We have found a sewing pattern for a Chanel-Style jacket that is quite simple for anyone to create. Not only quite simple and easy, but it might be possible 'to sew the jacket in one day'. The Mc Calls 8540! A great pattern for a 'Chanel-Style' jacket in one day (our opinion).
Mc Calls 8540
The Mc Calls sewing pattern is a pattern for several jackets and blouses. There is even a variation in a lined jacket and an unlined jacket. The jacket has a front closure with buttons. The collar can be low or upright/upstanding. We have chosen model B. A simple sewing pattern for a Chanel-Style jacket that you could make in one day.
Which fabric is this sewing pattern suitable for?
The recommended fabrics are: soft cotton or cotton blends. Chalis (Rayon), Crepe, silk, jersey, woven cotton, lace or knitted fabrics.
Note: the recommended fabrics are not indicated per model. We assume that for model B (and A), only the non-stretch fabrics apply. The stretch fabrics will most likely apply to the blouse / shirt. Stretchy fabrics would make the jacket way too big. In our view, the model is not suitable for this.
Sewing level: 'easy'
The pattern is suitable for the novice seamstress. Indeed, we think that the pattern of the jacket and blouse are 'easy to sew'. The jacket has no pitfalls or difficulties.
As a solution to the downsides, we have added pleats in the jacket. This makes the jacket much nicer in shape. If you are a novice seamstress, ask for help with pleating, or use a sewing mannequin.
You can also decorate the sleeves by making an extra edge with buttons. (See last photo). We have used thick wool fabrics. This is a great fabric for this sewing pattern. Simply finish with width trims for the edges and yes: a 'Chanel-Style' jacket in one day!
Mc Calls 8045 is an easy pattern to make a classic 'Chanel style' jacket.
The instructions are very comprehensive and clear.
The jacket is ideal for making beautiful woolen fabrics (woolen tweed, bouclé), making variations in edges (width trims!). And using beautiful buttons.
Try to create folds/pleats in the jacket: waist and 'shape' it to your own shape! (See the difference between photo 3 and 8)
It is not a secret that Coco Chanel did not like 'prints'. At most a 'Breton stripe', but nothing more than that. According to Chanel, chic was mainly austerity in the design of the fabrics. Except for the tweeds and bouclé fabrics, these were luxurious and 'colorful' enough.
Either you love it or you hate it
Who likes prints? Most people love it. From tropical flowers to a 'tiger print', it can't be colorful enough. Especially in the summer we are crazy about to prints. It makes us happy and it looks great as a blouse or summer dress.
But read Ines de la Fressange's books and one thing becomes very clear: prints are NOT DONE! According to her, you will not easily find a real Parissiéne dressed with 'a print'. The Parisian style is more about the monotonous colors, the creative combinations of trés-chic and elegance of the timeless classics.
Chanel style jackets and prints
If we want to look stylish but occasionally deviate from the 'rules', then combining a Chanel-style jacket (self-made of course!) With a print underneath is definitely a nice idea.
Who says that this can't look be chic and casual at the same time? Bouclé and tweeds, but also summer tweeds, are often very busy in terms of appearance. The fabrics are woven and there is always a beautiful mix of colors and sometimes even patterns.
A blouse with a printed design underneath can easily come across as very 'busy' and a bit cheap.
Fringes, edges and prints?
Apart from that, the Chanel style is often characterized by a lot of fringes, beautifully finished trims and two or even four pockets stitched on the jacket. They should of course be the eye-catchers of your outfit.
Taking all this into account, we would like to point out that a printed blouse, t-shirt or even pants, under a Chanel jacket, is fine if you observe the following rules:
Prints will never go out of style and occasionally combining with them may not be 'Paris' chic, but again not as 'not-done' as suggested in many style books and guides on Chanel couture and Parisian style.
We love prints ... occasionally.
First of all, we all need clothes, nobody is walking around naked in our society. And the range of enthusiasm about clothing goes from total disinterest to a very exaggerated mania. From fashion haters to fashion addicts. From unbelievably cheap clothing to over-the-top expensive Haute couture. There is a lot going on about clothes. But why should you create your own Chanel style jacket?
Your own personal style
Your wardrobe or style is saying more about you (on first sight) than your curriculum vitae. Stupid but true. It actually always have been. Every generation, every culture, every time has its own standards, values, (moral) codes and fashion build around clothes. And what about religious norms and values? Or status/profession related clothing rules? It has always been a big issue.
From that perspective, talking about a beloved couture item is not such a big deal.
But why do we love the French Chanel jacket so much? Why do we want to know about the construction, the sewing techniques, the history and above all: how are we able to manage to make one on our own? A lot of reasons, not just because….
