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.
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!
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