Quilted ór 'stepped' fabrics are always very 'Chanel-like'. This is mainly because Coco Chanel liked to work with 'stepped' fabrics. The fabrics are also a bit the same style as the beautiful 'stepped' classic Chanel 2.55 bag. That is why we went looking for a sewing pattern for a 'stepped' jacket!
Neue Mode Stil M23079
Neue Mode Stil M23079 is an older sewing pattern of a fitted jacket, lined and finished with a contrast band and patch pockets. The jacket has one variation in collar (with or without collar) and one variation in pockets (with or without pockets).
Sewing level: Easy
If sewing level is specified: suitable for the novice seamstress. We agree with this. The jacket is not difficult to make and does not require any special sewing techniques. It is very nice to work with the fabric.
The recommended fabrics are: lightweight quilted fabrics or quilted fabrics. These fabrics are generally not that easy to find. At some online fabric stores they are categorized as: 'lining fabrics'. Make sure you order the correct quantity. You now buy the 'lining fabric' as the outer fabric and for the lining you use a different lining fabric that is not quilted. Otherwise you will get a double layer and the jacket will look more like a down jacket instead of an elegant 'stepped' jacket.
We made the jacket out of beige stepped fabric and a normal lining. We finished the jacket with black binding and used beautiful buttons. The jacket is suitable as an outer jacket but also as an inner jacket, especially if you choose the model without a collar.
How about leather-look fabrics or suede stepped fabrics? Or a 'stepped' jacquard fabric? The jacket will be even more chic and elegant. You could also choose a binding with a motif or glitter in it. The result will be: a beautiful jacket for a special occasion.
Do you have a beautiful fabric and do you want to quilt it yourself? For an average seamstress that shouldn't be a problem. Buy a thicker fiberfill and sew the fabric to the fiberfill using lines. Use a ruler tool for the presser foot of your sewing machine or carefully draw the lines with chalk. A lot of work, but then you will soon have a very special and unique jacket!
If you want to make a quilted 'Chanel-look' jacket, the Neue Mode Stil M23079 is an ideal sewing pattern. However, it will not be easy to buy the older pattern and also to find a nice suitable fabric. But just put it on your 'wish list' and sooner or later you might get your hands on it.
Especially Model C. is 'Chanel-Style' in capital letters!
Stop watching Netflix series and close your book. Here is a - free - film about Chanel's Haute couture from A to Z. It is a film by Loic Prigent.
Haute couture documentary
This You-tube movie is certainly not a little movie; it is true documentary. The film lasts an hour and you will enjoy it. The film was shot from June to July 2020, after the lockdown in Paris, but still in the middle of the pandemic. You will notice the face masks and the social distance rules.
Behind the scenes
The documentary shows the ateliers of Chanel, the new director Virginie Viard, the seamstresses, the leaders of the workshops, the studios, the fit models Amanda and Cris, the embroidery artists, the photographer and all the other people behind the scenes. A bit like the book: Chanel, the making of a collection.
Despite the hectic nature that is inherent in making Haute couture collections, the documentary also shows nice relaxing moments, social interactions among the employees and coffee & coockies. What is striking is the passion of the employees when they are talking about their work and how proud they are to work for Chanel.
An honest documentary about the makers behind the Chanel brand. And definitely worth watching every minute of it!
Inspiration? Yes, after this documentary you immediately want to start making Haute couture yourself!
Filmed with Julien Da Costa Sound by Clément Duché Edited by Anthony Goujjane and Konstantin Maslakov Produit par Natacha Morice pour DERALF (Divertissant Et Révoltant A La Fois) Contact : email@example.com Music : Audionetworks baby!
It is all in the Haute couture books: designer-samples are always made of Muslin before a garment is ready to be made from the real fabric. The fabrics used for a test model is 'Muslin'. But what is 'muslin' fabric and why is it so important to make a test model?
Haute couture Claire Shaeffer's sewing patterns (for example V9099, V8991 and V8804) always have instructions: "Make a muslin toile to fine tune the fit before cutting the fashion fabric. This also helps to preserve teh pristine quality of the fabric and design; and it reduces the temptation to try on the jacket frequently during its construction."
In the couture world, using muslin fabric is a normal routine because the final fabric is often very expensive. Muslin is an inexpensive fabric, feels soft, and cuting and sewing is very easy. When the test-model is really perfect, then the muslin sample is used as the basic pattern.
In the hobby sewing world, this extra work is often skipped. That's a shame, because once you are used to make a sample with muslin fabric first, you know it is really necessary. It may avoid a lot of frustrations because, for example, the model is incorrect or does not fit properly. You have your garment completely 'finished' and it is disappointing. You are disappointed that you have messed up the beautiful fabricbecause you will probably jnever wear the garment. If you made a sample of muslin first, you could have save yourself a lot of time and money. Just make it a routine and you won't regret it.
Muslin or canvas
Muslin is a light and soft, transparent fabric, woven in a plain weave, from lightly twisted yarn, creating a recognizable crinkled structure. Often this fabric is also called 'hydrophilic'. This is because the fabric is soft and absorbs water. As a result, the fabric is often used for burp patches, diapers and baby clothes.
But the fabric is mainly used to make test-samples of garments by seamstresses from Haute couture to the hobby sewing world. The fabric is usually plain, but there may also be a print (one-colored) on it. It is also a great advantage the fabric is always in the cheaper price range.
If the design requires a firmer fabric, the sample will be made of canvas. This is an easy fabric, 100% cotton, inexpensive and a pleasure to work with. The fabric is only firmer and does not drape smoothly, like muslin does.
Muslin is therefore ideal as 'exercise' material. To make a sample of a Chanel-style jacket, but also, for example, to practice if you have to perform a sewing technique that you have never done before. Think of tied buttonholes, pleats, welt pockets or folding techniques. Or maybe you just want to try out buttonholes before you make them in real life on the garment piece you are working on.
As 'practice' material we bought a black muslin with a white print. We made a shirt and practiced with the collar and buttonholes. We doubted the fit of the shirt but it turned out to be good. Of course, you don't have to take a sample of muslin from a garment off and use it again as a basic pattern. Especially not if the pattern turns out to be correct and fits perfectly. It is a nice soft fabric and ideal to wear at home as 'home wear'.
Are you going to make a Chanel-style jacket? We advise you to first buy a few yards of muslin fabric and make a test-sample of the jacket. Instead of sewing, you can also thread roughly by hand. Sometimes a sewing machine have a 'baste' stitch, or you choose the longest regular stitch.
Don't tink of working with muslin fabric as a waste of materials and time: but above all it is very wise and educational. Now it turns out that the sample fits well with a few adjustments, you can put your scissors in the (expensive) Bouclé fabric and the (silk) lining. And the result will be perfect because you already know the pitfalls of the sewing pattern and you have adapted the shape.
It is very wise to buy a few yards of muslin fabric. You can use it as test pieces to practice sewing techniques or to make a test sample of a sewing pattern. Muslin is a nice soft fabric and never expensive. It is well worth the investment in time and money!
Burda 6465 is a sewing pattern 'Chanel-style jacket' with two variations in length and finish. We created Model B as a jacket for autumn.
The Burda sewingpattern is a sewing pattern of a short jacket (Model A) with fringes and a longer jacket (Model B) made of Loden fabric and finished with a piping. Model B is typically a jacket as it is often worn during Oktoberfest * in Germany. Especially the color, the finish and the fabric: loden is striking. Both models have princess lines, a round neck and sleeves that consist of two parts.
* = The Oktoberfest is a German festival and event that takes place on the Theresienwiese, a public place in the center of Munich. It's every year, from the end of September to the beginning of October. It's a big social event. People eat and drink a lot and there is a typical folkloric clothing style for men and women.
