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  • Mood Style: Sewing a Chanel-Style Jacket


    Sometimes inspiration comes from the oddest places. In this case, I knew I wanted to make a Chanel-inspired jacket with one of Mood's fantastic new tweeds, but I just couldn't find the right pattern for it. Should I go classic? Should I do something with a little twist?

    Cut to me stumbling upon a Sailor Moon costume pattern. That's right, this classy blazer was inspired by a sailor scout uniform. Crazy how versatile patterns can be sometimes!


    Fabrics & materials used:

    I went with view A of Simplicity 1092, choosing to also add a lining of the black cotton sateen. In lieu of bias-bound edges, I hand-stitched some 1/4" gold and black trim, which matched the main fabric perfectly and brought out the subtle metallic gold in the tweed beautifully!


    The pattern also called for some hook and eye closures along the front, but I substituted them for 5 snaps to make it a little more stable when closed.


    Ultimately, I think it's an interesting little jacket, especially for the upcoming holidays! The unique lapel gives it an almost off-the-shoulder kind of feel, which would look absolutely stunning with some jewelry.

    Are you going to be making anything similar soon? Which fabrics would you make it with?

  • Trend Report: Handbags for Fall 2016

    Handbags were everywhere on the Fall runway this season with a wide variety in texture and shape. The biggest trend, however, was functionality and purpose. Here are some of our favorite styles from this season’s top trends! Fur Bags Fur-covered handbags were a huge hit with the runway, and we couldn’t agree more! There’s something so vintage and nostalgic about a nice fur covered purse, and they always give off an elegant and classy appearance.
    Salvartore Ferragamo | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Salvartore Ferragamo | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear
    Michael Kors | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Michael Kors | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear
    Whether sporting something like a bucket purse or a boxy handbag, fur designs can be a great statement piece. Soft to the touch and usually easy on the eyes, it’s hard not to appreciate their unique image (even if you go with faux fur!). If you’re looking to make a fur-covered bag of your own, consider some of these fabrics for your design!
     Black/Pale Gray Solid Faux Fur Black/Pale Gray Solid Faux Fur
     Black Grooved Faux Beaver Fur Black Grooved Faux Beaver Fur
     Silver Faux Wolverine Fur Silver Faux Wolverine Fur
    For the straps, these furs pair well with:
     Platinum Fashion-Weight Faux Leather Platinum Fashion-Weight Faux Leather
    Drawstring Bags Drawstring bags are a great staple of handbag fashion, mostly because of how easy they are to work with! You can make them as big as you'd like it to be, and they close easily, so you never have to worry about your belongings falling out.
    Alexander Wang | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Alexander Wang | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear
    Lanvin | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Lanvin | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear
    They look great no matter what size they are. And since the design is simple and interchangeable, you have a lot of choices to consider if you're making one. If you would like to make one, we actually have a DIY article about making one with leather here! Here are some of the materials we suggest if you're looking to make one of your own!
     Copper Fashion-Weight Faux Leather Copper Fashion-Weight Faux Leather
    You don't have to go with just leather, though!
    Natural Solid Canvas Natural Solid Canvas
    Black Waxed Cotton Canvas Black Waxed Cotton Canvas
    And for the drawstrings, you can use drawcords or metal chain! Tasseled and Long-Fringed Bags Fan of the Western look? Tassels and long fringes often bring a sense of down-to-earthness, and adding fringe to a piece is also a great way to play with the illusion of body and flow.
    Altuzarra | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Altuzarra | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear
    Roberto Cavalli | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Roberto Cavalli | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear
    Usually made of some kind of leather or leather look-alike, tassels and fringe can draw the eye with their fluid movements, which is what makes them a popular item. Even small additions of fringe can pay off! Check out our DIY using fringe to spruce up a pair of heels by Brandhyze here! If you’re interested in a fringed purse of your own, consider these fabrics for your design!
     Mint Stretch Faux Leather/Vinyl Mint Stretch Faux Leather/Vinyl
    4" Light Brown Suede Fringe 4" Light Brown Suede Fringe
    2 2" Safe Basic Tassel
    Revamped Fanny Packs Revamped fanny packs were huge in the 90s, and they’re back again! Designed for ease of comfort and functionality, these hands-free designs are now trendy and versatile!
    Prada | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Prada | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear
    Chanel | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Chanel | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear
    While the photos provided here show off a very chic styles, revamped fanny packs are flexible in what designs look good for and with them. If you need some inspiration, take a look as some of these ideas!
    Brown Fashion-Weight Faux Leather Brown Fashion-Weight Faux Leather
     Silver Solid Faux Suede Silver Solid Faux Suede
    Along with these fabrics, you can do a little embellishment with a chain strap, sequin or beaded trims, and clasps!   Halfmoon Bags Halfmoon bags are super cute and in-season now! The curved shape of their silhouette is simply graceful and like no other style.
    Celine | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Celine | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear
    Loewe| Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Loewe | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear
    Any color fits well with them, and so long as you have a sturdy fabric to help keep its shape, you can go with almost anything! If you’d like to see some fabric ideas for halfmoon bags, consider some of these!
     Fudge Backed Faux Leather/Vinyl Fudge Backed Faux Leather/Vinyl
    Rag & Bone Coated Port Royale Laminate/Vinyl Rag & Bone Coated Port Royale Laminate/Vinyl
    Turkish Purple/White Floral Water-Resistant Vinyl Turkish Purple/White Floral Water-Resistant Vinyl
    And some notions--like grommets, trims for straps, and a zipper for closure--to help finish the look! Small Backpacks And lastly, small backpacks! This fashion has flitted around through the years, but they got a particular amount of attention by designers for this season.
    Versace | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Versace | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear
    Michael Kors | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Michael Kors | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear
    As with the halfmoon bags, their shape is one of the features that stands out most, and like the revamped fanny packs, their functional purpose makes them a great choice for on the go!
    Off-White/Maize/Sky Blue Geometric Canvas Off-White/Maize/Sky Blue Geometric Canvas
    Rag & Bone Italian Vertiver Vinyl Rag & Bone Italian Vertiver Vinyl
    And finish it off with a zipper!
    Black Chain Separating Zipper 26 Black Chain Separating Zipper 26"
      Which of these handbag designs is your favorite? Have you seen others aside from these that you loved, too? Can you think of any fabrics that we didn't listen that you would like to use for one of these styles? Let us know! Save Save Save Save
  • Finished: Chanel-Style Boxy Jacket with Fringe

