Friday, April 3, 2015

Linton Wool, Chanel Style


I wanted to have another Chanel style jacket, after the success of my first one, and I bought this black wool at Linton. But then I changed my mind and decided to use it for my mother in law, Teresa. She deserves it!
I followed a mix of advice from Shaeffer and Kalhje: silk organza as interfacing, silk lining, some fusible interlining for buttonholes. 
First of all, I decided to use Claire Shaeffer's pattern for Vogue. I have her book on jacket construction, and I did not feel like drawing the pattern myself. Ignorant me thought a commercial pattern would be better. WRONG. In the first place, the sizes are too big, so I directly made a size down than Teresa's measures indicated (Ralph Rucci's coat experience).
 After the muslin fitting and adjustments done, I still don't like the sleeve heads, the side panel is ridiculously small, sleeves are very short and I hate the buttons placement in the front and the sleeves. It was 25 euros for nothing. 

Well, after the first mistake (acknowledged), I went on to cut the organza pieces using the slightly modified muslin pieces. And then I used the organza pieces to cut the fabric pieces themselves. I learnt this method in Susan Kahlje's course in Crafsy. It consists of machine sewing the interlining organza to the fabric, aiming to mark it and to prevent it from shape shifting. I used a pale colour organza to make it easy on my eyes.
When I had all the pieces attached to their interlining, I started to baste the pieces together for the first (real fabric) fitting, which proved the sleeves where too short and poorly shaped at the back. I tried to repair that by moving them inwards in their back part. I also made a modification for a curved back that consisted on a dart in the center of the neck (interlining), eased with the iron in the fabric.

After assembling the sleeves, with opening and buttonholes, I applied the silk lining and finished it completely, sewing it by hand all around the bottom of the sleeve and the last remaining seam.

In this last picture we can also see how I quilted the sleeves to the lining, as characteristical in Chanel jackets. Then I basted the sleeves to the jacket and made all the modifications fitting the jacket to the model. I finally sew the sleeves permanently by hand back stitching them. 
The next step was basting all the hem, which goes around the neck, front and bottom of the jacket. 

Once basted, I proceeded to hand sew it with a feltstitch. I also secured the seam allowances open here and there, to prevent them from messing up.
All this with a good pressing every now and then.

In this pic we can see the use of shoulder pads, and sleeve heads (as explained in this Thread's video). I do not see any dramatic improvement with the last.

I decided to make the buttonholes by machine. In the lining, I made coat buttonholes calculating precisely where they went.
Finally I machine sewed all the lining pieces, and pinned them to the jacket as it stood in the mannequin wrong side up. I made a major change here regarding Shaeffer's method (and classic Chanel): I did not quilt the lining to the fabric. I thought the stitching wouldn't look nice in the black wool fabric, and I also dreaded the days and days of delicate hand sewing that this method requires. So, I made a feltsitch to secure it to the jacket, removed all the bastings and...  voliá!