Chanel style and Coco Chanel’s vision
If we know why Coco Chanel invented the couture Chanel jacket, we would want to make it even more. Even though the Chanel jackets are shaped till perfection, in the early fifties, they were a totally new symbol of freedom after decades of tight corsets and an over-the-top hour-glass silhouette with almost unreachable waist size and pointy high breasts. The shape of the first Chanel jackets seemed almost boxy and masculine in that perspective. Chanel was indeed inspired by menswear but kept an eye on the total look of the suit or outfit which was very feminine and elegant. The jacket has its history and all women loved the new feeling of freedom while looking classy and sophisticated enough to be admired by everyone. The combination of easy-wearing and still looking awesome is something we always wanted. Let’s call it reason number one.
Luxurious clothes are just awesome
Number two is probably because we love the feeling of luxurious clothing. It is very easy to buy mass production these days and we all do it. Cheaper than cheap. Big deals. Bigger Shopping bags full of clothes or delivery within 24 hour.... Apart from cheap, fast and easy-going, we also love the idea of having something special, something unique and very personal. Creating a Chanel Inspired jacket is a very personal experience. Everything personal feels luxurious as it makes you feel unique and not just a face in the crowd.
Therefore reason three goes hand in hand with reason two. Reason three is probably the idea of being unique and having your own style. Style is very important for people and specific women. We want to show our taste, our status, our profession or job and our self-esteem. A Chanel Inspired jacket is a status and a signature and it is very stylish. If you wear your Chanel jacket, everybody will be flabbergasted. It is like being at your very best.
We are the makers!
Reason four. “Did you make it yourself?” Is actually not something a seamstress wants to hear. Why not? You should be so proud. It took “some” time and knowledge to make it yourself. You should be so proud! But yet we do not want to hear this question. We want to let people think you bought a real Chanel or you ordered some very luxurious piece of couture from a professional seamstress or atelier…. Whatever your feeling is, it does not matter. It is still a very big compliment because the jacket shows you have a lot of styles.
Reason five. You always have been very creative. It shows. You are very handy with needle and thread and it is a piece of cake for you to make your own curtains, pillows, trousers, skirts or even coats. The Chanel Inspired jacket is next in line. It is a challenge as there has been no challenge before. Finishing the project and wearing the jacket one day, will be a big reward. And maybe you already planned the next jacket-project for yourself or somebody else. Talk about creativity.
Reason six is almost the same. The Chanel Inspired jacket might be a tightly directed approach, but it provides a lot of freedom as well in being creative about the fringes, the buttons, the binding, the colour-combinations and even the length. You can spend more creativity in this jacket than in any outfit you ever produced before.
Personal fitting should be one of the first reasons. The reasons are not in a logical list here. Seven. The jacket will suit you as a comfy sweater lounge outfit. If you took the time to fit and shape it on your body, it will be very perfect.
To make this socially acceptable and a little less selfish, we can also report that it is all very sustainable. A big reason eight, although it could be reason one for sure.... The materials are often of the best quality and last a lot longer than the cheaper ones.
The construction of the jacket also provides the opportunity that it can be repaired or changed if needed. Sure it will be a hell of a job, but it is possible and it is an option if you’ve lost or gained weight or if it is accidentally damaged. (reason 9?)
The most beautiful gift!
And now the most generous reason. We are assuming that the seamstresses are making the DIY Chanel jackets for themselves. But it is also likely that you are going to make the jacket for someone else. A very nice niece is begging you for years now, a good friend knows your sewing skills and gives hints on a regular basis or some other beloved girlfriend wants to pay you more than you ever had earned before. Whatever the reason might be, it is very rewarding to sew clothes for somebody else. It’s a pity it can not be a total surprise ( because the fitting-steps really can not be skipped), but the gift will be a big thing anyway.
It will be very satisfying spiritually to do this for another. Enjoy the process and especially enjoy the moment when the receiver unpacks the package, try it on and she will be happier than you could imagine. (And pictures will flow around the internet soon...)
The receiver will be in your debt for a long time, and you will be the absolute hero for years.
Last but not least...
(Are we still counting?) Sewing is a hobby or a profession which is very peaceful. Women have been busy with needle and thread since the beginning of times. Mostly out of necessity, but also often as a relaxation in the form of a moment of rest. Crocheting, knitting, sewing, embroidery, they are activities that people like to do. Mindful meditation is a great way to reduce stress and relax. The results are mentally satisfying and very rewarding.
Last but not least (really….)
Talking about mindful sewing; producing this jacket is certainly not a hasty job. It will take hours, days, weeks, maybe even months before it will be done. Do not make a deadline. Just enjoy the process and realize it will be a slow-sewing project. Especially with all the hand-sewing which requires a bit of experience and skills. It might be even a good option to deliberately delay it yourself sometimes. Step away from it and start something easy. Come back to it when you really have the spirit. However you work, it should be fun.
