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Chanel Style Jacket

bonkers | Posted in General Sewing Info on

Hi Everyone, Has anyone made the Chanel jacket that was featured in theDec-Jan issue {128} ? I am ready to start on it and am wondering why Ms. Dowd eliminated the fabric facing on the front. She shows the lining to butt up to the front edge. Won`t this show when the jacket falls open?I suppose it is to eliminate some bulk, but seems to go against all the ways of fine construction. What do you folks think? Am i just stuck in the “old ways?” Bonkers


  1. HeartFire2 | | #1

    Chanel style jackets generally don't have front facings, they are more of a 'cardigan' style jacket. The lining comes to the edge of the fashion fabric at all edges

    1. bonkers | | #3

      Thanks Heartfire, I bought the Vogue pattern as shown in the article and it has the fabric facing. That was what threw me off.  I`ll try it  as the article shows. Thanks, Bonkers

      1. WandaJ | | #13

        Which article for the jacket pattern are you referring to? The one by Susan Khalje that appeared within the past few months?

        1. bonkers | | #17

          WandaJ, The article i referto was in theDec/Jan 07 issue no.128. I looked up the Oct/Nov 2005 no.121 article byS.Khaljie just to see the more labor intensive way. Have to admit it looked more like the real thing but so much work! i guess it depends how much time and devotion to the project one has. I`m going for the fast method on this one, but will try the long way next. Tanks for your input. Bonkers

          1. WandaJ | | #18

            Thanks for all of the responses to my question. Before I start on my jacket I want to go to the library to look at the Oct/Nov 2005 No. 121 issue. Of all the Threads I do not have or cannot find, it is this one? Thanks again, you all are so wonderful in your willingness to share and help one another with our sewing challenges and successes.

        2. tucsok | | #21

          I'am new to the magazin. Iam searching for the article ,how to make Chanel jacket.Wich is the best artickle for making the jacket.Thank you for all the help. Tucsok

          1. cafms | | #22

            Threads #121 has an article by Susan Khalji on the Chanel jacket which is excellent and very informative.  Also, take a look at this website for more references and inspiration. http://chaneljacket.blogspot.com/ 

          2. Gidro | | #25

            Thank you Cafm. I back ordered the #121, and visited the Chanel site . That was a great idea. The next thing is going to be the chains on the side of the jacket, or the bottom. Thank you .

          3. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #23

            Hi Tucsok! Glad to meet you. There are a couple of older discussions on Chanel jackets with some interesting tips and links you might find helpful as well. If you go into the Gatherings Search, and type in Chanel Jacket, you will find hours of past discussions to browse through that will be very helpful. There is another magazine issue search site http://www.sewingmuse.org/ that you may find helpful in finding articles on specific subjects in as well. Our members have a lot of experience that they love to share. Cathy

          4. Gidro | | #24

            Thank you for all the help.Hoping the jacket is not going to be to much for me. Tucsok

  2. woodruff | | #2

    Coco Chanel's idea in designing these jackets was precisely to go against the "old," highly-structured construction. She wanted something as light and easy to wear as a sweater. The characteristic Chanel binding is one way of covering the edge where lining and outer fabric meet.

    Over the years, Threads has had several articles on making these jackets. There was an even better and more detailed one many years ago. Reading these carefully will give you an idea of what's going on.

    1. bonkers | | #4

      Woodruff, Thanks for the info. I`ll try to find the articles in the back issues. The Vogue pattern did not show the alternate method. Maybe I`ll try both ways now that boucle fabrics are all on sale and affordable enough to experiment a little. Bonkers

  3. janlorraine | | #5

    I have made a number of these jackets since the first article by Claire Shaeffer back in the late 80s. If you use a silk lining, it doesn't matter if your jacket falls open so that a glimpse of silk is seen; this adds to the beauty of the jacket. Chanel also frequently used the same lining silk to construct a blouse that was frequently attached to a skirt made from the same fabric as the jacket. Structure in these jackets is provided solely from the quilting. I have quilted my jackets with both machine and hand stitching. I also really like the technique of finishing edges with many rows of machine stitching or using the selvedge of the fabric. Your end product should be as light and comfortable as a sweater and, if you wash your fabrics first, should be entirely hand-washable (just like a sweater). Good luck!

  4. From my Stash.... | | #6

    Hi, I have made Chanel jacket using both the facings method and some that are lined to the edge. As JanLorraine says, use the a great silk lining so that it doesn't matter if the lining shows. And I like to make a matching blouse and it just looks and feels great.  (At one fabric store where I picked up this fabulous silk/wool boucle blend, I lined it with a silk that picked up one of the minor colours and was questioned about why I was not choosing a cheaper silk for the lining. When I explained about the blouse and lining matching, they agreed that it was worth the extra money to do it right). I've also had my DMIL whose sewing I really admire, comment favourably on these jacket/blouse combinations so I must be doing something right.

    Re the facings in the "Chanel-style" patterns, usually with these patterns the distinctive Chanel lines of quilting in the body of the jacket are missing and so the facings give them a bit more structure. If you want the true Chanel jacket, the quilting shown in earlier Threads magazines is very helpful and you won't need the facings to give the jacket structure. And as some of the others have indicated, the jackets are very soft and comfortable - I just love wearing any of mine.

