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.
Sustainability is very important to us, and we were very happy to receive a nice tip from a reader. "Have you heard of Christy Dawn?" No, we didn't have... but we wanted to know more about this new clothing brand. It claims to respect the environment and even to contribute to improve the ecosystem. Let's talk about Christy Dawn!
Authentic couture Chanel jackets are priceless. This is not surprising because they are exclusively tailor-made for the rich and famous. Making a Chanel-style jacket yourself is a dream for many seamstresses. However, this is not cheap either because the Bouclé and Tweed fabrics are often expensive. But we have managed to make a 'BUDGET Chanel-style jacket' for inspiration!
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!
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.
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.
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!
Bridgerton is an American drama series created by Chris Van Dusen and produced by Shonda Rhimes and is on Netflix since December 2020. It is based on Julia Quinn's novels. It takes place around 1813 in the competitive world of Regency London at the debutante ball: regency dresses, gloves and umbrellas. Daughters of aristocratic backgrounds make their debut in the hope of securing a suitable marriage partner.
But Bridgerton is not just a costume drama as we have seen in the past such as Downton Abbey, Amadeus, The King's speech, The remains of the day and Pride & Prejudice. Bridgerton is innovative in terms of casting. The cast is multi-cultural and it fits perfectly into the story.
In addition, we all enjoy Bridgerton exactly at the right moment. We are in a dark time because of the Pandemic and most people have been living in their hoodies and sweatpants for months. And suddenly there is a delightful series in which the costumes look dramatically large, extremely beautiful and almost unreal.
We cannot run from a Pandemic, in fact, we are all trapped in our home or our limited work-related-circle or 'social bubble'. We have to get the Pandemic under control and prevent it from spreading around. Of course, everyone knows it won't last forever, even though it feels like it. But we can escape and enjoy our digital life, a good book or great movies and series. Like Bridgerton!
Costumes and dressing up big time!
The life at Bridgerton's is so different that it seems almost unreal. Beautiful settings, people and even better: the costumes and accessories. While we are walking in the streets with masks and plastic gloves, the Bridgerton artistocracy walks with umbrellas, mega dresses (with crinoline cages underneath), hats and long, flawless white or lace gloves.
When was the last time we dressed up so chic, or did we do our very best to look neat and clean? It seems a long time ago.... The twenties of this century, so far, do not look like 'the roaring twenties' (of the last century) at all....
Dressing up, in dark times
In this corona crisis, is hardly applicable anymore. Why should we? Many people opt for convenience and comfort. But dressing up also has to do with joie de vivre, self-confidence, self-esteem and ambition.
As we wrote in: Living in a bubble, we now live and work digitally, but we are definitely seen. Behind the screen during Facetime conversations, by means of selfies for Instagram or during meetings on Zoom. A nice blouse with a bow or brooch, or a homemade Chanel-style jacket, shows a different attitude than a sweater or hoodie with a just-out-of-bed hairstyle.
Read more: Dressing up or dressing down
Bridgerton as inspiration
But for now, fortunately, we have Bridgerton to escape from the abnormally-normal now-a-days world. We live in our comfortable - dressing down clothes for months.... And while we are enjoying ourselves watching the innovative costume drama, why not make something ourselves? Just for fun, or for the future (party)?
Our suggestions for you to get creative:
While we are enjoying the Netflix series Bridgerton and the beautiful costumes, we realize once again how we are live during the Pandemic and lockdown(s). We hardly make any effort to look good. Comfort is more important than chic, and that is of course practical. Dressing down is also part of life and has become almost standard in this corona time ...
But 'Dressing up' says a lot about you as a person and is always possible. Use the beautiful series as inspiration and make something beautiful for yourself, for now or later. We won't be walking down the street in crinolines or mega costumes, but sometimes it's not just about the result, but also about the feeling and of course the challenge of the sewing process!
At this time of the year it is always nice to have those comfortable jackets or cardigans you can quickly put on. Just in case you have to go out of the door. Or in case you need an extra layer in the house. We have made a stylish coat that is slightly different from a bathrobe, but is not a real coat either.
Bathrobe or real coat?
You could walk around all day in a bathrobe. Especially if it is made of lovely soft terry cloth, like our bathrobes in this blog of the sewing pattern Simplicity 1562. This sewing pattern is for a bathrobe. But the pattern is just as useful for a bathrobe with more of the look of a regular coat. The only difference is that there is no lining, pockets, inner pockets, zippers, buttons etc. Nevertheless, it is an ideal sewing pattern for a nice jacket that is very comfortable. Bet this will be a favorite piece of your wardrobe or a CLASSIC!
For this inner and/or outer jacket we were inspired by the many coats we saw on catwalks for the autumn and winter season. Coats were mainly worn as an extra layer and as a wrap. Wide, long coats for a complete outfit. In terms of style: big collars, shawl collars and often in a simple, classic shape. Wide, comfortable and quite casual. Jackets to 'live' in both indoors or outdoors.