How do you turn a (men's) shirt into a fantastic blouse of 'Chanel style'? Very easy. By 'upcycling' the shirt. Upcycling clothes is very trendy. The shirt can be an old shirt, a second-hand one or a shirt that has not been used and is waiting in your closet for years. Until now!
Upcycling clothes is more than recycling. In recycling, something is reused. A good thing, but upcycling is turning clothing or just fabrics into something different from what it originally was. Even better! Think of a beautiful but out-dated evening dress that is transformed into a hip cardigan, or even more creative: a curtain that becomes a beautiful summer dress. There are plenty of examples and how creative the average seamstress is, we could also see at 'The great British Sewing Bee'. Upcycling is popular because we do not like to waste materials anymore. Or things which are made to throw away instantly. And nothing is so much fun to shop at a thrift store for useful items and fabrics that you can use to create something beautiful.
A shirt becomes a stylish blouse
And so a normal (men's) shirt suddenly becomes a stylish blouse that also fits within our concept: the beloved 'Chanel style'.
Many variations are of course possible. This blouse is specially designed for a summer party or special occasion. The sleeves are made of thin silk-look fabric and the blouse is loose-fitting. This gives freedom of movement and a feeling of freshness. Moreover, you see less sweat stains on dark fabric. The blouse is therefore ideal for hot days, or when you can't wear a tropical blouse, a sleeveless shirt or a standard tunic.
We opted for puff sleeves. Very large puff sleeves. Are these still 'in fashion'? Well, we don't really care much about that. As long as they are beautiful, stylish and unique.
Puffed sleeves always create a special look because they have something bombastic and a luxurious look. After all, a lot of fabric is used and beautiful fabric is not always cheap. But if you have leftover fabric of a nice thin fabric, that is just not enough for a dress, blouse or tunic; then it could be still enough for two puff sleeves.
Or use that 'in-between-curtain package' that you once bought but never used.
You can find instructions on how to make puff sleeves on many tutorials on Youtube.
Or take a standard sleeve from a pattern, make seven notches down and draw on a new pattern paper the exaggerated head sleeves that will be created when you carefully unfold the pattern.
If you prefer an existing pattern, Butterick 6537, Simplicity 8127, Butterick 5217 or McCalls 8120 are sewing patterns that include puff sleeves. Making the puffed sleeves in the blouse is not a problem in itself because you can fold the head of the sleeve completely. So they always fit.
How to make this exclusive blouse:
It is not difficult to create an upcyling blouse likt his example. And time consuming? No, the basis is already there: the shirt. You no longer have to worry about the facing, buttonholes, pockets or seams. Follow these steps and you'll have a unique blouse upcycled with style in no time.
The blouse is now a unique, personal blouse and it has cost little money. The shirt is now usefull, the fabric for the sleeves is no longer a leftover. The trims had been in the closet for years, and buttons: many a seamstress have a lot of buttons storage. If you do not have a large stock of materials, we recommend that you to start your own haberdashery collection.
Upcycling: how easy it can be! We would also like to see your examples!
A crinoline is a kind of underskirt construction that allows a skirt to be worn wide, very wide and extremely wide. In the 19th century, they were an important part of everyday clothing.
Today they are made for costumes for movies, musicals and events such as the Fantasy Fair. However, for Cosplay, they are becoming increasingly popular. And don't forget the Gothic and Steampunk!
A bit of history
The garment was mainly worn by women between circa 1850-1870. Crinolines were used to give the shape of the clothes an increasingly wider ('more feminine') bell shape. The cage construction was made of smooth steel hoops that hung down from the waist and held by ribbons. The 'crinoline cage' turned out to be much lighter than wearing multiple layers of underskirts, as was previously used.
The crinoline allowed an excess of fabric for the top skirt. The skirts took on increasing proportions. Meters of fabric decorated with ribbons, flowers and strips radiated luxury, fashion and wealth. Sometimes a skirt contained more than 40 meters of fabric and a huge amount of additives. The hours it took to make such a skirt were countless and priceless. The latter were mainly for the nobility and upper class.
Prints and drawings from the period show that the wearers of skirts with crinolines underneath could get (and possibly appreciate) the necessary space. The skirts created so much distance that women could barely speak to each other and men could not even touch the women. There is a print depicting a man offering the wearer of a skirt with crinoline a drink on an extended tray. The crinolines thus caused 'social distancing', the word that has become a well-known word in our century, a few months ago.
However, the crinoline was also worn by women of the lower class and later even by every woman. It became a normal street scene despite the skirt making it almost impossible for women to move normally. The skirts took up a lot of space and caused problems on the street, in the church and indoors.
