Some sewing patterns are 'styled' in such a way that the sewing patterns are suitable for regular jackets and typical 'Chanel-style' jacket. But some sewing patterns are clearly: wow, a real Chanel jacket! We are talking about V1717 from Vogue! This is a sewing pattern for a jacket, a longer jacket, trousers and a wrap skirt. And all in the perfect Chanel-style!
Vogue V1717 is published by Vogue and no special deisgner is mentioned on it, as it is usually the case. The front page shows a complete outfit with one jacket in two different variations (in lengths), pants and a skirt. These are all made of Houndstooth tweed fabric. The outfit has a typical Chanellook with many Chanel details. We love it!
The sewing level indicated is: medium. We agree. The sewing pattern is not terribly difficult, but an absolute beginner could use some extra text and explanation. It requires no special couture technical skills. The only tricky part: making buttonholes in thick tweed fabric and the zipper and pockets in the pants.
The recommended fabrics are: wool, wool mixes and for the pants: wool crepe, garbadine or twill. We used a Bouclé fabric for the jacket. This can be done but is not easy in terms of buttonholes and collar. Tip: use large sturdy buttons and (if you can) make bounded buttonholes. This is quite an extra job but it will give a much better (couture-)results!
If possible: try to make some waist/shape in the jackets. This takes away the 'boxy' shape, as the Chanel jacket was once made, but will still look better.
Choose good lining material so that the jackets are comfortable to wear. You may also choose to use lining for the pants so that they will not itch.
More on this: A closer look at lining fabrics!
Vogue V1717 is a sewing pattern for a great outfit in real Chanellook. The garments are fairly easy to sew. We do recommend going for bounded buttonholes, or buttons for decoration and with push buttons at the back.
We would also like to point out the choice of lining fabrics: choose a fine fabric (silk or cupro silk) so that the entire outfit is comfortable to wear.
Gobelin fabric is a fabric which is probably not an option if you think about making clothes. In fabric stores, the Gobelin is stored between decorative and upholstery fabrics and in online fabric stores they are often categorized with interior fabrics. Is it such a good idea to use Gobelin fabric if you want to make a jacket, for example? We answer this question, but first we will tell you everything about Gobelin as a fabric type.
What's in the name?
The word 'Gobelin' comes from a company that once made (hand-woven) tapestries in Paris. The building was called Hôtel Gobelin, which is why the tapestries were called 'Gobelins'. However, another source reports the name comes from the village of Gobelins near Paris, the famous tapestries were made at 'Goeblins'. Regardless, 'Gobelin' fabrics is a fact; the beautiful woven fabrics that used to be made as tapestries for the rich.
The Gobelin fabrics used to be made to insulate cold interior walls and the tapestries often radiated richness. The fabrics were status symbols and could only be seen in noble houses and castles. Later the fabric became affordable for 'the common citizen'. The production became cheaper and the fabrics were produced more as fabric than as tapestry.
Gobelin has several meanings: upholstery fabric, woven hand carpet, old tapestry, the fabric type gobelin, a carpet on the wall, wall coverings, tapestries and a carpet with woven figures. In fact, all these meanings say exactly what the type of fabric is: a woven fabric that is so beautiful that you might as well hang it on the wall.
More than a fabric for furniture
Everyone has probably seen Gobelin fabrics. They are used by pillows, cases, toiletry bags, bags, coats, waistcoats and curtains. As a result, they often categorized as furniture and interior fabrics, decorative fabrics or outdoor fabrics. 'The outdoor fabrics' is incorrect because they are not waterproof or water-repellent. Yet you probably spot the fabric for cushions for garden furniture and camper cushions are often used. This is mainly because the fabric is extremely strong and durable.
The high wear resistance is due to the coarse weaving technique. The fabric is therefore not beautiful at the back and you will always have to feed the fabric or ensure that the back is not visible. The fabric is also often used for curtains, but here it applies again: put a lining against it. In addition, the fabric is quite heavy, so pay attention to this when you are choosing a hang-system for the curtains. But the fabric is therefore more ideal for smaller items such as bags, toiletry bags, cases, glasses cases, laptop sleeves etc. etc.
Most famous is the Gobelin fabric for the enormous versatility of designs. Some designs may seem old-fashioned, but in general they are timeless and sometimes trendy. It is important some designs do not go by the meter but are the so-called: panel fabrics. This means that there is an image woven into the fabric that has a beginning and an end and cannot be interrupted. You buy the fabric per panel. This can vary from half a meter to a larger amount. An example of a panel fabric is, for example, a large image of a Volkswagen van, a horse, a painting or a peacock in a garden.
We list a few designs categories:
Flowers, gardens and roses
The Gobelin fabrics with these themes are often classic, have soft colors and are from a repetitive design to panel fabrics. English roses are common and flowers in combination with birds, wildlife images and leaves. These botanical designs are very popular and sometimes even collector's items!
Geometric designs are 'hot' and exsists of a repetitive design. The designs are from retro to classic and very modern. We especially like the geometric designs with a gold or silver tone through them.
Of course Gobelin fabrics are also sensitive to trends. Think of the trends of owls, skulls, animal skins, Aztecs and flower power designs. There are many fabrics from Volkswagen vans, images of city nameplates and so much more trends that suddenly appear on all types of fabrics.
Classic timeless themes
There are also the classics that will never be 'out' of style: such as books, bookcases, hunting, country life, wines and food & drinks.
Finally, we would like to mention the Vintage designs: images of beautiful hats, the twenties, make-up, shoes, bags, Paris, glamor and Baroque. These vintage fabrics are very nice to make toiletry bags, cases and bags. The images are often not too large and very beautiful in color combinations.
Oh and almost forgot: the annually recurring themes such as Easter, Christmas and the seasons! All timeless designs that you can safely use twenty years later.
Some Gobelin fabrics are even collector's items. On Catawiki you will notice very old tapestries auctioned for thousands of euros. Closer to home, there is a big market for very special Gobelin fabrics. Especially the botanical fabrics and the panel fabrics with scenes in terms of nature, hunting and country life. Sometimes you can come across this in a market or in a fabric store. Take a look under the stacks at the rolls that have been there for some time. These are often hidden treasures!
Gobelin as a fabric
Now you know everything about Gobelin fabrics, but not yet about the composition and properties. Gobelin used to be mainly made of natural silk and wool. Nowadays they are made by machine with synthetic fibers and cotton as a basis, often: from cotton (50%) and polyester (50%). You can easily wash and iron the fabric. Do not use too high temperatures. However, the colors of the designs will not fade like printed canvas and digital prints do, for example. Gobelin actually always stays beautiful if you wash it at 30 degrees.
The properties of Gobelin fabrics are mainly that they are extremely strong, firm and durable. This makes them suitable for upholstery fabrics, bags, cushions and curtains. The designs are often timeless and can last for years. Furniture covered with Gobelin fabrics radiate warmth and durability. They are not investments for just a year or a short-term trend.
Gobelin fabrics are NOT stretchable, NOT flexible and also NOT water-repellent. Please note that if you use outdoor cushions for the garden furniture that you do bring them inside at night.
Clothing, bags and accessories
If you are making clothes from Gobelin: cut extra seams and do not use interfacing. When making a coat, for example, it will then become too thick and stiff. One layer of Gobelin is more than enough. If you really want the front panels a bit firmer, use thin interfacing! Also be aware that the fabric can fray. So cut extra hem and handle it with care.
Gobelin is often used at Sewing courses and training, for example, to learn how to make a toiletry bag with a zipper. The fabric works very well. This is because it is easy to fold and sew. It is a very nice material to learn a lot from. However, it is not a cheap material to practice with. You may be better off practicing beforehand with a canvas.
A Chanel-style jacket from Gobelin?
In principle, this is possible because the fabric is stiff and firm enough to make a blazer or jacket. Make sure you choose a model that is not too fitted but more of a loose-fitting jacket such as a sewing pattern:
Prints and designs in fabrics are not really typical of the Chanel style, but it is still a challenge and something very different to make a Gobelin jacket. If you decide to make this, choose the beautiful black and white fabrics with circles... close to the Chanel style.
Our eternal Gobelin love
We are in love with Gobelin fabric! Once you have worked with Gobelin you will notice that you will buy it more often. Depending on the designs of course ... We have often made things from it such as toiletry bags, clutches, dresses and glasses cases. But also bigger things like sewing machine covers and bigger bags!
Hats and caps
Gobelin is a very nice material for making hats and caps. This is mainly because the fabric is sturdy and stays in shape. However, you do need extra interfacing for hats, so make sure that your sewing machine can handle the thickness of the fabrics. In the examples below, the lining is also made from Gobelin fabric. This is not necessary, you can make the lining in a contrasting or matching color. The advantage is that you need less (expensive!) Gobelin.
Make sure that you cut every curve at the seams on the inside with triangles so that the fabric rounds off nicely. If the fabric isn't really shaping nicely yet, gently press it and use a tailor's ham on the underside.
Gobelin is a very beautiful fabric if you like special designs. The fabric can appear very old-fashioned but also timeless and chic.
Often the fabric is categorized under decorative fabrics, furniture or interior fabrics. It is therefore a bit of a search, especially if the name 'Gobelin' is not used but, for example, woven fabrics or jacquards.