The Pied-de-poule or Houndstooth design is also very fashionable this year and a timeless classic anyway. But we looked more at checkered designs because Pied-de-poule is a design that you have to love. Most people quickly find it too busy or a bit old-fashioned.
Comfort and class
This coat is therefore a combination of a bathrobe in a warm woolen fabric. The color is easy. Black and white is always good and stylish. This fabric is for sale at Budgetstoffen and cheap. With two meters of fabric you have enough fabric to make the coat.
Because the fabric is quite stiff, you don't need interlining or reinforcement. The shawl collar makes the jacket very pleasant to wear and is ideal to wear over other clothes. Whether you wear a shirt, a sweater with a roll collar or a bare neck, a shawl collar is always a good idea. The jacket closes with a simple belt. You can also wear the jacket open, but the wrap over makes the jacket nice and warm and pleasant. A lot of 'homewear' is loose hanging and the front panels often do not close. This is easy but not warm or comfortable like this jacket is.
Sewing pattern Simplicity 1562:
In terms of sizes you can clearly choose between children and adults and then also in sizes XS to XL. We recommend to take a large size so that the jacket is nice and spacious.
Simplicity 1562: Sewing level
The sewing pattern is easy to make. It is an 'Easy' sewing pattern and you can rest assured that even a total beginner can handle it. The fabric sews easily because it is not too thick, but certainly not too thin. We do recommend finishing the seams with a lock machine or a zigzag stitch. The fabric is unfortunately too thick for a French seam.
Do you want to make a nice jacket for indoors and outdoors? Then consider the Simplicity 1562 sewing pattern for a bathrobe. This sounds strange, but it is certainly not. You can make exactly the coat you want from beautiful woolen fabric.
Not really a coat, not even a bathrobe or a cardigan, but a wonderfully comfortable 'coat' for the winter. A jacket that is stylish enough for walking outside, but comfortable and handy enough to wear indoors instead of a bathrobe or hoody.
The jacket is easy to make and with the beautiful wool fabric from Budget fabrics you are also affordable.
A short jacket, a half-long jacket or a really very long jacket. You might think turning a short jacket into a long jacket is not thát difficult. Extend the fabric and you have the same jacket but then longer. But it is a bigger deal...
Long coat = other function
A long jacket has a completely different function. Long coats are usually meant to be worn over clothing to go outside. Hey, hey, doesn't everyone know that? That's right, but sometimes ugly mistakes are made in the sewing world. More spacious and wider Jackets are often underestimated in terms of sewing techniques. Sewing patterns are taken a little less seriously when it comes to long coats. Many seamstresses who have often made a long jacket, know that sewing a long jacket is just as meticulous work as making a short jacket. And that making a long jacket is not that simple at all. How often did we experience a long jacket is 'just not right'? Sadly, too many times.
A coat or a long jacket?
A coat always refers to an outer jacket. Usually it is a long classic model made of wool, loden or tweed. An outdoor jacket is more like a sporty (long) jacket made of waterproof fabrics, or a quilted jacket with a hood. In the sewing world, people talk about coats or simply: jackets. The shorter (Chanel style) jackets are often categorized with blazers or 'jackets'. Often it is confusing but follow the golden rule that coats are the outer coats and 'jackets' often the inner jackets.
How to sew longer coats or jackets?
Sometimes we notice that our project turned out to be a failure: the lining is incorrect, the shoulders are too wide and the jacket only fits well with a very thin t-shirt underneath. But unfortunately that was not the intention. Did we forgot about the instructions on the sewing pattern? Or are the fabrics just not suitable? We would like to point out that making a long jacket requires just as much love, knowledge and experience as making a short jacket. Maybe even more, because after all, you work with a lot of fabrics and materials.
A longer jacket in Chanel style? Is that possible? Yes indeed. A long bouclé or tweed jacket with a quilted lining is heavenly and you really want to wear it all year round. So nice and warm, so comfortable! It is quite a job but the reuslt will be: a piece of pure Haute couture.
If you want to make a longer Chanel-Style jacket, make sure you search for 'jackets'. Not on 'coats' or 'outdoor jackets'. If you really want to make a coat out of Tweed fabric or Bouclé to wear outside and over your clothes, look for 'cloaks' or 'coats'.
Please note: a nice long coat made of those fabrics is quite fragile and not durable. If you get caught on a splinter, a door handle or something else, the threads will easily tear out. A wolen coat is just as chic, slightly less 'Chanel-style' but stronger. Although this fabric is certainly not durable. And for all chic coatsmake sure to have an umbrella because the fabrics do not like rain and wind.
Suitable patterns for longer Chanel-style jackets:
Beautiful long classic coats that are suitable for Tweeds, Bouclé or Loden:
Tips & Tricks:
Additional options for advanced seamstresses:
If you want to make a longer jacket in 'Chanel-Style', consider quilting the lining on the outer fabric. Follow Claure Shaeffer's instructions from her book: 'The couture cardigan jacket' and you have a beautiful long Chanel jacket that wears and looks heavenly. It may be a lot of work but well worth it. Especially if you choose a Bouclé fabric that is very light or loose-fitting, sewing the lining to it is a good idea. It gives the jacket more strength and shape.