Recommended fabrics are: Model A: Bouclé, Model B: wool, Loden. You also need: shoulder pads, buttons, fringes or edges, bias tape, lining and interfacing.
Sewing level: average
The sewing pattern has been referred to as "averages". We agree with this. It is not a difficult jacket to make, but especially Model B: the princess lines trimmed with a piping, requires accuracy and experience from the seamstress.
We made the jacket out of brown thick cotton fabric (see below) and a silk lining with dots. The silk lining fabric is no longer for sale, but a nice alternative is next to the brown fabric: a beautiful mint-colored lining fabric. Our jacket is not really meant for the Oktoberfest, but we will definitely make it again. The jacket fits like perfect and has a beautifully tailored shape.
We will come back to Model A later. This short jacket is also ideal for making scraps of Bouclé fabric or as the ultimate upcycling project from existing jackets that can lead a different life as a slightly shorter jacket, made up of multiple types of fabric. The princess lines: smaller pattern parts are ideal for this.
With Model B you could make the piping in a contrasting color for a super nice effect. You can also omit the piping in its entirety, as we have done and go for a special lining.
Or completely Haute couture: make the piping in the same color as the lining.
Burda 6465 is a nice sewing pattern for the Chanel-style jacket (Model A) and a longer jacket for various clothing styles. The jacket looks great because of the lines, but is less comfortable, 'semi-fitted' would suggest...
An interesting Vogue article today:
Virginie Viard, the Woman Behind Chanel’s New Chapter
Read all about the new Chanel's creative director: her story, lifestyle and vision!
The clutch bag is a small, flat handbag. The handbag is usually without handles or straps. Sometimes the larger clutch do have handles or detachable straps. The clutch is made a some sort of envelop and designed to be handheld or carried under your arm.The Clutch is compact and is usually used for evening occasions to carry minimal essentials like a phone, credit cards, or cosmetic items.
Clutch bags are very old!
Bags and purses are known from very old paintings and tapestries. But just a few survived history and are shown in musea. The materials were often not good enough to save the clutch bags for centuries.
A seven hundred year of bag owned by the Courtauld Gallery in London may well be the oldest surviving example of a clutch bag. The bag is originally from the city of Mosul in Northern Iraq and is a clear indication that such accessories were, from the outset, signifies of wealth and status. Extraordinarily modern in design, the bag has a solid brass body and is inlaid with scenes of courtly life in gold and silver. A front flap is fastened with a catch, just like a contemporary ‘envelope clutch’.
In Medieval Europe, women wore small bags attached to a belt. Bags and purses were mainly concealed for reasons of security but a change in fashion led to the purse/bag becoming a beloved object.
Last centuries clutch bags were mostly a combination of some sort of jewellery and bag. Metals, exquisite gems and fabrics were used to create clutches. More recently the clutch is mainstream. Cheap, comfortable or very exclusive and expensive.
How to wear a clutch bag?
One of the attractions of the clutch is its theatricality. A clutch bag means you do not have to carry your own stuff, you only need to worry about your lipstick, a small mirror or whatever. Somebody else is probably carrying your other stuff. A P.A. (= personal assistance)? Yes, you are probably a star and it shows because you only need to wear a clutch.
Clutches are designed to focus on your middle-waist, your hands and the clutch itself. They are mostly small jewels, carrying under your arms or with both hands. Wearing them with both hands also indicates, you are not going to shake hands. That's looks very upper-class, and nowadays (2020) also very Corona-safe.
Nowadays clutches are also more handy than ever; you can wear a face-mask in it and be prepared if it is necessary to wear a face-mask for your own safety or somebody else safety.
Modern clutches are not jewels anymore, and not only exclusively made for the rich and famous. Clutch bags are mainstream and sometimes even very sustainable because they are made of fabric leftovers. Or recycled plastics, paper or environmentally friendly materials.
Chanel clutch bags:
Chanel has been making clutch bags for some time. Often these are very similar to the famous bag the 2.55. But with fewer compartments, lighter weight, even more handy and with or without a chain. Some larger wallets are also called clutch bags because they can easily pass for a graceful evening bag.
The real authentic vintage Clutch bags are worth gold and very beautiful. These are often more 'jewels' than bags.
The leather variant is no longer alone. The clutch is also increasingly made in tweed fabrics and even in plastic and other futuristic fabrics. Characteristic: the perfect finish, the symbols and the logo. And the hefty price for an authentic or vintage Chanel Clutch bag.
How to make a clutch bag?
It is not that difficult to make a perfect clutch bag. Certainly not for an 'advanced' seamstress, but it is also fine for a beginner seamstress. If you only work step-by-step, take the time for it and ensure a nice finish. Take a good look at google and tutorials and even better: an example of a clutch nearby in sight, to study and copy.
Which materials do you need?
The outside fabric: a nice tweed, Bouclé or something more easy to sew: goblin or another sturdy fabric. The lining: go for a real silk fabric, taffeta silk or a fabric that folds nicely and is not too flexible. Inner lining: flannel fabric or thinly padded fleece liner. In addition, you need a larger press stud, a metal closure or a decoration.
Do you have a nice piece of gobelin, Bouclé, tweed or jacquard fabric? And a silk lining or regular lining fabric? Make a nice clutch to give away during the holidays or make one for yourself. A clutch is always chic, handy and you really can't have enough clutches...
If you also make them from fabric leftovers, or 'upcycling' a curtain, jacket or tablecloth; then you are completely good and creative!
'The little book of Chanel' is a great little book. The book is small but has a perfect design and contains beautiful photographs. Do you want to know everything about Coco Chanel and the fashion house Chanel? It is all in the 'little book of Chanel' this booklet, summarized and beautifully in the style of Chanel.
Yes we like:
We do not like:
We love the beautiful hardcover-design and photographs. The book is a great nice 'small' gift for a Chanel-fan. A perfect suggestion for the holidays.
The holidays will be different from 'life as we know it' this year. City trips to the big cities for Christmas shopping, going on a skiing holiday or large dinners with family and friends, these are all impossible because of the corona-crisis....
But people are creative and so we are going to celebrate it differently. But how? We have found some nice suggestions and ideas, beautiful sewing patterns (achievable in terms of deadline!) and above all: beautiful (affordable) fabrics!
Sense and Sensibility: a romantic blouse
We came across a beautiful blouse from Sense and Sensibility sewing patterns on the website of the online sewing pattern shop. This blouse is striking and beautiful and has three advantages that we would like to mention.
1. The blouse falls under the category: Historical clothing and is therefore suitable for L.A.R.P. (= Life Action Role Play) and Cosplay. It is a Victorian blouse that is actually a kind of basic garment. You can wear it with vests, but also corsets, coats, capes and dresses. The blouse is an eye-catcher but also a great basic garment.
2. The blouse is quite easy to make. The sewing pattern is clear and has no pitfalls or really difficult things that require a lot of sewing experience. It looks like a difficult-to-create blouse because of all the ruffles attached to it, but the basic pattern is quite 'basic'. You can also create a lot of extras with it.
For example, tailoring even more by adding more pleats and darts, or making it even more 'Victorian' by working with many ruffles and lace.
3. The blouse is timeless and is very comfortable to wear. Ideal for holidays-series. This blouse seems very 'dressed' but is really just a blouse that fits and wears comfortably. The holidays 2020 will, in most cases, be celebrated at home in a limited social circle. Wear a nice blouse, a skirt or jeans underneath and you will look festive without too much fuss!
Which fabric and color do you choose?
These fabrics are recommended for the sewing pattern: cotton, pima cotton, linen, voile, organic cotton, batiste, silk, and all other lightweight to medium weight fabrics.