You can make clothes, blazers, jackets, and coats from Gobelin, but make sure that the clothing does not become too thick or stiff. Also keep in mind that the fabric always needs a lining because the back is not beautiful.
Vogue V9367 is a sewing pattern for a classic trench coat or raincoat. A beautiful coat and ideal for transitional periods when the weather is not thát cold but also not warm enough to go outside without a coat. A trench coat is one of the classics because it has been 'in fashion' for years and a must-have for everyone!
What's in the name?
A trench coat is a fixed concept: it is a raincoat made of gabardine, twill, or poplin cotton. The appearance of the coat has its military origin and you can immediately recognize the trench coat by the double row of buttons, which are usually made of metal or leather (leather look). The raincoat has shoulder epaulets, flaps on the shoulders, regular pockets or welt pockets and a belt. The jacket can vary from short to very long and can be for colder days (with lining) or super thin for the summer.
VERY EASY Vogue V9367
The Vogue category says it all: this is an easy sewing pattern for beginners. The convenience is mainly due to the fact that elements such as the epaulets, lining and welt pockets have been omitted. The sleeves are spacious and are easy to sew. The pockets are in the side seam and are also easy to make. The instructions with the boss are clear and well-arranged. The trench coat is indeed a fun project for beginners. There are no pitfalls or difficult sewing techniques in this sewing pattern.
Tip: pay attention, the jacket is very spacious. It may be wise to choose a size smaller if you prefer the jacket a little less spacious.
The recommended fabrics are gabardine, poplin and raincoat fabrics. These fabrics can be found under the search terms: waterproof fabrics, water-repellent fabrics or outdoor fabrics. Please note that the 'outdoor' fabrics are not too thick or heavy. We think that you can also make the jacket from twill cotton or do you want to make something very special: from taffeta silk. Taffeta silk is sturdy and a free stiff fabric, ideal for making a jacket.
Make sure that the fabric you choose need to be firm: to create a bit of shape and stiffness. By the way, how about a print or design? That will make the jacket unique and striking. Do choose a design or print that has no horizontal or vertical stripes, this will be too difficult to connect the pattern parts neatly together.
Vogue V9367 is a simple sewing pattern for a classic trench coat. As a beginner you can easily make this jacket. As for experienced or very experienced seamstresses, you can expand the jacket by adding a special collar, by making shoulder epaulets on it, making welt pockets and adding a nice lining.
The result: a light raincoat that always comes in handy!
Panné velvet is a very cheap fabric. If something is really cheap, most people think: this fabric is probably not such a great quality. But this is unjustified. Velours de panne is ideal for women's clothing, skirts, nightwear and party wear.
Panné velvet - just for parties?
You may find Panné Velvet in the fabric stores in between the party fabrics or carnival fabrics. This fabric can also often be found in these categories online as well. It is also because Panné Velvet is made in many colors and often in bright, eye-catching colors. But if you were to see a beautiful colored Panné Velvet between the fashion fabrics, you would get a completely different picture.
Panné Velvet is available in black, gray, light gray, purple, light purple, lilac, dark fuchia, light fuchia, old pink, dark blue, light blue, jeans blue, cobalt, aqua, mint, dark green, olive, olive gold, bright green, green, kiwi, gold, yellow, bright yellow, burgundy, red, bright red, orange, bright orange, dark brown, brown, sand, ecru, and white.
Velor or Panné Velvet
Panné Velvet is a woven or knitted fabric. If the fabric is knitted then the fabric is heavier and it 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.
Panné Velvet is wrinkled, the nap goes in all directions and the fabric is light and very elastic. Panné velvet is also often referred to as stretch velvet. Terms such as Lycra velvet or Lycra velvet are also used.
Panné Velvet is a cheap type of fabric and ideal for Cosplay, carnival or gala clothing where it mainly concerns clothing that has to be tight and very elastic. It looks a bit cheaper than real velvet but is therefore cheaper and better suited for tight, figure-enhancing clothing. To make it even more complicated, or even clearer. Velvet can also be plain stretch velvet. It then has the same appearance but a small part of stretch incorporated. The stretch velvet therefore looks calmer than velvet, but is less elastic or stretchable. So you can recognize Panné Velvet mainly by the crease structure and because the nap goes in all directions.
What can we do with Panné Velvet?
We admit, the fabric type is not a fabric that we often use and certainly not for a Chanel-Style jacket. The fabric is not easy to sew, see our blog: How to handle difficult fabrics?
But we still like the beautiful fabric which is not only very cheap, but also very useful for certain clothing and other applications. If a sewing pattern indicates that the dress or other garment piece can be made with highly elastic fabrics, or lycra, Panné Velvet is also a great option.
For example, we have made Vogue V1520 from Panné Velvet in light blue. The dress is a beautiful Vogue classic and very comfortable to wear due to the Panné Velvet .
We also made a mega skirt of lavender Panné Velvet for studio Erik Bolding in Meppel. The skirt is ideal for photo shoots and apart from that, Panné Velvet is a beautiful decorative fabric for decors anyway.
The crease structure gives many variations in terms of light and can provide beautiful shadows. The nap of the fabric goes in all directions, so you do not have to take into account the one-way nap such as velvet and corduroy.
Panné velvet or Velors de panne, is a cheap fabric that is often misunderstood. The fabric can look cheap due to the bright colors and party-appearance. But you can certainly make beautiful garments from Panné Velvet such as tight long dresses, mega skirts for photo shoots or casual clothing that is nice and comfortable and yet gets a special look through the structure of the fabric. Mixing Panné Velvet with other (stretch!) Fabrics can also give a very nice effect.
Let's love Panné Velvet a litle bit more !
CHANEL is faithful since december 2001 to Amanda Sanchez, one of the two in-house models! The first person she spoke to was Virginie Viard.
She goes every day to the rue Cambon CC HQ to fit all the garments the house produces! She knows all the secrets of the trade, and the love stories of course! For the Summer 2021 pre-collection, Virginie Viard announced that Amanda Sanchez was the muse of the collection. This was my alibi to spend some quality time with Amanda Sanchez!
We go to her place and see her treasure trove of CHANEL bags! Twenty years of CHANEL bags! We do a blind test and I try to recognizee them. We go to CHANEL for a fitting and on the rooftops for Amanda's TEN RULES FOR WORKING IN FASHION. Hope you enjoy as much as the team enjoyed doing this video!!! Take care!
Editing: Konstantin Maslakov
Produced by Natacha Morice for DERALF
Filmed with Julien Coco Da Costa de La Pausa
Editorial: Sellia Nemassoa
Contact : email@example.com
Music : Audionetwork!
THE CHANEL STYLE is very recognizable, but it is less defined as well. Previously, the association with the "Chanel" brand was mainly a a perfect picture and an identical style. Nowadays the style is less conservative and sleek. The basic elements are still present, but there is much more interpretation for individual interpretation.
Think of "Chanel" and you immediately think of the colors: black / white, beige, the Breton stripe, a touch of red and of course beautiful but sober Bouclé fabrics and tweeds. The clothing is sleek, Haute couture, beautifully shaped and perfectly finished.
The Chanel-jacket can best be described as square yet beautifully shaped, made of Bouclé fabrics or (Summer)-tweeds, with many fringes, bindings and striking buttons with the logo in it. Furthermore, we all immediately think of many pearls, jewelry with the logo in it and of course the famous quilted leather handbag with a long chain as handle or shoulder strap.
But the Chanel style is a little more difficult to define these days. Haute couture and quality remain the key element, the logo is often also in sight, but otherwise it is just like anyone else's fashion house subject to the spirit of the time. A continuous renewal takes place whereby new generations, new customers are attracted to the brand. On the other hand, of course, they also try to retain regular customers and fans by continuing the timeless clothing and designs.
The philosophy of Coco Chanel
The vision of Coco Chanel is still the heart of the contemporary collections. But the famous jacket gets longer, gets shorter, becomes a jacket or becomes a dress, etc. etc. Endless variations on an endlessly beautiful theme. This also applies to all other basic elements of the collections. Think about the little black dress, it is constantly renewing itself, but the Chanel-character remains.
As time goes by, more and more variations are added to the clothing, experiments with other fabrics and even Chanel-jackets made of leather and plastic. Do you still recognize the typical Chanel style as an outsider? Yes, we agree and we especially like the concepts of the modern touch and variations. It is not static but the style 'goes with the flow'.
How do you create the 'Chanel Style' yourself?
You can rely on the sewing patterns we use and have tested for you. But after that, go for it in your own choices in fabrics and finishes. Creating the Chanel style doesn't mean sticking with the usual colors, fabrics and patterns.
Perhaps the 'Chanel style' is attractive by giving it an individual twist.
A few tips:
A Tailor's Ham
It has little to do with "Chanel Inspired" accessories but if you have some tweed fabric, it is a great option to make a tailor's ham for yourself or for somebody else. A tailor's ham or dressmaker's ham is a tightly stuffed pillow used as a curved mold when ironing/pressing curved areas of clothing, such as darts, sleeves, cuffs, collars, or waistlines. Pressing on a curved form allows a garment better to fit body contours. To accommodate tapering or garments of different sizes, it has roughly the shape of a ham.
