoying that process too.

Goal: Finish this Chanel Style Jacket before end of July.
Challenges: Work, work, work, plus some golf.

V7975Silk jacket 1 I’ve decided to use Vogue 7975 as my pattern for the Contemporary Couture Jacket project I’m doing through Angela Wolf is the instructor on the video’s for this course, and I’ve gone through them once, and am now starting my jacket. Angela is a great teacher, and I’m enjoying her video’s very much – I highly recommend the course.

Today I finished my toile, and adjusted the fit. I need to do a serious bust adjustment, and with an expensive jacket, I don’t want to skip a step as important as this. Good thing, I found although I did a lot of calculation and tissue fitting, you just don’t know until you put a garment on.

On to cutting! I will be interfacing all pieces, as this fabric is raw silk, and a fairly loose weave with low dimensional stability.

The lining is a simple solid silky fabric in a light aqua. Gives me lots of flexibility in creating a garment that can mix and match.

I’ve decided to do a two-piece sleeve on this jacket, much as I like Angela’s suggestion for a 3-piece sleeve which shows your trim to its best. This fabric will not take kindly to a seam running down the centre of the sleeve, so I’ll stick with a 2-piece sleeve.

I’ve also decided to do a beaded trim, but more on that later.

Couture jacketHave enrolled in The Contemporary Couture Jacket, a course taught by Angela Wolf at Pattern Review. Haven’t started working on my project yet, as the fabric is a bit thick and will be well suited to fall and winter I think.

The course is a video based course with discussions online. I have to say, I love Angela’s style and I’m quite excited about getting started. Have another piece of fabric that I will further investigate as a candidate for a summer couture jacket.


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