SWAP #13 Making progress with the 1937 Chanel jacket

Sewing with a Plan sewing finishes on Monday night at midnight. But I won’t be sewing on Monday. I have to finish the jacket this weekend, which I am confident I can do.

This is the final piece of my set and it is a pattern I have done before. I used a 1990s Ungaro Vogue pattern and made a few adaptions. I was pretty pleased with the outcome and I have worn this pink jacket quite a lot and it often gets nice comments. As you can see I have been able to fold back the cuffs and the upper pocket often has a handkerchief like Chanel.

Because I loved the jacket, but to some extent find the pink a little bit limiting in work contexts I thought a light grey one would be a nice addition to the summer wardrobe. The SWAP, based on neutrals, gave me a good excuse to have another try. This time I wanted to get a bit closer to the Chanel original, especially in relation to the collar. I made some adaptions and made a collar toile (covered in my previous post).

Layout for Chanel jacket
Layout for Chanel jacket

As you can see I had to draft a new collar, revere, front facing and pockets. And I shortened the body of the jacket and significantly hollowed in the waist. Other than that it was “straight out of the packet”! Ha ha. I actually made a mistake here and cut two of both the upper and under collar.

After that it was plain sailing. As most of the rest of my collection is self drafted or pattern-free I must say how much I enjoyed following the instructions. It is such a relief not to have to think so hard all the time, just do as you are told, with a pattern you have used before, isn’t it? I know some people prefer not to do a pattern more than once, but I love TNTs! It is just so much more relaxing. You don’t need to try it on during construction. No worries about fit, no need to ponder waist band sizes or closure approaches – you just do it.

Vogue instruction sheet
Vogue 1977 Instruction sheet

Last weekend I made quite a lot of progress. I made up the body of the jacket and the sleeves. Looking at the picture I will have to repress that right lapel – the curve is not right.  I even cut the button holes with my new buttonhole chisel! I bought one of these after struggling to get the button holes cut nicely in the pink jacket.

Again I made the sleeves relatively long for me, choosing to use dark brown buttons to get the Chanel look. I bought some vintage buttons that I thought were appropriate to the time of the jacket.

I have some left-over beige silk which I will use for the lining. So not too much to do

  • Buttons and button holes on the front of the jacket
  • Pockets
  • Line the bodice
  • insert sleeves (my favourite job)
  • Line sleeves
  • Remove basting and tailors tacks

We are having some friends round for lunch today. So I had better crack on!

I sincerely hope that all those participating in SWAP are nearly there and not stressing too much. For me this SWAP has been quite laid back. I have enjoyed it despite not challenging myself too much (as you know I have been extraordinarily busy and still have much to do on the book).

Happy Saturday – I hope the weather is better where you are (it’s raining in the Cotswolds).

21 Responses

  1. The Demented Fairy

    Looking very good so far. I only got a buttonhole chisel a year or so ago-aren’t they amazing?
    I’ve mad 13 items to select from for my SWAP but still need some more trousers, so I’m hooping to make something simple this weekend. It’s been a demanding few weeks at work, and my sew-jo has vanished. I have enough for a collection I think. Let’s see what transpires.

  2. Joyce

    Good Luck Kate! The jacket looks wonderful. I can not wait to see your whole collection put together…looking foreward to the photographs! The texture of your jacket is perfect for summer.
    ( pretty daffodils too! ) Have fun at lunch.
    Joyce from Sudbury

  3. Maggie

    I also love TNTs. There is so much fitting involved when I sew for myself that I try to figure out how to adapt my TNTs to new styles instead of starting over with a new pattern. I love the grey jacket and your entire SWAP. I know you often like a challenge, but there is something nice about a more relaxed sewing that soothes the soul.

  4. viliene

    Very elegant and versatile! I agree with TNT, after completion of all alterations why not use different materials, little changes but know that the outcome will be a success. Non-sewers do not notice anyway.

  5. Margaret

    Kate, I love to receive your posts. What a woman – I don’t know how you achieve all that you do but I can assure you, it makes very impressive reading. At the end of this post, you mentioned that it was raining in the Cotswolds. Just wanted to let you know that I am reading this from Yixing in China and spring here is the most beautiful I have ever experienced. Gorgeous sunshine, no rain today.

    • fabrickated

      Dear Margaret – Hello to you in Yixing, and thank you for your very kind remarks. China is such an enormous place with such a wide variety of weather. I was so cold in the South during winter – all the teachers were working in their coats.

  6. Cheli

    I found your blog a couple months ago. I’m from the United States and am inspired and joyful every time you post. It’s the highlight of my day!

  7. Erin

    Ooo! I love the changes you made to the collar and lapels! They look much closer to the Chanel original. Based on the dressform, I’m guessing they will hit you just where they hit her. I can’t wait to see it finished and worn!

    • fabrickated

      Thank you Erin. I like the bigger collar, although originally I thought it bit OOT for me. But it is finished now (thank goodness) and I think it will work well with my other SWAP items.

  8. ceci

    I adored the pink jacket – so perfect on you! And this one will be lovely too maybe even with the painted silk blouse and the grey skirt…..although mixing grey is tricky. It will be exciting to see the photos!


    • Fabrickated

      Good point Ceci – the greys are not the same. The skirt is bluish and the jacket a little bit beige. I do hope they will work ok together. Personally I prefer a little bit of difference in colour rather than completely matching.

  9. Jay

    Looks like it’s going perfectly. I enjoy TNT’s. It’s fun to try new things, but sometimes just a change of fabric is enough.

  10. Kim

    I think the changes you’ve made are looking good, and suspect the grey will be worn even more than your pink jacket.

  11. Annie

    Wow Kate, that’s looking splendid, can’t wait to see it on. Be careful with that chisel! I cut through my stitching and ruined the front of a jacket, I had to rework the front a bit but it was a salutary lesson, the chisel was just a tiny bit too thick but I agree they’re marvellous and give nice sharp openings, I use a touch of fray check on the wrong side before cutting, that helps too.

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