It is also a perfect helping tool when you are hand sewing. Especially when you are hand sewing the quilting process or the seam together (the lining on the fabric) as we learned to do when we are creating the Chanel Inspired jacket. A small roll as model for the tailor's ham will be perfect to use when you are hand sewing the seams of the sleeves.
Tailor's ham are perfectly made from pieces of fabric left over, to fill the inside and tweed or heavy cotton on the outside.
This is why we are spending a whole page on creating a tailor's ham. We are not making a tutorial here, but we will give some perfect links or maybe in future make a free Pdf pattern.
It is actually very weird the Sewing Patterns companies do not have tailor's ham's patterns. Maybe they think it is too easy to make one, or there al already too many patterns out there. But it is not a luxury. every seamstress should have a least a few tailor's ham's because once you start to work with them, you can not live ( or sew) without them....
The tailor's ham's are made of tweed and heavy cotton. The fillings of the hams consists of remnants of fabrics. The fabrics are cut in very small pieces. The remains are crammed and pushed hard. See tutorials.
You can also fill the ham's with straw but we prefer the remains of fabrics.
Ham's come in all sizes. Ideal is when you are able to make a few ham's of different sizes. Also, as on picture 2: a small roll ham is perfect for using when you are hand sewing the seams of the sleeves. multi
The tailor's ham's can be used in different ways for both ironing and hand sewing. Handy tools that you can easily make yourself.
Vogue V8405 is a sewing pattern for four hats, lined and in four different variations. The sewing pattern is especially a fun experiment. If never made any hats... it is a great starter for sure.
The sewing pattern from Vogue is categorized as: Accessories, no designer is mentioned. The hats are offered in different variations. The variations are in the top of the hat (= top), here is a choice between round and egg-shaped. Variations in the crown (= crown) and the brim (= edge). From a fairly simple hat (Model B. to a hat with a lot of allure (Model A).
The sewing pattern does not contain any advice regarding your sewing skills. We think this sewing pattern will be easy to make is you have an average sewing level. The hats do not require any special sewing techniques but it is a bit tricky to sew in the round (sewing the top of the hat to the crown) and to deal with stiff fabrics.
The decorations make the hats very beautiful and unique. You can also add your own variations and, for example, opt for more color or larger decorations.
The recommended fabrics for these hats are:
You also need interfacings (preferably 'hair canvas' = horsehair interfacing), lining fabric (preferably stiff fabric), cotton, cotton mixes and decorative ribbon, band or twill tape. The last mentioned fabric in the list of fabrics is the best to start with: canvas. This is an easy fabric and stiff and firm enough to make hats. The other fabrics are just too soft and flexible. If you want your hat to stay in shape, you won't be able to do it with a flexible fabric and non-woven fabric. You really need a stiff fabric to keep the shape and to prevent the brim (= brim) of the hat from hanging down.
How do you know which model suits you best?
Every head is different because of the shape and the hair. One has an elongated head, the other has a round babyface. In terms of hair, it is of course also different for everyone. Some women don't go out without first styling their hair up with lots of spray, others have fine and thin hair and let it hang neatly and just as easily put on a cap or hat. It often takes a while to find out what suits you best for a model. Of course it also has to do with the rest of your clothing and styling. Do you like casual and trendy or are you more the classic type who likes to wear timeless clothing?
Your own preference and the occasions also play a role: will the cap or hat be for everyday use or for a special occasion?
Tip: put on hats and caps as much as you can to learn and see if they suits your looks. In stores (if allowed) or from others. You will notice that some models make your face and appearance more beautiful and others really don't look good. Getting advice in a hat store is a plus. The sellers have a lot of experience and immediately notice which type of hats and caps suits your face shape, haircut and personal style the best.
Making all the models!
I decided to make all models from the Vogue V8405 sewing pattern. This does not have to cost a fortune. You can use canvas fabric, interfacings and fabric leftovers. We chose the same fabric for all hats so that we could compare them properly.
At first, we preferred model A and one member of the team chose model C. So you can see that at first sight, everybody has its own taste. Making the hats was not difficult. The instructions are clear and do not forget to always cut triangles at the curves so that there is no unnecessary tension or stretch on the edges. Working with 'Hair canvas' was very pleasant. You can roughly thread this reinforcement on the inside so that it does not shift.
We did notice that the hats were larger than expected. You can also see this in the picture, the hats really slide over the face and are therefore a bit too widen.
Don forget to iron & press!
Iron the hats as much as possible to help the fabric get into shape. Provide a good tailor's ham so that you can press the hat around nicely.
Which model do you like best?
After a while all models were ready and eventually opinions turned out to be quite different. Model C was rated most, than Model B and Model A. Model D's top was rated the best as it is the only model which is with an egg-forming top. Model A tends to hang. Extra, extra and extra reinforcement is really necessary here, because even turning the top was hardly possible.
In the end we are most satisfied with model D (because of the top and the fit) and Model A: we will make some new hats with other fabrics.
Gobelin is the best hat-fabric!
A (the first three photos above) and model D we remade from Gobelin fabric. This fabric is very pleasant because it is stiff enough for a hat, but flexible enough for a sewing machine. Most sewing machines can handle even two layers with hair canvas in the middle.
Gobelin fabrics are often not cheap, but you can also choose to sew the inside of the hat with a different fabric. Or in a beautiful contrasting color.
Variations on a theme
Finally, we made model A again in an asymmetrical shape, made of a golden jacquard fabric and decorated with a lot of tulle. The hat is immediately a special-occasion hat and very striking while only minor adjustments have been made.
This is the nice thing about making hats yourself. You can make something unique, choose your own perfect model and give a hat as grotesque or as subtle as you wish.
Vogue V8405 is a sewing pattern for four models of hats. We recommend making all models first with a leftover-fabric or a cheap (stiff!) type of fabric. After that you will be able to check the size and especially the model that suits you best. Because of the beautiful photos of Vogue, this is very difficult to estimate.
The hats are not difficult to make, but choose especially stiff and firm fabrics. Cut out as many triangles around the curves as possible, to make the curves better, round shaped and press the fabric into shape as much as you can.
'The Classic Guide to Sewing the Perfect Jacket' is a great book if you are interested in sewing the perfect blazer. We talked about it before: Vogue V8333 is a great sewing pattern and study by Claire Shaeffer.
But Why would you want to sew a perfect jacket? Isn't it a bit outdated concept? No it is not. More and more classic clothing items are getting a complete revival. Mainly because we love the classics because of the concept of 'sustainability' It is the complete opposite of buying mass clothes as cheap as possible.
If you have a great shaped tailor-made jacket, you might wear it for years!
Let's read the book with a lot of information about tailoring the perfect jacket!
Tailoring, the classic guide to sewing the perfect jacket
Tailoring is the complete photo guide and instructions-book to sewing jackets and coats. Or couture jackets. Stunning photographs of impeccable details and creating the perfect fit. A lot of step-by-step instructions; all photographs. The photographs are clear and provide good instructions. Sewing techniques: fitting and pattern alteration, fabrics and tools, interfacings, interlinings, seams and finishes, hand stitches, collars, pressing, top-stitching, shaping shoulders, setting in sleeves, sewing pockets, vents, and making perfect buttonholes. A complete guide in a modern lay-out update.
About the Author
Creative Publishing international is a worldwide publisher of how-to books. The company's current retail offering includes over 300 titles on topics covering home improvement, home decorating, sewing, crafting, hunting & fishing, and photography. Over the past 15 years, CPi has developed high-quality photography step-by-step books with nationally recognized brand partners like Black & Decker and Singer.
Could be better:
Note: Interesting stuff: How to recognize a well-tailored or couture jacket....
Guestwriter: Baudekin Studio
20th-Century Fashion in Detail by Claire Wilcox and Valerie D. Mendes
This book is an amazing piece of cultural history of fashion in the 20th century. It shows various construction details of the garments displayed in the Victoria & Albert Museum. Each detail has a beautiful closeup photo along with a description. The photography is stunning and the designers picked are Chanel, Dior, Sybil Connolly, John Cavanagh, Andre Courreges, John Kloss, Mariano Fortuny, Madame Gres, Lanvin, Molyneux, Paul Poiret, Elsa Schiaparelli and many many others.
The book is divided into seven chapters, each dedicated to a particular technique: seams, gathers, tucks, pleats, collars, cuffs, pockets, buttons and frogs, beading and appliques.
The book doesn't give sewing instructions but guides you through time to show how the tastes changed over the fashion history. I love to see the skill of the seamstresses and artisans contributing to the beautiful pieces displayed.
My favorite part of the book is the clothing by Mariano Fortuny who specialized in pleated silk. His gorgeous gowns had very simple construction focusing on the curves of the body as the fabric followed the natural contours. This statuesque feminine effect was stunning.
We simply love Fashion-designer Stella McCartney and her vision on fashion & sustainability. Read the surprising and inspiring article on Vogue.com last days. She tells us all about her promises in this collection, which was 80% sustainable. She also used up the overstock of said fabrics she’s been saving for the last 20 years.
The Couture Faux-Wrap Skirt, Chanel-Style, is one of the most popular couture skirts because of its style and special characteristics.