DO NOT use stretchy or elastic fabrics. For the ruffles and other decorations you can choose: lace, bias band, decorative band, band with dots, fringes or embroidered trims.
Our fabric choice: a 'chain' viscose fabric with a nice and supple drape. Supple fabrics will look better and wear more comfortable. But you can also choose a stiffer fabric, the blouse will have more volume and appear more grotesque. This fits nicely with the new trend: The bubble.
Consider Taffeta silk or a poplin cotton. Do you really want to make something chic out of the blouse: choose silk or a special print. Create super chic cuffs in a contrasting color or let the special buttons be the eye-catchers.
Sewing and cutting:
Sense and Sensibility is a brand of fine, special patterns. The sewing pattern comes in a large sturdy paper envelope and the sewing pattern is drawn on sturdy white paper. So you just have to cut it out.
The instructions are very clear and nicely handwritten.
The only comment we have: the sleeves are short and the cuffs are quite tight. Adjust this yourself if you want the sleeves longer and if you want the cuffs to be slightly wider.
Also make sure that the seam allowances is 5/8 ". This is, quite untraceable, in the text on the cover of the sewing pattern.
'Sense and Sensibility: a romantic blouse' is a sewing pattern that you can use for many purposes. From an L.A.R.P. (= Life Action Roleplay) event to a blouse for daily use. Or a special blouse for the holidays.
The blouse is timeless and you can make it whatever you want. The blouse is also completely the new trend when it comes to shape and comfort (in Corona stay-at-home times).
Chanel collector and couture sewing expert Claire B. Shaeffer returns with Couture Sewing: 'Making designers trims' to teach you everything you need to know to create and attach the perfect trim to any outfit.
The devil is in the details
After spending weeks creating a couture, Chanel-inspired suit it would be a shame to skimp on the trim. With more than 280 photos paired with step-by-step instruction, Shaeffer takes the mystery out of creating designer trims. You can easily make them yourself as long as you keep an eye on the right combinations, colors and you know how to work with the materials.
Learn how to easily swap out one trim for another when you want a fresh look without creating a whole new garment. In this book you will get great instructions. Learn to topstitch like a pro to achieve a simple yet elegant trim, apply ribbons, prairie points, piping, bands, and braids. Create intricate seamed, lining, and facing trims. Make your very own cord-filled piping and crocheted trims
About the Author
Claire Shaeffer is an internationally respected author, lecturer, college instructor and columnist. Her innovative sewing techniques and easy-to-read instructions have guided readers and students through many sewing facets of the garment industry. Claire Shaeffer based her knowledge of haute couture construction and meticulous research studying original Chanels in museum archives and her own collection. She wrote the celebrated Couture Sewing Techniques for Taunton Press and has authored and starred in a multitude of successful videos on couture sewing.
Not thát great:
We specially love the "Lining and Facing Trims" paragraph. Now that is Chic Couture !!
'Making designers trims' is a great book for Chanel-style couture lovers.
It is also a great gift for the holidays!
We hope it will the next publication of this book contain be a bit more modern, bold and daring trims and fringes. We also hope the book will have more photo's and examples of self-made trims like braiding, crochet and knitting. More Etsy and Craftsy stuff.....
Chanel jackets or Chanel-Style jackets are usually made of Bouclé fabrics and silk linings. You have to be careful with the jacket because it is impossible to wash and dry it like your other clothes. How do you take care of Bouclé fabrics? And how do you clean it? We will help you.
Cleaning Tweeds and Bouclé fabrics:
Tweed is a woolen fabric used for clothing, upholstery and various types of cases and equipment. It is a tough fabric that is moisture resistant because it is closely woven, but the tight weave of the fabric can allow dirt or stains to become embedded. Care needs to be taken with cleaning techniques to keep your tweed looking its best. When in doubt, bring the tweed item to a dry cleaner for professional attention.
What are you wearing underneath?
Try to limit yourself to clothing made of cotton fabrics. Fabrics as polyester and synthetics can be sweaty and give off to the jackets above. A simple blouse or cotton underwear guarantees more limitation of smelly odors. Be careful with deodorants as some can easily ruin the silk lining. Treat a Bouclé jacket as a woolen outdoor-coat. Do not wash or dry clean it too often and hang it outside regularly in the fresh air (shade!).
Maintaining Tweeds and Bouclé Garments:
Store tweed clothing and upholstery fabric in a cool dry place. Moths are attracted to wool. Put tweed items in a cedar chest or other cool dry receptacle, where moths cannot eat them. You can also buy moth deterrents at home improvement stores. Follow the instructions on the packaging to apply it.
Washing a woolen jacket:
Wool is a warm and durable fabric, and a wool coat or jacket will give you years of wear if you care for it properly. It is necessary to wash a wool coat a couple of times each season, but you do need to take special care to avoid piling, shrinking, and distorting the fabric. While it may be possible to wash some wool coats in the machine, it’s usually safer to wash by hand. Another key to cleaning a wool coat is to avoid putting it in the dryer, because this will lead to shrinkage.
Read the care label:
You should always read a garment’s care label before washing it, because the care label will tell you exactly how to proceed. Check the care label for:
You spent a lot of time creating your Chanel-style jacket. Therefore, spend time on maintenance. Preferably take it to the dry cleaner for a dry clean. But you can also do a lot to prevent the jacket from getting dirty or smelling like sweat.
The Overlocker Technique manual, Julia Hincks is an interesting manual and a great gift for the holidays. For fast and professional edging, hemming, seaming, and decorative stitching, you simply can't beat a serging machine. This all-skill-level book is the perfect guide to make sure you get the most out of your new machine (or out of that old serger that you've never got the hang of!)
The serger or overlocker
Photographs and step-by-step instructions guide you through the essential techniques, showing you how to set up your machine, how to adjust the settings to get the best results on a range of different fabrics, and how to edge your fabrics quickly with perfect results. The troubleshooting section provides tips and quick fixes for skipped stitches, snapped threads, and uneven stitching. Also includes a buyer's guide to different sergers, providing you with advice on finding the right machine for you.
An overlocker: yes, but why?
First of all: an overlocker is not a sewingmachine. A (good!) sewing machine can do almost anything, but an overlocker is a the dessert after a delicious meal. The finishing touch, the whipped cream on the cake, the golden thread that makes your sewing work so professional finished. Do we know more metaphors? Probably, but let's stick to the (sewing) lesson.
For example, an overlocker can sew elastic materials together and finish with a 3 or 4 thread-stitches without any difficulty. For example: these stitches at the end of a t-shirt. Turn your t-shirt or sweater inside out and take a look down. So now you know why! Even the best seamstress in the world can't get it done with a sewing machine. An overlocker sews and CUTS the fabric at the same time.
So put those zigzag scissors away and from now on finish your own clothing with an overlocker. T
In addition, an overlocker also creates decorative seams, even threads beads or pearls on the fabric and is able to do a lot more magical tricks.
And imagine you are working with a sewing machine to deal with a huge piece of fabric that should become a curtain: an overlocker would turn the big job into a piece of cake.
A great book:
A bit less interesting:
We love all the beautiful examples. But it all looks a bit like a mamma or grandmother is sewing (locking) for her baby. Next edition: please provides us with more pictures of modern clothes or beautiful couture.
Nevertheless: the book is a great gift for a seamstress for the holidays!
A short jacket, a half-long jacket or a really very long jacket. You might think turning a short jacket into a long jacket is not thát difficult. Extend the fabric and you have the same jacket but then longer. But it is a bigger deal...
