Wednesday, June 20, 2012

DIY Chanel Jacket: The Pattern

Vogue Pattern number V8804

One of the main reasons I want to tackle the project of making a Chanel-like jacket is because Claire Shaeffer, who literally wrote the book on couture sewing techniques, designed the pattern and wrote the instructions for V8804. She is also penning a six-part series on sewing the jacket for Vogue Patterns. From reading her book Couture Sewing Techniques I know she is an expert in the technical secrets of haute couture and I’m hoping her articles in Vogue Patterns will be clear and in-depth so even relative sewing neophytes like myself can follow along.

The addition of French makes me want to pretend I work in an haute couture atelier. Oui!

Claire's opening paragraph. I love it.

Her reassuring writing in the beginning of the pattern instructions bolsters my confidence. Which is good, because I look at the pattern with all the stitching lines for quilting various parts of the jacket and think I am in deep doo-doo.

The lower half of the side front with the stitching lines to quilt the lining to the shell fabric.

At this point I am gathering resources which will help me take on (and complete!) this jacket and number one in my arsenal is my mother, who has a lot of sewing experience, much more than myself, and whom I plan on consulting often. I also plan on being at her house in July and that’s when I am going to work on the muslin. I know I want my jacket semi-fitted, slightly tight, and with bracelet sleeves, so a muslin is a must to perfect the proportions and fit.

Sewers talk about loving the three-piece sleeve in a Chanel jacket. I don’t know that I fully understand the significance of the three-piece sleeve, I’m assuming it’s about controlling the shape, but Claire’s pattern has one, which is another plus. I do know that Coco Chanel had very strong feelings about sleeves so I feel there is a whole world I am going to learn about.

Part of the upper sleeve back. I'm scared. Hold me!

Next up—the resources I’m turning to for inspiration and guidance. In the meantime, maybe this should be my new sign-off symbol:



Are you taking on a sewing project this summer?

19 comments:

Pam @ over50feeling40 said...

This is fascinating Jill...it will be fun to learn along with you!

Jane said...

I've actuall decided to sew this jacket. I ordered the pattern during BMV's sale and it's on its way.

jill815 said...

Hi Pam, I would love it if you took up sewing and joined all of us on this project! XO, Jill

jill815 said...

Hi Jane! Really, you're sewing it too? How exciting, do you have a blog I can check out so I can see your progress? I can't get to work on it until July, but at least by then the next issue of Vogue Patterns should be out. I hope Claire writes about making a muslin, actually. I got the pattern on sale too, I was really excited, it was like $5. Thank God because I know fabric is not going to be cheap! XO, Jill

Terri said...

All of my sewing projects are by hand...but inspired by your first post on the Chanel jacket, I thrifted something similar...but, it is a one piece sleeve. I'm highly interested in your project.

Jane said...

Jill, I plan to put a blog up before the end of the month. I read the instructions last night in bed. Holy cats.

Kelly said...

I'm going to try it, too! I need a real painstaking project to focus on. It will be good to follow your progress.

Heather Fonseca said...

I wish I had time for a summer project, but between kids and my freelance work I know there's no way. If I did have time I would be making a maxi dress - one that actually hits the ground on my 5'9" frame!
Good luck on your Chanel jacket. I taught sewing for a time and my advice is to definitely make the muslin first for fit but also so you can see how the pattern is put together. Take your time, be patient, and remember if you sew something incorrectly you can always rip it out.

jill815 said...

Hi Terri, any interest in sewing along with the rest of us? I plan on doing a lot of hand-sewing in order to maintain control. XO, Jill

jill815 said...

Hiya Jane! I felt exactly the same way about the instructions (which I also read in bed right before falling asleep), oh dear, what have I signed myself up for? Let me know your blog address when it's set up and I will come follow and keep up with your jacket progress. XO, Jill

jill815 said...

Hi Kelly, will you blog about it? I would love to follow your progress too. I think I am going to need as much inspiration as I can get. XO, Jill

jill815 said...

Hi Heather, I have no time to do this project, actually, but I am going to find the time, somehow, some way! Thanks for the advice about the muslin, I hope I can start work on it in the next week or so. XO, Jill

Grace said...

My chanel jacket project has been on ice for over 6 mmonths now because I'm terrified that my fit won't be good evn though I did extensive muslin fittings. Now that I also have this pattern I'm also thinking that I should ditch the one I already fit and try this one.

I notice that you are in brooklyn. Moi aussi. Perhaps we could arrange a little fitting session with our muslins?

jill815 said...

Hi Grace! I was thinking of doing this project for awhile but with a different pattern, the Vogue 7975 that I've read other sewers used (like Erica at Erica's DIY Style). I'm so glad Claire is doing a series for the magazine, even happier that she created a pattern! I hope to start my muslin soon and I would love to meet with you. Let's make that happen, that sounds like fun and we can talk jacket shop! XO, Jill

Dragana Edwards said...

Hi, I thought this pattern was out of print. Can someone tell me where I can get it from? BTW I am going to attend Claire Shaeffer's class in January 2013 - coming from Melbourne Australia

jill815 said...

Hi Dragana, thank you for stopping by! The pattern is V8804 and it's new so I just ordered it from the Vogue Patterns site. You are SO lucky to be able to take a class with Claire, you are going to learn from the best! I would love to hear all about it. XO, Jill

Anonymous said...

I am planning to make this jacket too, so I've been reading the blogs. Over and over people longingly refer to a "real" Chanel jacket, and I have to wonder why. Coco Chanel died 40 years ago, so why is a jacket designed by Karl Lagerfeld and sewn by an anonymous French seamstress any more real than one designed by Claire Shaeffer and sewn by an American home sewer? We can get the same fabrics, trims, even buttons, and what some of us may lack in professional sewing skills can be made up for with slow, meticulous attention to detail that matches anything from the atelier. Only pre-1971 vintage Chanel will be more "real" than your jacket.

Justine of SewCountryChick said...

I am making my own pattern for a mini version of a Chanel jacket for a kids design competition called project Run and play that airs on a blog of the same name. I am so happy there is a pattern with sewing directions although I don't need the pattern. Actually I think I will make one for myself too!

Nerdy-girl said...

Great intro to the pattern!
I'm getting ready to do my fit sample for this one. I took a 2-day class from Claire in September where we made one sleeve. :) I've used Susan Kahlje's method before, so looking forward to trying Claire's way.

Juliette