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Silk Tweed & Chanel Suits

WandaJ | Posted in General Discussion on

Since there are 81 posts in the latest discussion about Chanel-like suits (i.e., 3-pc sleeves), I decided to ask this question in a new forum. What is some of the thinking about, or experiences with making a suit of this type from fabric such as silk tweed? I have seen this fabric on many sites under the heading of ‘boucle.’

I was wondering what such a light weight fabric, or loosely woven fabric would look like with the machine quilting? I imagine it being done by hand, but not by machine as it would show on the face of the garment.

I am looking at a pattern that I’ve had for a long time and am considering a nice piece of silk tweed to make it from. The pattern is Vogue 2523. When I looked for the pattern on Vogue’s Pattern Website it was not there with either the current, or out-of-print patterns.

The description is that of a loose-fitting, lined, hip length jacket/collar, welts, pockets and 7/8’s, 2-pc sleeves/mock vent and button trim. While it looks like a Chanel jacket with a collar, the fabrics suggested are: tweed (doesn’t state which fiber), woolens and linen.

So, again I ask for your take on the use of a quilted lining when using silk tweed.



  1. Cherrypops | | #1

    Hi WandaJ,

    Please view attached picture. Is this the Vogue jacket pattern?



    1. WandaJ | | #5

      Cherrypops, You just amaze me with your research abilities :->! Yes, this is the pattern. How did you find it? Is it still on the Vogue Pattern site, or do you have it in your stash?

      Anyway, since it's not an exact replica of Chanel jackets (I know her techniques can be used when making it) I need someone to give me a heads up about interfacing the silk tweed if I don't use the Chanel techniques. I was thinking about a batiste underlining with  lightweight hair canvas fused to the batiste.

      And, I was considering raising the shoulder armhole area as described by Sandra Betzina in a 1989 Threads article she wrote about the difference between the fit of European patterns versus domestic patterns. In the picture of the compared garments the Euro patterns did not have the sag lines between the middle of the front going near or against the breastbone from the shoulder/neck area down. Has anyone tried the raised armhole technique?

      What's your thinking along these lines.

      1. HeartFire2 | | #6

        If you use even a "lightweight" hair canvas, you will NOT have a Chanel style jacket. It would provide way too much structure. Chanel style jackets are what someone else described as a 'cardigan' it is very soft, unstructured supple garment. They have no underlinings, or interfacing's, just the lining that is quilted to the fashion fabric which supports the loose weave of the boucle.As for the 3 rows of top stitching, I have seen this in Chanel jackets at Neimans. What horrified me about them (and they did have Chanel labels in them) was that the top stitching was terrible!! they back stitched at the beginning and end of the rows and it was crooked! If I remember, these particular jackets had a placket and no braid on them (but this was about 4 yrs ago so the memory wanes!)

        Edited 3/29/2007 2:27 pm ET by HeartFire2

        1. WandaJ | | #7

          Thanks for your input and words of caution about creating a 'real' Chanel jacket. I know if I use the hair canvas I can forget the Chanel-like jacket, but the question I was asking is how hair canvas works with silk tweed when following the garment construction instructions for the pattern I stated and Cherrypops found a picture of and posted.

          Also, about the topstitching, I read in one of Claire Shaeffer's articles to not worry about the lines of topstitching being perfect because they were not in a Chanel jacket that she inspected; however, she did not go into discussion about backstitching. I'm sure when Chanel was at the head of her business that backstitching was a no-no, and most likely the topstitching was done by hand.

          That leads me to stating that I really don't like the Chanel designs that are being produced under (is it) Karl Largerfield. Many of them as you most likely know are some type of spin-off of the original cardigan-like design but they are so short and trendy. It is the trendiness that I believe that Chanel's original clothes did not depict, nor did she want to depict it in her designs.

          1. HeartFire2 | | #8

            Actually Chanel's styles were quite shocking when they came out - very mannish style suits, not at all 'feminine'. revolutionary in the lack of structure and she used a lot of Jersey knit fabrics.I agree with you about Karl Lagerfeld, I don't like much of what he does.

      2. Cherrypops | | #9

        no it was not in my stash.

        I used google and did an image search for vogue 2523. http://www.freshcutfabrics.com have it but the photo was awful.

        so i went back to google and searched for vogue 2523. fifth one down. http://www.grandmashouse.ws/patterns/LadiesDressesP3.html knowing what i was looking for (hoping it was the right one) I scrolled down the pattern pictures until i found it. didn't take long.

        http://www.grandmashouse.ws/ she has a lot of vintage and out of print patterns. and her explanation was exactly the same as yours.

        lucky guess eh?




        1. Cherrypops | | #10

          A picture of the Pattern which WandaJ is referring to is above.

          I attached it within my post #2.


        2. OKKathy | | #13

          We've Moved!

          http://www.grandmashouse.ws has moved to http://www.grandmashousepatterns.com. Same great products, same great service!

  2. User avater
    susannah_sews | | #2

    Hi Wanda

    Have you been reading my mind?   I bought some silk tweed on ebay late last year (a custom dressmaker clearing some excess fabric) and this is what I am going to attempt for my chanel jacket.  I emailed the seller and told her what I wanted to use it for (after the sale) and got a lovely email back, confirming that she thought it would be ideal for a chanel jacket because the quilting technique would give the silk tweed a bit of support without stiffness.  (we also discussed whether to use a light interlining for the skirt, in addition to standard lining.  She suggested that a light interlining would help support the fabric, but wasn't essential - and that it would add warmth, so might not be best for a skirt that would be worn all year round.  I just love ebay when these sort of connections pop up!)

    I am going to do a bit of quilting with it onto the silk/satin I want to line the jacket, and I will let you know how it looks. 



    1. User avater
      purduemom | | #3

      Hi Susannah,

      I smiled when I read your post as there is a piece of black/white silk tweed on my cutting table just waiting on me to decide  which jacket pattern I will use!  Have you considered using silk organza as an underlining for the skirt?  It might provide you with a little support while not adding too much warmth.  I look forward to hearing about your creation.


      1. WandaJ | | #4

        Now that we have the underlining issue out of the way, as well as, the silk tweed being suitable for a Channel-like jacket (do you think Coco is smiling as we talk :->}) what do you think about 3 rows of topstitching around the edges of the front, hem, sleeve and collar, which is what the pattern I looked at called for? Oh, I know I will just have to try it to see if I like it!

        As far as the skirt, there was a previous article in Threads about making a Chanel-like skirt. I don't think (don't rely on my memory though) that there was talk about quilting the skirt, but I will find it and give everyone the reference to the article in a little while.

         Oh, by the way, Purduemom, I will take lessons and suggestions from you anyday, as I still can't get out of my mind the beautiful jacket that you made. Sheesh!

  3. Cherrypops | | #11

    Jane, when you get time read these messages about Chanel/Silk Tweed. Cherrypops

  4. Ckbklady | | #12

    On a related note, I just wanted to let those in the Pacific Northwest (USA) to know that Pacific Fabrics has a great sale on silk tweed remnants for $9.99 a yard. I bought a couple of yards of a lovely blue/purple yesterday. The folded remnants vary in length (most were probably 5-10 yards, and can be cut to order), and have no origin or care instructions, but they're mighty pretty.

    :) Mary

    Edited 4/5/2007 3:11 pm by Ckbklady

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