A longer Chanel-style jacket is completely different from a jacket in Bouclé or tweeds, see photo above. Both are chic, beautiful, timeless but take a little more time to make.
Read carefully which recommended fabrics are on the sewing patterns. Choose the fabric ánd lining carefully, it will be the difference between a great result or a failed project.
Have you ever wondered why sewing is so much fun? Probably not. If sewing is your hobby, or even passion, you don't think about it. But you probably got the question from someone else. "Are you sewing your own clothes?" They ask ... For some people creativity is not obvious at all. They travel, bake & cook, play sports or like to watch movies.
Sewing is fun!
Sewing is fun for sure. We've talked about "The Rival of the Sewing Machine!" In these times of sustainability, being careful with raw materials is a good goal! And having an aversion to mass production, sewing clothes and stuff yourself is a Very good thing. Take action yourself (make mouth masks when these were not available), repair stuff (bring on that too long curtain, I'll will fix it!) and especially no longer participate in the cheap throw-away clothing culture (I will make it myself!).
Not only NOW but for a long time, sewing has also been a fun hobby and activity for many of us. It's relaxing, it's a quiet time of the day, and it's very satisfying to make your own wardrobe. From embroidery to Haute couture: being creative is total mindfulness!
From Chanel to the 1920s
Our website has the theme: How to make a Chanel-style jacket yourself. We discuss sewing patterns, all kinds of fabric, styling and especially share a lot of information about Coco Chanel and the fashion house Chanel. If you like Chanel jackets or Chanel couture, you will quickly find yourself interesting fashion-history. Chanel-style jackets are timeless and have remained close to the original design over the years. It is wonderful to make a beautiful, modern Chanel-style jacket, but most of us also like to make a jacket as if it were put together by Coco Chanel herself. Real Haute couture complete with all details, interfacing work and the finishing touch. And than, we suddenly end up in the twenties and some of us are loving the Vintage style even as much!
Vintage sewing patterns are great. It is not strange to walk around in vintagestyle! The twenties are hot, just think of all those beautiful, timeless, TV series such as Downton Abbey, Black Beauty and The Crown and you know the style is beautiful and timeless. Combine the suit, skirt, blouse or jacket with modern clothing or accessoiries and you have created something very unique!
From Downton Abbey to LARP
From the twenties fashion à la Chanel, or 'love for vintage', to LARP is a small step. There are many LARP-ers (Life Action Role Players) who make their own costumes and enjoy events in which they are acting and living in other times. Usually even further back in time: the Middle Ages. Visitors to these events, festivals and fairs are often interested in everything that has to do with 'the past'.
As soon as your family, friends or colleagues know that you are a creative mind with a sewing machine, they will ask whether you want to make a medieval dress for them or a friend-of-a-friend. Or if you want to help design a complete, unique outfit. The clothes are expensive, they contain a lot of fanrics and they are not clothes that you buy very easily.
And for yourself? We shared our review about the blouse made of sewing pattern Butterick 4486. A nice blouse that you can also wear in everyday life. Especially now, 'The bubble' is a trend!
Cosplay & Fantasy
Cosplay and Fantasy Sewing patterns often fit into the same category as LARP. Many sewing patterns are intended for both purposes. Cosplay is more an escape from reality and a pair of horns on your head or a pair of extra wings on your back ... should not be a problem.
You can also make a lot of creative fun with special fabrics such as Organza, plastic, metallic fabrics and extreme shapes and colors. After all, cosplay is based on cartoon characters, superheroes, films & series and is not limited to a specific time period.
Anyone who prefers to sew daily, wearable clothes will also enjoy making a mega skirt out of tulle or a Science Fiction costume out of blue lacquer fabric. Why? Just to try out crazy fabrics, to use sewing patterns that you would normally never use. And to be as creative as never before!
And then after a lot of creativity, inches of fabrics and grateful friends, neighbors or neighbors, children or customers, you feel like making something for yourself again. No, not a bathrobe, sweater or house pants, but something super chic like a real Dior suit, a Chanel-style jacket or a long gala dress for the holidays.
There is nothing better than sewing, to have some peacefull moments for yourself and to wear something that is unique, personal, homemade, sustainable and perhaps over-the-top chic or classic.
That's why sewing is so much fun!
If you want to create a Chanel-style jacket and you are searching on the Internet (and on this website!), you will notice: the real vintage Chanel couture jackets often had buttons made out of fabrics. You will notice these buttons on modern Chanel jackets as well. You immediately want such beautiful and matching buttons too. And that's possible!
Fabric buttons are still 'Haute couture' beautiful!
Coco Chanel started making handmade buttons, mainly from Tweeds and Bouclé fabrics. She used fabrics because buttons were expensive. But also because the fabric buttons gave more 'couture' appearance to the clothing. The buttons and the jackets were perfectly matching and everyone knew about the making process: a time-consuming and dedicated job.