    Good luck with it,



  5. WandaJ | | #7

    For anything Chanel-related, it seems that I stop and read it. Is this yet another addiction of mine? Most likely. :-)

    I am glad to see that you are in the process of making a Chanel-like jacket, as I am too. I'm in the process of finishing the skirt to the ensemble. I decided to make it first to get me going (and, believe me when I say I'm going slow. I don't know what is wrong with my sewing motivation...).

    With regard to the jacket I am trying to decide as to whether or not I will quilt the lining, or make it up as a standard jacket - with a batiste underlining and facings - that looks very much like the Chanel jacket.

    I can't imagine folding this tweed boucle (the fabric is a bit thick) and putting it along with my sweaters. Nor can I imagine a jacket/suit coat without some sort of shoulder pads and the other items mentioned above.

    Perhaps at some point in time I will make a version of an authentic Chanel jacket with just the face fabric and lining.

    In the interim, I will get back to looking in my pile of sewing magazines to see if I have the ones mentioned in this thread that can help me with this project. I'm really interested in articles about the lining coming to the edge, and making my own braid out of the face fabric.

    Please, all of the Chanel-look alike jacket makers keep us posted on your techniques and accomplishments.


    1. Dorothy | | #8

      Wanda, hello.  I've made five of the Chanel jackets over the years.  They are indeed sweater-like in terms of how they feel when I'm wearing them, but they hang in my closet with my other jackets, and not folded up with the sweaters.  And, each one has shoulder pads--separately covered with the lining fabric and tacked into place after the jacket was finished.

      My favorite is my first, made in 1992, but the elbows are noticeably worn.  So, do you suppose adding elbow patches fits within Chanel's vision? 

      Good luck with yours.


      1. Ralphetta | | #9

        The vision of elbow patches on a Chanel jacket...made my afternoon!

      2. liselaure | | #10

        Hello Dorothy,

        What about shortening the sleeves?


      3. WandaJ | | #11

        Thanks Dorothy for your response. I can tell by the tone of your writing that you are very fond of not only Chanel's look, but your work and that you truly enjoy your jackets.

  6. SewNancy | | #12

    That is how Chanel jackets are made. The real ones are done a bit more labor intensively than the one in this article, but the linings meat the edges.

    1. WandaJ | | #14

      In this thread there are references to linings meeting the edges. When this technique is used do you cut the lining from the outer/face fabric pattern? Also, if this technique is used and the original pattern has a facing, do you cut off the seamline of the jacket around the neckline and fronts (I have read this somewhere sometime ago).  Too, do you use a 1" seam allowance for the lining and cut it a bit larger than the jacket for more room when sliding on/off?

      I hope I'm not making this process more complicated than what it is. I've found my Claire B. Shaeffer book, "Couture sewing Techniques," and some of my questions have not been answered in that. I'm relying on this book and the recent article by Susan Khalje for direction, along with, of course the input I receive here.

      The other question I have is were the original Chanel jackets made with princess seams or a box cut with a long vertical dart in the front?

      I went through my pattern stash and found a long out-of-print Vogue Pattern (9288) that has a really nice looking jewel neckline blouse to accompany the suit. Not only is it designed with a jewel neckline but it has front tuck variations along the neckline and a neckband (versus facing). I found a cream dupioni for the jacket's lining in Hancock's decorator fabric section that I'll be using for the lining, and now the blouse. With regard to the fabric being found in the decorator section, it is the same weight as the dupioni in the bridal and regular fabric section, but it is not only wider, but $6 less per yard!! So, try looking in that department when you are looking for something a little extra special, particularly when it is on sale as it is now in my area of the country - Miami Valley, OH.

      1. HeartFire2 | | #15

        You've got a lot of questions here, I'll do my best.>>When this technique is used do you cut the lining from the outer/face fabric pattern? <<

        Yes, yo can use the jacket pattern to make the lining.>>Also, if this technique is used and the original pattern has a facing, do you cut off the seamline of the jacket around the neckline and fronts (I have read this somewhere sometime ago). Too, do you use a 1" seam allowance for the lining and cut it a bit larger than the jacket for more room when sliding on/off?<< I'm not sure what you mean by cutting off the seamline. If the jacket has a back neck facing, just too that piece out. If it has a separate front facing, toss that also. I do not cut the lining larger then the jacket. If you are referring all this to the Chanel style jacket, the lining is actually quilted to each piece of fashion fabric before the jacket is constructed.I don't know the answer to your last question. you can get a better fit with a princess line then with waist darts. Chanel also used a 3 piece sleeve in her jackets.I don't think silk dupioni would be a good choice for the lining, it needs to be more supple and slippery, Charmuse is what is usually used.many years back there was an excellent article by Claire Schafer in Threads on Chanel Jackets, and she talked about the 3 piece sleeve.

        1. WandaJ | | #19

          I forgot to respond to the 'silk dupioni' recommendation. The one imitation that I previously made that fits and is constructed so well has this fabric as a lining. However, you have me thinking more and more about a wonderful piece of peachy-beige charmeuse that I have stashed in the garage (it is stored well); however, I have to wait until later in the week when the snow melts a bit more to get in there.

      2. SewNancy | | #16

        I agree with what heartfire wrote, except for one thing. In the instructions that i have read on making a Chanel jacket, with the quilting, you would rough cut the lining larger than the jacket pieces because the quilting takes up some room. Also, no you would not cut off any sas and all verticla sas except cf should be 1" wide for easier handling.

  7. Cherrypops | | #20

    Jane, me again, here is another good discussion regarding Chanel Style Jacket. CherryPops

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