Sewing a Chanel Inspired Skirt
All about the couture Skirt
Sewing a Chanel Inspired Skirt
All about the couture Skirt
The Couture Faux-Wrap Skirt, Chanel-Style, is one of the most popular couture skirts because of its style and specific characteristics.
It is designed by Coco Chanel for ladies "on the move" almost hundred years ago. A complete new design in the times when petticoat and multi-layered skirts were mainstream. The faux-wrap design did not need an underskirt. The lining is quilted on the fabric, which makes the skirt feel very soft, easy to wear with panties and in winter tick enough to wear outdoors. The skirt is in combination with the cardigan jacket meant to be the perfect suit; easy to wear, yet elegant and superb sophisticated. The skirt is softly tailored; based on light-weight fabrics and simply styled.
The skirt became an absolute favourite mainly because of its shape (very flattering) and elegant style. Fabrics were used: lightweight fabric as tweed and wool. Sometimes even linen and braid cotton. A lot of attention on the details as well; mostly perfectly matching the cardigan jacket. The simple yet elegant style was ideal for the fashionata, business ladies and busy moms. The faux-wrap skirt was easy to wear as it provides a lot of freedom because of its wrap-style and light fabric.
The skirt was shaped on the body. Personal fitting and all very labor intensive. Darts were eased away; a couture technique which is not easy, although the name is suggesting it.
The shape of the skirt is also very slimming. It holds back the belly and replaced the corset. To avoid getting bulky on the belly; sometimes the fabric was minimized by using the lining as second layer instead of the wrap. Only above the waist line, so it does not show.
The skirt had minimum darts and more often even the side-seams were kept away. When darts were necessary because of its fabrics; darts were tiny and almost invisible.
The zipper was mostly on the back and invisible. Hand-sewing on the skirt. Many skirts also have two zippers on the side backs. The reason: two zippers on the side backs makes dressing more easy and when wearing a blouse; the zipper on the backside might be seen. Two invisible zippers on the side backs were a couture technique and very luxurious.
Chanel started to work with jersey in a time when jerseys were “not-done” in couture world. She also used men's tweeds and plaid which was uncommon as well. Over the years the bouclé 's were introduced and the daring tweed-colours. The skirt became modern and very unique because of its trims, fringes and the same story as the jacket: very characteristic signature of the Chanel brand.
The skirt now-a-days is still popular because of the shape and the easy-to-wear- construction. But the skirt is not limited to classic fabrics. The skirt had become popular made from demins, stretch fabrics, evening-wear fabrics and even experimental fabrics.
Authentic Chanel skirts mostly have the famous quilted lining. Copies usually skip this process or are having a fake pre-quilted lining fabric which is not stitched on the outside fabric.
* Disclaimer: Some photos are not taken or owned by me. They are used solely for the purpose of discussion, comment and as a visual aide to convey the beauty of the object to you, the viewer. These images are not intended for any commercial purpose.
Sewing the Chanel-Style Skirt:
The skirt is relatively easy to make if you are an advanced seamstress and you have the time for a lot of handsewing. The book of Claire Schaeffer shows the techniques and the tricks to get it done. But buying a good pattern of a wrap-skirt will be a good base as well. Working your way from the base till the end result and keeping in mind the time spending is a luxe. It will not be a one-hour-skirt-project and a one-season-fashion-item. But it will be a piece of couture and a slow process. And you will have a timeless skirt which you will wear for decades.
Updating the skirt or making it a very fashionable item, all depends on the length of the skirt and the fabrics which is used. Take a look around on the inspirations pages of this website or on the internet. The shape of the skirt, the construction and the couture techniques used will be your base; anything else is up to you and open for endless variations, possibilities and modern results.
Sewing Pattern review Butterick B6382
Book: The Couture Skirt by Claire Schaeffer
Styling the Chanel-Style Skirt:
Also on the styling part: almost every year the skirt is back in the collections of the couture Shows. It is styled to be the last must-have fashionable item in fashion world. How says the skirt is out-dated? It really is not. Comparing to the jeans, we might concluded the jeans changed over the years as well. Created for workers, later for the younger generations, now-a-days the whole world is walking around in jeans on a daily base and in almost every situation. But the jeans developed and has more different looks than a simple person could wear in a year. The same for the chanel skirt; it is here for a hundred years now, and still a great item to collect, to love, to create and to wear in many different fabrics; made for many different situations and styled for many different events, goals and looks.
Read more: Styling the Chanel Skirt
Guide: All about the lenght of skirts
Creating the Chanel Couture Skirt !
Once you created one skirt and wear it, you will love to make the second and you start counting. Buy the most beautiful fabric you discover in a store or on a market and start (hand)sewing.
You do not need much fabric; so it will not be thát expensive.
More information: Fabrics,lining, design and styling.
Good luck !
Marga Kuitenbrouwer-Van der Vet schrijft informatieve, kritische en humoristische blogs, columns en artikelen voor diverse magazines, blogs, websites en branches.