Style Arc Janet a dual citizen in boucle


Mme Chanel was reportedly much flattered by the desire to copy her cardigan jacket. So my Aussie version of the little French jacket has fittingly been known as The Dual Citizen Jacket. That’s a reference to the latest political scandal! No, not compromising sex tapes or smutty texts. It was the discovery that a number of our politicians hold dual citizenship,  a constitutional faux pas if you’re an Aussie politician. Resignantions have been accepted by the PM. It’s a relief I have no political aspirations being a dual citizen myself and all!


The Aussie/French jacket has taunted me for sooo many years. Do you ever put off making something because you know that 4 entire weeks spent making one garment just doesn’t jive with the schedule? Hmmm, me too! I put off making this jacket for 6 years, afraid I’d make a hash of it. Thankfully those years were spent honing some skills and voila, not exactly a hash!

Style Arc Janet front

The houndstooth fabric cost me about $200AUD 6 years ago, but unfortunately it wasn’t the 2m I’d recalled, but only 1.85m. Less fabric is never a good thing when you’re pattern matching a large neon technicolour houndstooth weave. Also, I had thought it was wool – y – ish, it wasn’t, whatsoever. It was a plastic fantastic melange that looked a lot like the sweepings after mardi gras. Serendipitously, a dive into the fabric vault unearthed a fabulous hot pink silk dupioni lining. Wonderful to work with, and the dupioni saved me from having to use an iron on interfacing to hold the neon melange together. The quilted sleeves are lined in navy blue silk satin, a great choice as it turns out. The jacket glides on effortlessly over under layers.

Style Arc Janet back

Jackets that meet at centre front without an overlap to accommodate buttons and such are quite minimizing across the bust – yay! When the jacket is left open, conveniently dividing the front vertically, the side seam to centre front measurement is just a heck of a lot better if it’s small, a brilliant optical illusion.


Style Arc’s Janet jacket fulfilled the brief beautifully. My ‘Dual citizen jacket’ had to have a raised neckline, Mme Chanel’s ‘cardigan’ neckline wouldn’t do. Coco may have liked to give up the waist, but it’s all I have, so the pattern needed to accommodate that! Janet’s princess seams were a godsend to alter. The toile was a bit tight over the bust, so I tore the seam open (aka bodice ripper!) and inserted a piece of calico – easy peasy.  The slim 2 piece sleeve fit first time! That has never, ever happened to me – ever!  The fit was so good in fact, that I’ve searched their site for a plain blazer pattern believing I’ve found the holy grail of jacket pattern fit – they don’t appear to have made a classic blazer pattern, sniff, sniff!

One essential highly recommended alteration if you’re bustular, rotate out a 1cm gape dart from apex to centre front. The toile’s CF edge stuck straight out when closed. The gape dart encouraged the fabric to curve around the chesticles. On second thoughts, perhaps just do that by easing into the twill tape, the gape dart reduction will become obsolete and you’ll be taping the edges anyway. Chanel’s originals have no front facing, ‘Janet’ does. You could delete that piece… but I like the facing. I didn’t use the lining pieces since a quilted lining has to be cut much, much bigger anyway, to account for the hitch and tighten aftermath of the quilting process.

The iconic decorative trim caused much anguish and indecision! You see, it’s soooo important! None, keep it plain? Naaah, too un Chanel. Navy gimp on black grosgrain, too stitched up, in fact navy just didn’t cut it at all despite there being equal amounts of navy and black fibre in the fabric. So after wasting a lot of days and money ‘shopping’ for trims, I doubled up some bias cut self fabric and added a spider webby lace to catch it down. All secured by hand of course. In fact after so much hand stitching, I’d developed a hole in my middle finger where the eye end of the needle slipped in – again!


The entire lining is sewn together and applied to the jacket edges by hand because of course once it’s been machine quilted to the base fabric, there’s no possibility of using a machine to cobble the thing together. There is no chain on this jacket – yet. I have the chain but I used a jump hem (habit? disbelief?) and of course the chain is meant to sit on top of a stitched down lining. Not so sure I want to ‘waste’ the expensive Susan Khalje chain on this jacket… your thoughts? Perhaps I should save the chain for the powder blue wool boucle currently breast stroking it’s way here from the Czech republic. I ordered it from Etsy 11 weeks ago. Quite possibly it’s having stopovers on Eurail. Is it plausible in 2017 that 2m of fabric can take 3 months to cross the globe?

hand applied sleeve lining



I used the Iconic Tweed Jacket Craftsy class , Vogue 7975 is included with the class and currently the class seems to be on special for $34AUD. Lorna Knight gives quite a few neat tips and her scottish brogue infused my sewing room with a wonderfully soothing  soundtrack! Just checked her website and this quiet achiever has written 6 books – go Lorna! There is a very good instructor on Craftsy whose voice sounds like Marge Simpson’s chain smoking sisters, the instructor’s voice makes a huge difference!

