Budgeting My First Coco Jacket

Planning for a Chanel style jacket is insane! I ordered the pattern from Stylearc and they shipped it before Easter. As soon as I got the shipping notice, I began pacing. I want this jacket to be sewn couture. I want it to look amazing. I started reading up about the Chanel style and all the various bloggers who’ve done knock offs in the sewing world. I just haven’t found a boucle that I love. Some of those boucles look like something a cat threw up! Am I the only one who thinks this? I know its all about the “signature” but really? Some of the color combos with the texture just look gross. Maybe its the pages/web photos but I just haven’t been inspired by any of them. So I bought this fabric instead.

It’s $8/yd. Its 100% camel colored wool. This picture looks lighter than what I am expecting since it is called “camel,” but I won’t know until I open the box. I don’t know if the wool will be too warm here, but the site calls it a heavy weight so I am thinking this will be a serious winter jacket that gets pulled out infrequently. That is fine for me, since its a dry clean only fabric and if it really is light colored, it won’t be too happy being worn a lot anyway. To be honest, I’ve never sewn with wool, so I see it as more of a challenge/learning experience that won’t cost me a fortune. The pattern only calls for 2 yards, 54″ wide, and this fabric is 60,” but I bought 3 yds just in case. I also bought Oscar de la Renta buttons on sale.

They are bone and I bought 8, 4 in 40L and 4 in 28L. Another $10. I think these will go well with the camel, again based on pictures. I am planning to underline it in cotton muslin ($10 for toile and underlining from stash) and lining it in a pretty cotton quilting fabric. I haven’t picked exactly what I want yet, but according to the pattern I only need about 2 yards for lining. That should be another $12 to $16 depending on the store and style. I’m not going to order extra because in Susan’s class she does the toile first, then the fashion fabric and underlining. By the time she cuts the lining, she’s already fitted the project twice. There shouldn’t be any tweaking on the lining. Two spools of Guterman camel thread was $3.50 and shipping was $8.

Estimated Project total: 24+10+16+3.50+10+8=$71.50

For a tailored jacket, I think that is a steal! It may not be completely true to the style, but if it looks good, and lasts for 10 years (probably more considering how often I wear a jacket) that means I’m investing $7.15 annually for a couture jacket and I will be learning loads by going through the entire process hands-on rather than just reading about.
I know some would suggest that spending all the time doing couture techniques on cheap fabrics is loco, but to me it works out. I don’t think couture has to be super expensive, especially in the learning stages. Once I’m more comfortable with the whole process maybe I can justify spending $300-$800 on materials for a true “Chanel” knockoff at one of Susan’s couture week-long bootcamps on the French Jacket ($1000/course and travel expenses), but that is down the road.

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