In the 19th century, the crinoline slowly disappeared into the background and the shape of women's clothing became narrower and tighter at the waist.
In the 1930s, courtiers attempted to reintroduce the crinoline. However, this failed. In Haute couture, crinolines are only seen under evening dresses, wedding dresses and costume films.
Cosplay, Steampunk & Gothic
In the Cosplay world we see the crinoline mainly as an underskirt for Japanese Animé. Ikoku Meiro no Croisée - 06 - Lost in Anime is a well-known example and Umi Sonoda sometimes wears short and sometimes wide blue skirts with a crinoline underneath.
In Steampunk, the crinoline is often not intended as an underskirt, but the skirt becomes an over skirt. The construction is often very tough with leather straps and heavier steel hoops. Usually the skirt is medium long. The colors are black, brown or red. The crinoline is often combined with a tight-fitting waist corset so that the shapes come from full (shoulders) to narrow (waist) and super wide (the skirt).
A Gothic crinoline is often long, down to the ground, always black or red, and is worn more like an underskirt. This is covered by a long shiny black skirt of a lot of fabric or tulle worn with a corset and the outfit is mainly finished with lots of lace, ribbons, bows and fringes. The Gothic appearance is mysterious, often showing 'the evil witch', 'the darkness' or 'lady evil'. The emphasis is on: black, blacker, black.
How do you make a crinoline cage?
You can make a crinoline cage yourself, but you will not be able to do it in one day. It takes a lot of time to find the materials together, to assemble the lines and the pipes through them. If you want to make a crinoline for an event, start at least three weeks in advance. Then you have plenty of time and you can also perfect the crinoline with decorations beautifully matched to the costume.
Step 1: Choose the materials
Get the PVC pipes depending on the sizes and the number of tubes you want to use. Cut them into four parts to be bent and joined together. Allow for a few centimetres for the spacers. Label each spacer so you know which hoop they belong to. This will make later construction much easier.
In terms of fabric, it is best to choose a firm fabric but not too thick. For a Victorian crinoline, unbleached cotton would be very suitable. For a Gothic or Steampunk crinoline, we would recommend a black textured fabric.
Step 2: Start with a waistband
Make a waistband a bit more spacious and adjustable. Leave the bottom part of the waistband partially open so that you can sew the straps in here.
You can also choose to make a waistband from thicker elastic or from an existing belt.
For a fabric waistband, attach eight straps that are the length from the waist to the ground (or the desired height) plus 6 x (the number of tubes) x 7 cm. You need this extra space to make the loops. The width of your crinoline is up to you. The thinner the more graceful. The wider, the more robust.
Step 3: Attach the hoops
Coat the PVC pipes you precut earlier with fabric or use them as they are. Then slide the tubes through the fabric loops you made and attach the spacers to close the hoops. This is a difficult job where you can use an extra pair of hands. If you want to see the tubes but want a different colour, you could also paint spray the tubes or wrap them with tape.
Step 4: Cover the top and the bottom of the crinoline
Finally, make the bottom of an extra band of fabric (30 cm high) and possibly a skirt over the waistband. You can only sew the extra edge of the fabric with the two hoops (tubes) through it. It is an impossible job to put the total crinoline on a table and use the sewing machine for this.
The crinoline is portable because it is foldable. You can also easily store the crinoline as it can be placed upright against the wall.
You can make a crinoline yourself. It is a sewing project that everyone can complete in their own way. Viewing a few YouTube videos in advance is a good plan. This allows you to see which method you like best. If you don’t have strong sewing skills, you can also purchase a sewing pattern which includes detailed sewing instructions.
Nobody likes to talk about it: but there are really fabrics which are hard to handle. The fabrics are difficult to cut, to fold, to sew. They can't help it either... But be aware: only start working with these fabrics if you have a lot of sewing experience.
Sewing pattern, sewing experience and the fabric!
What determines whether your sewing project succeeds or not? Often the combination of the sewing pattern, your sewing experience but also the fabric. Sewing patterns always mention specific fabrics that are suitable for the pattern. You can deviate from this in terms of color and print, but it is recommended to choose the recommended fabrics. (Logical!) Simply because the sewing pattern has been tested or made specifically for this.
Your sewing experience also determines whether your sewing project will create a successful garment. This is indicated in nine out of ten cases on the sewing pattern. The pattern is considered suitable for a beginner, a seamstress with moderate experience and a seamstress with a lot of experience.
However, just as important is the choice of fabric you make. There are very nice fabrics for sewing and there are fabrics which are more difficult. The difficult fabrics require a bit of extra experience from the seamstress. You don't have to avoid the fabrics, but if you read our tips, it will save you a lot of frustration or even failed sewing projects.
