Tuesday, November 13, 2007

More on the Chanel jacket and some other stuff

OK, as promised, another progress report.

After all the problems encountered last week and a good lesson learned (make a muslin, you lazy idiot, even if patterns usually fit you out of the envelope!!!!) I'm finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel.

What I did:
1) took in another 5/8 at each center front opening, that was easy to do, because that seam is stitched by hand anyway.

2) redrew the armhole, as shown in the picture below (sorry for the poor quality of pictures, they're taken with the phone)

3) inserted a gusset to make the armhole higher, as advised by Dawn. Dawn, thank you very much for this great idea, it worked wonders plus as the fabric is indeed spongy, you don't notice it at all.

I've worked like a slave on this jacket, the entire last week, the weekend, yesterday too. It takes quite a lot of work (didn't count the hours and I wish I had) but not only it's worth it, but I discovered that hand sewing is very relaxing for me. I've been hand sewing for ages (four years of Home economics in school plus helping my grandmother with hand sewing - she was the seamstress of the village and she only had one of those ancient Singers, with a mechanical pedal and doing only a straight stitch. Therefore, even if I mainly taught myself to sew, I did have lots of practice on doing fell stitches, slip stitches, catch stitches and buttonholes in my childhood) and therefore am faster than I would have thought. The fake fur coat that you see below is done recently by Livia, my sister (including the hat) entirely by hand. No, I'm not kidding, they moved to Sweden in January this year and she cannot afford a sewing machine yet.

Back to the Chanel jacket: so far, the sleeves are inserted, the cuffs are there too, collar is inserted, the entire lining is closed everywhere with fell stitches. I attached the pearl trim to the collar and center fronts and I still have to attach it to the cuffs. I sewn the patch pockets by hand (it's sooooo good to have a spongy fabric), the hem is done too. I still have to attach the hooks and eyes, but I tried the jacket on and marked their position. I also have to attach the chain at the hem. And let me tell you: last night I tried the jacket on and I said to myself: why should I attach a chain? It fits very nice the way it is. Then, I pinned carefully the chain to the jacket's hem and tried it on again. Boy, what a difference. I can't even explain it, it is a different jacket! I'm so glad that I managed to get the right weight for the chain. I had no idea what kind of chain I should get but I just weighed several types in my hand and let my sewist gut decide for me :)

And now, about my recent addiction: lingerie. It's only Sigrid's fault! :) Sigrid, good luck with the blouse. Don't despair just yet, I'm sure it will turn out great. I had some elastic lace and some cotton/lycra in my stash, I took apart a pair of boyshorts and here you are:

Wide stretch lace

Cotton/lycra and symmetrical stretch lace cut in two lenghtwise and sewn to the fabric with a small zigzag (2.5 width, 2.5 mm length)

Cotton/lycra and scalloped stretch lace

Love these boyshorts, they are super comfy, they show no visible panty line and I think they're sexy too. It takes 30 minutes to make a pair and I cut 4 pairs at once. I now have to find the time and energy to take apart (with lots of care) an old and very well-fitting bra. Then, once I have a good pattern, sky is the limit as one of my friends likes to say.

And before I go ... a teaser :)

Let me tell you, when I bought this pearl trim, I didn't know there was pearl piping. Therefore my pearl trim is actually a string of pearls. I had to sew it by hand, little by little, catching each little knot between pearls in my sewing. I'll show some pics of how I did that in my final post showing the jacket.


Isabelle said...

Oh Laura! Your jacket is indeed going to be fantastic, what with all the hard and loving work you're putting into it!! I love the sneak preview and can't wait to see more of it :)

I was in your sister's situation when I started sewing: in the US and didn't have a sewing machine. Yes, sewing by hand is relaxing and it also reminds me of my grandmother, who was exactly like yours - the village seamstress and also had a basic pedal-operated, straight stitch machine!! All the coincidences boggles my mind.

Your sister's coat is amazing. Give her lots of kudos from me!!

Big big hugs to you. I'll try and email soon! Gros bisous !

Isabelle said...

oops, sorry for the typo.
Plus, I was so excited by the Chanel jacket and your sister's sewing that I entirely forgot to mention your panties!! Love them! I am planning to make some lingerie soon, too :) Gee, another coincidence! ;)

Isabelle said...

