Cloning Designer Garments, couture sewing, Fabric Shopping, French jacket trim, French Jackets, Uncategorized

Embellished Sleeve Jacket

Jacket Front

This jacket was inspired from a Chanel couture collection.  For the jacket body I used a lovely open weave boucle from Mendel Goldberg Fabrics. The fabric is a very open weave and needed to be backed with another fabric for construction. I used a lightweight ivory wool crepe and quilted the two fabrics together along horizontal stitching lines. Thank goodness I used quite a bit of steam on the fabrics before quilting as the boucle tightened up with steam.

Steamed boucle  Wide seam allowances prevent too skimpy seams and the walking foot kept the layers from shifting during the quilting process.

The fun part of this jacket was designing the sleeves. I used two layers of silk organza as a base for the trim.  Scouring NYC’s garment district turned up nothing for a ruffled trim. I had planned on using butterfly pleated organza ribbon but absolutely no one had any. One store offered placing a custom order but the minimum was 100 yards and 6-8 weeks time frame. No choice but to make it.

I decided polyester organza would actually work better than silk. Silk fabric creases and presses much better than polyester but I wanted the ruffles to hold their shape so the wiry nature of polyester was an advantage. I cut strips of organza along the lengthwise grain and finished the edges with a narrow ziz-zag stitch; stitch width of 1.8mm and length of 0.5mm on my machine worked well.  The strips were gathered down the center and drawn up to a 2:1 fullness.

A narrow beige ribbon layered with gold tubular yarn from Linton was sewn down the center with a serpentine ( width 5.0, length 1.25) stitch.

Make organza trim Place Ribbon Linton Yarn

The garment district did yield several suitable trims, including a gorgeous sequin banding. The double organza sleeve was sewn along the back seam, leaving the less obvious front seam open. Seam and hem lines had been thread traced to ensure the trim fit the finished sleeve. Trim was arranged, keeping the sequined trim and ruffles out of the underarm area. The sequin banding was catch stitched on the wrong side to prevent sagging as the jacket was worn.

Trim Placement Sleeve Underside

Excess sequins removed from the seam allowances and ends of the braids are steamed and flattened before sewing the seam.

Finished sleeve trim


Jacket Sleeve

The black jacket is also complete. Fringe from the selvages was paired with a soft, flexible braid. I opted for a custom made zipper from Botani.  They use Lampo (Italian) zippers and you can choose tooth color, tape color, pull and length. The small 3mm size works well for this.

Black Jacket Black jacket closeup

Next project is a Chanel inspired summer tunic and playing with more trims. Thanks for reading.

36 thoughts on “Embellished Sleeve Jacket”

    1. Thank you Marguerite. The white one was made for a client. The black ensemble is mine. I tend to keep my good clothing for many, many years. I have formal wear from 20 plus years ago that still looks wonderful.

  1. I just found your blog and I am so inspired. You take everything to the next level with your amazing talent. I am just about to make my first “little french jacket” in black boucle rather like the one you made – but my lining won’t be so lovely!! Do you mind me asking where you bought the black braid? Everywhere I look has quite dreadful nylon-looking stuff. Thanks!

    1. I totally understand your frustration with finding suitable braid. This black one came from M & J Trim in NYC. I bought about 20 yards as finding something lightweight, flexible and non-upholstery looking is difficult. The previous post describes my method for weaving your own braid using either yarns or fibers from the fabric. I’ve altered many genuine Chanel jackets and the trims on the “real deal” are very light. I’m happy you found me and hope you continue to follow.

  2. These jackets are so lovely. I am sorely tempted to try the zipper instead of the hooks. I am guessing that this was inserted prior to adding the trim.

    1. You are correct that the zipper is inserted (by hand of course) before trim is applied. The zippers from Botani are top quality and they do mail order so you don’t need at trip to NYC.

  3. Absolutely stunning. The sleeve design knocks it out of the park. Just seeing your work and reading your posts make me a better sewer. Thank for for spending the time and effort on pictures and write up.

  4. I always enjoy reading your blog and seeing how you make your beautiful garments. Thank you for sharing your process! It’s always inspiring and informative.

  5. Through your words, I can feel the excitement and also frustration over seeing the finished project and working through all the hurdles to get there. Your determination of making it work even when the components are not readily available is superb! Designing sleeves with the best proportions of different stripes and thicknesses and beads (oh my) and the solution to reducing bulk and droop is so very helpful. It only makes me wish I lived on the East coast to see your work up close!!!

  6. Your work is absolutely stunning! Such creativity. I noticed in one of your boucle jackets from a few years ago you used a black silk organza as an underlining to the fabric and then also lined the jacket. Is using the silk organza something you normally use? I’m trying to decide if I should use it as an underlining for my tweed fabric. I’m making a jacket with a zipper front and am using a Bemberg lining. Thanks so much for sharing your gorgeous work with us!

    1. Thanks for your compliments. Which jacket are you referring to? I do use silk organza as underlining but using an underlining depends on the the outer fabric and the final effect I’m looking for. If you are making a Chanel style jacket I and quilting the face fabric to the lining I would not use an underlining.

      1. Your jacket was the black and white fabric from B&J and you added the white studs to it. An absolutely stunning jacket. I noticed you also used black silk organza there. I’m using a similar tweed and am not quilting the lining as in the Chanel jackets. Instead I’m using facings and Bemberg lining. I don’t have the time right now for all the hand sewing. I wasn’t sure if I should use a light iron on interfacing or use the silk organza which I would wash and dry ahead of time. I’m assuming it does need an underlining to help with structure. THX again!

      2. I use silk organza frequently to underline garments. If you wash it prior to using, it will be much softer. I wash in warm water, dry in the dryer until damp, then iron. Your decision whether or not to pre-wash the organza. It depends on how much structure you want in the finished garment. Without seeing your jacket design, I would guess that you would want to use the organza unwashed. Just give it a good steam press to remove any shrinkage. I also use cotton batiste or lawn to underline. Thai Silks and Mood Fabrics sell a fairly inexpensive silk/cotton batiste which makes a wonderful softer underlining. For the black and white jacket I used unwashed silk organza. The jacket facings will need the support of interfacing. If you prefer iron on to sew on, I would use a high quality woven or weft interfacing. Good luck with your project. I’m always happy to answer questions.

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