Long coat = other function
A long jacket has a completely different function. Long coats are usually meant to be worn over clothing to go outside. Hey, hey, doesn't everyone know that? That's right, but sometimes ugly mistakes are made in the sewing world. More spacious and wider Jackets are often underestimated in terms of sewing techniques. Sewing patterns are taken a little less seriously when it comes to long coats. Many seamstresses who have often made a long jacket, know that sewing a long jacket is just as meticulous work as making a short jacket. And that making a long jacket is not that simple at all. How often did we experience a long jacket is 'just not right'? Sadly, too many times.
A coat or a long jacket?
A coat always refers to an outer jacket. Usually it is a long classic model made of wool, loden or tweed. An outdoor jacket is more like a sporty (long) jacket made of waterproof fabrics, or a quilted jacket with a hood. In the sewing world, people talk about coats or simply: jackets. The shorter (Chanel style) jackets are often categorized with blazers or 'jackets'. Often it is confusing but follow the golden rule that coats are the outer coats and 'jackets' often the inner jackets.
How to sew longer coats or jackets?
Sometimes we notice that our project turned out to be a failure: the lining is incorrect, the shoulders are too wide and the jacket only fits well with a very thin t-shirt underneath. But unfortunately that was not the intention. Did we forgot about the instructions on the sewing pattern? Or are the fabrics just not suitable? We would like to point out that making a long jacket requires just as much love, knowledge and experience as making a short jacket. Maybe even more, because after all, you work with a lot of fabrics and materials.
A longer jacket in Chanel style? Is that possible? Yes indeed. A long bouclé or tweed jacket with a quilted lining is heavenly and you really want to wear it all year round. So nice and warm, so comfortable! It is quite a job but the reuslt will be: a piece of pure Haute couture.
If you want to make a longer Chanel-Style jacket, make sure you search for 'jackets'. Not on 'coats' or 'outdoor jackets'. If you really want to make a coat out of Tweed fabric or Bouclé to wear outside and over your clothes, look for 'cloaks' or 'coats'.
Please note: a nice long coat made of those fabrics is quite fragile and not durable. If you get caught on a splinter, a door handle or something else, the threads will easily tear out. A wolen coat is just as chic, slightly less 'Chanel-style' but stronger. Although this fabric is certainly not durable. And for all chic coatsmake sure to have an umbrella because the fabrics do not like rain and wind.
Suitable patterns for longer Chanel-style jackets:
Beautiful long classic coats that are suitable for Tweeds, Bouclé or Loden:
Tips & Tricks:
Additional options for advanced seamstresses:
If you want to make a longer jacket in 'Chanel-Style', consider quilting the lining on the outer fabric. Follow Claure Shaeffer's instructions from her book: 'The couture cardigan jacket' and you have a beautiful long Chanel jacket that wears and looks heavenly. It may be a lot of work but well worth it. Especially if you choose a Bouclé fabric that is very light or loose-fitting, sewing the lining to it is a good idea. It gives the jacket more strength and shape.
A longer Chanel-style jacket is completely different from a jacket in Bouclé or tweeds, see photo above. Both are chic, beautiful, timeless but take a little more time to make.
Read carefully which recommended fabrics are on the sewing patterns. Choose the fabric ánd lining carefully, it will be the difference between a great result or a failed project.
Have you ever wondered why sewing is so much fun? Probably not. If sewing is your hobby, or even passion, you don't think about it. But you probably got the question from someone else. "Are you sewing your own clothes?" They ask ... For some people creativity is not obvious at all. They travel, bake & cook, play sports or like to watch movies.
Sewing is fun!
Sewing is fun for sure. We've talked about "The Rival of the Sewing Machine!" In these times of sustainability, being careful with raw materials is a good goal! And having an aversion to mass production, sewing clothes and stuff yourself is a Very good thing. Take action yourself (make mouth masks when these were not available), repair stuff (bring on that too long curtain, I'll will fix it!) and especially no longer participate in the cheap throw-away clothing culture (I will make it myself!).
Not only NOW but for a long time, sewing has also been a fun hobby and activity for many of us. It's relaxing, it's a quiet time of the day, and it's very satisfying to make your own wardrobe. From embroidery to Haute couture: being creative is total mindfulness!
From Chanel to the 1920s
Our website has the theme: How to make a Chanel-style jacket yourself. We discuss sewing patterns, all kinds of fabric, styling and especially share a lot of information about Coco Chanel and the fashion house Chanel. If you like Chanel jackets or Chanel couture, you will quickly find yourself interesting fashion-history. Chanel-style jackets are timeless and have remained close to the original design over the years. It is wonderful to make a beautiful, modern Chanel-style jacket, but most of us also like to make a jacket as if it were put together by Coco Chanel herself. Real Haute couture complete with all details, interfacing work and the finishing touch. And than, we suddenly end up in the twenties and some of us are loving the Vintage style even as much!
Vintage sewing patterns are great. It is not strange to walk around in vintagestyle! The twenties are hot, just think of all those beautiful, timeless, TV series such as Downton Abbey, Black Beauty and The Crown and you know the style is beautiful and timeless. Combine the suit, skirt, blouse or jacket with modern clothing or accessoiries and you have created something very unique!
From Downton Abbey to LARP
From the twenties fashion à la Chanel, or 'love for vintage', to LARP is a small step. There are many LARP-ers (Life Action Role Players) who make their own costumes and enjoy events in which they are acting and living in other times. Usually even further back in time: the Middle Ages. Visitors to these events, festivals and fairs are often interested in everything that has to do with 'the past'.
As soon as your family, friends or colleagues know that you are a creative mind with a sewing machine, they will ask whether you want to make a medieval dress for them or a friend-of-a-friend. Or if you want to help design a complete, unique outfit. The clothes are expensive, they contain a lot of fanrics and they are not clothes that you buy very easily.
And for yourself? We shared our review about the blouse made of sewing pattern Butterick 4486. A nice blouse that you can also wear in everyday life. Especially now, 'The bubble' is a trend!
Cosplay & Fantasy
Cosplay and Fantasy Sewing patterns often fit into the same category as LARP. Many sewing patterns are intended for both purposes. Cosplay is more an escape from reality and a pair of horns on your head or a pair of extra wings on your back ... should not be a problem.
You can also make a lot of creative fun with special fabrics such as Organza, plastic, metallic fabrics and extreme shapes and colors. After all, cosplay is based on cartoon characters, superheroes, films & series and is not limited to a specific time period.
Anyone who prefers to sew daily, wearable clothes will also enjoy making a mega skirt out of tulle or a Science Fiction costume out of blue lacquer fabric. Why? Just to try out crazy fabrics, to use sewing patterns that you would normally never use. And to be as creative as never before!
And then after a lot of creativity, inches of fabrics and grateful friends, neighbors or neighbors, children or customers, you feel like making something for yourself again. No, not a bathrobe, sweater or house pants, but something super chic like a real Dior suit, a Chanel-style jacket or a long gala dress for the holidays.
There is nothing better than sewing, to have some peacefull moments for yourself and to wear something that is unique, personal, homemade, sustainable and perhaps over-the-top chic or classic.
That's why sewing is so much fun!
For the upcoming holidays, which will be different this year, we have worked out some beautiful sewing patterns for suitable and affordable clothing. So far: Vogue 1605 and Vogue 1520.
In this blog an idea to make a chic gift as an ultimate upcycling project: The idea to give neckties a new life. Ties are not popular anymore. Do you, or your friend, husband, son or neighbor, have a bunch of ties in the closet which are 'working' anymore? Ask if you can use them and turn them into a nice laptop sleeve!
Ties - downgrades or no longer needed
In general, ties are worn less and less since a few years. Dress codes or unwritten rules have declined considerably in the business world. Hierarchy is no longer determined by how you look (according to the rules) but what you radiate (your own personality).
