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Not a Chanel

For readers who are not hip-deep in the ‘sewing blogisphere’, you may not be familiar with the absolutely explosive growth in people’s sewing what could probably be called ‘Chanel-type’ jackets or ‘Chanel Tribute’ jackets. Go Chanel or Go Home

There are all sorts of patterns around – every one of the socalled ‘Big Four’ has at least one. One of the most popular is the one at the top of the post, Vogue 7975, which has been in their catalog for at least 3 years and is still in their collection and available for purchase. I’ve sewn it three times already, the first time for my younger daughters’ wedding (yes, thank you; we like him very much) and I’d had the pattern in my stash for a while before that. It’s still in Vogue’s collection. Here is ONE of Lindsay T’s versions of this same pattern as a Chanel-type jacket: LindsayTSews black Chanel jacket

But my point with this discussion today is that what I’ve made out of the same pattern is not a “Chanel Tribute” jacket. From a personal style standpoint, I can’t see myself in something with a lot of trim on it (which is one of the hallmarks of the jacket. See how the pattern artist has cleverly inserted that idea in your head already from the cover?). I’m really not an ’embellishment person’. As you can see from this photo, I went a bit out on the limb with the buttons (which I got from JoAnn’s and are horn with metal inserts), and the lining (which is from fabric.com and was part of the Vera Wang tsunami, the items of which are practically all gone at this point). The jacket itself is from wool plaid and unlike a Chanel-style jacket, I kept the wool facings at the edges and the back of the neck rather than run the lining right to the edges and quilting it to the fabric, which is usually a pretty loosely-woven boucle.

My point is this: When you have a basic pattern that you’ve worked all the bugs out of, a TNT (tried and true) as it were, you can make it in anything you want and it will look different. Every Single Time.
I’ve made this out of champagne colored brocade with 3/4 length sleeves as part of a wedding suit. I’ve also made it out of a silk tweed with a coordinating dress for a family event (and that reminds me; I need to take a look at it to see what else in the closet I can pair it with). This time, I made the jacket and a matching pencil skirt as a suit. Where I work is pretty casual (think Dockers slacks and golf shirts), so I don’t have much use for a wool suit, but when I want one, I’ve got one.

I’ve also got the rest of a wardrobe plan as well –
Forest green boucle for a coordinating skirt (because while if I wear a suit to work, I’ll be accused of going out on a job interview; if I wear a skirt and a coordinating jacket, especially if it’s with a t-neck or something informal like that, no one takes a lot of notice)
Forest green wool jersey for a dress and I think I have enough for a top as well.
I already have several pairs of brown pants that I can wear with the jacket and a brown wool skirt

So, as they say, I’m all set.

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4 Comments

  1. Shannon says:

    That is a gorgeous jacket! The pockets on the bias are a lovely feature.

  2. Toby Wollin says:

    Why thank you, Shannon – one of these days, I’ll have to learn how to make something with lapels and then I’ll have two TNT jacket patterns! 🙂

  3. Carolyn says:

    Can I second the gorgeousness of the jacket! And say that I have the pattern and haven’t used it yet but it keeps popping up to the top of my sewing list. I really just want a jacket out of it…not the whole “Chanel Tribute” thing though! BTW, love the Chanel Tribute phrase!!!

  4. Toby Wollin says:

    Thank you, Carolyn. As a fellow-plus size sewer, I can tell you that the vertical princess seams in this pattern are fantastic and the two piece sleeve works really well for those of use with big arms. I’m thinking of trying an experiment with transferring the princess to the armscye and seeing if that works too since that is a different look and would reduce the amount of fabric in the upper chest in that area.

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