    Chanel-style boxy jacket made from Mood Fabrics' Italian metallic tweed, with metallic fringe, also from Mood. Kristen from Mood modeling the Chanel-style jacket I recently made for my daughter.
    A Chanel-style, boxy jacket is one of those classic pieces that works well on just about everyone. I decided it was time to make one for my daughter, who is about to graduate from college and needs clothes that can go on job interviews. For fabric, I chose a lightweight Italian black tweed that has little metallic flecks. Here are several excellent options for tweeds and bouclés at MoodFabrics.com. I lined it with black silk charmeuse from my stash. Note: When you find black or off-white silk charmeuse at a price you like, buy several yards. It's one of those fabrics you can always use. For the pattern, I used Kwik-Sew 3258. This is a good option if you're going for a less fitted, more boxy look—no princess seams, just bust darts. I converted the two-piece sleeves to bracelet-length and I trimmed off the neckline by about 1/2-inch. And I added four patch pockets, a quintessential Chanel touch.

    Chanel-style boxy jacket made from Mood Fabrics' Italian metallic tweed, with metallic fringe, also from Mood.

    The front closes with a plastic Riri zipper from Pacific Trims on W. 38th Street close to Mood NYC. Zipper teeth are exposed.

    Chanel-style boxy jacket made from Mood Fabrics' Italian black wool boucle and Mood's fancy metallic fringe.

    This eyelash black-and-silver metallic fringe I found at Mood NYC really makes the jacket, don't you think? I machine-stitched it in place before I attached the lining.

    Chanel-style boxy jacket made from Mood Fabrics' Italian metallic tweed, with metallic fringe, also from Mood.

    No Chanel-style jacket would be ready without the chain at the hem. It really works to weight down the jacket hem.

    Trims from Mood NYC perfect for Chanel-style jackets.

    If a Chanel-style jacket is in your future, plan on spending beaucoup time searching for the right trim, of which you'll need about five yards. I like these trims above for black bouclé or tweed jackets. (Email trim@moodfabrics.com for details.) ------------------- Have you moved on to spring sewing yet? I am so sick of winter that I swear I'm going to start sewing beachwear now, just in the hopes it might bring the warm weather sooner. What are you sewing?!
  • Is a little black jacket on your sewing life list?

    All the fashionistas in NYC are buzzing over The Little Black Jacket exhibit that's in town through this Friday. Have you heard about this exhibit? Karl Lagerfeld and Carine Roitfeld dreamed up the idea when Carine was having a black Chanel jacket custom-made. They gathered up over 100 celebrities, Karl photographed them in versions of the iconic jacket, and voilà, a book and an exhibition was born.

    All this hoopla has me obsessing once again about Chanel jackets and being thankful that I can sew my own, since owning a real Chanel jacket could easily cost several thousand dollars. Making one seems to be a right of passage for sewists, many of whom flock to Susan Khalje's French jacket sewing classes and read everything Claire Shaeffer writes on the subject.

    Me, I made a black Chanel-style jacket about four years ago. I like it, but I'm not in love with it (too short in length, gets a little warm to wear for any extended period of time). Time for a do-over! I really like the longer length of Vogue 8804. Yesterday morning at Mood I swatched a piece of black wool bouclé  and then played around with some trim and buttons. Half the fun of making a Chanel jacket is picking out the perfect fabric and trim, right?

    Italian black wool bouclé from Mood NYC, $35/yd. Toying here with a beaded trim, though I'll probably go with a more traditional braid in the end.
    Have you made a Chanel-style jacket? Do you think making one is something that needs to be on every sewist's life list? What other iconic garments belong on such a list? Tell me here!