The Little French Jacket

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Most fashion sewers would have heard of the famous jacket from the fashion house, Chanel. Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel (also known as Coco Chanel) invented this little cardigan like jacket in 1950s while other fashion houses i.e. Dior focus on the hour glass shape of dresses and garments. I read once that Gabrielle Chanel life goal was to free women from all corsets and costume and make elegant garments for women to dress themselves! The Chanel Jacket stands out from the crowds of corsets, small waist and movement restrictive dresses, it provides movements, elegant and freedom for ladies in the 50s. The jacket has been one of the staple fashion piece for most ladies ever since.

I have always been interested and loved the simplicity of the famous jacket – round neck jacket pairs with a skirt or trouser, perfect for a smart occasion.  Such an elegant combination will never go out of style.  Gabrielle also once said: “Fashion changes, but style endures.”  The little Chanel jacket has definitely demonstrate well of such wisdom.

In the past, I have made some Chanel ‘style’ jacket, I must emphasised the word ‘style’ here as a proper Chanel couture jacket has an unique way of construction. To learn such an amazing piece of garments, I signed up for a 4 day workshop to learn how to properly make a Chanel jacket for myself.


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It was a fun course, there were 6 of us with Alison.  Some of us has met before on previous workshops, some are new faces. Even though we did not finished the garment at the end of our workshop, but we are all very pleased with our almost finished jacket and feel confident to complete the project at home. I have grown to love ‘slow sewing’ – hand sewing.  If you are not keen on hand sewing, this may not be your course as the couture dress making requires a lot of hand sewing.

I have not finished my jacket, but the couture jacket feels very different from my tailored Chanel ‘style’ jacket.  As the lining was quilted on the shell fabric, it provides firmness and warm to the garment yet allow the garment to move with the body.  Of course, a Chanel couture jacket cannot be finished without a gold chain hand sew at the hem, it serve as a weight for the jacket to hang nicely on the wearer body.

Stay tuned to our Facebook or Twitter to see the finished products in a couple of weeks time.

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