Chanel Cardigan Jacket

 Jacket Front

Claire Shaeffer pattern – Vogue 8259 (out of print)

Coco Chanel was the epitome of elegance and her classic cardigan jacket is a timeless garment.  It is my humble opinion that no wardrobe is complete without at least one version.  Then, if you are going to be a purist, it must be constructed using classic couture techniques.  Being a huge fan of sewing by hand, this suits me just fine.

This year I will be teaching a 4-day workshop at the Australian Sewing Guild annual convention on constructing a Chanel jacket incorporating couture methods.  Although there is a considerable amount of hand sewing required, you still do get to use a sewing machine.  The order of construction is quite different to what you may be used to.  For example, normally the lining would be the last thing to be inserted into a jacket.  Not so with the Chanel jacket which has the lining quilted to the body.  This means you attach the lining to the fronts and backs BEFORE you join at shoulders and side seams.  Quilting the lining to the fabric provides wonderful stability and body to the garment particularly when using the traditional tweed boucle fabric which is a loose weave.

I now have two versions of this pattern in my wardrobe.  The first one I made was a a navy textured wool/polyester blend  I made it with a collar, two pockets only, and gorgeous retro-print silk lining.  The pattern (Vogue 8259) has a 3-piece sleeve with a lovely curved vent (with buttonholes, of course).  This sleeve is wonderful for fitting larger arms, as the extra seam gives you more opportunities to enlarge where needed, particularly in the upper arm area.

The fabric used was stable enough that back, side front and sleeves did not require interfacing – the quilting provided enough body.  The jacket front still requires interfacing and I choose to use tailor’s canvas.

For my second jacket I choose the more traditional boucle fabric with a check design which means careful cutting to match the pattern across seams.  This being a loose weave fabric, I interfaced the body pieces with silk organza before quilting the lining.  Four pockets in this version and no collar.  Loving the laser-etched Italian buttons.  In fact, the whole jacket was designed around the buttons!

What would I do different next time?  I should have made the front facing from a contrasting fabric like a silk dupion to reduce the bulk at the front.  I’m still very pleased with the result and it fits beautifully.  Now I just have to wait for winter to wear it.

Vogue 8259 is now out of print but a very similar pattern (also Claire Schaeffer) is V8804.  No collar with this pattern and a 2-piece sleeve but otherwise the same.  It would be easy enough to adapt the sleeve and add a collar.

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Cheryl
    Feb 26, 2015 @ 18:47:06

    Your jackets are beautiful. Would love to do 4days course with you.

    Reply

  2. Seams Like Fun
    Feb 27, 2015 @ 12:25:29

    Hi Cheryl,
    The ASG convention is in Brisbane this year – 28 Sept to 3 Oct. You need to be a member of the Guild to attend but that’s a minor detail because it costs only $60 to join. Bookings are not yet open for the convention but when they do open, classes tend to fill up quickly. It’s a great week. Not only do you get to sew all week, you don’t have to worry about housework, cooking and all those other annoying things that come between you and your sewing machine. If you are interested in attending the convention, keep an eye on the Guild website at http://www.aussew.org.au

    Cheers,
    Louise

    Reply

  3. Sharon
    Feb 27, 2015 @ 15:07:40

    Your jackets are amazing and I’ve managed to book in with Claire Shaeffer when she is in Armidale in April, I can’t wait!

    Reply

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