McQueen Top Finished and Chanel Trims

Here is the final version of the flounce top adapted from a RTW Alexander McQueen design. Shown with jeans for an outdoor summer party.

Finished Top Front

I’ve also been busy developing a method for making custom trim to match your Chanel style jacket. The next few posts will go into more detail about this but here are some previews of what’s coming. I also have an article in the latest issue of Threads Magazine which explains how I go about adding a shoulder pad to the jacket and there is also a link to the pattern.

I love creating these jackets but am often frustrated when searching for just the right trim. Often what I find is too stiff, not the right color/width, etc. If you’ve watched Signe Chanel (it’s available on youtube or DVD) you’re familiar with Madame Pouzieux, the lady who created trims for Chanel. Unfortunately she is no longer alive and I understand no one quite “got” her method. Her loom and spinning devices were very large and beyond what any home sewer could possibly fit into a sewing room.

My search for a reasonable way to replicate these perfectly coordinated soft braids led to Kumihimo plate braiding. The braiding stand is easily made and I had very good luck with an inexpensive braiding plate.

Braid Stand

Here are two jackets trimmed with braid woven on the stand using yarns in my stash and some from Linton Tweeds.

Pastel Jacket    Threads JacketPastel Jacket Front

Pastel Jacket Detail

Threads Jacket FrontJacket Front CloseupThreads Braid

The braid is very soft and flexible but unravels VERY easily. I stitch a narrow strip of tulle across the ends before cutting. The 10 strand braiding pattern works well for these jackets and I’m experimenting with other patterns. The results will be up soon.



Filed under couture sewing, French Jackets, Uncategorized

38 responses to “McQueen Top Finished and Chanel Trims

  1. Mary-
    Your jackets look great!
    You should look at my book: Creating Couture Embellishments. There’s a whole chapter about Braids, another about Trims (including a Chanel like trim) and so forth… It’s only been available for 21 days! Take a look via my web site:
    Happy Sewing, Ellen


  2. jmaduke

    How fabulous, Mary! I’ve just been through the same challenge. I’m in the middle of my first Chanel jacket. I’ve made the trim (3/8″ petersham, stitched down the middle, with silk ribbon woven on top) but the jacket isn’t ready for it yet. I can’t wait to see more and see if I can’t make something that looks this amazing! Thank you for all you do and share.


    • Glad you liked this. Having worked on many authentic Chanel jackets, I was impressed by the fineness and flexibility of the trim and set out to replicate something close. Much more coming.


  3. What fascinating projects! You and the blouse are inspiring! I can’t wait to learn more about how to make braided trim. I am making my first Chanel jacket with Susan Khalje in September and have been concerned about finding or making a trim that is not stiff and has the exact colors I like. Looking forward to your next posts.


  4. Tracey Stockton

    Thanks so much for sharing! Truly appreciate it!

    On Mon, Aug 28, 2017 at 3:12 PM, Cloning Couture wrote:

    > maryfunt posted: “Here is the final version of the flounce top adapted > from a RTW Alexander McQueen design. Shown with jeans for an outdoor summer > party. I’ve also been busy developing a method for making custom trim to > match your Chanel style jacket. The next few posts” >


  5. cindyann

    Beautiful work. As always, very inspiring.


  6. Lisa Jones

    Your pattern matching is incredible


  7. Fabulous – and I feel exactly the same. Very much looking forward to reading about your technique – the braid/trim on your two gorgeous jackets here is just lovely!!


  8. Angie

    What timing! I’m going to be starting a Chanel jacket in October. Curious which pattern you use. Your trims are beautiful and I’m eager to give this a try. Thanks for sharing this!


  9. marysiap

    Lovely post,
    So far I have made one Chanel style jacket and am planning on making another one asap, with Linton fabrics.

    Would love to learn more about the braiding techniques. Would you be able to give us details with regard to where you purchased the braiding plate? I love the braided trim on the second jacket; perhaps that’s because the colour makes it easier to see. Would really love to try this method as it looks just perfect on your jackets.

    Thank you so much for sharing.


  10. Your blouse is magnificent and perfect with your jeans. Looking forward to learning how to make braid for jackets.


  11. As you might imagine, I am fascinated by your foray into trim creation…and so impressed! I’m not sure I have as much patience, but I sure do love the results you’re getting. I look forward to seeing more on this.I really appreciate you sharing your knowledge and technical skill! Now back to my own LFJ! Thank-you.


  12. Great Mcqueen tops! I’ll follow your trim experiments with great interest, I’m a fan of Signé Chanel…. Have you watched Dior and I?


  13. First of all your top is sensational! I really enjoyed the post about designing the flounces and now to see it all come together is a thrill 😉
    …… and now you’re making braids for your Chanel jackets??? Look forward to learning more about this, Mary!


  14. The blouse is stunning – and so versatile. Loved your article in Threads – and so good to see more pictures of your jacket here in this post. I wondered about that trim on the jacket featured in the Threads article – and now I know! Looking forward to seeing how you made it (the trim, that is.)


  15. Eva Andersen

    The braiding reminded me of tablet weaving – have you looked into that? It’s also a very simple setup. I haven’t heard of kumihimo braiding before, but from a first look, it seems less versatile than tablet weaving. In any case it was a really interesting post – not the least for seeing “Chanel” jackets “in the wild” 🙂


    • Thank you for the suggestion. I did experiment with tablet, or card, weaving early in my search. Tablet weaving is simple but produces a firmer braid than I wanted. The Kumihimo technique uses counterweights to control the tension and I was able to make a supple braid which curved easily around corners. I’m planning to explain this more fully in the next post. Hope you enjoy and thanks again for your input.


      • Eva Andersen

        I always enjoy reading your blog. It’s really interesting, and I enjoy that you write about advanced topics. Thank you for the work you put into sharing it with us 🙂


  16. Pamela Bowman

    Your blouse is as beautiful as I pictured it would be. What fabric did you use to get ruffles with body? The jackets are incredible also like everything you make. I learn so much from your well written blog. Thank you for sharing your knowledge of couture so generously.


  17. The top turned out fabulous!


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