We are enjoying the Netflix-series Bridgerton with all those beautiful Victorian clothes and corsets, you too? The Victorian era continues to intrigue us. Such a luxurious and unique clothes! Hoop skirts, gigantic hats, dresses in as many as three layers and corsets on top and underneath. Beautiful to see, but a mystery how women could wear these clothes all day...
Corsets are very popular. This is because there is a large group of people who like going to the Fantasy Fairs, or who like the subcultures like Steampunk and Gothic. And of course also the Medieval variant such as L.A.R.P., or Comic hero-based Cosplay. During these events, corsets often play a major role.
As a seamstress it is a lot of fun to make a corset. How do you sew a Victorian corset? We will show it in detail.
Do you want to make something beautiful for Valentine's Day? A padded or puffed scarf is a greaty choice. A padded scarf is the must-have for this winter and easy to make yourself.
This Valentin's Red scarf has a zipper pocket as you see a lot on the padded scarves of the Big names- fashion brands. It gives the scarf something extra. It's an another nice reason to add this zipper pouch especially in case the scarf becomes a Valentine's Day gift! Simply because you can put something into it: a card, a giftcard, a heart or some money.
Once upon a time there was a kitchen princess who wanted a special kitchen apron. She wanted an exclusive lady-like apron. No problem because:
Spoonflower has a beautiful fabric that you could even wear to a gala
KNIP-Mode has a beautiful sewing pattern for a kitchen apron with many extras
and after some magic with the sewing machine, a kitchen apron, an oven glove and a tea towel was created for the kitchen princess, which met all her wishes.
Grace Patricia Kelly ((November 12, 1929 – September 14, 1982) was an American actress who married Prince Rainer III of Monaco in 1956. She died at age 52 of a fatal car accident in 1982. Grace Kelly is an icon to this day because of its style, which is characterized by elegance and timeless class.
Hèrmes even named a handbag after her: The Kelly Bag. The bag is extremely expensive, has waiting lists for potential buyers and, like Grace Kelly, is 'sophisticated' in every little detail.
Do you want to be as stylish as Grace Kelly? That seems almost impossible, but it is certainly not. There are many sewing patterns available that work well with the Kelly-Style. We have made an overview.
In a world of Kardashians,
be a Grace Kelly!
It will be bloody perfect to use real 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 !
Read all about these beauties:
With the fabric types such as Bouclé and Tweeds you might think of thick, warm, wool-like fabrics for the winter. But there is more to it. The fabrics can also be very suitable for summer. Especially if there are a cotton mix and the colors have a summery look. We love it!
When you buy a fabric, you always immediately think of a certain style. This is because it is not only the garment that determines the style, but the kind of fabric says it all. For example, a dress in a leather look normally has a completely different look than the same dress in a linen floral fabric.
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;>)
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'!