It is designed by Coco Chanel for ladies "on the move" almost hundred years ago. A complete new design in the times when petticoat and multi-layered skirts were mainstream. The faux-wrap design did not need an underskirt. The lining is quilted on the fabric, which makes the skirt feel very soft, easy to wear with panties and in winter tick enough to wear outdoors. The skirt is in combination with the cardigan jacket meant to be the perfect suit; easy to wear, yet elegant and superb sophisticated. The skirt is softly tailored; based on light-weight fabrics and simply styled.
Sewing the Chanel-Style Faux-wrap Skirt
The skirt is relatively easy to make if you are an advanced seamstress and you have the time for a lot of hand sewing. The book of Claire Shaeffer shows the techniques and the tricks to get it done. But buying a good pattern of a wrap-skirt will be a good base as well. Working your way from the base till the end result and keeping in mind the time spending is a treasure (and pleasure). It will not be a one-hour-skirt-project and a one-season-fashon-item. But it will be a piece of couture and a slow process. And you will have a timeless skirt which you will wear for decades.
Updating the skirt or making it a very fashionable item, all depends on the length of the skirt and the fabrics which is used. Take a look around on the inspirations pages of this website or on the internet. The shape of the skirt, the construction and the couture techniques used will be your base; anything else is up to you and open for endless variations, possibilities and modern results.
Butterick B5466 review
Butterick B5466, Easy Basic Skirt
Sewing level: Easy
Fabrics: Broadcloth, Damask, Satin, Jacquard, Poplin and Tweed.
Notions: 7" Zipper. Also for A: Hooks & Eyes. For B: One Hook & Eye Closure. For C: One 3/4" Buckle without Prong, One Hook & Eye Closure. Skirt D, E: 9" Zipper, Hooks & Eyes. Lining.
NOT SO GOOD:
Changing/alteration of the sewing pattern, Butterick Basic Skirt, into a faux-wrap Couture Chanel-Style Skirt mentioned in Claire Shaeffer's book:
Couture Sewing: The Couture Skirt
Nice, thick, warm winter coats ... All of a sudden we need them anyway. Yess! It seems a bit too late in the season to start sewing a coat.... But it is possible. Sewing a DIY-winter coat seems like a lot of work but that is not true! We will help you to make a good choice in terms of sewing pattern. Let's start sewing!
Warm winter coats, so many choices
A 'warm winter coat' is a wide concept. You have those outdoor jackets to surivive an Alaska-trail and you have those beautiful wool coats for rare formal occasions. We limit ourselves in this blog to the so-called long coats. Meaning: long, warm coats but not those outdoor jackets for the extreme cold or sports activities.
Nice 'EASY' or a real challenge
You can make a coat as easy or as difficult as you want. The sewing patterns often indicate the desired sewing level, but you can see a lot yourself by taking a close look at the model and the details. Example: making patch pockets is not difficult. Making a 'Welt-pocket' requires a lot of experience. These are pockets sewed-in the jacket with a nice frame around it.
The choice of fabrics is also an important part. A uni-colored wool fabric is very difficult to work with, especially if you need top-stitching. If you choose a wool with an unregular design or color pattern, it won't be seen if you've made a mistake and a seam doesn't fit perfectly. Of course, this does not apply to designs in the fabric with horizontal or vertical stripes.
Wool mixes, flurry, fur and locking fabrics are a good choice if you want to quickly make a long warm coat which is not too difficult to get a quick nive result.
Fabric-love at first sight
Maybe you already have the fabric at home or it is on top of your wish list. If the fabric is your starting point, take a good look at the sewing patterns to learn which 'fabrics' you can use for the sewing pattern. You can read this on the back of the envelope. Pictures of the back of the envelope often appear on the Internet. The photos are often not very good but you can zoom in and look for the advice regarding the fabrics.
If you cannot find this, please take a look at reviews on our website or on other websites. Do you want to make a coat from heavy or medium weight wool? Pay attention if it is suitable for the coat. Or do you want to make the coat from beautiful Bouclé fabric or tweed fabric, take a good look at the recommanded fabrics too. Some sewing patterns are made for these fabrics, but others would be better of with fabrics like fur, flurry or thick quilted fabric.
Lining or un-lined?
A lined or un-lined coat is a big deal if you want to make a coat on short terms. If you want to make the coat in one or two days and do not like to make a lining in it, choose an 'unlined' jacket or coat. There are quite a few sewing patterns out there for jackets without lining. Often these are the coats of felt, duo fabrics and thick fabrics such as fur or flurry.
If you opt for a jacket without lining, finish the jacket neatly on the inside with a lock machine or with a beautiful stitch. And also be aware that the jacket can itch ... especially if you make the jacket from Bouclé fabric or tweeds.
Cuddle coat or chic coat
Do you want a jacket which feels like cuddling yourself or do you prefer a chic, formal jacket? There is quite a difference. Cuddle-jackets and coats are often oversized and can be worn over any wardrobe. Chic, tight coats fit nicely and you can't wear a thick outfit underneath. Even a jacket or blazer often does not work. Cuddle coats and big-oversized coats are very trendy.
Shawl collar, stand-up collar or classic collar?
Do you like scarves or do you often wear shirts with collars? Choose a coat with a classic collar. These will give enough space to wear a scarf underneath or to look chic and formal. But if you prefer a shawl collar, you don't need that extra scarf at all.
Coats with upstanding collars seem nice and warm, but you will often fight with your collar to hide your clothes underneath.
Fortunately, many sewing patterns often offer multiple options in terms of collars. The basis of the jacket is often the same as the details: collar, sleeve endings, with or without belt, and other variations. This is ideal if you are not quite sure yet about the details of the coat.
Capes are great
Some coats flow into a cape or are actually completely capes. Ideal to wear over a lot of clothing, but they are often not really warm because they are very wide. Still, capes are fun to make and handy to have. Choose one with arm openings, otherwise you will mess around with the cape when you need your hands. And think about the length for a moment. Wearing a very long cape, you will look like someone on their way to a carnival party or cosplay event.
A shorter cape or half-length cape are much more fashionable.
YOUR right size
Also make sure that you buy a sewing pattern for your size. It doesn't seem important to choose the right size for coats. You will probably think: well a wider coat is also fine. But that is not the case, if you choose a smaller or larger size because your size is not available, it can quickly go wrong with the shape of the coat. Suddenly the shoulders are way too big or the front parts are not fitting. Choosing a smaller size and making wider hems is also not a wise idea. The proportions are suddenly no longer right and you are surprised if the sleeves do not fit in the sleeve openings at all, for example.
Always buy the right size. Is it not available? Better to look for an other kind of sewing pattern ...
Sewing a nice, thick, warm winter coat doesn't have to take a lot of time as long as you choose the right sewing pattern, the right fabric and the right size.
There are plenty of choices of great sewing patterns. Making a long coat is often easier than you think. Just do it and you will enjoy the winter season in your own DIY winter coat!
In a documentary about the late British fashion designer Alexander McQueen (1969-2010), we noticed how the top designer learned his famous couture techniques by practicing, for years, on making the perfect blazer. Or rather: 'men suits'. It is a craftsmanship to make a good tailor-made suit and only when you have mastered it, you know how Haute couture really works.
Alexander McQueen dropped out of school at a young age and became an apprentice to renowned Savile Row tailors Anderson and Shepherd (see video below) and later to Gieves & Hawkes. He learned everything about making tailor-made suits.
Alexander is sadly died in 2010, but his suits are still as refined and as stylish as ever.
The documentary is definitely worth watching, more info:
McQueen is a 2018 biographical documentary film, directed by Ian Bonhôte, written and co-directed by Peter Ettedgui, and produced by Ian Bonhôte, Andee Ryder, Nick Taussig, and Paul Van Carter under the banner of Misfits Entertainment, and Salon Pictures. The documentary is based on the life and career of British fashion designer Alexander McQueen. " ( Wikipedia)
Men in black
There is no difference in making feminine suits (or just a blazer) or men suits. Yet, the costumes for men and often getting more attention in terms of the couture techniques. The suits are more expensive because of it and because of the facts the materials are top-quality. Another argument: men suits are less trendy and beloved for years. Whether this is still the case nowadays is doubtful because men's suits are made just as well as by mass-produced industries, which means: the quality is not garanteed anymore.
Nevertheless, the 'tailoring-made' suits are an interesting concept because the men's suit has been less subject to change over time than women's clothing. A traditional tailoring mensuit has a long history and many Haute couture secrets are hidden in it.
Just like in Coco Chanel's famous Chanel jacket! Time to study the inside and learn a lot about all the facings, interfacings and structures which are making men suits (and women suits) the perfect pieces of clothing!
As a hobby seamstress you will not have the time or desire to study for years on just one type of garment. But if you are able to join a masterclass, think about it carefully. It is quite a challenge to make a beautiful blazer and you will learn a lot about Haute couture sewing techniques.
An other idea: you can also treat yourself a masterclass or study by purchasing the Vogue V8333 sewing pattern.
Vogue V8333 is a Claire Shaeffer sewing pattern published by Vogue. We know Claire Shaeffer from the books: The 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 V8333 is not a sewing pattern for a classic Chanel jacket, but a tailor-made jacket. It is almost a personal workshop/study to learn many couture sewing techniques.
