Jacket interior–hidden luxury

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Here’s a closer look at the interior of the jacket, before it was fully lined with silk crepe de chine. The blue/gray fabric is the exterior “fashion” fabric, and the colorful fabric is the silk lining front facing. The beige fabric is the hidden luxury of this method. Rather than using modern fusible interfacing, the jacket is underlined and quilted with silk organza, a soft, sturdy secret weapon that gives the jacket shape without stiffness. The white crescents on the top of the sleeves are a soft wool “sleevehead” that give the sleevecap that “couture pop” without shoulder pads. (Although in this 60s version, the sleeve fits pretty tightly in the armhole, without the modern “poof” I’m not that into.)

To avoid having any topstitching visible on the exterior, which to me looks mass-market, I catch-stitched all of the hems and seam allowances down by hand. This highly-tedious process is tempting to skip, and yet I believe it’s the most important thing you can do to give it that haute couture je ne sais quoi. It’s hard to describe, but this secure and highly elastic stitch gives the jacket a soft movement, making it look like it’s held together without thread. Yet it controls the interior, so the seams never roll or unravel.

Traditionally, haute couture Chanel jackets have the colorful silk lining quilted directly onto the fashion fabric, without an underlining, but not all of them were made that way over the years. Personally I prefer this method because the organza underlining gives you a stronger jacket that’s still soft and light. And your last step, which is to tightly fell-stitch the colorful lining all around the interior edge of the jacket, completely covers the organza, the quilting, the seam finishes, and a multitude of sins.

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