I don’t know about you but I need to have lots of nice inspiration around me when I am starting a new project or setting a lofty goal for myself. For my Chanel jacket I have found a lot of information online from generous and talented bloggers (listed below) who have gone on this path before me and I want to add to that body of knowledge by sharing with you a list of the inspirational and technical resources I am using.
CHANEL: Collections and Creations by Danièle Bott
I love looking at this book for inspiration, it shows different versions of the famous Chanel jacket in different decades. Apart from that it is a great book for any lover of Chanel.
|The back of the book. Look at the gorgeous fabric of this Chanel jacket!|
Coco’s favorite model Marie-Hélène Arnaud. By Sante Forlano for Vogue France, 1958.
CHANEL: The Couturiere at Work by Amy de la Haye and Shelley Tobin
I just bought a used copy of this book on Amazon and haven’t yet had a chance to delve into it but hope that I will get to read about the nitty-gritty of Chanel’s working methods.
Couture Sewing Techniques by Claire B. Shaeffer
Shaeffer has a whole section devoted to “Chanelisms” which I plan on referring to often.
|From the section on Chanel jackets.|
Featuring the six-part series Claire Shaeffer is writing about sewing the jacket, based on the pattern she designed. This particular issue, August/September 2012, features the second article in the series, with a piece about fabric selection.
|Vogue Patterns, August/September 2012.|
Threads, No. 121, November 2005
This was not easy to find. Taunton, the publisher of Threads, is sold out of the back issues online so I turned to eBay. The issue I wanted eventually turned up after a two-week search. The article, “Inside a Chanel Jacket,” was written by Susan Khalje, whose online “The Couture Dress” class I took earlier this year on Craftsy. The article is wonderful but I have to say it scares me a little because I feel it is for advanced sewers (which I am not). Still, a great resource.
|Threads No. 121 from November 2005.|
I am probably most excited to have learned about this documentary, made for the Sundance Channel in 2006. I had never heard of it before and it features something near and dear to my fashion-loving heart—haute couture atelier seamstresses. Oh how I love watching those ladies at work! I will do a separate review of this show in a later post. This was another eBay gem.
|I'm getting a peek into the Chanel atelier watching this series.|
Chanel.com’s “The Jacket”
Chanel’s quick video showing the seamstresses making a jacket is one I have already watched several times. I need to channel the offhanded confidence, not to mention technical know-how, of the head seamstress (herself in a Chanel jacket). And are Chanel jacket seamstresses really that good-looking?
|You can watch this little black jacket being made on Chanel.com.|
Erica B.’s DIY Style
Seeing Erica’s finished jacket has been a big inspiration for well over a year and her sewing blog is one of my favorites.
Marina took Susan Khalje’s Classic French Jacket course (which costs $1,195) and her posts and pictures on the class are fantastic, I felt like I was there. I plan on re-reading her wonderfully detailed posts as I make my jacket.
Grace is the reason I found out about Threads No. 121 and Signé Chanel (Thank you, Grace!). She also lives in Brooklyn and said she is making the jacket using Claire’s pattern (V8804) too. I hope she will blog about her experiences. I also hope we get to meet and compare notes on our muslins!
Another Technical Resource: Mom
My mother has a lot more sewing experience than I do and it’s so helpful to be able to ask her questions. It’s a lot better than consulting my Vogue/Butterick Step-by-Step Guide to Sewing Techniques, or feeling my sewing dyslexia coming on (What are selvages again? How do I lay out pattern pieces?) and dissolving into a DIY panic.
Next time I will show you the three fabric swatches I’ve narrowed it down to. Until then: