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
Maybe you recently started sewing face masks, or you used to sew. Cushion covers, baby clothes or maybe a skirt. You think about yourself as an absolute beginner. You would like to make all those beautiful clothes in sewing magazines, but you are hesitating....
Do not hesitate but buy a sewing pattern of a garment piece that you would like to make, and we will help you step-by-step to realize your sewing project.
Superb sewing patterns
An other situation: Sewing patterns always look beautiful. Usually the model on the front of the envelope, looks super slim, she is a great model and the clothes seem easy to make. If the sewing pattern is indicated as 'Easy', or it is exactly what you want, you buy it!
But you have not started yet this sewing project "I will never be able to make it", you think and you regret the impulse purchase. But it will work and we help with step-by-step information.
1. Read the back of the pattern first
Most sewing patterns have all the important information on the back of the envelope, which contains the pattern. The recommended fabric is indicated and the quantity you need. Stick to this advice, because if you choose a different type of fabric, it is more likely that the sewing project will fail.
Tip: always buy half a meter of extra fabric. This allows you to correct mistakes such as incorrectly cut pattern parts or frayed edges that you cut or sewed too narrow. Moreover, it is useful to always keep a piece of extra fabric in any case in case your jacket breaks or a cup of coffee goes over it while wearing it.
Furthermore, the desired sewing level is often indicated on the envelop. Keep this in mind because as a beginner it is really not advisable to make a garment that requires a lot more sewing experience. If you are in a sewing class or you follow a workshop, you have a helping hand. But if this is not the case: stick to your sewing level and do not overestimate your experience.
Notions are also mentioned on the back of the envelope. You may need a zipper, buttons, an eye-hook closure and extra interfacings to reinforce collars and front panels.
2. The instructions of a sewing pattern
The envelope contains the sewing pattern itself and the work description/instructions. The work description usually consists of 2 to 3 large sheets. Take a look at the instructions before you start cutting.
You may feel like cutting out the pattern parts immediately, but it really pays off if you look at the work description first. If the sewing pattern is a multi-pattern, for example a jacket consisting of two models, or a skirt, pants and blouse as a total outfit, then each model has a letter. For example, if you only want to make jacket A, you can see below the drawing which pattern parts you need.
Please check carefully, on the 'body measurements' which size suits you best.
Below this chapter, there is an explanation of the symbols on the sewing pattern and the work description sheets. Read this also carefully. For example, how is the right side (outside) and wrong side (= inside) of the fabric indicated? And how can you see the grainline? This is indicated on the sewing pattern part with an arrow. Always align the arrow with the thread direction of the fabric.
Examples of how to place the cut out sewing pattern parts on the fabric are also important. This is also handy to check if youdid not missed any pattern parts and especially how to do this most conveniently. . Do not forget that 'cutting' is a specialty and at the Haute couture fashion houses the couturiers put their scissors in very expensive fabrics. They don't just do this. The pattern parts are carefully placed on the fabric and cut out.
The cutting schemes on sewing patterns for the consumer market are usually devised by a computer with a calculation program. Sometimes it may seem very unfavorable, but the thread direction is ALWAYS dominating and it is always correct.
Apart from the descriptions of terms and extra sewing instructions, the sewing instructions now follow each pattern part. When in doubt, take a look back at the definitions and always keep the paper at hand.
You have already cut out the pattern parts from the paper and onto the fabric. You have already copied all the important points, stars and arrows on the fabric by means of pins or chalk. But it could still be that you missed a symbol ...
Tip: Wait a while before neatly folding the pattern up again and putting it back in the envelope, but keep it handy.
Your review: The garment is ready and your sewing project is complete. If you have taken it all step-by-step, you have probably succeeded in making a beautiful, fitting piece of clothing!
Tip: Process your notes and any comments and remarks on an A4 piece and put them in the sewing pattern. You can also make notes with pencil on the sewing pattern.
Either way, should you ever use the sewing pattern again, you will have notes that you might have forgotten otherwise. For example: the sleeves are a bit too tinarrow. Or: the fabric turned out to be too 'loose' and the jacket therefore looked a bit sloppy.
Now you know that next time you will have to adjust the sleeves slightly and go for a slightly stiffer fabric.
Magic of Upcycling: From Rugs to Riches
I love creative projects where everything can be flipped upside down which allows you to look at things with a new angle.
An old rug from grandmother
I inherited this rug from my grandmother who had a trunk full of these. I don’t know what material they were made from, but they feel very soft as if they were made from natural fabrics. This is a heirloom work of the old traditional weaver. I have one such rug in my bathroom, and it’s so pleasant to walk on.
I liked the texture and colour combinations of this rug and I always wanted to make something interesting out of it. And so I decided to make a summer jacket without a lining from this rug that looks as if it got bleached in the bright July sun.
Finishing & embellishments:
Use these strips to finish side seams, shoulder and sleeve seams. If you don’t do this, your fabric will fray because of the type of weaving used in the rug.
Then stitch darts, side and shoulder seams. Press.
Cut more bias strips but don’t fold and press them. Use these strips to finish the edges of front and neck as on the photo below. Take another bias strip; fold 2 cm on one side and press. Stitch the tape over the back and front fusible tape you attached earlier to stabilize the fringed edges.
Insert the sleeves and finish the seams with bias tape.
I already had embroidered trim in mind which was too straight and it didn’t look good around the neck edge. I looked in my stash and found bias pieces of silver fabric and matching white and silver beads. So I decided to make the embroidered beaded trim for the neck edge.
To do that, cut 3.5 cm bias tape from silver fabric, fold the seam allowances towards the center and press. Slip-stitch the bias tape to the neck edge. Press again.
Slip-stitch embroidered tape to the center front and the neck edge. Sew the beads to the tape. You can make a pattern to make it easier.
The beading is finished and I am happy with the result. It’s time to attach hook and eye closures to the front of the jacket.
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.
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Pardon my English