Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Simplicity 4954. My Chanel Inspired Jacket

Sorry I didn't post this sooner. What with a houseful for Easter dinner and my continuing respiratory problem, I'm just getting the energy to write this.

So , Voici! My jacket is finished. Here is the pattern I used.

I'm very happy with it and am satisfied with the trims.In a way,I wish I had made it to button down the front, but I closed it with a heavier type hook and eye and that works too.

The lining is a silk /cotton blend and the blush colour is perfect for this boucle.I used a satin ribbon in a deeper pink to add a touch of class to the front facings.

I sewed a chain weight just below the hemline and under the fold of the lining and it makes the jacket hang nicely.

I used pad stitching to secure the front and back facings to the jacket front and upper back and this really makes the jacket feel professional.I was able o do this and make the stitches invisible because of the nature of the fabric.

This is what I had planned to wear it with for Easter mass but I couldn't go because the candle smoke really makes me sick and I haven't been able to attend mass for most of the winter.

I've posted this dress and it's matching beaded bolero on the A Few of my Favorite Things section on my sidebar at right.The bolero is self drafted and the dress is B4871.

I love my Chanel inspired jacket and I know it will stay in my wardrobe for many years to come.
More photos here.

More later from

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Thank You for the Suggestions

I just want to say a quick Thank you to all who commented and gave advice. I really appreciate your honesty. I've decided to try the fringe coming out of the neck and center seams and to not use the ribbon. I'll baste the fringe first just in case it doesn't look good.If that doesn't work,I'll leave the trims out completely from the that area .

Thank you Vicki for telling me about Paco's jacket. I don't know how I missed it. I love Paco's work and I check it out regularly.

And a big Hello to Margaret.So nice to hear from you.I've lost your E-mail (computer crash) so I can't write to you personally.I wish we could have another week with Sandra. it was a highlight for sure!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Jacket Not Finished Yet, But...

I've been cleaning, so I haven't got a lot more done on my jacket.I'm actually reconsidering the trims as I'm not loving the trim along the center front as much as I do on the pockets. I've just got it pinned and I do think it needs something else to make it less pretty or precious or something.

I've braided yarns from the fabric together in various thicknesses and I may go in that direction.

However I did put this striped jacket/cardi together for my sewing group Thursday. I wanted to show them another version and in a lighter knit than the last one.

I must admit that I don't love it but my sewing friends seemed to like it. My husband got that look when I asked him what he thought ,so....

Anyway, my sewing group have named my sewing bag that I take along to class my "magic bag of goodies".One of the notions they are most impressed with is my Steam-a-Seam which I used to secure the facing of the cardi down.

I sometimes feel like Ron Collins, Sandra Betzina's partner in the Power Sewing web TV shows who uses S-a_S on everything he possibly can.I do love it a lot.A couple more of my favorite notions that I couldn't be without are my Fiskar spring loaded scissors ,which are so great for arthritic hands and my Clover Leaf chalk marker wheely thingy that I use so often for so many things.

Wow this is one all-over-the-place post! Sorry!

I do hope to have my jacket completed for Thursday as I'm giving a presentation about our trip to Paris to my Retired Teachers group and I think it would be such an appropriate thing to wear.

Have a great week, fellow sewers ! More later from

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Chanel Jacket, Part 2

I meant to do this a few days ago, but my respiratory problems resurfaced with a vengeance.

What I want to talk about and show you are the first steps of the construction process.

My fabric is a wool/silk/cotton blend boucle and those of you who have worked with boucle know that it's a difficult fabric to deal with . Knowing this , I knew I had to interface as well as serge finish each piece as soon as I had finished the cutting out of my jacket.

I used a light,slightly stretchy interfacing and am really happy with the hand it gave the fabric, not too much, not too little.After fusing the interfacing to each piece, I layed the pattern over it to assure that nothing had stretched or shrunk.

I then serged each piece making sure to not cut off more than just the tiniest amount. I checked by placing each pattern piece another time and I transferred all markings to the interfacing.