The perfect blazer
The Vogue sewing pattern is a pattern for a 'semi-fitted' (we do not agree, the blazer is very tailored and has a tight shape), lined blazer, complete with extra inner lining, princess lines, slightly extended shoulders, shoulder pads, pockets with pleated sides panels (no side seams), a shaped hem. Two-piece sleeves with buttons at the sleeve ends.
Last but not least: with couture constructions on the inside.
Recommended fabrics are: wool for (men's) suits, wool crepe or brocade. Stiff/strong fabrics are needed to create the perfect shape of the blazer.
Advanced sewing level
The sewing pattern has been labeled "Advanced". This is not a superfluous comment. You really need a lot of sewing skills and knownledge of couture sewing techniques. But it can be done and it is a great challenge.
We have created the jacket by using red suedine fabric. It turned out to be not such a good choice. The collar is not shaped nicely due to the thickness of the fabric. Our point: always stick to the recommended fabric! If we used brocade or pure wool, the collar would have been better in shape. Suedine is a very nice fabric but the collar does not work well because suedine is just too thick.
Moreover, the top stitch did not fit nicely, but was necessary because the fabric cannot be ironed properly.
The pleat at the bottom with inside-pocket is easier than we thought it would be. It also gives a nice shape to the blazer and the waist is really nicely designed.
The sleeves are also super nice shaped. Pay close attention to the sleeves. If you really stick to the instructions with extra care anout the interfacings, the sleeves will create the perfect 'couture' look.
We have made the jacket step-by-step as Claire Shaeffer explains in the accompanying instructions. We also went through the couture tips with a close look. And we learned a lot !! The result is not hundred percent good as we hoped, because of the collar that could have been better. But we are satisfied with the result anyway.
Vogue V8333 is not only a sewing pattern for a perfect tailor-made jacket but also a kind of masterclass or study. The sewing pattern designer Claire Shaeffer explains the entire process and is giving many couture tips.
The making off the jacket requires a lot of time, experience and techniques but it is a great challenge for every seamstress.
Apart from adding a beautiful timeless classic jacket in your wardrobe, you will be proud because now you learned to creat the real couture jacket!
Sewing your own wardrobe is great fun and environmentally conscious. Especially if you recycle, up-cycled or repair clothes yourself. But how do you know fabrics have been produced environmentally-friendly? After all, you need fabrics, linings and interfacing fabrics to create your own clothes and you actually know very little about them. Wool always looks 'environmentally conscious' and neoprene, for example, not at all. But is that really so? We have made a list of The Best Sustainable Fabrics!
The photos in this blog are mainly green and about butterflies. Why, you may ask? This is mainly because 'green' is of course the metaphor and symbol of the environment, sustainability and environmental awareness. And butterflies? Because we think they are so beautiful, because they are such wonders of nature and because they seem so fragile.
The diversity of insects and insects in general is rapidly declining. What can we do about it? Be careful about the things you are buying. Because everything has to be produced and most producers do not care about 'being green'. Fortunately, there are more and more products, companies and technologies which are more concerned about the nature and are producing their products as environmentally-friendly as possible.
Making your own clothes is nice and sustainable!
We are promoting 'sewing is fun' many times before at Sewing Chanel-Style. The reasons are known: you do not easily throw away a clothing item which is made with love, time and attention. Sewing your own clothes is also great because you have the possibility to create them perfectly fitting. And we make the most beautiful things of fabric leftovers!
There are many more arguments to mention. Local production is always better than buying mass-produced clothing and having it transported from another part of the world.
As a seamstress you often need fabrics and not every fabric is labeled 'sustainable'. Sometimes you need these 'bad fabrics' to make a sewing project. Fortunately, nowadays you can often choose alternatives and go for sustainable fabrics. There are beautiful fabrics for sale that are durable. Brand new fabrics and some of the oldest fabrics we have known since mankind.
Abaca is an unknown fabric in the fashion world, but will play an important role in the future. The fabric comes from a large type of banana tree that does not produce fruit, but can be pulverized into a fiber: manilla hemp. The fabric is very strong and lasts a long time. The fabric also breathes very well.
The so-called 'peace silk' is made by silk caterpillars that have first been given the chance to become butterflies (in contrast to other types of silk in which the caterpillars die during the silk production process). The production of the silk therefore takes longer and the silk is more expensive. But the silk is beautiful and animal-friendly! The silk is also increasingly called: 'Vegan silk'.
Bamboo is hot and bamboo is very popular. Wherever the 'Bamboo' label appears, appreciation for the product is increasing. Whether these are bamboo men's underpants or bamboo t-shirts. Bamboo is very popular and is used more and more. Bamboo is environmentally conscious and sustainable because it is a very strong plant that grows quickly, is resistant to many diseases (no pesticides needed!) And it requires few extra chemicals to transform into a beautiful base for many types of fabric.
Bamboo is used in tricot, jersey, fleece, cotton and even in viscose jersey. Bamboo also has very fine properties, namely:
Most people know hemp offers more than just the basis for a drug. But we always keep associating hemp with drugs and jute-like substances. The opposite is true. Hemp is a strong fabric that will last for years and is four times stronger than cotton. The hemp plant has a long strong fiber structure which makes the fabric so strong. You hardly need to iron clothes made from hemp and you can wash it as often as you want.
It's as if the fabric gets softer the more you wash it. Hemp fabrics often have natural colors but can be dyed just as well. The fabric is also anti-bacterial, absorbs moisture quickly and breathes well. The fabric keeps you cool in summer and winter. It even blocks a little UV radiation! Hemp uses only 3% of all the water required to produce cotton. That is also a very nice quality to be nice and sustainable.
Hemp is almost indestructible and should be much more appreciated.
Burlap - Hessian - Crocus - Jute
Many names for the same fabric: burlap! Burlap is a fiber made from vegetable raw materials and such as Bamboo and Hemp: strong, versatile and affordable.
Jute is suitable for multiple end results except for jute/burlap bags. While jute grows (fast!), It purifies the air and the fibers can be combined with many other raw materials. Jute is ideal for making carpets, furnishing fabrics and can also be used for clothing.
And anyone who loves making hats knows that jute (the slightly finer stuff) can also be used as a base for hats and intermediate material for hats.
Kapok comes from the cellulose of the kapok tree and is silky, soft and hypoallergenic. Kapok is mixed with other raw materials because it is not a substance on its own. It is used as a filling (fiberfill) for pillows, mattresses and furniture filling. It insulates and can even be used as an alternative for medical purposes, replacing absorbent cotton.
Kapok is environmentally friendly because it is completely natural. It can be reused many times without deforming or wearing out.
Linen is not only natural but also has a very natural look. It wrinkles a lot, but strangely enough this is also chic, because everyone knows this chic blazer or this beautiful suit is made of real linen. Linen is ideal for the summer because it is airy and breathable. Linen comes from flax and can grow anywhere. It also requires less water than cotton. And because it can also grow in Europe, it does not need to be transported as far. A big eco-friendly plus!
Linen is as old as the road to Methuselah and has never been out of style. A classic and we love linen!
This fabric-substance is a natural fiber from pineapple plant / tree. It is made into a luxurious fabric that is softer than hemp and shiny as silk. Pina clothing is lightweight and low maintenance. Pina comes from the Philippines and must be transported. A downside, despite the fact that the fabric is very natural. You don't hear much about Pina in our fabric stores. Often the fiber is mixed with other raw materials to form a different type of fabric.
Piña-tex is the leather variant and is used for shoes and bags. It looks like leather, but is therefore a 'vegan' leather.
Ramie is a flower and resembles cotton and linen. However, it is stronger and the crop requires less chemicals both to grow and to produce dust. It is a very old crop and is also called 'China linen' or 'grass linen'.
Ramie is extremely strong and has many positive properties: it retains its shape, it prevents wrinkles and has a silky shine. It is increasingly used to mix with other substances. Ramie is completely biodegradable! Ramie is often categorized under 'linen'.
Tencel, Lyocell or Rayon
Tencel sounds very chemical and new, but it is not. Other names for Tencel: Lyocell or Rayon. Tencel is a cellulose made from wood pulp from trees. It is produced in an environmentally friendly manner and already has one of the few substances with a closed production loop. This means that it is completely recyclable and there is no waste. It is ideal for clothing: it hardly creases, it looks chic and feels great on the skin.
It is the latest fabric that will become more and more popular (and more affordable)!
Organic quality labelled
Fabrics with an organic label are also environmentally friendly. This is often mentioned on cotton and sometimes on other types of fabrics. There are various quality marks such as ECO, BIO, Vegan and Fairtrade. As a consumer you can assume that those brand names are good.
Recycled fabrics are of course always environmentally friendly. They start a second or perhaps a third life. Regardless of whether they are produced in an environmentally friendly way, buying recycled fabrics is of course a good thing.
Do you know more sustainable fabrics? Please let us know and we will gladly complete our list!
Why does a seamstress need a sewing mannequin?
Is it really such a great product?
Is it really necessary to have your own sewing mannequin? YES!