Tips for 'difficult' fabrics
Fabrics are always neatly arranged or type or by color in stores and online stores. Sometimes you can also search for properties. Is the fabric non-stretchable, stretchable or elastic in both length and width? Is the fabric smooth or very firm? This is all very important to know when choosing a fabric for a sewing project.
Rarely, however, is it indicated whether a fabric is 'difficult' to cut or sew. We mean that the fabric slips between your scissors, during cutting, or slips under your presser foot when you are sewing the fabric. Think of silk-look fabrics, velvet or smooth satin.
It is also difficult if the fabric 'fringes' quickly or even enormously. This is especially the case with Bouclé fabrics that are also loose-fitting. In 'how to sew Bouclé fabric' we give tips & tricks to handle it well.
Firm or thick fabrics can also be difficult. They are often difficult to fold and you will need a sewing machine that can handle really thicker fabrics. Think of jeans, canvas, goblin, jacquard or heavy wool.
Finally: elastic fabrics. Is your first sewing project making a bikini? Then ask extra help and be aware that sewing super stretch fabrics is a difficult job. It is also especially recommended to use a coverlock machine which is capable of making coverstitches. Finishing the seams in a different way (for example zig-zag) on a regular sewing machine will give a beautiful finish.
Haute couture fabrics
Haute couture often works with expensive and exclusive fabrics. These are of course very beautiful. But be aware that the expensive fabrics are often not the easiest fabrics for a sewing project.
We already mentioned the 'Very Bouclé' fabrics that often fray when you look at them. But brocade fabrics, jacquard fabrics and sequin fabrics can also be difficult. You have a chance that your needles will break on the embroidered additions / sequins on the fabric or on the golden lurex threads. Or pull the threads with you in your sewing machine, and your entire front piece is suddenly destroyed.
Take extra time for these fabrics and baste everything in advance.
In addition, with jacquard fabrics you often have to deal with patterns that are woven into the fabrics. Pay particular attention to this when cutting. Or that the front pieces fit nicely and the sleeves fit in the patterns of the fabric. This is really a job that requires experience and a lot of patience. Always buy extra fabric, then you can cut any incorrectly cut pattern parts.
Organza, Voile, Chiffon, Pleated and stretch lace are difficult fabrics because they are very thin and do not keep well in shape during cutting and sewing. Provide extra weights on the fabric while cutting and thin pins for the fabric. Buy special silk pins that are thinner and longer than regular glass head pins. In addition, make sure you choose the right thin sewing machine needles. A needle that is too thick can easily destroy the fabric.
Silk and taffeta fabrics are very pleasant to sew with, although here also applies: make sure you use the right pins and sewing machine needles. They fold fine, do not slip and ensure that you can work accurately. Silk-look fabrics, satin silk or mixes are often a lot less pleasant to work with. These are of course cheaper, but in the case of a 'Chanel-Style' jacket for example, the investment in real silk is definitely worth it. Moreover, the pleasure in your sewing project is not spoiled by a fabric that does not want to cooperate.
When making costumes for LARP, you run into problems less often. Most fabrics are based on fabrics such as canvas, jute, cotton, cotton twill, linen and sometimes leather. Leather-sewing of course a profession, but the other fabrics are nice to cut and sew. In LARP costumes less elastic fabrics are used because they were not there before. In addition, most fabrics must be strong and able to take a beating. LARP events are not just about posing for a photo, but there is often action and movement. Tough robust fabrics are key elements!
However, velvet is often used in medieval clothing. This is a difficult fabric because it is difficult to fold, you have to pay attention to the wing in the fabric while cutting and because the fabric slips during sewing. Make sure you use a special presser foot to avoid this problem and especially pin the parts very well. Better yet, baste everything before you start sewing.
The whiff of the fabric means that when you stroke the fabric, one side rubs flat on the hair and the other way the hair will stand on end. This changes the structure / color of the fabric. When you smooth the fabric, you go with the whiff, when the hairs stand up, you go against the whiff.
Take extra time while cutting and pay attention to the whiff. If the fabric is on the table, this seems less important. But once you put the fabric on as a garment, and the whiff isn't right, it can ruin the entire costume. Pay close attention to the WIRE DIRECTION indicated on the cartridge parts. So always buy extra fabric, you will need it to cut all the pattern parts correctly with regard to the fabric whiff. 'Fabric-saving' or cost-saving cutting is not applicable here.
Velvet is so beautiful that it is definitely worth it. However, if you choose stretch velvet or velor de panne, you have a lighter type of velvet and it is also elastic. These are not beginner fabrics. Ask for extra help and practice on test patches first.