For a lining I've decided to go with a silk cotton blend. I wanted silk something or other but could not find the right colour. Well I had just the right shade in my stash. I'm a little hesitant because I 'm not positive it's slippery enough but I had to make a decision and it's cut out now.

I'm considering quilting the lining to the jacket but since I want to have this finished for Easter,that may not happen.

After much deliberation, I settled on the fringe and velvet ribbon as my trims. I just could not find anything else that was just right and I think I'm happy with it, at least on the pockets which is the only place I've used it so far.

I applied the pockets by using Sandra Betzina and Ron Collin's tutorial on Power Sewing this week which explained how to apply patch pockets using invisible hand stitching. Talk about an opportune time for them to put this out. I'll give a few details about this method in my next post.

I'll leave you with a peek at what I've accomplished so far.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

My Chanel Jacket...Part 1

For years ,I've been wanting to make another Chanel type jacket.I made the one below before I learned how to alter patterns for a full bust, and sloping and narrow shoulders which are my fitting issues.

I've always really liked this jacket and have worn it in spite of the way it didn't quite fit. The pattern is S4954 (OOP)

I bought this lovely fabric

from Julie at Timmel Fabrics in Halifax when I attended the Sandra Betzina Workshop and I always planned on using V8043(OOP).

which is a Today's Fit pattern. I got to try on a sample and Sandra determined I was a size B for this jacket. But, since I've already made S4794

and really like it's lines, I decided to use it instead,but this time with alterations.

Here are diagrams of my alterations. The blue broken lines represent the new cutting lines (or the alterations).
The first one shows my Full Bust Adjustment or FBA. I usually add 1" here.

A close-up shows where I narrowed the shoulders by 3/8" from both the center front (CF) and the side front (SF) pieces.

You can also see in this pic how I fix my sloping shoulder problem by starting at the neck at size 12 and sloping down to size 8 by the shoulder.This amounts to 1/2". I then have to lower the armhole by 1/2".

This diagram shows the corresponding changes to the back pattern pieces as well as my sway back fix. For this I just fold out 1/4 to 3/8" above the waistline. This tiny change makes the biggest difference in the way the back of my garments fit!

Finally these are my trims which I plan to use but I don't know in which order yet!.

I'll also chose from these chains to weight the hem of my somewhat-like-a-Chanel jacket.

More later from

Sunday, April 3, 2011

This and That

I've been back from Ottawa, aka Nana Heaven, for a few days now.Of course, I can't resist showing you my favorite of the hundred or so pictures I took while I was there.

I don't have a new garment to show you but I have a Chanel type jacket in the works. The pattern is chosen and altered, the jacket is cut out but not the lining, and I'm trying to decide on trims. I'll have more on that in a couple of days.

I just thought I'd tell you about a sewing group I've helped to organize and that I'm mentoring.Our small community is near a large lake ( Grand Lake ) and has a much larger population in summer than the rest of the year.Among the permanent residents is a fairly large group of retired people like myself who have time on their hands. There is a well equipped community hall about a mile from my house and I thought I'd try to persuade people to come and sew with me on Thursday afternoons. We've been getting together for about two months now and I'm very happy with what is transpiring.

There are about 12 regular ladies who are taking advantage of the chance to sew with friends and neighbours and who really seem to appreciate any help that can be given. We will soon be joined by a former Home Economics teacher who will be very welcome to help with instructions or just give a helping hand.

This week we only had five sewers who all wanted to make the cardi that I showed you here. I copied a couple of sizes out of newspaper ahead of time and after measuring everyone, they were ready to go.

So far, many of the ladies have made the Fleece Tied Blanket that I showed here and they were thrilled with their results. They all made Hair towels like this one . That was a popular project.

Some weeks, each member has a project of their own or someone needs help with fitting issues or pattern alterations.

It really makes me happy to see how everyone seems to enjoy these afternoons.
And I have to admit that I love stepping back into my teacher shoes.

I hope you had time to sew this week.

More later from