In Germany, for example, the 'Krawattenpflicht' has not been present for a while at companies such as Aldi and Sparkasse. More and more companies are following.
People have always been much less strict in the Netherlands than in Germany. Watch a debate in the House of Parlemennt and you will notice that even in politics are no longer wearing ties. In the business world the tie is slowly disappearing.
Ties are still 'mandatory' during job interviews, official occasions and in certain professions (lawyers, notaries).
Upcycling of ties
The idea of upcycling ties is not so popular, because ties are not containing much fabric and the shape is awkward. Yet there are beautiful things you can make of them! And you are completely lucky if the ties are made of beautiful silk fabrics. Find a few beautiful color combinations together, and let's get really creative!
Do you not have any ties at all, but does the laptop sleeve appeal to you? Take a look at a thrift store. Sometimes you can find the most beautiful ties for a few pennies. You certainly don't need more than five.
What more do you need: not much. Preferably felt fabric, but another thick, soft fabric lining is also possible. Do you have a thick, slightly stiff blanket left? Then you can use it as a lining. Or a thick terrycloth towel, a piece of cloth from a duvet, sleeping bag or old cardigan. Important: the fabric must be a little stiff, thick and sewable (your sewing machine must be able to handle the thickness of the fabric).
In addition, a press stud and a beautiful (preferably silk) fabric for the lining.
This is an 'easy peasy' project for the seamstress with average sewing experience. For a novice seamstress it may be useful to practice first with an old piece of fabric.
We are creative and we love beautiful (silk!) ties for an upcycling project. Give them a second life and make somebody happy with a nice Christmas gift.
Make sure you choose nice color combinations, smooth fabric (ties or satin, silk, or shiny fabric).
A beautiful gift does not have to be expensive and upcycling fabrics is a creative and sustainable idea. Do you have any more ideas? We would like to hear from you!
The holidays will be different from 'life as we know it' this year. City trips to the big cities for Christmas shopping, going on a skiing holiday or large dinners with family and friends, these are all impossible because of the corona-crisis.... But people are creative and so we are going to celebrate it differently. But how? We have found some nice suggestions and ideas, beautiful sewing patterns (achievable in terms of deadline!) and above all: beautiful (affordable) fabrics!
Vogue 1520: a chic evening dress
Vogue V1520 from designer Badgley Mischka, is a beautiful evening dress. Badgley Mischka is a designer who makes beautiful gala, bridal and occasion wear. This design fits perfectly in his amazing collection of beautiful evening wear.
It's an elegant dress that has a few big advantages. Three benefits!
First, the dress makes you look longer and slimmer. This is because pleats have been processed from the breasts to below the waist. So you can hide your belly by covering with the pleats. Maybe useful to wear an extra shape-wear shirt underneath, but you don't have to. Your own 'rolls' are less noticeable because of the rolls/pleats of the fabric.
Second, the dress can be made from afforable fabrics. If you choose stretch velvet or velvet de panne, the dress will be beautiful but cheap. These fabrics are not in the expensive price range. Most stretch velvet fabrics are ten euros per meter, or even less.
Third, the dress is timeless. If you wear this dress later for a festive occasion, the dress will really not be old-fashioned. It has no fashionable elements and it is just what you wear in terms of jewelry, shoes, bag or hairstyle. The dress is a timeless classic.
Suggestic fabrics and colors
These fabrics are recommended on the sewing pattern envelope: Stretch Velvet, Sequin Mesh, Rayon Spandex. And the lining: Tricot. With 'sequin mesh' is meant stretch sequin fabric and 'Tricot' for the lining is a short description of: tricot charmeuse lining.
It is important that the fabrics can stretch well in both length and width. A line with an extension is often indicated on the side of a sewing pattern envelope. This refers to the extent to which the fabric must be stretchable. The fabric should be able to stretch 10 cm. to 15 cm. As long as you choose Stretch velvet or velvet de panne, you don't have to double check this. These fabrics are known for their stretch skills.
We have found fabrics for you with budget fabrics:
1. Velvet-velours blue
2. Velvet-velours with flower design
3.and as lining fabric: Tricotlining petrol blue
We chose blue shades because they look great on festive occasions and these blue tones always match nicely with skin tone and hair color. And also with gold and silver. Blue fabrics can be combined endlessly and are less obvious than the traditional colors for the holidays such as red, green, gold and black.
Another favorite of ours: lycra velours soft ocher
The color Ocher yellow is a new trend. Ocher yellow is a warm, soft color, back to basics and goes very well with gold and warm colors. The Vogue V1520 in ocher yellow colors will be a very nice choice for New Year's Eve! You will stand out, even if it is by a digital connection with friends.
Sewing and cutting:
You have to pay attention when you are going to cut the fabric. Do not fold the fabric double, but put it in its total width on a table or on the floor. The front piece needs plenty of room just because it is cut in a wide arc, because of the wrinkles. Take a good look at how often you need to cut the fabric. Most sewing pattern parts do not have to be cut twice, only once, even the back panels. A different cutting schedule applies to the lining. Make sure you have cut enough fabric because the pattern does contain a lot of fabric. Stretch velvet or velor panne is not easy to cut. The fabric slips quickly. Pin the pattern pieces to the fabric with extra pins and use weights in the middle of the pieces.
The same for sewing: use lots of pins. This prevents a lot of frustration. Make sure you use a stretch needle and a special foot for smooth fabrics.
There are no pitfalls or difficulties mentioned. With a little sewing experience you can do the job, as long as you take the time to work with the highly stretchy fabric..
We have chosen this sewing pattern because it is a dress that you can make fairly easily, the fabrics are not expensive and especially because the dress has a beautiful festive look.
The dress is also timeless, so you can wear the dress on several occasions, also in the coming years, when (hopefully) it is possible to celebrate the holidays with more friends and family.
More suggestions for the 'alternative' holidays will follow.
Dressing up or dressing down?
Vogue V8893 is a Claire Shaeffer design published by Vogue. We know Claire Shaeffer from the books: Couture Cardigan Jacket, Making Designers Trims and The Couture Skirt. She describes in her books how Coco Chanel designed her famous Chanel jacket, the faux wrap skirt and other classics. The sewing pattern V8893 is a cardigan as it was often created and worn by Coco Chanel herself.
In the spotlights; Vogue V8893, because it is actually a combination of a beautiful classic jacket, but can be worn just as nicely as homewear. This is the type of jacket/vest that will soon be your favorite item of clothing. Nice and warm, comfortable and 'dressed' enough. Do you to appear on Skype or Zoom? The neckline of this cardigan is an eye-catcher: pure simplicity, pure couture.
The Vogue sewing pattern is a loose jacket (vest) sewing pattern, the neck, front and pockets are hemmed with a band and the sleeves consist of three parts. The jacket is intended for the fabrics: Light-weight tweed, wool crepe, jersey. Notions: buttons and a metal chain.
Sewing level: average
The sewing pattern has been titled "Vogue AVERAGE". We disagree with this. Claire Shaeffer gives fantastic detailed instructions, but you have to have more sewing experience to understand them. Especially the neck with the bands, is a difficult job for which you need sewing experience.
We have made the jacket from jeans blue knitted fabric. The fabric is nice and warm and gives more of a 'vest look' than a 'jacket look'. We did the edging by band slightly differently. We made this from the same fabric, but later put an extra tres band around it. This to add a little more color to the cardigan and, to be honest, we made a mistake ...
As mentioned, this cardigan seems easy to create, but it is certainly not. It is couture and a real Chanel classic. The inside is also just as beautifully finished as the outside. Completely in the spirit of Coco Chanel. Claire Shaeffer's instructions should help you figure it out as an average seamstress, but don't underestimate it. In addition, knits and lightweight tweeds are not always easy to work with. They quickly fall apart or fray when you cut them.
