return to camp chanel: and then, because i am crazy…

…i did this.


wait, no, GET OFF THAT…how am i supposed to work like this?!


so, on tuesday evening, i started a second jacket.  using my fitted muslin from my lapels-and-godets number, i folded out the lapels, eliminated the godets, and i traced out a straight jacket on a separate piece of chanel haute couture fabric, also scored on last year’s trip to mendel goldberg.  in fact, this piece is all stash, baby.

this was my first piece of boucle fabric that didn’t have any loft or give and i was shocked at how much of a difference, tactile and otherwise, that had in the making and manipulation of the jacket pieces.


for instance, even though i painstakingly left match points as i prepared my piece of fabric, my rounded and narrow shoulders were completely unforgiving in the stripe-matching department.  the fabric simply refused to ease through the curves, leaving me no choice but to have susan hand-fit the shoulders using me as a dress form.  you can see the re-pinned seam above, which i stitched in place using “my friend the fell stitch.”  (susan’s term, not mine.  i had some other choice descriptors for the ubiquitous hand stitch this week!)  getting back in there with a machine would have been nearly impossible, and i would have had to hand-baste it besides, so why not save the step, right?

interestingly, this was the first curve in any of my three jackets that i actually had to force a match.  normally, we are advised to match up to the bust points (or shoulder curve) and then let the fabric do what it needs to do.  as i wailed to the group, “what does it say about me that my bust curves always match and now i have to hand stitch the shoulder seam?!?!”


but at least i had quilting and cutting down to an art form by now, so it wasn’t too long before i had this:

IMG_2585 IMG_2584

i admit that by tuesday evening/wednesday morning i was fully suffering from what i call the stages of camp chanel.  namely,

  1. EXCITEMENT.  i cannot wait to get this piece of fabric into something amazing and gorgeous and all mine.  bring it on, baby!
  2. PRODUCTIVITY.  wow, this is not nearly as hard as i thought it would be.  i am making awesome progress.  keep it coming!
  3. STAGNATION.  ok, this is definitely taking a long time.  progress has slowed.  i am sewing 12 hours a day and haven’t touched a machine since monday.
  4. OMG I AM SO TIRED OF THIS CRAPPY HOTEL ROOM.  self-explanatory.
  5. PANIC.  WTF?!  how is it wednesday already?!  and i still have so much left TO GET DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

so i was definitely taking a few shortcuts to get enough of the jacket done to muslin and cut a sleeve that would match my deformed shoulders.  the inside of that jacket?  totally pin-basted.  not a stitch in sight.  and the shoulder seams are definitely holding on with a pin and a prayer.

and meanwhile the cat continued his campaign of seduction with every woman in the room.


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12 Responses to return to camp chanel: and then, because i am crazy…

  1. Leisa says:

    Omg I laughed out loud. The camp stages sum it up beautifully…I just repeated them every day 🙂
    Can’t wait to see the pics of your finished coat with the amazing trim and those godets…gorgeous!

  2. gingermakes says:

    Oh, Indy… what a hunk. But WOW. What an undertaking! I can’t believe how much works goes into the couture camp! I’m anxiously awaiting the completion of both jackets!

  3. megthegrand says:

    What a marvelous adventure! How fabulous that you got to hang out with a kitty and work on your epic jacket. I cannot wait to see it finished because it is going to be stunning!!!

  4. That looks so exciting, even in this barely held together stage! I love the longer length on you. And oh, that cat, what a charmer! Did you really bring him with you? And that was allowed??

    • puu says:

      amazingly, it was. i was staying in a pet-friendly hotel, but many of my fellow inmates thought that maybe the cat wouldn’t like to be left alone all day and said they would be ok with it if i wanted to bring him. the second afternoon, as an experiment, i brought him (intending to stay with him for only an hour or so)…and then he curled up in his little box and charmed the jackets off of everyone, so i brought him back several more times and even for the entire day on thursday. 🙂 you can see i have him on a little leash so that i could keep him close to me and away from others’ precious fabrics, but he made many friends in baltimore!

      • That sounds like such a fun and patient group! Walnut would probably be really shy if I ever brought him to a random place (not to mention that he hates his harness), but I can imagine Indy being the belle of the Chanel-jacket-making-ball.

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