Claire Schaeffer’s wonderful book The Couture Cardigan Jacket.

Claire Schaeffer’s V8991 instructions.


This ‘make’ was a planned part of the winter capsule and just squeaks in time wise, because of course in 1 week it will be Spring! It can be worn with jeans, navy trousers, black leather leggings but it doesn’t work with the maroon skirt. In fact nothing much goes with that, it’s been a capsule dead end ;Q The raggedy nature of the trim may be too much with the boro’d jeans which put plain old well fitting jeans on the top of the ‘make’ list. Luckily I scored the True Religion jeans featured in these photos for a mere $16 at The Red Cross Shop! Perhaps I’ll break out the ensemble tomorrow for the husband’s birthday dinner!








Add yours →

  1. An absolute stunner, Lesley, and thanks for all of the detail. The fit, colours and trim are amazing. I love the lining choices. I hope your blue boucle does make it across the pond!

  2. Lesley, your jacket is absolutely beautiful! I made one a few years ago and you’re right—it just glides on over the under-layers. ‘Tis incredibly satisfying to examine all the handwork years later! You’ll enjoy wearing this everywhere. I really like the pattern you chose, the princess lines and the slightly raised neckline are lovely. Your choice of fabric makes it fresh. Stunning!

    • Thanks so much Nancy, it’s surprisingly comfy and light. The handwork is ephemeral and yes, I look forward to wearing it for many years. Are you tempted to make another perhaps?

      • Given that my life is approaching ‘retirement’, probably not. That said, yours inspires me to create one that has the same lovely lines. My first one came about because it’s so hard to find something warm in those early spring days but has all the spring colors I long for. My fabric was handwoven (by me), so I really got what I wanted!

      • What a treat to be able to make a jacket from fabric you’ve woven – such a clever skill too. Definitely the wat to get what you want! Locating suitable fabric is always a lottery otherwise.

  3. Hi,
    Wonderful jacket, love the boucle.
    I made a Chanel style jacket some years back ( my first, following all the couture techniques) for my youngest daughter. What I learned from that, the chain makes such a difference to how the jacket hangs……….all for the better. It already looks fabulous on you, but you will see the difference, honestly!!

  4. I love your fabulous jacket and have a good case of fabric envy! I’ve always wanted to sew a Chanel knock off myself, but have struggled to find the right fabric. Love your idea of purchasing a crafty class to get the details right. Well done!

  5. Beautiful. Well worth the wait and the work.

  6. …sigh…I didn’t know I needed a Janet, or perhaps we should refer to this beauty as Jeanette?

    Beautifully sewn, brilliantly styled. I want.

    Thanks also for the tip that this style minimizes the attention towards the girls.

    • Ha ha yes, sometimes kess attention is warranted! To prove the theory, try putting on a man’s jacket, leave it unbuttoned and note how the breadth flaps open and adds volume 😢 Thanks for stopping by.

  7. REally , really lovely!

  8. Your jacket is just brilliant- stunning, really flattering and excellently sewn.
    Well worth the 6 year consideration period and a true modern take on the Chanel.

  9. PsychicSewerKathleen 21/08/2017 — 1:57 am

    Definitely too many steps over my skill level but I know enough to appreciate a job beautifully done 🙂 Beautiful! I love it that you have modeled it with jeans! I think so many people look at the classic Chanel jacket and think, “Where would I wear it?!” but seeing you rock in a pair of jeans really puts it in perspective as a handy AND classy alternative to a hoodie!

  10. Great improvement on the Chanel style. The ladies who lunch with hate you!

  11. This looks absolutely gorgeous on you, Lesley. Colours suit your skin tone perfectly as well. These sort of jackets can look a bit “mother of the bride”, but the way you have styled it and the choice of fabric and colours is far far from that! Wow.

  12. WOW. That’s absolute sensational! I’m even speechless with admiration, hehe 🙂

  13. I almost missed this post, which would have been a shame. I hope to copy a Chanel some day too but fabrics are hard to find. This one is fabulous. I love the fringe! Just beautiful!

    • Keep beyond Etsy and eBay, I search ‘boucle’. Ordered a piece of gorgeous boucle from Czech Rep. though and 3 months later the seller refunded me because it was ‘lost’. I’ve never had that experience before though Linda – best of luck and thank you x

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