chanel-inspired alabama chanin sweater

i’m back on pinterest in a big way recently. i had a fairly severe addiction over the summer, when it was the only cohesive way to bookmark garden designs and plant ideas while still keeping track of my garment sewing to-do list. also, it is the best way that i know of to gather french jacket inspiration.

so it was during one of my many exhaustive chanel searches that i turned up this look from, i think, one of the 2013 collections.

i loved it – the color, the weird skirt, even the shoes with socks – but what i most loved was how easy it would be to re-interpret using techniques and ideas i’d already been playing with in my studio. i turned to my trusty stack of inherited cashmere and my well-loved alabama chanin kristina’s rose stencil and got right down to it.


i used, as i said, a hand-me-down cashmere but anything could work. i just took one of my t-shirt patterns – in this case, the pattern included in the alabama studio sewing + design book – and cropped it to about two inches above my natural waist. i cropped it this high so that i could re-use the original waistband ribbing from the sweater for a finished look.


then, i stenciled the design as suggested by natalie chanin and string appliqued strips of white rayon knit (remnants from an old t-shirt project) using silk thread and a big catchstitch.


i hand-tacked the pearl trim once i had gotten the front on the dressform, just to check placement, and then finished all of the seams according to the hand-finishing techniques utilized by natalie chanin and the team at alabama chanin. it was my first time going all in on these techniques, not using a machine at all, and for such a small project it was totally worth it. it gave me a feeling of accomplishment and made the project extremely portable.


true story: my boss actually called me into his office and then asked me, “what, did you cut your shirt in half?” and then didn’t understand that i was serious when i answered “yes.” he said, “what?” and i was all, “yes, i literally took apart an old sweater, cut it in half, and put it back together to make this.”


le sigh. clearly i work with people who have no sense of vision!




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13 Responses to chanel-inspired alabama chanin sweater

  1. I love it! Great way to re-interpret a runway look.

  2. oonaballoona says:

    did your boss’s brain fritz at the end of that conversation? perfect pinspiration made real.

  3. ivalyn actie says:

    Amazing!!! I love the outcome!!

  4. Heather Lou says:

    LOOOOOOOOVE THIS! Alabama Chanin is so great and I’m loving the work coming from you and Carolyn using thier techniques. Your boss is nuts. You’re a visionary!

  5. Lisette says:

    Alabama Chanin is awesome! I bought one of her books but have yet to make anything from it. This is really beautiful! I have to ask though, have the pearls caught on anything yet?

    • puu says:

      the pearls have been safe! the strand is very tiny and strongly secured – i also tried to keep that in mind when i was draping them so they don’t quite fall all over the place.

      but really it is just a matter of time!

  6. Ha! I wish I could have seen that convo with your boss. Love this sweater.

  7. Pingback: mmmay14 roundup! and TGIF!! | puu's door of time

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