COUTURE CARDIGAN JACKET
Tutorials available FREE to Guild members only.
Non-members - $95 AUD
Registration opens 10 December 2019. Sew-Along commences 27 January 2020.
Start 2020 with a sewing challenge - make a classic cardigan-style jacket, often called a Chanel jacket. Of course, it's not going to be the real deal but you can pretend it is. It's a timeless and elegant garment and every wardrobe should have one.
This sew-along will be spread out over several months as you will want to take your time - lots and lots of hand sewing involved. The first two weeks will be devoted to making and fitting a toile. Then onto the garment which will be constructed over a 10-week period. Of course, you can go slower if you want - work at your own pace.
- Vogue pattern V8804. If you choose another pattern, the construction sequence may not be exactly the same as in the instructions you receive. However, the basic principles will remain the same. Experienced sewists may be happy to cope with this.
The Vogue pattern has the following design features. If you use another pattern, we recommend you look for the same features to produce the classic style of the cardigan jacket
- Princess seams in front, coming from shoulder
- Centre seam in back
- Side panels - no side seams
- 3-piece sleeve with button vent
Note: The Vogue pattern has bracelet length sleeves - just above the wrist bone. If you prefer a full-length sleeve you can adjust the pattern when you make your toile.
- Fabric, lining, trim & buttons - a word about that a bit further down the page.
- Basting thread. This is a thicker thread that is not as strong as normal polyester thread. It tears much easier and therefore is easier to remove later on. We recommend getting 2 or 3 different colours. Spotlight sells Gutermann basting thread.
- (Optional) If you are brave enough to try hand-stitched buttonholes, you will need silk buttonhole twist or topstitching thread to match your fabric.
- 1 metre silk organza (to be used as interfacing). Larraine Jenkins* can provide this at a discounted price of $29/metre (140 cm wide).
- half metre of light-weight, crisp woven interfacing - NOT fusible
- Clapper - also available from Larraine Jenkins* at discounted price of $32 (plus postage)
- Sleeve roll (or you can use a rolled up towel)
- Tailor's ham
- Chain for jacket hem
*Larraine Jenkins is an ASG member. Orders can be placed by emailing email@example.com
Discounted prices available to sew-along participants only. Please quote 'AUSSEW-Along' in order.
Please do not contact Larraine with queries about the sew-along; she will provide supplies only. Any queries should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
The most traditional choices are nubby tweeds and plaids, usually wool or wool blends. For warmer climates you can consider cotton or silk blend tweeds. Stick to natural fibres and fabrics that are not tightly woven. Steam is used to shape certain areas of the garment so synthetics or tightly woven fabrics are not appropriate.
Checks and plaids are frequently used for this jacket. However, that does introduce another element of complexity - you have to match the pattern in the fabric! If this is your first attempt at the 'Chanel' jacket, we recommend a plain colour or a pattern that does not require matching. For those who have their heart set on a plaid, some very basic pattern matching instructions will be provided prior to cutting into your fashion fabric.
What to use for lining? As you are using natural fibres for the jacket, it is best to stick with natural fibres for lining, Silk charmeuse is a lovely choice. For something a bit more stable and easier to work with, silk dupion is a good option. Consider washing the dupion first. Washing will change the 'hand' and the look of the silk. It will have a softer feel and a slightly creased look, even after ironing. It gives the fabric a 'vintage' look which is quite nice. If you have chosen a plain colour fashion fabric, think about a print for the lining - optional but a bit different.
Trim and Buttons
Braid trim, also called gimp, is one of the most common trims for the cardigan jacket. It is also one of the easiest to apply as it can be shaped around corners and curves. The red jacket (above) has gimp trim.
Flat ribbons, such as grosgrain, can also be used but it is best to stick to a narrow width (no more than 1 cm or 3/8") as the tightly woven edges mean they are less flexible around curves.
Fringe made with self-fabric is also very popular, and easy to apply. Usually the fringe is combined with a braid or ribbon trim as in the cream jacket pictured above.
Buttons, combined with the trim, can turn an ordinary jacket into something special. It's worth the extra money required to purchase quality buttons. Refer to your pattern instructions for the size and number of buttons required.
The hem of the jacket is weighted with chain to control the drape of the garment. Finding the right chain, at the right price, can be a bit difficult. Too light and it does not serve its purpose; too heavy and it creates drag rather than drape. It also needs to lie flat against the hem so you need to avoid chains that have a twisted link. After considerable searching, I chose Craft Cub Supplies (Australian supplier in Queensland). These chains come with swivel hooks attached at the end, as they are meant for handbags. The hooks can easily be removed.