You can adjust the sewing pattern yourself by, for example: lining it, making the sleeves in two parts instead of three parts and if you want the cardigan even more comfortable: opt for French terry or thicker sweat fabric.
You could also make the bands in different colors.
Vogue V8893 is a special sewing pattern to make the Chanel-Style cardigan according to the vision of Coco Chanel and explained by Claire Shaeffer. (in the instructions for this pattern and in all of her books). The instructions are very comprehensive and clear.
But the jacket/cardigan remains a challenge for every seamstress. Keep this in mind if you don't have much experience with 'couture sewing techniques' yet.
This jacket is both a cardigan and a jacket and can be very casual/comfortable, but also pure couture and classic simplicity. It depends a bit on which fabric and how you finish it.
One thing is certain: it is great!
If you want to create a Chanel-style jacket and you are searching on the Internet (and on this website!), you will notice: the real vintage Chanel couture jackets often had buttons made out of fabrics. You will notice these buttons on modern Chanel jackets as well. You immediately want such beautiful and matching buttons too. And that's possible!
Fabric buttons are still 'Haute couture' beautiful!
Coco Chanel started making handmade buttons, mainly from Tweeds and Bouclé fabrics. She used fabrics because buttons were expensive. But also because the fabric buttons gave more 'couture' appearance to the clothing. The buttons and the jackets were perfectly matching and everyone knew about the making process: a time-consuming and dedicated job.
Coco Chanel started her career as a hat maker. Because of this, she knew many sewing techniques and she could handle different types of materials. She also had an eye for details, which gave the jackets something extra's, but they were never 'over the top'.
Her motto: "Simplicity is the key of elegance"
The authentic Chanel vintage fabric buttons are real treasure and not easy to buy. This is mainly because Tweeds and Bouclé are not durable fabrics and the buttons had to endure a lot.
If you are looking for fabric buttons in 'Chanel-style', Baudekin Studio is a great webshop.
Sometimes it is possible to find fabric buttons at a market, in a fabric store, or even in thrift stores. But you have to be very lucky that they will match with the fabric. Baudekin Studio has a few fabric buttons in its range. Affordable and above all: very beautiful.
The buttons are easy to match with many fabrics in terms of color and composition. Especially the black and white Bouclé buttons, can be used with almost any Bouclé fabric. But the colored fabric buttons also turned out to be a great option for a Chanel-Style jacket. This is mainly because Bouclé fabrics are often woven from multiple colored threads. Most of the times, there is always a color to match with the threads.
The example above: which color fits better with the dark green/black/blue/yellow Chanel-style jacket? The green or the yellow? Or both?
Chic couture clothing
Fabric buttons are also often the best choice for couture outfits. The example below shows it perfectly: a bridal cape or evening dress bolero with fabric buttons. The buttons make the cape extra beautiful and it is also much more convenient to match your jewelry. Are you going for gold or silver? If the buttons of evening wear are exactly the same as the fabric: go ahead and make your own choice.
Tips & Tricks: how to choose the perfect buttons
for your DIY Chanel Style jacket
Are you in the mood for spring or summer 2021, or are you not thinking about that at all ...? We are living in strange times and because of the corona crisis most people do not even dare to think about 2021. And the spring and summer ... But let's enjoy Chanel's catwalk on Youtube.
Fashion houses & trend watchers
But most fashion houses are used looking into the future. They determine what the street scene will look like in the future, or at least the next season ahead. Of course there are social developments that cannot be predicted and mistakes are common. For example, how about all the headcaps and tight hoodies that pop up on the catwalks but are suddenly clumsy? In connection with the mandatory mouth mask in many countries? You really need your ears to put the rubber bands on the mouth mask ...
On the other hand, fashion houses and trend watchers also respond very quickly to social changes and developments. In'Living in a bubble' you can read how fashion adapts to people's daily lives. After all, we no longer have to leave the house - dressed in a suit - to run to a meeting. Many people are working at home. Looking neat but comfortable is a good goal. We live in a social bubble, we dress accordingly.
Chanel Spring-Summer 2021
What will bring Chanel's new spring and summer collection? In any case, a lot of distance and space between the models. Social distance in a chic concept.
We see many fresh, light colors. Pink and light red in particular is strikingly present and we notice some bright prints.
We are enjoying the classic Chanel jacket wearing in combination with short skirts and pants. Bouclé cotton all over the catwalk, beautiful black, anthracite and white colors processed in beautiful fabrics. Even dresses are made of Bouclé cotton, creating a strong but also a very elegant look.
And as always, we see a lot of black, pearls, edges and fringes as the quintessential Chanel elements. We have the feeling that fashion house Chanel has stayed close to itself with this collection. Some outfits with big logo's, glitter sequins and ruffles are not our favorites. But everyone has his or her taste.
Enjoy the video of the beautiful, modern catwalk and hopefully you get a lot of inspiration from it, just like us. And looking forward to spring 2021!
If you think about 'velvet' you immediately think about: soft, chic, luxury, classic and 'red-carpet' wear. And that's right. Velvet is a beautiful fabric that gives extra dimension to color and shape due to its shine. But what exactly is velvet and why does it have so many different names?
Velvet as a type of fabric
Velvet or 'cotton velvet' is woven in with a specific technique and the threads are cut or shaved deeply. This creates a 'whiff' in the fabric. A 'nap' or a 'pile' in the fabric means that the direction and the light determine the color. The color may appear darker or lighter. When sewing velvet, the thread direction is very important. You can also feel the whiff if you run your hand over it.
The nap down: the fabric appears lighter in color.
The nap up: the fabric appears darker in color.
Velvet only comes in solid/uni colors. Sometimes there is a pattern or design in it, but it is just one color. The fabric feels thick and is a winter fabric.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Velvet:
A big advantage of velvet fabric: it always looks beautiful: chic, luxurious, classic and timeless. The fabric is strong, not very expensive and easily available.
The disadvantage of velvet is that the fabric is not durable. It wears out very quickly. The fabric is also not sustainable in the production process, there is a lot of residual waste and the production process is expensive.
And even more important: the fabric is not easy to cut and sew. It quickly slips out from under your presser foot of the sewing machine and the same goes for cutting. Tip: us more pins so the fabric will not slip while cutting.
More tips for this, see read our blog: How to handle difficult fabrics!
Because of the nap, you also have to pay close attention to the cutting schedule and you often need more fabric than usual. This makes it relatively expensive.
Is corduroy a velvet fabric too?
Corduroy is often categorized: velvet. However, corduroy is not a velvet fabric. It has a slightly different composition. In addition, corduroy is also ribbed due to the weaving technique used. The ribbies are the main characteristic of corduroy. Nevertheless, corduroy looks just like velvet: luxurious, warm, chic and timeless.
Although corduroy is often seen as a bit more robust and casual. Unfortunately, the fabric often wears out very quickly, especially if you wear corduroy trousers or a jacket.
Velor or velvet de panne
Velor is woven or knitted. If the fabric is knitted then the fabric is heavier and is not velvet. However, woven velor is made in the same way as velvet and is therefore also considered velvet. Woven velor is thicker than velvet. This velvet is also often used for interior and as curtain fabric.
Velor de panne is wrinkled, the nap does not have a specific direction and the fabric is light and very elastic. Velor de panne is also often referred to as stretch velvet. Terms such as Lycra velvet or Lycra velvet are also used. Velours de panne is a cheap type of fabric and ideal for Cosplay, events or evening wear, especially when the clothes have to be tight and elastic. It looks a bit cheaper than real velvet but it is cheaper. It is also better suited for tight, figure-shaping clothing.