Brocade fabrics can be very pleasant to sew, especially if it is not too thick. Goblin also sews nice and stable. These substances are often expensive. And make sure you order some extra fabric. The cutting will require extra fabric because there is often a drawing or pattern / drawing in the fabric.
Brocade fabrics can be thick or thin. Goblin is thicker; jeans sewing machine needles are a must.
Cosplay uses more lace, silk and stretch fabrics. This is easily done with mediocre sewing experience. If the costumes are more Fantasy and Steampunk-esque, make sure not to choose too thick fabrics or leather, if you do not have a special leather sewing machine. A lighter leather look is a better alternative and also less expensive.
Stretch lace is not an easy job, but the same applies here: baste everything in advance and then sew everything together. This extra action ensures that it succeeds in flat that your sewing project ends in the trash. Where possible: work by hand instead of the sewing machine.
Satin is not pleasant to sew with. A finer alternative is taffeta silk or real silk. These last two fold better and sew very pleasantly.
If you need a lot of fabric for a costume, such as with our Star Wars Kylo Ren costume, you can choose Garbadine or a cheaper alternative: Texture or Terlenka. These fabrics work fine, do not shrink and can take a beating.
Texture fabrics are often categorized under 'party fabrics' at online fabric stores. Do not let this be confusing. Texture of Terlenka are fine fabrics and are a great base for costumes.
Sample patches and alternatives
There is often an alternative for every fabric. Of course you cannot replace a recommended stretch fabric with a non-stretch fabric, but solutions can be found. Ask for advice in the store, ask the customer service of the online store or an experienced seamstress. Anything better than getting frustrated and quitting your sewing project. That would be a real pity and is often not necessary.
It is often possible to request a sample of the fabric. It can save you a lot of trouble.
Always buy a little extra fabric. Here you can practice in advance and test sewingmachineneedles or find the right stitch. It can also be reassuring that you have some extra fabric, in case something goes wrong while sewing or cutting the fabric.
Fabrics are often chosen or based on color and print. But the property of a fabric is even more important. Some fabrics are a lot more difficult to cut and sew than others. Be aware of this when choosing a fabric. When in doubt, request a sample or sew a sample first. A good sewing pattern, your experience as a seamstress and the right fabric determines whether a sewing project delivers a good result.
Good luck !
Ofcourse it will be bloody perfect to use Vintage Chanel buttons for your diy-couture-garment. But how to recognize these beautiful buttons-jewels? 'Buttons-jewels' says it all: most real authentic Chanel buttons are really jewels !
Chanel once started to produce buttons hand-made mainly from fabric. These couture-made fabric buttons are now very rare. These fabric buttons are often recognizable by the lion's head in the middle. A lot of buttons before the 1970s will actually have a lion’s head embossed on them.
Chanel buttons are also known for their logos of the letters C, the perfume bottles and even the famous jackets.
Chanel buttons are ALWAYS of quality and durable material. Metal, mother-of-pearl, rhinestones and jewels. Coco Chanel also used the Camellia flower as Theme. These Camillia flower buttons are mostly black/gold or white.
Real authentic Chanel buttons
Authentic Chanel buttons are (rarely) on the market, because they are produced in small amounts and mostly made to match the unique garments. Vintage real authentic buttons are difficult to recognize because they used to match the garments perfectly. They are very expensive and for a collector of great value.
New Chanel buttons do not have stamping on the back. Vintage authentic Chanel buttons have stamping on the back. New Chanel buttons are often copied in China and very similar to the real (new) Chanel buttons.
Real Chanel buttons (especially the Vintage onces) are looking like little jewels.
Fake and copies
Fake or copy-Chanel buttons are often lighter, of cheaper material and less subtle. Almost any copy-Chanel button is called a real Chanel-button. It all depends on where they are for sale. Do not expect treasure authentic Chanel buttons for sale on big internet selling-markets/websites.... If you can not believe it is real.... it probaby isn't....
Not real authentic Chanel buttons, but we love:
Haute couture means "high sewing" or "high dressmaking" or "high fashion". It is the creation of exclusive custom-fitted clothing. Also mentioned: high-end-fashion. In either terms, most important is the fact the clothes are constructed by hand from start to finish.
Haute couture is made from high-quality, expensive, often unusual fabrics. The outerfabric but also the linings, interfacing and all the notions as. well. We are talking about real Silk, real metal, wooden or pearl buttons and the best of the best notions: zippers, hocks, the label-material etc. It is in the detail, so even the price-labels, size-labels etc. are full of details, copyright protected names etc.
Work, and work....
Haute couture is sewn with extreme attention to detail and finished by the most experienced and capable sewers. They are often using time-consuming, hand-executed techniques. The difference between basic sewing and couture sewing is a big difference. Mainly the time invested, the location of the ateliers (or factories) and mostly the seamstress. The couture houses are working with very skilled seamstress. Before somebody is allowed to cut the expensive fabrics or to sew an ordered piece of couture by a very wealthy client: they have to be big professionals.