A sewing mannequin is THE best friend of a seamstress! We do not mean: mannequins such as the mannequins on display in fashion stores, but adjustable mannequins. These are indispensable to make tailor-made clothing!
There are many types and sizes for sale on the market. It is difficult for a beginner- seamstress to make a good choice. Most mannequins look a bit overwhelming. Do you really need the accessories and do you really need to have so many options in terms of size settings?
Too many choices?
Which mannequin is your best-buy? What is important to notice and how do you know the difference between a good mannequin and a less good mannequin? It is important to think carefully before you are going to buy the mannequin. Do you sew clothes exclusively for yourself or for customers?
Time-saver and a critical eye
A sewing mannequin is a handy tool, not only because it will save many fitting sessions (=time and money), but also because you can continuously fit the clothing.
Viewing the mannequin from a distance, ensures your critically eye at the clothing. Moreover, it is a lot more convenient to pin off clothing. In particular, consider the benefits of tailoring the back nicely. No matter how creative and lean you are; it has never been possible for a seamstress to fit the in front of a mirror ....
We have made an overview with points for attention:
Facts and stories
A sewing mannequin (also called a manikin, dummy, lay figure or dress form) is an often articulated doll used by artists, tailors, dressmakers, window dressers and others especially to display or fit clothing.
If you need help marking hems or particular skirts; a sewing mannequin is the best help you can get.
Also if you sew for clients: a mannequin is perfect to fit the clothes every time needed. Most mannequins have several sizes-options, sometimes even 8 or more.
'No-body' has the perfect body; sewing mannequins are a great help for fitting clothes on bodies which are not-standard sizes.
While these forms generally have a much higher price tag (usually between $100and $1,000), their features and longevity significantly outweigh those of the standard display versions.
For one, professional dress forms feature more accurate proportions and are available in a variety of sizes.
Fashion designers sometimes use a technique called draping when designing and sewing garments. Basically, it involves draping fabric around a dress form and pinning it into the desired shape.
Retailers use various techniques to display their products so as to attract the potential buyers. Mannequins, help the retailers to draw the customers to their stores. ...
They are important tools of retail business.
They first communicate with the customers through visual merchandising.
Every Couture-house owns a lot of sewing mannequins and some sewing mannequins are even labelled and exclusively for important clients.
If the client gain weight, she has to inform the couture-house...
Guestwriter: Baudekin Studio
Silk is the most luxurious fabric that we can think of and despite various cheaper alternatives coming up on the market, nothing beats the real thing. The Haute couturiers often use silk suiting fabrics in their collections and fashion writers like to refer to these fabrics, like raw silk fabric, due to the fact that they often have a plain crisscross weave that looks too simple and the term ‘raw’ suddenly makes sense. But there is nothing raw about these fabrics because they went through a number of processing steps in order to achieve the sophisticated Givenchy-worthy look.
So, what is raw silk?
The silk noil and raw silk are often used interchangeably to refer to silk fabric with linen-like plain weave and slightly nubby texture. I wanted to find out more in order to understand the difference. Internet sources explain these two terms in different ways, hence the confusion. The meaning of something raw is being in or nearly in the natural state: not processed or purified, in other words, raw fibers (Merriam Webster).
Therefore, raw silk refers to silk yarns before any finishing processing is done, such as de-gumming, dyeing, breaking, steaming, pressing and lustring. (Clive Hallett) Think about raw silk as one of the ingredients that go into a soft, smooth and brilliant silk that you buy at the store. It’s like cocoa that goes into a chocolate bar.
Silk noil, on the other hand, is woven from the fibers (noils) that were left over after spinning silk which already went through some chemical and physical processes prior to spinning, such as de-gumming. So instead of discarding these remnants, they are collected and woven into a fabric with an interesting texture. This is an example of waste upcycling in the textile industry. Because noil fibers are shorter and weaker than regular silk fibers, this fabric doesn’t have that characteristic lustre although it still has a very subtle sheen.
The term ‘raw silk’ is often used when referring to silk noil because it looks unprocessed with its irregular texture. But noil silk is dyed, steamed, and pressed to give a resulting fabric that is appealing to fashion designers and consumers.
What is Matka silk?
Matka silk is an example of silk noil. It has a nubby texture that feels slightly dry and it has an elegant plain weave that looks like linen. The weight of the fabric varies from shirt weight to suiting which is also reflected in the prices. When you think of iconic Givenchy silk suits, this gorgeous fabric comes to mind.
Is tussah silk fabric the same as tasar silk?
Tussah and tasar silks are often used interchangeably. They only really differ in geography because the fibers used to spin these silk yarns are produced by the same type of wild silkworms. Tussah silk from China is produced by Antheraea pernyi silkworms which feed on oak leaves and it is a very common wild silk variety. The types of Chinese tussah silk used in couture are pongee, honan, dupioni and shantung. Because tussah can be easily dyed, you will find it in many different colours.
The Indian tasar silk is produced from wild Antheraea paphia silkworms which feed of various plants. (International Sericultural Commission) It has the same beautiful linen-like weave as tussah and similar slightly dominant weft. Natural colours of tasar silk range from cream to different shades of brown depending of the type of food the silkworms are feeding on. However, contemporary dying methods allow manufacturers to produce Tasar silk in many different colours.
Is ‘peace silk’ an example of raw silk?
A simple answer is no. Eri silk or endi silk is associated with ‘peace silk’ because the manufacturers claim that the silkworms are not destroyed in the process of making silk. (Clive Hallett). Eri silk is produced from Samia ricini silkworms which feed on castor plants (the word ‘eri’ literally means castor plant). (Mississipi State University) I am skeptical about ‘peace silk’ claims, but I am sure that there are producers trying to carve their niche in this specialty.
Finally, a few words about the most expensive silk in the world, muga silkIndian muga silk from the wild Antheraea assamensis silkworms is considered to be one of the most expensive silk fabrics, the gold of silks. It is only produced in Assam state in India. ‘Muga’ means amber (brown) colour, the colour of the cocoons (WildSilkbase). The natural colour of muga silk is dark gold, but it often bleached and dyed to supply brightly coloured fabrics for Indian sarees.
Clive Hallett, Amanda Johnston. Fabric for Fashion: The Complete Guide. London: Laurence King Publishing Ltd., 2014.
International Sericultural Commission. http://www.inserco.org/en/types_of_silk. n.d.
Merriam Webster. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/raw. n.d.
Mississipi State University. https://mississippientomologicalmuseum.org.msstate.edu/AnthroEnt/Textiles/Species/Antheraea_pernyi.html#.Xyx5N4hKjIU. n.d.
Silk Mark India. http://www.silkmarkindia.com/blog/?p=167. n.d.
WildSilkbase. http://www.cdfd.org.in/wildsilkbase/info_moths.php. n.d.
Gabrielle Chanel once started her career designing hats. Women were wearing ankle-length dresses and tight corsets and large, lavish hats. She drastically changed both the women's clothing and the hats. Women could look beautiful and elegant, according to her, without all those big dresses and hats. Her motto: women should be able to move, look classy, elegant with 'simple' designs.
Chanel's revolutionary approaches were taboo breaking and were received with open arms. Goodbye corsets, clumsy clothes and overly heavy lavish hats, Hello beautiful tweed suits and elegant little hats.
Making hats, a craftsmanship!
Now, making hats is of course an real profession. Especially if the hats are made of felt, straw or cardboard. As a semi-professional or hobby seamstress, you will not be able to create them easily. You also need specific tools. But it is not impossible to make hats and caps; choosing the right sewing pattern and fabrics will be key to do the job.
We have listed some tips & tricks for you. And sewing pattern reviews.
Make hats and caps? Yes, we can!
Why would you want to make a hat or a cap?
We have been asked that question once, but our answer is: why not? Hats and caps are like bags, caps, gloves and scarves. You can never really have enough of it. Moreover, it always looks extra neat and clean to wear a hat. It 'upgrades' an outfit completely.
But we have even more reasons:
1. Fabric leftovers? We are going to use them to make hats and caps. Zero waste is a great ideal for seamstresses who consider sustainability of paramount importance. Sometimes you can already manage to make a nice cap with very small pieces of fabric. And you don't need much fabric for a very nice chic hat. Half a yard of fabric leftovers? Enough to create a beautiful chic hat!
2. Making hats and caps is a lot of fun and a great creative process. It is not just sewing, but requires more techniques and insight with regard to shapes, shaping and sewing by hand. Of course it depends on what kind of fabric you are using to create the hats or caps. A cap with lining is very easy, a chic hat will demand more effort and sewing skills.
3. Decorate, embroidery, feathers and/or flowers. A hat may be decorated. A hat has extra appeal and even a cap is more fun with a decoration. Okay, okay, Coco Chanel wouldn't get excited about this, but we do like to pay extra attention to it. A hat with a flower, modest or over-done makes it much more personal and unique.
4. Finally: a hat or cap is a nice part of your outfit as you get older. In summer it will protect you from the sun, in winter from cold or rain. Don't think of 'an old lady with a hat' ... but it is a fact that hats and caps are a favorite item of women over 40. The hair is thinning, the scalp gets more sensitive.
Save your beautiful hair, your sensitive scalp and put on a hat or cap!