Coco Chanel started her career as a hat maker. Because of this, she knew many sewing techniques and she could handle different types of materials. She also had an eye for details, which gave the jackets something extra's, but they were never 'over the top'.
Her motto: "Simplicity is the key of elegance"
The authentic Chanel vintage fabric buttons are real treasure and not easy to buy. This is mainly because Tweeds and Bouclé are not durable fabrics and the buttons had to endure a lot.
If you are looking for fabric buttons in 'Chanel-style', Baudekin Studio is a great webshop.
Sometimes it is possible to find fabric buttons at a market, in a fabric store, or even in thrift stores. But you have to be very lucky that they will match with the fabric. Baudekin Studio has a few fabric buttons in its range. Affordable and above all: very beautiful.
The buttons are easy to match with many fabrics in terms of color and composition. Especially the black and white Bouclé buttons, can be used with almost any Bouclé fabric. But the colored fabric buttons also turned out to be a great option for a Chanel-Style jacket. This is mainly because Bouclé fabrics are often woven from multiple colored threads. Most of the times, there is always a color to match with the threads.
The example above: which color fits better with the dark green/black/blue/yellow Chanel-style jacket? The green or the yellow? Or both?
Chic couture clothing
Fabric buttons are also often the best choice for couture outfits. The example below shows it perfectly: a bridal cape or evening dress bolero with fabric buttons. The buttons make the cape extra beautiful and it is also much more convenient to match your jewelry. Are you going for gold or silver? If the buttons of evening wear are exactly the same as the fabric: go ahead and make your own choice.
Tips & Tricks: how to choose the perfect buttons
for your DIY Chanel Style jacket
It is now clear for everybody: the holiday season this year will be different from 'life as we know it'. City trips for Christmas shopping and skiing holidays will be impossible. And dinners with the whole family or a bunge of friends, are not allowed. And so we have to enjoy the holiday season this year quite differently. But hów you might think .... We cannot present solutions for you, but we have some nice suggestions and ideas, beautiful sewing patterns (feasible in terms of deadline!) and above all: beautiful (affordable) fabrics for you.
Dressing up or dressing down
In 'dressing up or dressing down' we already wrote about the fact that nowadays almost all of us opt for comfort instead of dressing neatly. That is logical because most of the people work at home as much as possible. We are not going to festivals, events or parties. Why dress up when no one sees you ...
This probably also applies to the upcoming holidays. Wearing your 'wrong' Christmas sweater, your mobile phone in your hand and watching Netflix is probably more the case.
But if you've already done this so many times, is this still fun? Why don't you opt for a bit more glamour, decorate your house, make a nice dinner and spend an evening in style with some familiy or friends (safely!)?
That's a lot more fun than just another evening, or a whole weekend, in sweatpants in front of the television ... and you are worth it!
Sewing patterns and fabrics
We have looked for beautiful, chic sewing patterns who are comfortable as well. Especially because of the stretch fabrics and the shape. We also looked at sewing patterns that are feasible in terms of sewing level, deadline and affordable fabrics.
It really doesn't have to cost a fortune to look chic for a cozy dinner. We discuss the sewing patterns one by one in a new series of blogs.
Sewing pattern Vogue V1605, for example, looks like an outfit for the red carpet or at The Oscars. But it also has its advantages for you: The shirt is made of stretch velvet and is very comfortable. The skirt is made of stretch satin and fits perfectly both literally and figuratively. You could attach the bow permanently, but also with a clip, making it easy to remove. You can also quickly put the skirt on and off when the dinner is over and you still plop down on the couch to watch a nice movie.
And so many other sewing patterns. We also stay close to home and present a pair of Chanel-style jackets that are more comfortable than they look.
Let's enjoy the holiday season, we will make it fun anyway ... in (Chanel) style!
Dressing Up or Dressing Down. That's the question... But what exactly does it mean? In any case, the terms are not literal. You could say: get dressed in a representative way or let's dress as comfortable as possible, but this doesn't quite cover it.
Dressing up means that you have done your very best to look as good as possible. This is always related to your activities and representation. If you want to show yourself decent and respectful, then you get 'dressed up'. For example, for a concert, but also when you go to friends for dinner. During occasions such as weddings, parties at work or funerals, it is an unwritten rule that you are properly dressed. This usually means: no jeans, sneakers, flip-flops, a lot of naked or torn clothing. On some occasions there are 'dressing codes', so it is not only desirable to wear gala clothes, for example, but it becomes more or less mandatory.
Dressing down means that you are below the level of what social norms expect of you. For example, you get to work in jeans leggings to work. Or you wear too much naked or vulgar neon clothing during a memorial. You might do it out of rebellion, to look casual or because you don't care about it at all.
Dressing down shows little respect for the environment, the people or the occasion. But it can also mean that you are not doing it consciously. Some people have little sense of social norms or find it difficult to meet the requirements. In this case, it is useful to know yourself. You could ask in advance what is expected, if you do not want to be in the spotlights in a negative way.