Haute OR couture?
Haute is the name. Haute refers to 'high 'the best' , 'the most professional' etc. Haute couture means the best of the best. Haute translates literally to "high".
A haute couture garment is:
But what about Prêt-à-Porter ?
The real difference between Prêt-à-Porter and Haute couture: Prêt-à-Porter = ready-to-wear. The same beautiful couture garment is not created for an exclusive client but in standard-sizes. The clothes are for sale for those who can afford them. Well, it still means the cloths are extremely expensive, but they are for sale....
Chanel couture, if you win the lottery?
Yes, it is expensive with capitals. We all know a lipstick costs already 30.00 euro even though you can buy a perfect lipstick for 10.00 euro of the other brands. Mainly you pay for the label-name, the package, the smell, the luxury image and above all: a special feeling to have a CHANEL-lipstick!
We all know about the handbags. If you own a real 2.55 Chanel handbag, you are walking around with a real investment. Most handbags starts around 5.000 euro and for some (new) models you have to get on a list, wait for months, maybe even years.
And now: imagine the couture: Day wear usually starts at around euro 10.000, though it does depend on the brand Chanel Haute Couture usually cost between euro 50.000-100.000, while bridal can easily cost euro 100.000-150.000. So start saving money, or better: start to learn how to create couture yourself.
HAUTE COUTURE YOURSELF!
Couture houses or labels don't mass-produce. They'll make 100 garments a year instead of 1.000, or even instead of mass production to sell the clothes allover the world.... So now you understand WHY the real Haute couture is so extremely expensive.
The choice between real couture and mass-production cheap clothes is easy. you have to get dressed, so you have to buy what's available down the streets or on the internet.
BUTTTT...... start sewing yourself and you are able to create your own Haute couture.
13 reasons why you should make your own Chanel-style jacket
How to know if you have a real Vintage-Chanel jacket or a fake one?
What is that trend: Upcycling?
Upcycling is a relatively new term and has been used since the late 1990s. It has only been known to the general public in recent years. The term is becoming increasingly popular.
Recycling has long been known to all of us. We have been storing old paper for years because it can be used to make new paper. We collect glass, because it is used to make new glass. Environmentally conscious is the key word. Do not throw away anything that can be used again!
Upcycling is actually the same as recycling. Old, worn or unused items are reused, and become more beautiful or have a different purpose. Examples; bicycle bags are made from inner tubes, garden furniture is made from pallets, bags, pillows, plaids or mobile covers are created from old worn clothing. Take a look at Etsy and see how resourceful creatives are among us today.
Upcycling is actually something that seamstress have been doing for years. Why would you throw away something that just doesn't fit, is not comfortable or is heavily out of fashion. We just 'adjust' it!
Take a shirt: cut the sleeves to pieces, make large power sleeves with other fabric or put a nice embroidery on it. Suddenly that boring blouse is hip and hotter than your daughter again ... (the latter only in 'chic' style, haha)
Or suppose you have bought a beautiful dress but it is not comfortable or just does not look nice .... You do not throw that beautiful fabric away? Hops, scissors in and we just make something else out of it.
And what about all those beautiful quilts and patchwork quilt? All made from scraps of fabric that might otherwise have been thrown away!
We are upcyclinging for a while now, but recently we do it with more pleasure than ever!
While testing the Veritas Florence embroidery machine, we found out how much fun embroidery is, and how cool it is to pimp up your clothes.
And now the embroidery machine Bernette D70 Deco is being tested!
Embroidery is boring? Well no! More fun, sustainable and chic than ever.
Blog photo: a nice turquoise dress from the front page of the Bernette D70 Deco manual. The embroidery speaks for itself: after this 'update', a simple turquoise dress will look unique, chic, classy and more durable than ever.
How to make a weight blanket.
Maybe you have heard about it, or maybe a 'weight blanket' doens't ring a bell... We are going to talk about a WEIGHT BLANKETS. More specific: how to make a weight blanket. Does this sewing-project belong on the website SewingChanelStyle? Mmmm .... actually not. But we do it anyway, because we are simply too enthusiastic and also love to sleep well.
What is a weight blanket?
First an explanation here. A weight blanket is a heavy blanket. Most people find it delicious to sleep under a heavy woolen blanket. Not only because of the warmth, but more the idea of lying under something heavy. Duvets are now as light as a feather, nice and cool in the summer, but we often miss the feeling of something covering our sleeping body.
We are not going to show science reports etc., but we will mention some experience-facts.