Silk velvet or velvet with a design
There are also variations in terms of raw materials and designs. For instance: Velvet is based on cotoon material. But it can have a big amount of silk as well. Silk velvet is very expensive and not easy to buy.
Velvet with design is rare too. These fabrics are worth looking for. They are beautiful fabrics for special clothes, or for Cosplay costumes, LARP and Haute couture.
We have found for you: Lycra velours with flowers
Let's create something beautiful! We will certainly do the same!
In our blogseries 'Holiday series with creative suggestions, sewing patterns and fabrics', we have a review for you about a dress by designer BADGLEY MISCHKA, published by Vogue V1605. The dress is not actually a dress, but a shirt and a skirt. The combination is very nice for the, the holidays season. It is also quite easy to sew and the fabrics are affordable.
Vogue V1605 is a design by Badgley Mischka. Badgley Mischka is a designer who makes beautiful gala, bridal and evening wear. This design fits exactly in that list. It is an elegant combination, chic but it can be worn used as a bit more casual as well. By this we mean: if you do not sew the bow permanently to the skirt the skirt is still glamour but a nice evening skirt as well. And the shirt is usuable for any occasion.
And last but not least: the combination is very comfortable because of the use of stretch fabrics.
Fabric and lining recommandations
The recommended fabrics are fabrics with a stretch content of 35%. This means that fabrics such as jersey and velvet are eligible for the shirt. And for the skirt: stretch twill and stretch satin. Note: the skirt lining has to be stretchy as well!
We have used these substances from Driessenstoffen:
Velours de panne - dark blue
Satijnstretch - dark blue
Stretch voering - blue
Cutting & sewing:
Cutting and sewing this sewing pattern requires extra time and attention. Velvet de panne is a fabric that quickly slips under the scissors, which makes it difficult to cut. Make sure you use extra pins and put weights on the fabric.
Also pay attention to the nap of the fabric. Stick to the cutting schedule on the sewing pattern. Sewing Velours de panne is easy to do if you provide special stretch needles for your sewing machine and again: good pins. It would be especially nice if you use a special presser foot for the sewing machine that ensures that the fabric does not slip easily.
The same goes for the stretch satin. It's not an easy fabric to cut and sew, but if you take the time to do it and really use more pins than usual, then it will be fine. As for the bow: reinforce this extra with 2 x interfacing! Or use a sturdy fabric as an intermediate layer. After all, the bow should stand a bit upright and not hang.
Fortunately, sewing the bow is easier than it may seem at first.
We have chosen this sewing pattern because it is a dress (combination shirt and skirt) which you can create easily. The fabrics do not have to be expensive and the dress still has a beautiful festive look.
It is clear that the dress is a beautiful, and a great comfortable alternative to sweatpants or sweater. More suggestions for the 'alternative' holidays will follow.
It is now clear for everybody: the holiday season this year will be different from 'life as we know it'. City trips for Christmas shopping and skiing holidays will be impossible. And dinners with the whole family or a bunge of friends, are not allowed. And so we have to enjoy the holiday season this year quite differently. But hów you might think .... We cannot present solutions for you, but we have some nice suggestions and ideas, beautiful sewing patterns (feasible in terms of deadline!) and above all: beautiful (affordable) fabrics for you.
Dressing up or dressing down
In 'dressing up or dressing down' we already wrote about the fact that nowadays almost all of us opt for comfort instead of dressing neatly. That is logical because most of the people work at home as much as possible. We are not going to festivals, events or parties. Why dress up when no one sees you ...
This probably also applies to the upcoming holidays. Wearing your 'wrong' Christmas sweater, your mobile phone in your hand and watching Netflix is probably more the case.
But if you've already done this so many times, is this still fun? Why don't you opt for a bit more glamour, decorate your house, make a nice dinner and spend an evening in style with some familiy or friends (safely!)?
That's a lot more fun than just another evening, or a whole weekend, in sweatpants in front of the television ... and you are worth it!
Sewing patterns and fabrics
We have looked for beautiful, chic sewing patterns who are comfortable as well. Especially because of the stretch fabrics and the shape. We also looked at sewing patterns that are feasible in terms of sewing level, deadline and affordable fabrics.
It really doesn't have to cost a fortune to look chic for a cozy dinner. We discuss the sewing patterns one by one in a new series of blogs.
Sewing pattern Vogue V1605, for example, looks like an outfit for the red carpet or at The Oscars. But it also has its advantages for you: The shirt is made of stretch velvet and is very comfortable. The skirt is made of stretch satin and fits perfectly both literally and figuratively. You could attach the bow permanently, but also with a clip, making it easy to remove. You can also quickly put the skirt on and off when the dinner is over and you still plop down on the couch to watch a nice movie.
And so many other sewing patterns. We also stay close to home and present a pair of Chanel-style jackets that are more comfortable than they look.
Let's enjoy the holiday season, we will make it fun anyway ... in (Chanel) style!
Dressing Up or Dressing Down. That's the question... But what exactly does it mean? In any case, the terms are not literal. You could say: get dressed in a representative way or let's dress as comfortable as possible, but this doesn't quite cover it.
Dressing up means that you have done your very best to look as good as possible. This is always related to your activities and representation. If you want to show yourself decent and respectful, then you get 'dressed up'. For example, for a concert, but also when you go to friends for dinner. During occasions such as weddings, parties at work or funerals, it is an unwritten rule that you are properly dressed. This usually means: no jeans, sneakers, flip-flops, a lot of naked or torn clothing. On some occasions there are 'dressing codes', so it is not only desirable to wear gala clothes, for example, but it becomes more or less mandatory.
Dressing down means that you are below the level of what social norms expect of you. For example, you get to work in jeans leggings to work. Or you wear too much naked or vulgar neon clothing during a memorial. You might do it out of rebellion, to look casual or because you don't care about it at all.
Dressing down shows little respect for the environment, the people or the occasion. But it can also mean that you are not doing it consciously. Some people have little sense of social norms or find it difficult to meet the requirements. In this case, it is useful to know yourself. You could ask in advance what is expected, if you do not want to be in the spotlights in a negative way.
The psychology of dressing up and dressing down
Dressing up and dressing down largely depend on your personal taste and how you want to be seen by your social group. Some people enjoy dressing and grooming themselves. Always and everywhere. They love beautiful clothes, like to spend money on them or like to make clothes themselves and their creativity knows almost no limits.
The same goes for dressing down. There are also people who always and everywhere opt for comfort. You will not easily see them wearing neat shoes and in the summer, flip flops are more than enough. Put on shorts, t-shirt on top and that's it.... To the city for shopping, to your in-laws, or a staff party, who cares?
However, what effects do you achieve with it? How does the environment think of you and how do you feel? Clothing and grooming yourself is often someone's first impression. Clothing is communication and shows a lot of yourself. Dressing down may be very relaxed, but is it nice? Does it give you positive bio feedback? Often not. After all, it is not pleasant for the other person to look into a crack in the buttocks of sagging pants or admire ingrown toenails.
Freedom of choice in terms of clothing and taste is a good and common right. However, what you do with it is entirely up to you. Taking care of yourself and dressing nicely is generally more appreciated by other people than the opposite. And even if you are alone, taking good care of yourself (and dressing) makes you feel good. Loss of decorum happens to sick and depressed people. It doesn't interest them any more ...
How do you do 'dressing up'?
Dressing up has nothing to do with money, designer clothes or expensive accessories. It is about the total picture and your appearance. Dressing up is doing something extra: wearing a watch while you have a mobile, which also indicates the time perfectly. An extra bracelet and nail polish while even if you are not a receptionist. Wearing a hat or a scarf while it is neither raining nor windy. A white blouse under a jacket instead of a t-shirt. An ironed blouse instead of a t-shirt. Matching socks and a matching handbag. And do not forget personal care: a minimum of make-up often ensures that you suddenly feel much better.
