When one is working on a muslin of one’s DIY Chanel jacket and a terrible case of sewing dyslexia has set in and because a muslin doesn’t have a “right” side or “wrong” side per se, the dyslexia comes worse, and one then realizes that if one can’t even put the muslin together one is completely crazy to think of doing this jacket in $40 a yard (or more) bouclé, it is helpful to remember that Mademoiselle was not sewing her famous jacket herself.
She could sew, of course, she worked at a military tailor’s shop as a seamstress when she was a young woman in Moulins, it’s how she got her start in fashion, you see, but atelier-level seamstress she was not and by time the company bearing her name was making the jackets we know and love, in the 1960s, (and Coco was in her 70s) she was not doing the grunt work (although I understand she loved to work and rework the placement of a sleeve).
I am trying to take comfort in this.
|This is looking too smock-like for my taste.|
I don’t know if I’d call my muslin a disaster, it is my very first one after all, and it’s really to check fit, but I don’t know if I’m feeling super confident after making it either. I don’t like the fit at all, to tell you the truth, I want it to be shorter, tighter, more form-fitting, which may mean using a completely different pattern, not just cutting a smaller size—though the 3-piece sleeve in this pattern is divine. Even if I use an alternate pattern for the body of the jacket, the sleeves are staying!
|The sleeves and pockets I like. The sleeves and pockets can stay!|
I’m hoping to come across a pithy quote from Coco re the difficulty of making clothes. Until then, watching episodes of Signé Chanel, which shows the Chanel atelier seamstresses struggling with the construction of an entire collection, makes me feel less alone.
I also like this quote of Coco’s, from Paul Morand’s L’Allure de Chanel:
“I was self-taught; I learned badly, haphazardly. And yet, when life put me in touch with those who were the most delightful and brilliant people of my age, a Stravinsky, or a Picasso, I neither felt stupid, nor embarrassed. I had worked out on my own that which cannot be taught…It is with this that one succeeds.”
|This is what I want my DIY Chanel jacket to look like when I’m done.|
Any of you sewing babes out there have any words of wisdom for me?