Weight blankets just feel good. Mothers with hypersensitive children or children with sleeping problems, swear by it. And we love them too.
A weighting blanket covers well on and 'around' the sleeping person. The weight creates more pressure and this makes it easier to relax and fall asleep. You will sleep as a stone.
"A very deep sleep".
On the Internet, the weight blankets even claims to be ideal for people with autism, add / adhd, dementia, spasms, serious behavioral problems, hyperactivity and people with relaxation problems (such as Huntington and Korsakov).
Make it yourself!
However, weight blankets are expensive. This is mainly due to the materials and the great unfamiliarity with weight blankets. And that's wy we are going to make one ourselves. An inspiring challenge. Let's start!
What do you need to sew a weight blanket?
How to sew a weight blanket:
You cut (or better: tear) the two pieces of fabric in the right dimensions. Do not make the blanket too large. Then the blanket becomes very heavy and unmanageable. A size measurement of the length of the person and the width of max. 1.25 meters is more than enough. Children's weight blankets are often much smaller.
Sew the two pieces together with the good sides together on the length sides and bottom (= three sides), turn over, spread the seams and sew. Leave the top open.
Now you can draw 20 cm wide surfaces with textile chalk along the length of the blanket. And in width-lengths.
Stitch the lengths of the boxes.
After this, you fill the boxes with two and a half or three scoops of granulates to the maximum. (Depending on whether you want a really heavy blanket of around 9 pounds, or a less heavy blanket of around 5 pounds).
You now take the blanket with your hands on top and shake the blanket well. The pellets are now in the compartments below. After this, carefully sew the strip across the width. Be careful not to cross a grain with the sewing machine. This is not that healthy for the needle ...
Sew all this with the fabric on the left side of the sewing machine and on a large table. It is very nice if the sewing machine has an extra seat or quilt table.
Repeat this process until you reach the top row. It is becoming increasingly difficult because the blanket is now heavy and it can be difficult with the grains. But being patient is a good thing. Work neatly and slowly, this prevents frustration and a home or sewingroom full of granules ...
Finally, close the top with a beautiful decorative edge or fold inwards. You can also leave a flap of fabric on if you would like to be able to tuck the blanket between the mattress on the foot sides.
Finally, wipe away the remaining textile chalk with a piece of cotton and scrub the blanket well a few times.
Making a weighting blanket is not that difficult. It is a sewing project that requires neat work, a lot of patience, space and material.
But at least you will sleep like never did before ...
My name is Vanessa, I’m 42 and from Derbyshire. Having developed epilepsy at an early age I then suffered a stroke at the age of 10, which has left me with no use of my right hand and limited use of my right leg. I had to learn to read, write (this time left handed) and walk all over again.
As time has gone on, I find myself suffering back, hip and knee pain due to the way I walk, therefore I now use a mobility scooter to get around, as I cannot walk too far. I have never let my disability get the better of me and I always endeavour to try new things which will test my abilities and I fell in love with sewing.
Sewing one handed is very challenging especially when it comes to sewing by hand where I really need two hands. For this I have the assistance of either my mum or my hubby to hold the material while I sew. I have recently purchased a third hand sewing clamp, but it does not arrive until mid-July. If it helps I will purchase another two or three to have one either-end, and two across the back of my hand sewing table (3rd hand clamp £13.99 from Amazon). There are cheaper ones but I find that cheap usually means poor quality.
When it comes to cutting out, I open up my dining table to full size and lay out my pattern first and weigh it down along either side of the cut line. I move the weights around accordingly until the pattern has been cut out. A good sharp pair of sewing scissors are required. I use special left handed scissors, for which my husband is banned from using. I use proper sewing weights that my mum bought me for Christmas, they look like macaroons. I find the more weights the better, with one hand, so I usually use anything I have to hand at the time, such as a teapot, book, I have even used a tin of tuna. Once the pattern has been cut out, I remove it from the table and lay out my material face down (right sides together) and then carefully pin on my pattern cut outs, ensuring the sewing pattern pieces face the same direction on the material sewing pattern.
My room is laid out with a small table for hand sewing, a dedicated Horn Sewing Machine Table with a Janome insert and a table for my over-locker.
I love to try new techniques and work out how to do them with one hand. I have so far made 7 dresses, 4 skirts, 3 tops, a cardigan and a pair of pyjama bottoms for my husband. Some of my dresses were done using vintage designs, as I love the styles of the 1940’s and 1950’s. For my next project I’m going to make a blouse. I’m an avid watcher of the sewing bee (would love to meet Patrick Grant) and subscribe to Love Sewing magazine and I often buy and read sewing books.
If there are any one handed sewers out there, I would love to hear from you and share techniques for getting over those obstacles, two handed sewers find easy.
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Pardon my English