Another oops! I commented with my other (professional) gmail account. Just so you know who that Isabelle was... LOL. Sorry! :)

LauraLo said...

Dear Isabelle,
I knew it was you even if you commented with your gmail account. Thank you so much for your feedback and support!
The coincidences puzzle me too, isn't this world really tiny some time? I love it, it makes me feel even more part of a community where I find people that share common interests, people that are generous and understanding and offer so easily their support, people that... (and this goes for all of you) I grew so fond of!
Can't wait to see what you make, Isabelle, and I'm waiting for your mail.
Big hugs and take good care of you!

Sigrid said...

Laura, that's going to be a wonderful jacket. And your sister made you a superb coat. And that by hand! I'm one of those not too fond of hand-sewing. When I was still living at home (many years ago) I used to ask my grandmother when she was with us to do the handsewing. She hated everything for which a sewing machine was needed, but loved hand-sewing.

Apologies for feeding another addiction :-)))
The boysshorts are great.
My shirt will be ok, thanks for the positive wordt. But I took the sleeves out (after already topstitching them), and removed the collar again. Now my third collar is on!

Summerset said...

This is the second time I've tried to comment, so let's hope this works! What a lovely group of items!

I like hand stitching, too. It is relaxing and I don't mind the extra time. Your pearls look very nicely done. I'm not sure that you could have done better around the curves with the insertion pearls. Good luck with finishing it!

Lashell said...

I can't believe your sister put that coat together by hand. She did a phenomenal job. It looks so professional and it is a gorgeous coat. I can't wait to see your finished Chanel inspired jacket.

Vicki said...

I have been doing a lot of hand sewing on my latest jacket too, but I can't say I love it yet. Maybe if I had some glasses it might help.lol.

Your jacket is looking lovely. Can't wait to see it in full detail :)

Your sister's coat and hat are amazing too. The talent must run in the family.

And finally - the undies (as we call them Down Under). Love them. I find boylegs however to be extreemly uncomfortable. I love the look but they want to travel places on my body that they should not ;)

Erica B. said...

You jacket is looking fantastic!

OMG, that coat! I can't believe your sister did that by hand!

rosanne said...

That is one incredible coat your sister made for you! And the hat is so adorable! Be proud of the family talent! Thanks for the teaser pic, as well. You are making wonderful progress so far and I am eager to see what else you've accomplished. One of the reasons I love your blog is because you inspire me to try new things and test my skills. Great panties, too!

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

Okay the teaser picture of the collar is getting to me! I LOVE the pearl trim...can't wait to see the jacket...just can't wait!

christina said...

So many good things in this post!

Livia did a great job on her ensemble! Fur hat, hmm... I am going to have start that trend in my city!

Your boyshorts are so cute. I have never tried underwear/lingerie, you make it look so easy.

Your Chanel coat - I like what I see! Looking forward to more pictures.

Katrin said...

Hello Laura,

I really love every item in that post. The preview of your jacket is so promising, it looks really great. I also like your sister´s coat, what a procedure to sew this whole item by hand.
I have a new addicition with sewing lingerie, too - but, my husband is not so delighted if I show the stuff in my blog...:-).
But it is as you said: the sky is the limit....

Best wishes,

Tany said...

Laura, first of all give my congratulations to you sister!!! The fir coat and the hat are FABULOUS!!! And entirely done by hand! She loves her work, that I can tell!

The Chanel jacket is coming along just perfect, a work of art that would make Chanel herself proud, I'm sure!

And the panties,... What can I say: I LOVE them! I've always loved that style! My friend, you've been busy and the results are in plain sight! FABULOUS work!

Tany said...

Sorry, I misstyped: "fur" and not "fir" ;o)

Lia said...

Thanks everybody -it feels really good to see others appreciate your work:).

Laura - the jacket looks great, just like everything else I`ve seen on your blog or on you! Kisses


jemima bean said...

That fur is AMAZING!! Wow. I'm not sure if I would sew without a machine, so I'm really really impressed.

Angelia said...

Great coat...
But the boy shorts are adorable! So did you make these from an old pair? or a pattern? I would love to find a pattern for boyshorts!

cidell said...

I like everything about this post! I love the hat and coat your sis made, those panties are adorable and the quilting on yours looks terrific.

lstadtler74 said...

Your Chanel jacket is lovely. Where can I purchase the weighted chain online?