THE SEWING DIVAS sewing, design, fashion

August 19, 2006

Stalking The Ghost of Coco Chanel – Part I

Filed under: Couture Techniques,Designer Inspirations — phyllisc @ 9:28 am

The Divas are probabley getting tired of my interest in Mme. Chanel, but I have to admit ever since I first saw her work as a girl I’ve always loved it, and her designs have always made perfect sense to me.

This cardgian has been in my brain since about 2004, and I finally finished it earlier this summer. I’ve always loved those beaded sweaters from the 1950’s and I’ve seen a few that have linings, an idea I’ve always wanted to emulate. Another fascination has been the soft shape of a traditional Chanel jacket. I’ve always wanted to make a soft jacket-like cardigan, and the simple shape of the Wong-Singh Jones Nirvana cardigan from Hotpatterns is just what I was looking for.

The finished jacket is pretty simple; the exterior is beige sweater knit and black stretch velvet, the interior is beige stretch silk charmeuse, and the inside is trimmed with red Petersham where the lining and interior facings meet. The ties on the original design were replaced with beaded tassels.

In Part II I’ll show you some photos of the interior construction underneath the lining and how the tassels were made, and you can see a review on
Pattern Review,


  1. Faboolious!!!!

    Comment by Gorgeous Things — August 19, 2006 @ 6:28 pm

  2. Really wonderful! I’m speechless with admiration.

    Comment by Anonymous — August 19, 2006 @ 9:25 pm

  3. So beautiful, Diva Phyllis!

    Comment by Mary Beth — August 20, 2006 @ 4:21 am

  4. Wow! Looks great Phyllis.

    Comment by Linda — August 20, 2006 @ 4:54 am

  5. very impressive. keep it up lady!

    Comment by Misty Ann Matheson — August 20, 2006 @ 12:47 pm

  6. A truly talented Sewist, you did a great job on this.

    Comment by Anonymous — August 20, 2006 @ 4:01 pm

  7. Phyllis, it’s really gorgeous! I’m really interested in Part II. You only showed enough to get us all hooked for the next installment!

    Comment by SBanks — August 20, 2006 @ 6:08 pm

  8. I love it . I have a Chanel fixation too and am making a jacket which is quilted in the way she did. It is so soft and luxurious . I really love your tassles.

    Comment by marianne isaacs — August 20, 2006 @ 8:04 pm

  9. Phyllis, those tassels are sooo divine! I would love to know how you make them. I would be afraid of the tassel being under too much stress as a closure. Did you use a special type of thread for construction and fastening on to the garment?

    Comment by Georgene — August 22, 2006 @ 1:21 pm

  10. The thread is Nymo, which is a hard nylon twisted thread with a waxed finish. It comes in size 00 (2 lb. test) to size D (10 lb. test), it doesn’t stretch, and it’s very difficult to break (almost cuts-thorough-your-finger difficult). The finished tassels are pretty sturdy because they’re made from a single length of thread about as long as your arm, and each bead strand has at least 2 threads running through it by the time the tassel is finished. Each tassel is hand tacked to the garment with Nymo, the only special technique there is a waste knot. I’m working on a tuorial right now actually, although I’m not sure I can get it done by the time we leave for vacation on Friday. So stay tuned!

    Comment by Phyllis — August 22, 2006 @ 4:06 pm

  11. Hey, I think I still have some Nymo left over from my beading days! Really, Phyllis, your cardigan hangs beautifully on you – Coco would be proud!

    Comment by Gigi — August 23, 2006 @ 7:39 am

  12. I saw this jacket the other night and I got to examine it up close. It’s even more spectacular than the photos show!

    Comment by Gorgeous Things — September 8, 2006 @ 3:55 pm

  13. I found this blog entry precisely because I’m having a tough time finding a good Chanel jacket pattern. (I think patternmakers are scared to use the word!) Yours is LOVELY. A stunner. If memory serves, the Hot Patterns cardigan is for stretch fabrics. Is there a pattern for wovens (wool gab. or a light boucle) that you would suggest?! And keep posting your ideas for channeling Chanel!


    Comment by Anonymous — September 26, 2006 @ 10:27 am

  14. Just love the Jacket.

    Comment by libby — October 6, 2008 @ 9:27 am

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