The first job
If you've never made a hat or cap before, start with simple sewing patterns and easy to use fabrics. We have tested and tried a few. Choose a model that appeals to you, but don't start too difficult. Build it up slowly, just like you do with clothes.
Kwik Sew K4107
Kwik Sew K4107 is an easy sewing pattern with four models of caps. Model A is great for hot summers. Fold the cap scarf and take it with you in your handbag. If the sun is burning, you always have the cap nearby. We have made this Model a few times from beautiful silk fabrics. Ideal and very easy. Moreover, a little 'Grace Kelly' style if you tie the scarf forward under your chin.
Model C and D are easy to make and great to wear. They are in fact slightly deeper than a baseball cap and do not look cool or vulgar, but chic and classy. Of course this depends on which fabric you make the caps. We recommend strong gabardine fabric, chic 'chains' fabric or even tweed and Bouclé.
The Vogue pattern seems to look more difficult to sew. The sewing pattern requires heavier fabrics such as wool blends, denim, canvas and suede or leather look. Still, the sewing patterns are easy to make and as a novice seamstress you will get there.
We made model F ourselves, see photos below. The model is asymmetrical and it is advisable to make a label or thread on the back, in the inside, so you will know the back-end and the hat will mold itself to your head. The other models are also feasible and look more difficult but are easy to sew. This is mainly due to the fabric used and the glamorous photo's.
A few days later we decided to sew the model A. as well, with lovely gobelin fabric. The hat is big and bright. The model is easy to make although it might look more difficult than it actually is.
Model F and model A are great hats and not so complicated to create, eventhough you have little sewing skills.
Vogue V8941 is a bit the same as V7460. The hats or caps are looking difficult but they are not thát difficult to create. It is possible, really!
They are made of tweed, wool blend and suede. Model B is totally super chic. The wool top overlayed with a lace fabric. In addition, the hats are adorned with bands, bows and buckles. It all looks perfect, but for a seamstress with average sewing experience; you can do the job!
Vogue V7464 is a sewing pattern for hats from the 30's and 40's.
There is no advice for the necessary sewing experience on all Vogue sewing patterns for hats. But you need a lot of sewing skills to create these hats.
The hats are made from silk, taffeta, felt, lace and tulle. You also need a lot of extras such as special filling, hat pins, stryofoam, tapes, edges and glue. A great challenge ! And absolutely wonderful, beautiful hats!
McCalls 2022 The Vault collection
Finally we would like to mention: McCalls The Vault Collection 2022. This number does not say anything about the coming year but is a number to indicate the historical and cosplay costume.
The sewing pattern is often not part of the regular accessories, but as mentioned under: historical costumes, vintage or Cosplay costumes.
The same applies to this sewing pattern as the Vogue 7464: it is a real challenge to create these hats! You also need several extras and the hats are made of: silk, taffeta, carpet fabric and brocade.
We have not yet tried them yet, but we will do so soon. Looking at the sewing descriptions, the McCalls 2022 seems to be a little bit easier to make.
Fabrics, notions and extra's:
To make hats and caps you often need extra fabrics you have never bought before. But not everything is difficult to find. You can go a long way with tulle, mesh fabric, horsehair lining and felt. You can buy these fabrics at any (online) fabric store. As well as hat pins (look at needles and pins) and buckles / closures. These are often the standard haberdashery that every store has in its assortment.
Foam and mesh: take a look at stores with upholstery fabrics.
Feathers, flowers, appliqué and fur can be found at party-stores or hobby- and craft stores. Also take a look at thrift stores. Sometimes you can find the most beautiful things here that at first seem old-fashioned, dusty and maybe even dirty. But take your appliqués, flowers, feathers off an old dress or hat, wash it carefully and you have got yourself something special.
More tips for this: How to find great items at a thrift store
Specialized sewing patterns
There are also sewing patterns brands specialized in making hats. You can find these under the accessories section of the sewing pattern store.
The Pattern Studio and specifically for Victorian clothing and accessories: Truly Victorian.
Making hats and caps is not only a lot of fun (and a challenge!) but you will also enjoy wearing them.
At first sight it seems difficult and almost impossible to create hats yourself. But if you start with simple caps and hats, you will soon notice it is actually easy peasy.
Do you have beautiful fabric leftovers and already a whole collection of toiletry bags, mobile cases and glasses cases? Let's start to sew a cap or hat and we bet you will like it a lot!
A lighthearted and elegant spirit animates the CHANEL Spring-Summer 2021 Haute Couture collection imagined by Virginie Viard. The film of the show was directed by photographer, filmmaker and graphic designer Anton Corbijn.
See more at https://www.chanel.com/-YT-HC_SS21
After you have made a garment, you want to show it to the outside world. Taking pictures for your Social Media, maybe for an online store or just for yourself. But how do you photograph your clothes in the best way? Many ways are passing by on the Internet.
We have some give tips and tricks for you!
Flat lay pictures:
Flat-lay pictures are photos of clothing or products which are lying flat on a table or on the floor. You will look up from above. This way of photographing clothes has great advantages because you can arrange the clothes exactly as you want. Various tutorials can be found on YouTube on how to do this best.
A disadvantage is the fact you do not see the clothes 'dressed'. It does not give a clear picture of the shape and as a viewer you may have to imagine how it will look in real life. The clothing is probably arranged in a way: making the sleeves appear narrower, creating a waist that is not there or making the entire garment look better than it actually is.
One of the reasons for taking flat-lay pictures is often the fact people don't want to be shown in the picture, for several reasons. For example because of privacy or because of the size of the garment. This way of presenting is also often popular because the photos are styled and look great.
Tip: add items that emphasize the clothing style to the pictures. A chic perfume bottle, a nice cup of coffee or a serious book. Jewelry or accessories. Styling the clothes in this way makes the photo more attractive for the viewers.
Detail photos are ideal to show if the garment has really specific or intricate details. This is especially important for seamstresses. Examples: sleeve ends, collars, slits or interesting buttons and pleats. Of course, the photos do not show the entire garment, but they are interesting to show to the outside world.
'The devil is in the detail'
Mannequin-photos are pictures taken by using the sewing mannequin or a shop window mannequin. That sounds easier than it is. It is not easy to make a good mannequin-photo. See photo above: the mannequin is not the right size and because of this, the jacket hangs limply on all sides and the jacket looks plump. A sewing doll has to be a bit correct in size.
You can adjust most sewing mannequins yourself, but a shop window mannequin often only has one size. On clothing websites, the clothes are often pinned and deformed until it fits nicely on the mannequin. That makes sense (see photo above) but not really the goal for a seamstress. After all, you want to show how the jacket turned out and without 'shaping' it for the photo.
If the details are invisible: zoom in and take extra photos! And of course: make sure you have a mannequin that is correct in terms of dimensions/sizes.
Clothing presentation on a person made of flesh and blood:
If you prefer not to choose a sewing of shop window mannequin but want to show the clothing yourself (or on another), make sure you look your best. Ask the amateur photographer to take the photos from a favorable angle; at a distance, not too close and preferably at sitting height. In this way it will not look like you are having tiny legs and the clothes will look better in proportion. You can still crop in height or width.
Take several photos and move around slowly. You can later choose the most favorable photo on which the clothes are the best (and you!) Complicated poses such as professional models often are doing is not necessary and might look a little bit 'over-done'.
A professional photo shoot:
You might consider to book a professional photographer for a photoshoot and make an appointment in his studio. If you have a budget for it and a lot of clothes ready for the photoshoot! The big advantage is the result: professional pictures and your website will upgrade in terms of appearance.
You don't have to be a professional model. A good photographer will give clear instructions and there is often a mirror in the studio so that you can see how your pose and the clothes at its best!
Professional photos are always edited. This does not mean that they will suddenly look unreal or artificial. As photo above: it is often mainly the light and contrast edited to make the photo look better.
In addition, some details of the clothes may be edited too.
Sometimes photos are edited in such a way that the background is replaced by a suitable background or a background that gives the photo extra allure. You can do this yourself with photo editing programs such as Photoshop or Gimp. There are plenty of tutorials on YouTube and if you study them, you will get skills to change photos yourself.
An other advantage: you will be able to partially manipulate photos if, for example, you want to eliminate disturbing elements in the photo or add texts.
Presenting and photographing your selfmade clothing is quite a job. Everyone likes to do it in his or her own way and often makes a conscious choice. Presenting selfmade clothes doesn't have to look super professional and no one expects it to look like a catwalk.
Going to a professional photographer offers many benefits and is often well worth the money. But if this does not fit within your budget and objective, it is not a disaster. Seamstresses prefer to see each other's sewing process, the difficulties of the sewing project and the results.
Whether you choose flat-lay pictures, presentation on a sewing mannequin, photos taken by your partner or by a professional photographer, be proud of all your work!
Baudekin Studio: Have you always wanted to make a beautiful skirt, but you don't know where to start? In this video, I will share the first step of sewing a skirt for beginners. I will show you how to measure yourself for a skirt if you don't have a partner to help you.
This is the first tutorial in my 'Learn How to Sew series for beginners'. Have you always wanted to make a beautiful skirt, but you don't know where to start?