"After a long hospital stay I didn't look good. In the last days before I was admitted to go home, I started to put on some make-up, had a visitor helped me with a manicure, I was wearing a blouse instead of the t-shirts I had worn for weeks.
This did not go unnoticed. Every nurse and doctor who entered my room started to smile and said that I looked amazing .....
I certainly didn't look thát good, but at least I tried and people appreciated my intention to look better. The 'feeling good' effect was bigger than I ever expected."
Dressing up, in dark times In this corona crisis, is hardly applicable anymore. Why should we? Many people opt for convenience and comfort. But dressing up also has to do with joie de vivre, self-confidence, self-esteem and ambition.
As we wrote in: Living in a bubble, we now live and work digitally, but we are definitely seen. Behind the screen during Facetime conversations, by means of selfies for Instagram or during meetings on Zoom. A nice blouse with a bow or brooch, or a homemade Chanel-style jacket, shows a different attitude than a sweater or hoodie with a just-out-of-bed hairstyle.
There are more arguments for dressing down than dressing up. But some of them are wrong.
1. Dressing up costs money and I don't have that now ...
Dressing neatly has nothing to do with expensive designer clothes or golden accessories. It is all up to you and you can (learn to) make beautiful clothes yourself. Tips for doing this extra economically: How to save money, tios & tricks!
In fact, sneakers, jeans leggings and a hoodie with text are sometimes more expensive than a simple blouse and normal pants.
2. It is too hot to 'dress up'.
The weather seems to be an argument to throw out all your clothes. Sleeveless t-shirts, shorts and flip-flops are often considered the ultimate summer outfit. But women in India and Africa look just as elegant, even if they live in countries with reál hot weather. Dressing up is sometimes even practical in summer. Nice linen pants are chic, and provides a cool feeling, and a cotton blouse provides more coolness than a t-shirt which sticks to your body and show your sweat.
3. Finally, think about memories that you will have of yourself or how others 'see' you. What will your photo book look like, a bit later in time? How does the next generation remembers you? Do they notice a beautiful, nicely stylish lady or a woman who didn't care about her looks at all...
Dressing up says a lot about you as a person. It has nothing to do with money, but everything about your own style, taste and the way you feel about yourself.
Dressing down is also part of life and has become almost standard in these corona times ...
However, we love to dress up!
On this website many tips & tricks about creating beautiful Chanel-style jackets, but also to recycle and to upcycle clothes. Sustainable tips, tips for śaving money and tips for occasionally making beautiful gala clothing for yourself (or for someone else) or fantastic Cosplay costumes.
Are you joining us?
A few years ago, there was a fashion-makeove televisionserie in which a candidate was given a completely new wardrobe if she agreed to get rid of her existing clothes. (shoes, bags, accessories). The clothes were destroyed in a shredder. The candidate was almost crying, but she liked the idea of getting a new wardrobe and style. The TV viewers watched in disgus: all her clothes were pulverized....
Zero waste, please
The candidate didn't exactly have a sophisticated style, but maybe someone else would have been happy with the clothes. Or it could have been a small effort to bring the clothes to a thrift store. Or maybe a lot of clothes could have been given a second life through creative upcycling by seamstresses like us and you.
Nowadays, most people bring their clothes to thrift stores or Humanitas containers. But a lot of clothing are still thrown away, which is a real pity and a waste of materials.
At H&M, a different kind of shredder has been born for recycling instead of destruction!
Hip hip hooray for LOOOP!
Since October 2020, H&M has a new recycling device named: LOOOP.
LOOOP is made to clean the clothes, shred them into fibers. The fibers are used to spun threads, which can be used to create new sweaters, jackets, bags, scarves, etc. The system does not use chemicals and water and is therefore very environmentally friendly.
H&M and sustainable fashion
H&M is innovative and shows a lot of respect for the concept of sustainability. They have been collecting clothes for a few years. And now LOOOP has been developed. The aim is to recycle all materials by 2030 and to purchase them sustainably.
We think this is a great news and that is why we give LOOOP extra attention on our website.
For more information about how Looop works: https://www2.hm.com/en_gb/life/culture/inside-h-m/meet-the-machine-turning-old-into-new.html.
Breaking the pattern; 'A modern way to sew' is a book written by the Finnish sisters Saara and Laura Huhta. They founded the Finnish sewing pattern label "Named" and are successful. Named delivers two collections per year and encourages people to sew their own clothes. The sisters are very convincing and have a great taste of (Scandinavian) style.
"The aim of the collections is to bring a new perspective to making one’s own clothes and to support ethical and ecological consuming in contrast to a clothing industry focused on fast fashion."
For the beginner
The book is written for the novice seamstress. The book is divided into an introduction, projects and additional information. The introduction contains twenty pages of basic information you need to know before getting started. Everything is clearly explained and substantiated with excellent drawings and beautiful photos.
Next are the projects: ten sewing patterns explained in detail with instructions and photos. In the extra information you can read how to adjust a sewing pattern, there is a glossary and extra information about suppliers and web shops.
Beautiful sewing patterns
The sewing patterns are printed on loose pattern sheets added in an envelope in the book. The pattern sheets are reasonably clear but will be a puzzle for the absolute beginner. If you follow the instructions step-by-step, you can do it. We think it is a pity the pattern sheets are not numbered and that the sewing patterns in the book are not described with a number referring the pattern sheets. You have to unfold all the pattern sheets to find the right sewing pattern. Fortunately the pattern sheets are chronological. For example, pattern 1 is not on the same sheet as pattern 9.
A true workshop!
The book is a great tool to learn about sewing techniques. The sewing patterns start with a simple bag. You do not need a lot of sewing skills to get the jb done. The book finish with a walkloden coat which really a lot of sewing experience. The sewing techniques are explained per sewing pattern and are building up your skills.
The instructions are worked out in approximately 10-15 pages per pattern and also offer variations for the pattern.
Scandinavian style is stylish
The strength of this book and the sewing patterns lies in the beautiful simplicity that is visually presented very appealing. Most sewing magazines often pop to a lot of sewing patterns, styles and often the clothes don't seem very easy to create. This book radiates tranquility, simplicity and minimalism. The style of Scandinavia. When you see the sewing patterns, you immediately think: Yes I can! You can also adjust the clothing to your own taste by, for example, choosing a printed fabric instead of a plain fabric, or by applying variations in decoration and style.
To try out the sewing patterns we made the bag "Nummi" in two variations and the dress "Utu". The bag has a lovely pattern and is really easy to make. Goodbye big plastic shopping bag from the supermarkets, hello! home-made spacious shopping bag from Scandinavia.
With the bag you can vary as much as you want: add sturdy fabric as a bottom, make inner pockets for mobile and wallet or embellish the bag with passe-partouts like we did with a textile print from Mindfuldrawing.
The dress is a fun pattern for a beginner. We did discover a mistake: the side of the front piece is the number of centimeters shorter that the pleat takes up. Fortunately, this error can be solved by shortening the bottom of the back piece by two centimeters. The dress has a tight fit. Note this if you prefer a comfortable dress instead of a tight-fitting dress.
Also note: the seam allowances are 1 centimeter. This is stated in the introduction to the book. Not the 1.5 centimeters as usual with Burda patterns or seam allowances included as with Vogue, New Look, Simplicity, Butterick and most other brands.
The book is an absolute must-have for a friend who likes to be creative. Bur including all those beautiful sewing patterns, the book is very valuable. The sewing patterns are timeless and very stylish.