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adding a shoulder pad to Chanel jacket

mem | Posted in General Sewing Info on

I am wondering Carol if you have any insights into how to add a shoulder pad to the Chanel Jacket which Susan K showed us how to make a few issues ago.I am going to make it with a quilted lining etc and am wondering if the real thing had external pads or were they inserted between the fashion fabric and lining or maybe they didn’t have them at all and was there any different way of inserting them from the normal way?? . I hope that I can stick to he original method and have them as I have sloping shoulders which normally benefit from a small raglan pad.Iam also mulling over the buttonholes . I have made bound buttonholes in the past and amwondering if I should do this again or whether to attempt the hand done buttonhole which I know was the usual one in Chanel Jackets . Would a bound one be ok? The fabric is a loosely woven boucle and I would need to use a toning silk for the binding. I want to make it as close to a Chanel jacket as I can .really just so that I can see what is involved . The journey is more important than the product in this case .  Thanks for your thoughts Marianne


  1. sewpro | | #1

    It is my understanding that one of the things that made the Chanel jacket so different was it's lack of construction. The original Chanel jacket had more of the feel of a sweater than a jacket.It didn't have a true lining, but an underling that was stitched to the outer fabric similar to quilting. She used no facings, but brought the underlining to the edges of the garment. Bound buttonholes require a lot of support- interfacing to keep the fabric from raveling and a facing to hide the backsides. Hand buttonholes aren't that hard- just practice until you feel confident about your results. As for your shoulder pads- just cover them with a nice lining and set them in last. Use a chain stitch at the armscye so they can move a little. Good luck! -Janet

    1. mem | | #2

      Thank you so much for your reply I wondered about the bound buttonholes so i will have a go at the hand stitched ones I wondered about using a very light fusible on the back of the tweed that I have just as a patch under the buttonhole area. Do you think that i should tdo a machine buttonhole with a larger zig zag and then cover it with hand done buttonhole stitches and then do a matching machine one in the silk lining??

      1. sewpro | | #3

        I think you want to make a keyhole shaped hole with a small straight stitch through the boucle and the lining (together, not separately), cut it open and then hand stitch with your silk thread. You will definitely want to cord the buttonhole. You should be able to find a detailed description with pictures somewhere online- maybe someone knows a link. I originally followed the directions in a book about making man's tailored jacket, but I think it is in storage. Just practice until you perfect your technique, then tackle the Chanel jacket. If you still have trepidation, you might consider taking it to a professional tailor and having them done. I know, it's not the same as doing them yourself. Here's another idea- I have seen a Chanel jacket where the buttonholes were in the seam where the binding is attached at the front edge. This works if your buttons are small enough not to lay beyond the edge of the binding. And it avoids a multitude of challenges! Good luck and I'd love to hear how it turns out.- Janet

        1. mem | | #7

          hello Janet, I just sent a message to myself instead of you so sorry about that and do feel free to read my mail!!

      2. mem | | #6

        yes I will give them some practise as I am really interested in achieving the best outcome although it might take for ever and I will post pictures . That another skill I want to learn!!

  2. liselaure | | #4

    Hello Marianne,

    If you want to stay as close as possible to the original, you'll find detailed explanations about making a Chanel Buttonhole in Claire Shaeffer's article about Chanel jackets in Threads #23. There is also some information on page 91 of her book "Couture sewing techniques".



    1. mem | | #5

      Thanks I have read about them in her book and i will give it a go . I am also wondering about using Spanish Snapp buttonholes as described in Couture Sewing Techniques by Roberta Carr . She says they are good for woven boucles and they sound very lightweight. 

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