The psychology of dressing up and dressing down
Dressing up and dressing down largely depend on your personal taste and how you want to be seen by your social group. Some people enjoy dressing and grooming themselves. Always and everywhere. They love beautiful clothes, like to spend money on them or like to make clothes themselves and their creativity knows almost no limits.
The same goes for dressing down. There are also people who always and everywhere opt for comfort. You will not easily see them wearing neat shoes and in the summer, flip flops are more than enough. Put on shorts, t-shirt on top and that's it.... To the city for shopping, to your in-laws, or a staff party, who cares?
However, what effects do you achieve with it? How does the environment think of you and how do you feel? Clothing and grooming yourself is often someone's first impression. Clothing is communication and shows a lot of yourself. Dressing down may be very relaxed, but is it nice? Does it give you positive bio feedback? Often not. After all, it is not pleasant for the other person to look into a crack in the buttocks of sagging pants or admire ingrown toenails.
Freedom of choice in terms of clothing and taste is a good and common right. However, what you do with it is entirely up to you. Taking care of yourself and dressing nicely is generally more appreciated by other people than the opposite. And even if you are alone, taking good care of yourself (and dressing) makes you feel good. Loss of decorum happens to sick and depressed people. It doesn't interest them any more ...
How do you do 'dressing up'?
Dressing up has nothing to do with money, designer clothes or expensive accessories. It is about the total picture and your appearance. Dressing up is doing something extra: wearing a watch while you have a mobile, which also indicates the time perfectly. An extra bracelet and nail polish while even if you are not a receptionist. Wearing a hat or a scarf while it is neither raining nor windy. A white blouse under a jacket instead of a t-shirt. An ironed blouse instead of a t-shirt. Matching socks and a matching handbag. And do not forget personal care: a minimum of make-up often ensures that you suddenly feel much better.
"After a long hospital stay I didn't look good. In the last days before I was admitted to go home, I started to put on some make-up, had a visitor helped me with a manicure, I was wearing a blouse instead of the t-shirts I had worn for weeks.
This did not go unnoticed. Every nurse and doctor who entered my room started to smile and said that I looked amazing .....
I certainly didn't look thát good, but at least I tried and people appreciated my intention to look better. The 'feeling good' effect was bigger than I ever expected."
Dressing up, in dark times In this corona crisis, is hardly applicable anymore. Why should we? Many people opt for convenience and comfort. But dressing up also has to do with joie de vivre, self-confidence, self-esteem and ambition.
As we wrote in: Living in a bubble, we now live and work digitally, but we are definitely seen. Behind the screen during Facetime conversations, by means of selfies for Instagram or during meetings on Zoom. A nice blouse with a bow or brooch, or a homemade Chanel-style jacket, shows a different attitude than a sweater or hoodie with a just-out-of-bed hairstyle.
There are more arguments for dressing down than dressing up. But some of them are wrong.
1. Dressing up costs money and I don't have that now ...
Dressing neatly has nothing to do with expensive designer clothes or golden accessories. It is all up to you and you can (learn to) make beautiful clothes yourself. Tips for doing this extra economically: How to save money, tios & tricks!
In fact, sneakers, jeans leggings and a hoodie with text are sometimes more expensive than a simple blouse and normal pants.
2. It is too hot to 'dress up'.
The weather seems to be an argument to throw out all your clothes. Sleeveless t-shirts, shorts and flip-flops are often considered the ultimate summer outfit. But women in India and Africa look just as elegant, even if they live in countries with reál hot weather. Dressing up is sometimes even practical in summer. Nice linen pants are chic, and provides a cool feeling, and a cotton blouse provides more coolness than a t-shirt which sticks to your body and show your sweat.
3. Finally, think about memories that you will have of yourself or how others 'see' you. What will your photo book look like, a bit later in time? How does the next generation remembers you? Do they notice a beautiful, nicely stylish lady or a woman who didn't care about her looks at all...
Dressing up says a lot about you as a person. It has nothing to do with money, but everything about your own style, taste and the way you feel about yourself.
Dressing down is also part of life and has become almost standard in these corona times ...
However, we love to dress up!
On this website many tips & tricks about creating beautiful Chanel-style jackets, but also to recycle and to upcycle clothes. Sustainable tips, tips for śaving money and tips for occasionally making beautiful gala clothing for yourself (or for someone else) or fantastic Cosplay costumes.
Are you joining us?
'In the Bubble: Fashion's Cocooning Shapes Stage a Spring 2021 Comeback '. We are a bit shocked by the new trend spotted by Vogue. Vogue has an article about the new spring fashion. The trends of the catwalk are discussed which are often translated in the mass market fashion for the general public a few weeks later. The bubble is becoming a trend.
Living in a bubble
We hear more and more about this term. People are feeling like the live in a bubble. This means: the social contacts are limited by the quarantine or other measures to contain the spread of the corona virus. We all keep our distance and avoid birthdays, parties and events for a while. This feels like you are living in a bubble.
Fortunately, we can all maintain contacts from our study- or living room and have the feeling we are not alone. Many of us are also lucky enough to be able to continue working digitally from home. Nevertheless, what may be a relief for some (a lot of the social pressure has disappeared and traffic jams are a problem of the past), is a complete disaster for others.
