Thursday, April 26, 2012

Channeling Chanel, Part 2

A year ago this June, Susan Khalje came to Chicago and taught her Couture Sewing Class. In this class, you are welcome to work on whatever project you would like. I really wanted to get a taste of what goes in to making the French jacket.
After a week of working very diligently, I left with my jacket looking like this. You can see my original post about this jacket here. There is a LOT of work involved in this jacket.
So, best laid plans, I had every intention of getting it finished right away, but as you know, life gets in the way and other projects take center stage. The poor jacket remained folded up in a bag, just waiting. Well, nothing like being pushed to get something done. The Haute Couture fashion show is quickly approaching and we will have a segment where our French jackets are showcased.
The finished jacket!! I just love it.
The trim is a mix of two different materials. I was in San Francisco last year and I thought I would have no problem finding a trim for this fabric. No such luck. A little thinking outside of the box, and I came up with the silk ribbon, but it needed a little something more. They are so helpful at Britex. The woman who helped me took one look at what I wanted to do and lead me directly to the crystal trim that is running down the center of the ribbon. Perfect. It picks up the crystal thread that runs through the fabric.
While at Britex, I bought some lovely buttons. They are glass and they pick up on the crystal theme of the fabric, but once I got the jacket together, I wanted a little something more. A friend of mine had given me the buttons you see in the above picture. There were eight, so I could put three on each sleeve and have two pockets rather than the typical four. Fine by me. The buttons have pearls in the center and are surrounded by rhinestones. What a wonderful gift! These buttons would have cost a small, and maybe a large fortune at Britex.
If you do decide to make one of these jackets, I highly recommend two things, take the time to sew in a chain at the hem, and buy the chain from Susan. She really takes the time to find the most perfect chain that she can. You can find her website here. I think the chain is just about my favorite part of the entire jacket. It is such a lovely chain and it made such a difference once it was sewn in. The jacket stands out so nicely and holds it's shape so well.
A peek at the quilted lining. I found the silk at Vogue here in Chicago. I feel like I was really lucky because the blue of the jacket is not an easy color to match. I really love the lining fabric. It's such a happy lining!
In this picture you can see the hooks sewn along the center front edge.
A little steaming and the jacket will be ready to go. I can't wait to wear it. Why did I wait so long to finish it????? Now on to the next project, a blouse and a skirt to wear with it.
By the way, I just saw this morning that Claire Shaeffer has a new French jacket pattern on the market.
You can see the information here.
Have a wonderful day!

Share this PostPin ThisShare on TumblrShare on Google PlusEmail This


  1. The jacket is very nice, you did a great job. I love it.

  2. Rhonda, your jacket is beautiful. Thank you so much for the close-up shots which really showed the beauty of the jacket. A Chanel jacket is a "someday" project for me.

  3. That's an absolutely stunning jacket! I love the story of the bits coming together!
    And isn't Susan simply delightful? I placed an on-line order with her earlier this week, and I definitely will again!

    Beautiful jacket! Enjoy the Haute Couture Show!


  4. Amazing! I loved sitting across from you in Susan's class and watching the process. Now to finish my trapunto-embellished coat~

  5. Wow, that is lovely, Rhonda. When I saw the jacket on SG, I thought that the trim was a fringe, but now I see that it is not. And you are not kidding about button prices at Britex - buttons like those are a small fortune.

    I hope you post pictures of you wearing this after the fashion show!

  6. Your French jacket is fantastic. I love the buttons and the lining. Hopefuly you will model it for us soon.

  7. Fantastic perfect for the season to com. Hope you will model it soon. I love the crystal buttons

  8. Oh, wow, Rhonda...what an exquisite jacket! It is perfection in every detail. Like the others, I would love to see pictures of you wearing it!

  9. This is so gorgeous! And thanks for featuring me yesterday. What a thrill!

    Sewingelle (aka Elizabeth)

  10. Beautiful jacket! I love the color theme. It is truly perfect looking jacket.

  11. This is a beautiful jacket. Excellent job. I truly love the color scheme.

  12. It's so great ! I am French and I sew too; like we say here : bravo !

  13. Rhonda, This is such a beautiful French jacket. I everything about it. The special buttons, the color, the silk ribbon with crystal trim. And yes, the chain is beautiful too. When I'm brave enough, I will try my hand at making a French jacket. Thanks for the providing a link to Susan's website.