Gathering Supplies

Over the last couple of months I’ve slowly been gathering supplies for a new jacket.

Since making my Anise I sort of laughably said I’d never make another coat or jacket. Well that didn’t last long.

I started in October by whittling my pattern choices down to three favourites. Burda Pattern 7115, Burda Download 9 2014 #120, and a Vintage McCall’s 8420.

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You can see I was interested in a notched collar and a pea coat shape. I did want something a bit longer than a jacket but not quite a coat.

I came pretty close to drafting something myself but then I settled on the Burda and will adjust as needed (pattern on offer here).

While shopping at Samuel Taylors in Leeds I saw a beautiful pale aqua wool coating but couldn’t shake the idea of a darker teal colour.

And at SewBrum Barry’s came to the rescue with a lovely textured green coating half way between teal and emerald. And I already had coordinating thread in my stash yippee!

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During a fortunate spot of eBay surfing last month I found a seller offering this gorgeous high heel print silk satin and snapped it up for the lining.

It’s a soft grey colour with some shoes in outline only and others coloured in pink, green, yellow.

Now I need fusible underlining and interfacing, and coordinating buttons.

Sadly with all the Christmas sewing I’ve got on my plate I’m not sure when I’ll be able to make a toile but I hope it’ll be soon. I’d like to get back to selfish sewing haha.

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“What’s that girl? Timmy’s fallen down the well?”

No need to send out the dogs to find me. Lassie can carry on fighting crime and saving children through the power of barking.*
I’ve just been having some time off and some technical issues!

Make Me - mathilde blouse (1)

I’ve been busy beavering away on a dress and two tops but illness, family bereavement and a new job haven’t helped with the energy to do photoshoots. And my wordpress was refusing to publish my latest jacket post so I’ve given up on getting it live for now.

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Today we have a brief interlude from my jacket progress to present my Mathilde blouse wearable muslin.

*Fun fact. Timmy never fell down a well on the show as far as I know. Lassie fell down a well. Timmy got stuck in a mine shaft and fell in a river though.

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Little Black Jacket part 3 – day 1

This is part 3 of my mini series on the Chanel jacket course I attended in March.

See here for part 1 about inspiration and here for part 2 on materials!

Today I’m sharing my progress from day 1 of the course.

I packed up my machine, pattern, fabric, notions and a travel sewing kit and set off to Roundhay!

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Gillian the course instructor advised making a toile with at least one sleeve set in and bringing it along for discussion on the first day.

I traced all my pieces rather than cutting as I was sure I’d need to apply some “creative” sizing.

I traced a size 12 at the neck/shoulder/armhole/bust and graded out to a size 14 waist and 16 hip.

What I ended up with was pretty good I think. The shoulder length/armhole needed some adjustment but the fit across the bust waist and hips felt good. For a non-fastening jacket the fronts meet and it doesn’t gape open too much.
Overall I felt it could have been snugger and Gillian agreed. She also helped me remove 3cm length from the sleeve.

She advised that although the toile is an excellent indicator of fit it’s often better to fit the jackets again mid-construction because of the wool behaving differently to calico.

Down to business. First up we cut out fabric and lining pieces, remembering to take into consideration nap, pattern matching and in my case the one way shine of satin. I didn’t use interfacing in the end as my wool had enough stability.
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The construction was not as expected. Instead of constructing the outer shell and lining separately and the attaching the two, the corresponding shell and lining pieces were basted together and machine quilted.

This took the majority of the day. We chatted as we went and I made the most of the tips that were shared ready for when I make my second jacket. Here’s a few things I took note of:

  • For a truly expensive looking jacket it’s not enough to pattern-match your fabric in the seams and the sleeves, you should also be matching the pockets.
  • An inch of seam allowance helps you be safer rather than sorry with expensive fabric.
  • Don’t overpress your fabric… in fact barely touch it! Wool is most likely to show marks where you’ve squashed it.
  • It’s not worth overlocking your pieces even if they’re fraying like no-one’s business, as you’re just creating bulk at the seams and wool is plenty bulky enough! Just pink the edges if you need to do something.

Sorry it’s taken so long to post this. I’ve just started a new job and also Mr AR has been unwell. More excitement drafted and ready to post in Part 4 about day 2 of my class.

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Little Black Jacket part 2 – materials

This is second part of my mini series on the Chanel jacket course I am attending in March. See part 1 about inspiration here!

Today is all about materials!

The course is based around Vogue pattern V7975.
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(I’ve heard people rave about Vogue 8804 from the Claire Shaeffer Collection but believe its out of print now.)

The pattern calls for Wool and Wool Blends, Tweeds, Boucle, Gabardine and Mediumweight Linen.

Gillian, the instructor from the sewing school, was kind enough to ring me to discuss supplies.

We talked about how classic Chanel jackets are made from boucle or tweed and she explained about Linton fabrics, a leading stockist for Chanel.

If Chanel choose a fabric from Linton for their line the agreement is that no other bolt of that fabric will be sold for two years. This safeguards the design house from replicas appearing in the market and discourages sewers from making themselves a copy at home immediately.

The pattern does allow for other fabrics as I mentioned and Gillian encouraged me try something more trendy if I wanted. I’m not sure I’m the tweed jacket type so I’ve bought a beautifully soft (so lovely I want to cuddle it all day) plain black wool from Samuel Taylor. I picked an unobtrusive black poly-satin lining.

Interfacing is needed but the pattern doesn’t say what weight so I have a metre of medium and a metre of firm weight fusible interfacing and will feel it out as I go.

Notions are listed based on the view you are making. I’m opting for view B with the length of D/E.
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For this view I’m advised to get braid or ribbon for decoration. I decided to use grosgrain ribbon as trim and my current plan is to use it around the neckline, front and jacket hem, as well as at the cuffs and pockets.

Gillian also advised the course would cover some additional techniques for making the jacket not detailed in the V7975 instructions.

As well as interfacing we will be using interlining to add stability, so I have some cotton gauze ready to use.

Also we will be hand stitching chain onto the jacket’s interior hem. This is another traditional element of Chanel jackets, where the chain weighs down the jacket hem to produce a desirable drape. But I couldn’t find any attractive weighted chain so Gillian and I agreed I should use weights inside the hem of the jacket as well as attaching the admittedly light chain I had been able to purchase.

Finally I have three spools of black thread and have pre-wound three bobbins so I don’t have to halt progress if I run out. Part of me wants to use colourful thread in case I need to unpick but can’t think like that. Only success is allowed!!

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Little Black Jacket part 1 – inspiration

This is the first post of a mini series that will cover my attempts at making a jacket. Gasp! horror!

On March 23rd and 24th I will be attending a 2-day course on making a Chanel inspired jacket, hosted by the Yorkshire sewing school.

And I’m rather nervous… well that’s putting it mildly. I’m chuffing scared!!

So I thought I’d share some of my inspiration jackets to show what direction I’m leaning.

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Carven Peplum Hem Boiled Wool Jacket in Black
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Pyrus grey wool jacket
Givenchy Black Wool and Satin Jacket
Givenchy Black Wool and Satin Jacket
Sandro Valentin jacket
Sandro Valentin jacket
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Jaeger London Jacket with ribbon trim

I love the shoulder inserts of the Sandro jacket, the satin trim on the Givenchy and the simple elegance of the Pyrus and Carven jackets.

The Jaeger jacket which is last has my favourite elements which is a dreamy looking softer wool and the ribbon trim detail.

Feel free to take a look at my Pinterest board for more jacket inspiration!


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