Cloning Designer Garments, couture sewing, creating designer trim, Drafting Patterns, French jacket trim, Uncategorized

Recreate the Runway Look

In a previous post, I outlined the steps to recreate this runway look. Here’s a link: to a more detailed description of the modifications to a basic pattern that I made.

The mockup was done on a half-scale mannequin but a full size pattern worked better for the collar draft. Here’s my final collar pattern which I tested with hymo canvas and a piece of scrap boucle.

When looking closely at couture designs, I’ve noticed that a horizontal weave in the fabric travels straight across the the upper body and continues through the sleeve, creating an unbroken line in the fabric. This half scale jacket illustrates the difference.

Runway design. Notice how the horizontal stripe is matched.

The right side of the jacket has been cut with the princess seam ending at mid shoulder. For the left side, the princess seam was shifted from the bust apex to a point closer to the neck (about 1 inch). This pattern adjustment makes the princess line on the side panel more vertical and requires less manipulation of the fabric. Refer to the previous post linked above for a more complete explanation of the pattern changes.

Here’s the full scale side panel being steamed and shaped.

Fabric before shaping
Working the fabric into shape. The excess fabric in the armhole will be shrunk into place.
After shaping the boucle will be unstable. Silk organza cut on the original grain holds the shape. A row of running stitches helps hold the armseye to shape.
The collar is partially pad stitched. I’ll finalize the placement and determine the finished collar size before finishing. This is the under collar which is collar felt and bias cut lightweight linen canvas.

Here’s a preview of the custom trim. I rarely use pre-made trims as most are too stiff and rigid. This one has been created with tubes of matching silk georgette fabric and yarn. This one turns corners easily and compliments the boucle.

Waiting for silk buttonhole twist to arrive.

35 thoughts on “Recreate the Runway Look”

  1. Great looking trim! I am struggling to create some trim for a jacket I’m working on. Those georgette tubes are fabulous. How did you make the borders on each side?

    1. Yes, it’s hard to find appropriate trim, especially in non-basic colors. Chanel jackets I’ve seen have trims that were made to compliment the fabric.

  2. Mary,

    The trim is so phenomenal. Brings us back to early Chanel when her suits had a modest amount of embellishing.

    This suit , due to the perfect trim, is so easy to wear for the office.

    C – level professionals like me have to be very very selective because suits with flamboyant embellished fringe do not do well in our working environment. In fact, when worn the suit either projects an alienating persona or an air of superiority rather than an approachable , problem solving persona.

    It’s a challenge to find a suit that says “ hey my door is open “ and also “ don’t cross me”.

    I am looking very much forward to learning from you.

    Jen Robinson-Williams

  3. Your trim is absolutely lovely. Was it very difficult to do? I am getting ready to start a “Little French Jacket” after the new year and I have not had much luck finding an appropriate trim. Is there a book or reference on how to create your own?

      1. Thank you so much. I will Develop my Skills, But it is so difficult, there are no Lessons and on Books to unterstand what is possible and what the Technik is for that. Your Website is for me The one and only in this field to sew the Boucle fabric and so jacket and dresses. Thanks from Germany

  4. Thanks so much for this post with its immaculate work and interesting detail. I learn from all your posts Mary and your work inspires me to do the best I can at the level I am right now. Trim has been puzzling me for a while now and I’m looking forward to learning more about it.

  5. Mary, It’s so beautiful and your technical skills elevate the dress superbly. Hopefully, with aid of your generous writings, I can start to approach creating a dress as beautiful as this is. Thank you for sharing this complicated process. I love the trim (and fabric), too.

  6. Two things-
    The first picture of the red, blue and white dress shows the collar was cut on grain and not on the bias, but it has a beautiful roll much like your example. Was that collar subjected to iron work like your example? Or was there another secret “out carture” technique that was used we haven’t seen?

    No one has mentioned the beautifully set in sleeve on your dress. Exquisite little roll at the cap, and perfect fabric pattern matching with the bodice are subtle examples of perfect dressmaking.

    I eagerly wait for more….

    1. Thank you John. Yes the collar is shaped so that the horizontal weave in the fabric follows the edge. It is cut with crosswise grain going around the collar. Thanks for mentioning the sleeve. It’s tons of subtle details that all work together.

  7. I, too, noticed that beautiful sleeve! I always look at shoulders and sleeve caps first when looking at a garment for some reason. Seeing a beautifully executed sleeve insertion just makes my heart sing! And the collars on the Chanel runway really are beautiful. Thank you for sharing your expertise, Mary.

  8. Hi Mary!! Remember Whalers Point? Last time I saw you we bumped into each other on a ski gondola! Hope you are well! Sherry

  9. Incidentally this very dress was the pattern of the month in the Spanish ‘Patrones’ magazine, April 2021 issue (they also publish online).
    Your version of it is lovely, especially the handmade trim (and probably fits way better than a commercial pattern!)

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