In this video, I will share the first step of sewing a skirt for beginners. I will show you how to measure yourself for a skirt if you don't have a partner to help you. We will go over five basic measurements: front and back waist, front and back hips and skirt length.
When looking for fabrics for a sewing project, I always check whether the relevant (online) store also has so-called 'chain' fabrics. I love them!
Chain, straps or cables
By 'chain' fabrics I mean fabrics that have a design print of chains, cables and / or belts. Often this is also combined with flowers, fringes or bits of horse bridles. The fabric often has no more than three shades and, despite the busy design, still looks calm and balanced. It does not consist of panels, which is often the case with digitally printed tricot fabrics, but the pattern does repeat itself. This is hardly visible.
Colors and shades
The colors are usually based on black, brown or beige. The shades are often coordinated but can also contain bright colors such as red or blue. The shade of gold predominates so that the fabric always has a luxurious look. I love them because of the luxurious glamorous look and the resemblance to 'Hermès' style.
Which search terms can you best use?
If you are looking for the fabric, it is often difficult because the design does not really has a name.
Most fabric stores use different names.
Let's create a 'chains' outfit!
You can of course make anything you want from chains fabrics, but pay attention to the type of fabric. It is quite different what the fabric is.
Below are some ideas:
Pay particular attention to whether the fabric has a stretch content or not and check the sewing pattern carefully to notice if these are recommended fabrics. You can make anything from leftovers fabrics: toiletry bags, glasses cases, laptop sleeves and bags.
Finally, I have some styling tips. The fabric is often busy with design and it is therefore better to adjust the rest of your outfit accordingly. You don't want it all to look 'over-done', to look like a hippy or look like a clown.
Therefore, pay attention to the following:
Read more: Dressing up or dressing down
Chains fabrics are beautiful! But sometimes hard to find at the fabric stores. If you spot a fabric, let us know, we will publish the link or your self-made clothes!
You either love it or hate it: wax coats. But a fact is: wax coats have been worn for years by enthusiasts such as hunters, nature lovers, farmers, fishermen and horse people. Wax coats are functional and truly timeless classics. They are very comfortable, water-repellent and are very strong.
'Do they know bad weather'
Wax coats are originally from England, Ireland and Scotland. "Do they know bad weather" used to be a slogan of a well-known brand for a long time. Because wax coats are made of cotton with a special wax coat, they are water-repellent and also dirt-repellent. Wax coats are extremely strong and durable. This is also especially useful when you are a hunter, a nature lover or a horserider and you travel through the woods. A bush, thorny plant or a tree will not cause any damage. Most wax coats are very strong and they last for years.
Timeless, cool and beautiful
Wax clothing is ideal for many outdoor activities and outdoor sports. In addition, wearing a wax coat is a kind of lifestyle, sometimes also called: 'The English style'. It's chic, cool and tasteful. The colors are often brown, green, beige or navy and have checked linings. The coats can be made of real waxed cotton, but also of more modern fabrics that you do not have to wax.
Wax coats must be well maintained by re-lubricating the outside with wax or spraying once in a while. Please do not forget to use the waxspray outside and at a good distance. Make sure the jacket is clean first, by going over it with a soft brush. Wax coats are rarely washed, often it is not necessary because they breathe much better than real waterproof clothing and by traditionally wearing a sweater or cotton shirt / blouse underneath, the lining will not get wet with sweat itself.
Wearing a wax coat can initially be experienced as cold. But you warm up soon and feel wonderfully warm for a long time. For the real winter there are often extra linings for sale, which you can attach to the wax jacket by means of zippers or buttons. The unlined wax coats are ideal for fall and spring. The lined jackets are there for the winter and the extra linings are there for the really cold days.
Short or long wax coats
It seems as if there are only two models on the market: short or very long. In reality there are more variations in length, but short or long are indeed the most common models. Long wax coats are ideal to also protect your legs and the saddle when you are horseriding. Short wax coats offer more freedom of movement.
The prices of wax coats varies greatly and is highly brand dependent. Some wax coats are offered for less than a hundred euros, but if you want one of a well-known brand, you will pay a fortune. This is also because the jackets are often very complete and offer many extras. Lots of pockets, compartments, options and detachable parts.
Make your own wax coat
Can you make a wax coat yourself? Yes, you can, but there are few sewing patterns for a real wax coat. In our opinion, these three sewing patterns are best suited for making a wax coat. We looked at the possibility of making the jacket from canvas or waxed cotton, a clear and simple model and the possibilities to expand the jacket itself with extra pockets, hood etc. Specific sewing patterns for wax coats cannot be found. But a sewing pattern for a sturdy outdoor jacket can already be enough to use as a basis.
If you already have a wax coat that is heavily worn and 'off-duty', you can also tear it apart and use it as a sewing pattern. You can even adjust it or use parts that are not worn out. Think of pockets, inner pockets, maybe the cuffs and / or the hood.
We like Simplicity 59052 the most. The Simplicity pattern is extensive and very suitable for making a wax coat. Especially Model B. looks very good as the basis for a long wax coat. Make the jacket at least 20 cm. longer.
It's a fit 1011 is a nice simple raincoat and if you make it a lot shorter, place straight pockets on it and choose a metal two-way zipper, you will also come close to a wax jacket. The model requires some adjustments but is fine as a basis.
Burda 6360 (Model A) is more of a parka-like jacket because of the drawstring at the waist. But if you omit this, it also seems like a nice basis for a wax coat. The pockets in particular are well placed and sleeves, which consist of two parts, will fit nicely and allow plenty of freedom of movement.
Try to buy a real waxed cotton / canvas. However, it is difficult to obtain and sometimes too thick and stiff to sew. At Böttger we found a beautiful black waxed canvas.
You can also buy canvas, make the coat and apply the wax coat-layer later on, by waxing the jacket completely by hand, or hanging it up, outside and spraying it. Do this in the open air, and preferably two thin layers than one thick layer. You can buy wax everywhere, sometimes even at shoe stores, Bol.com or in outdoor stores.
A third option is to buy a fabric that is truly waterproof. Such as a good nylon or polyester fabric. However, we do not recommend this. The charm of a wax coat (and the comfort) is really that it is a wax coat and not a waterproof raincoat. You stay warm and you don't get wet with sweat, which is often the case with waterproof jackets, even though they claim to be 'breathable'.
If you are sewing a wax coat for the in-between seasons (spring and fall) then a 100% cotton lining is recommended. If you really want to go for the English style, choose a lining with a tartan design. This is available from Böttger fabrics. If you are going to make a wax coat for the winter, choose a 100% wool lining. At Böttger we found a beautiful woolen fabric, see above, middle photo. These are fabrics that you can fall in love with because of the quality, the timeless design and also the high wearing comfort.
Tip: buy a 35 cm. extra so you can make a scarf out of it. Super chic!
Waxcoats are normally close to the colors of nature: green, army green, moss green, dark brown, light brown, beige and liver-colored. But wax coats are also beautiful in dark blue (navy), black or even bright red. Traditionally, the lining is best in tartan designs. These are often sober in color but can also pop in red tones, bright blue and yellow stripes. We found the following canvas fabrics at Budget fabrics:
What else do you need to think about?
A wax coat looks simple but often has many options. For instance: then there is an extra loop for a dog whistle. You can of course also use this to hang a shopping cart coin, or a mouth cap:>) Anyway, a wax coat is a coat that you can use without a bag because of the many pockets and hidden pockets.
Tips you can think of to perfect your wax coat:
Long wax coats have very long splits at the back and there are straps at the bottom of the jacket, which you can put around your legs. This is because riders are wearing the jacket and the spindle gives room to hang over the saddle. The straps are to ensure that the front panels remain over the rider's legs and do not slide to the side.
Short wax coats sometimes have two zippers in the back where there is a long space, lined with nylon that runs behind the coat, as it were. The purpose of this extra space was for hunters to put in shot prey and to keep your hands free.
The older the wax coat the better...!
Why would you make a wax coat yourself?
But why would you make a wax coat yourself, a reader recently asked. The reasons are very simple.
Firstly, (brand) wax coats are really very expensive. Buying all the materials yourself (fabric, lining, closures, zippers, and cuffs), however expensive, are still a fraction of the real price you pay for a good wax coat.
A second reason is that wax coats are often 'annoying' in terms of sizes. If you think you are buying a tight jacket with a size M, it turns out that you fit in it twice. But if you buy a size S, you can barely move in it. And then we are not talking about the brands of which it is better to buy an XL than a size M. In addition, the size also strongly depends on what you are going to wear underneath. Do you want a thick turtleneck sweater underneath or do you prefer a tight ski pullover? If you buy the wax coat online or second-hand on the marketplace, it remains a big gamble in terms of size. Making a wax coat yourself can save you a lot of frustration and you can fit, fit and (adjust) again in the meantime.
A third reason, wax coats are often very standard in color and shape. If you make a wax coat yourself, you can, so to speak, make a flower lining in it or choose a bright color for the outside. You can make the jacket unique and very personal.
Last but not least: why not? If you have the skills to sew a 'Chanel style' jacket, a wedding dress or a complicated Cosplay costume... a wax coat will be the next challenge!
Read more on Vogue:
Listen Up to “Chanel Connects,” a New Podcast Series Focused on Culture