Feeling isolated is a bad feeling... But what does this have to do with fashion?
Home clothing is not Haute couture
We stay at home and why would we dress neatly when our colleagues or friends only see you, on your screen behind the pc. up to your waist? Most people have barely made any effort to dress themselves for eight months now. Why should you? In comfortable clothing you feel better and you work without any 'clothing' stress. Sweatpants under your neat blouse? Nobody will even notice.
But according to Vogue, fashion designers have gone a step further. We live in 'a bubble', well then we will also dress like a bubble. Beautiful photos of Haute couture are shown from the fifties. Grotesque shapes and the puff sleeves seems to be a new trend. And the variations on this theme for the spring of 2021.
But would it work? Aren't we taking up a bit too much space on our small screen with Zoom when we start wearing inflated clothes? You will get noticed for sure... >)
Maybe in time the crinoline, the Victorian crinoline, will be back on the streets again. If you do go out while wearing a crinoline, it will be sure people will keeping distance.
After all, the crinoline was also intended to keep social distance in the past, but the motifs were based on other considerations. Not for fear of a virus infection....
A new sustainable future
We are curious what fashion will bring us next spring. We encourage every initiative with regard to sustainability, zero waste materials, recycling and upcycling.
We are already seeing 'Bubble' and 'comfy' clothing in the fall of 2020 and we have 'spotted' in new sewing patterns and magazines. They look great and wearable for everyone.
But we still love our beautiful Chanel-style jacket. Bet you will also stand out on Zoom or if you are skyping with your employer, friends or family. We will not talk about those sweatpants underneath, nobody sees them anyway;>)
Whether you are an absolute beginner, a hobby seamstress with little experience, or an experienced seamstress, the success of a project often depends on choosing a good pattern. Which sewing pattern is the best if you want to create a DIY-Chanel jacket?
How to choose YOUR sewing pattern
A great sewing pattern is the most important start if you want to create a Chanel-Style jacket. It is not only about WHAT you want to make but also how you will make it. Which fabric do you need?
Which size do you have? How much time does it take to finish the project ? (Last one is important if you are creating some garment for a planned date, party or event...)
We assume you are looking around on our website because you are going to make a Chanel inspired jacket, skirt or other couture classic. But you are not sure yet which sewing pattern is the best option for your sewing project.
We will help with a step-by-step guide.
It happens to everyone; halfway a project, you realize the project is not what you had in mind, too little fabrics or lining, wrong size, your expectations were too high or you just do not have enough sewing skills yet to finish the project. No shame. Just continue with your goal and try to plan and oversee the next project a little better.
Now let's rock and roll:
1. First, think for a moment what you want
Do you want a shaped and formal Chanel-Style jacket? Or casual and comfortable? Very important! Take a look at the reviews or the backside of the sewing pattern-envelop. If you look for a tight, shaped and slim jacket, then choose a sewing pattern which is "fitted". If you want your Chanel Inspired jacket to be more comfortable, maybe with front-sides open-hanging and a casual appearance; look out for the "semi-fitted" jackets.
Loose fitting is a more comfortable shape, belly freedom and not following the contours of the body closely.
Fitted jackets: Vogue V7975, Burda 6705, Simplicity 1421, McCalls M7058.
Semi-fitted jackets: Vogue V8804, Vogue V8991, Vogue V9095, Butterick B6382, Burda 6465, Burda 8949 and Neue Mode M23079
Loose fitting jacket: Vogue 9250, New Look 6496.
2. What about underlining?
The classic French Chanel jacket is famous mostly because of it's quilted lining, which offers an exclusive sense of movement, freedom and luxury. The "invention" of this jacket was innovative in the time that came after the corsets and the tight clothing code. The jacket gave the wearer a sense of freedom and made sure that it was still chic and exclusive enough to continue as a couture. Anyway, if you want to go for the classic and most exclusive version choose a pattern of Claire Shaeffer which offers the possibility and the instructions to quilt the lining.
Examples: Vogue V8804 en Vogue V8991.
The other Chanel Inspired jackets offer the normal standard way of linings. In advanced options, we will talk about quilting linings in other sewing patterns, but as said; it is only an extra option. The sewing pattern is not focused on this process, as above mentioned sewing patterns specific do.
If you prefer a jacket which is not underlined at all: New Look 6496, Burda 8949 and Simplicity 1421.
These unlined jackets are a great options for hot summers or a way to practice and to get to know your most beloved or desired Chanel Inspired Jacket.
3. Your skills or sewing level
Know your skills about sewing techniques. It might be a challenge to create a perfect, complicated and advanced Chanel jacket, but realize that it is also very, very frustrating if you need to stop your project because of problems or a lack of sewing experience.
Sewing Pattern give codes or names for the desired levels in different languages. Easy/Beginners/Basic/Facile/Very easy, Average/Mittel/Moins Facile or Advanced/Difficult/Plus Difficile.
This is based on classical training and is sometimes based on principles that seems logical but are not logical at all.
