Sunday, May 23, 2010

Chanel Relapse

Anyone remember this post from back in September, 2009, where I'd claimed to have caught Chanel and actually gotten as far as making a muslin of KwikSew 3258? Apparently it wasn't a serious case, because most of my symptoms disappeared, though I occasionally thought about it.

Back in March, I was attempting to clean up the workroom, and I found the bag with the muslin in it. I remember when I bagged it up I wasn't thinking it was turning out too well, though I did seem pleased enough when I posted in September, so not sure what happened there.

I decided to leave the muslin and cut into some black boiled wool that I'd been holding for (probably) that purpose. Somehow I've managed to lose the original pattern, but my traced and altered pattern pieces were crumpled up in the bag with the muslin, so I was okay. My main issue with the muslin's fit was that it was still too boxy; I like the look of boxy jackets, but I'm a little too close to rectangular myself to find it a flattering look. The jacket has a center back seam, obviously for shaping, although it had almost no shape, unless you consider a straight line to a shape. I added a curve to the CB seam and also added darts to the front. The center fronts were also too close to overlapping, so I took about 1/2" off the edges and also off the facing. The bust dart was also a little low-slung, so I moved it up about 3/4".
After I got the body of the jacket together, I put the jacket down again and didn't pick it up until this month, when I was up to my neck in PR Weekend planning and should have known better.

I was having trim issues. I had several trim selections in the bag, but none of them were quite it.
So I bought more trim at PR Weekend, which of course was my last choice once I actually looked at all of them. The trim I went on to use was the first trim I purchased. Why is it we don't trust our instincts?

Or do we, and we just use that excuse to buy more trim? I'm not saying a word.

I lined the jacket with a silk remnant I got at my first trip to London Textiles with Kisha sometimem last year. There wasn't enough silk to line the whole jacket, so I used some black and white striped sleeve lining for the sleeves. Mistake or design opportunity? I know what I'm calling it.

After I got the lining in, I decided that all that black and white needed a shot of color, so I added a line of bright red rat tail cord around the edge of the facing. Perked it right up. At the hem, I hand-stitched a length of black chain I got at Pacific Trims in NYC.

The trim. The trim was a pain in the butt. Actually the choice turned out to be the least painful part, but you couldn't have told me that at the time. This is a jacket with at least 6 hours of hand sewing, and probably more. I lost track sitting with it today, repeatedly sticking the eye of my needle into my fingertip because the cats had chased all my thimbles under the furniture.

First I pinned and then sewed the ivory trim. It's an organic hemp (la-di-da, but really I just bought it because I liked it; I'll stick to organic in my food). It had a nice flexibility but frayed awfully so I couldn't miter the corner at the neckline, so I folded it, beat it flat and then ironed it into submission.

Once I got that on, I used the last of my roll of Wonder Tape to stick the black braid along the entire length. I pressed it to set the sticky and then I sewed that on. I trimmed the front of the jacket and the sleeves, but not the hem. I thought it would look less boxy without a line of white around my hips. For the sleeves, I took the trim about 3" up the sleeve seam to mimic a much more complicated sleeve, then I added some black, white and gold enamel buttons I got at M&J Trims.

To the left is a closeup of my lining fabric, an 1893 almanac print. If I get bored at work, I can always read the good advice in my lining.

For the closures, I used some fur hooks that I had in the notions stash. Regular hooks and eyes looked too skimpy, so these did the trick. I want to pick up one more for the bottom, just to balance it out.

As I was taking the jacket's picture tonight, I wanted to put some fabric on Evelyn to make it look like a skirt, and I grabbed the remnant I bought at London Textiles this past Saturday - black and white nubby boucle-like fabric with a fringe.

The entire patternreview is here.

Obviously, now I have to make a skirt to go with my Chanel-ish jacket. Boiled wool. Boucle. Wooly fringe.

Just what I need for the 80 degree May weather we're expecting.

I don't care. I have an occasion coming up in October (to be discussed soon) and I'll wear it then, if I can't wear it now.

It's been a week since PR Weekend, and I'm feeling like myself. I didn't do much all weekend except futz in the garden and sew, and that's just how I wanted it.


SEWN said...

I have the same problem with those jackets, the boxiness. I need to see you this jacket to prove that your curvy back seam and your darts eliminated the boxiness. Please? ;)

Vicki said...

So now I know what ails my digestion! Lol, that is the best lining. The jacket is fab and I really like the "skirt" with it.

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Shannon said...

Your jacket is gorgeous - I love the trim!

wendy said...

i LOVE that jacket! the trim really makes it pop :)

Lisette M said...

It's beautiful Karen! Amazing what a bit of trim can do, even if it was a pain to work with!

Carolyn (Diary of a Sewing Fanatic) said...

Karen - I love this but then it's in my two favorite colors ~ black and white.

Andrea said...

I'm in agreement with Vicki, I like the skirt you have with it in the picture. And, by the way, you better now have it anywhere around when I come over tonight, because I will snatch it.

Sheila said...

Gorgeous jacket and also have the same problem with jackets being boxy and recently realized I must put in front and back darts for some form of shaping.

Laura Lee said...

L-O-V-E the jacket! and the lining is to die for!!!

The Slapdash Sewist said...

Fabulous jacket! Love everything about it, especially the lining. And that boucle is the perfect skirt match for it.

Kisha said...

Lovely jacket ... I know where the misplaced original pattern is ... in my basement :).

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear I'm not the only one with the "boxy" problem. Guess that's why I never tackle one of these. The lining is fabulous.