If you want to be sure; read our reviews. 'Average' is sometimes more difficult as it looks and even Easy or Beginners may require sewing techniques that you may not have mastered. The instructions on the Sewing Pattern are sometimes loud and clear. But sometimes they are not loud and clear at all.
If you want to be sure about your skills, you need to finish the project from the start till the day you will wear it with glory.... have a helping hand nearby or do not start with a sewing pattern which requires too much dedication, knowledge and advanced couture sewing skills.
4. Know your size
Needless to say... But do realize that size DOES matter. You can try on different sizes if you buy a jacket in a store. It is more common sizes are living their own lives these days because of mass-production and non-global standards.
If you start to sew (and cut the fabric) there is no way back. So be sure about your size, or even better: first create an example-size like they do at the big couture houses. Molton or mousseline fabric is ideal, or just a cheap fabric you do not use.....
5. The Fabrics
Read the Sewing Patterns requirements about the fabric and our reviews. The quantity you need is important ( do not forget to order or buy some extra fabric to create more pockets or self-made fringes), but also the kind of fabric. How a pattern or final result falls depends largely on the type of fabric used. Some patterns are great for tweeds or bouclé. Others are more suitable for wool or wool-blends.
If you want to try a fabric which is not mentioned on the sewing pattern; read our reviews. Sometimes it is a good idea to use a different type of fabric. But more often it is not such a good idea to ignore the advises.
On almost every sewing pattern a warning is noted: "Unsuitable for obvious diagonals". Meaning: it will be a hell of a job to work with fabrics with squares, dots, stripes, shapes, patterns, corners, triangles, lines, diagonals on the pattern etc, to make it visually attractive. It might be work but you need a lot of extra fabrics and have advanced skills to construct the pattern-pieces to match the pattern on the fabric. It is really Haute Couture when a checkered or striped jacket looks perfectly visual symmetrical and perfect. Unless it is a big challenge; stick to choosing a fabric which will not be a burden.
On Claire Shaeffer's sewing pattern a warning is noted: "Unsuitable for obvious diagonals or uneven plaids. Allow extra fabric to match even plaids or stripes. Use nap yardages/layouts for pile, shaded or one-way design fabrics."
Meaning: A yardage is a distance or length measured in yards. A fabric with nap is one what usually has a pile and will look different color shades from different angles. Velvet, velours, panne de velours ... Fabric with a one way design will also use the with nap cutting layout, so that the design on the fabric all runs in the same direction on the finished item.
What about buttons, fringes or adding pockets? Do you want a sewing pattern with a lot of pockets, fringes and trims? Or do you want a Chanel-style jacket which is plain...
7. It's the time of the season...
Last but not least: Think about the seasons. Are you going to sew a Chanel-Style SUMMER jacket or a warmth WINTER jacket?
Read all about the right fabric for a Chanel-Style SUMMER jacket.
Read more: Sewing patterns step by step
A Chanel-style jacket made from fabric leftovers? Yes, that's possible. Even though the remnants are really very small. With a little more than a meter of fabric (in total!) you can create the small jacket. Read our instructions and tips in this blog.
Fabric leftovers and sustainability
We do not like waste fabrics. We have often come up with ideas to do something with fabric leftovers. We have also already talked about patchwork. Sewing pieces of fabric together to finally make something beautiful out of the 'patchwork blanket' is a great trend! Above all, it shows that you are carefull with raw materials (and the environment), you do not like to waste fabrics and are very creative! And now you atre creating a really chic 'Chanel-Style' jacket from fabric leftovers. Like this jacket!
Sewing pattern with princess lines
We have opted for a sewing pattern with princess lines. We had found a sewing pattern ourselves in the old 'Thuismode' workshops. This jacket is short, has princess lines and requires none lining. Ideal for our project.
Make sure the sewing pattern contains these elements:
This allows you to work with small pieces of fabric to create the chic little jacket.
Our Chanel-style 'remnants' jacket
We used Bouclé fabric leftovers which all match in terms of color and consistency. The fabric should not be too firm, neither too loose.
We made the back pieces of gray bouclé fabric and the fabric we liked the most: the large pattern parts of the sleeves and the middle back part.
We made the front panels from the fabric that we liked the most and we had two remnants left for the smaller parts of the sleeves.
The fringes are made of the front panel fabric and we have made long thin fringes.
Because the jacket is not lined, we finished the bottom, sleeves and front panel with a bias band (on the inside) and the fringes on the outside.
If you have less fabric, you can also choose to leave the front panels open. This always goes well with a Chanel-style jackets and makes the fringes look even better.
We did not use facings or interfacings. Because we did not use a lining, the jacket is extra warm but also vulnerable. Pay close attention to this when wearing the jacket and especially what you wear underneath. A t-shirt prevents damage; a blouse can sometimes pull threads of the bouclé fabric through the buttons and cuffs.
You can do a lot with fabric leftovers. Mix the fabrics and feel free to make something unique. It's nice when the colors match well, in our case: blue, gray, red and pink, but feel free to go bold(er).
Keep this rule in mind: make sure that the fabrics match together in terms of structure and composition. (A pied-de-poule fabric or a checkered fabric would be too much of a good thing ...)
If you 'style' the jacket with plain pants, skirt and a simple white shirt underneath; then a 'color shock' is very chique and modern.
Do you still have some fabric leftovers? Create a clutch (see our green clutch) or make some extra fringes. The thicker and longer the fringes, the more beautiful and the more 'Chanel style'!
Social trends and fashion trends follow each other rapidly. But who is actually 'making' these trends is and how is it predicted? Where do trends come from? And who would have thought in 2020 the face mask would appear on the streets and even become a fashion accessory? Nobody right?
What is a trend?
When you talk about trends, the description quickly reveals: a trend watcher, trendsetters or trend followers. Some people live for trends and always seem to be at the forefront of trends. They have had solar panels on their roof for twenty years, did not like greetings with kisses and already walked barefoot in their shoes. So these people are the trendsetters! And then suddenly everybody seems to follow them.
Trend followers are happy to participate as soon as possible. Because they don't want to stay behind (these people are called latecomers) or they don't participate at all (loners). As soon as everybody follows a trend, the trend is a fact. And we all suddenly walk with low-waist jeans, clogs and the same haircut.
Trend followers do not want to stay behind
Trend followers are carefully watching trendsetters and 'copy' them. Is this a sign of insecurity, afraid of deviating from the norm? This will certainly play a role in the lives of younger people. They like to belong to a group and conform to the rules of conduct and codes. Whether or not formal or informal (= unwritten 'rules').
The latecomers and loners
But there are also loners and latecomers. You see this more often in people from their thirties. The loners determine their own style, deliberately no longer participate in trends or are simply not interested in (fashion-)trends at all.
The latecomers are 'against' any trend, but perhaps also because of 'laziness'; if there are no more older models of jeans available, then let's buy the low-waist jeans. Who cares? And if you receive a subsidy for solar panels or the entire neighborhood participates, than... why not ...?
To make it even more fun: the originals are people who deliberately do not participate in trends, but determine everything themselves, make or create their own trends and like to stand out because of their unique, own style. Everyone probably knows for example the one woman in the neighborhood, who has been wearing long skirts for years, who seems to have stepped out of the seventies, has her own vegetable garden, goes shopping on a scooter and is vegetarian when it suits her. She does not participate in trends, does not live by dogma's and she has her own unique lifestyle.
Unlike the loners, the originals are often people who protest against the current norm. And because of their own style and individuality, they also form a group to a certain extent.
Where do trends come from?
Trends are often predicted by trend watchers. These are people who have made their profession of picking up movements, visions and changes in society and making predictions. They are hired by all kinds of companies. These trend watchers are on top of politics, are in the middle of life and are very sensitive to details that can have major consequences. Foresight and a vision are their 'skills'. They translate them into any upcoming trends. They like to call themselves visionars or futurists. Trend watchers are well paid for their lectures and companies often cling to defined concepts which they translate into new products or services.
Are trend watchers able to predict everything?
No absolutely not. Often enough, unexpected things happen in society on a global level. This can be of short-term significance or become a major game-changer. Sometimes the whole world is shocked by an event, but a month later you don't hear about it. While other events take place that have major consequences for everyone, in every corner of society. Think of the pandemic and climate change.
What do trends mean for (DIY) fashion?
We suddenly work at home en masse and fashion is adapting. How necessary is it to wear a suit behind Zoom? Today's designers have already incorporated the new trend into their collections. Fashion is becoming more comfortable, fresher, more monotonous in color (prints are much too busy on small screens) and a combination of comfortable / business-like design is being designed. After six months, everyone is fed up with those comfortable sweatpants, and people are longing for easy but representative fashion.
Self-made fashion is often influenced by the sewing magazines and sewing patterns which are showing the new trends. Fabric stores also release fashion fabrics that come directly from the new trends on the catwalk. But seamstresses also often choose their own style and 'play' with (vintage) patterns of all times. This is mainly because the creativity of seamstresses is not limited to the trends dictated by others.
Moreover: if you can make something unique and give a personal touch to a garment, then you do it , right? And trends are also born by seamstresses, just think of the upcycling of clothing and the homemade masks, who were already created by seamstress before they were for sale in stores.
Skepticism and the sign of the times
Predicting the future and trends is magic or just the sign of the times. Especially when it turns out that the unexpected 'game changers' play such an important role in responses to trends. You may ask yourself how important it is to participate in fashion trends. (You cannot escape social trends; no one lives in a cabin in the woods or is invisible by the Tax Authorities. We all participate in the spirit of the times that determines how we behave, what we eat, how we work, spend our leisure time and we eat.)
Your own style
Apart from that ... it is more fun to discover ans create your own style! Whether you are a trendsetter, a trend follower, a latecomer or a loner; your own choice comes first and what you create and wear.
Women who are enjoying to sew their own clothes or being creative in some other way, have known this for a long time. Whether you participate in a fashion trend or not; your creativity is your own style!
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.