Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Bouclé, Charmeuse and Quilting à la Chanel | Part 3

This is the final and the easiest part, readers! Today I will show you how to quilt the lining and bouclé for your Chanel-inspired garment. All the prep work is behind us, can you believe it?!

This part will take you an hour or two depending on how complex is your pattern. It took me an hour to quilt my 8-piece cape, and another hour or slightly less to clean up the thread ends and make tiny corrections. 

In the previous part we prepared our garment pieces for quilting and the layers of lining fabric, organza interfacing and bouclé were pinned or tailored-basted together. We took a break, good for keeping up your mojo high in non-sewing class conditions.

What you'll need now is:
  • Walking foot for your machine to make sure there is minimum shifting of fabric layers during quilting. (if you don't have a walking foot I would baste the layers together along quilting lines - this will cost extra time though)
  • For stitching, preferably silk floss, mercerized cotton, or embroidery thread (but polyester thread would do as well, actually)
  • Microtex needles. I am recommending a microtex needle for bouclés that have novelty threads, lurex etc inside - those are very nasty with a regular needle. If your boucle doesn't have those, you are fine with a Universal needle, but make sure the number is a compromise for bouclé and silk combination. I am sewing with #70 Microtex. 


Stitch along marked quilting lines! As easy as that! Leave your thread ends long, so you can tie them off comfortably (Step 2). 

A word of caution: do look where you start and finish - your quilted lines must start and end 1" (2.5cm) from the closest stitching line. We will need that space to accommodate seam allowances once your garment is assembled. 

Another word of caution: Don't backtack! I will show you a better and tidier method of securing your stitching lines in the next step


Remove pins or basting and give your quilted pieces a light steam press, using silk organza press cloth. Don't overpress it - just a light touch with a little steam would be enough - you don't want your bouclé look like pressed towel. 

loose thread ends
Fold back the edge portion of the lining to expose the end of the stitching line

Pull the thread ends between your fashion fabric and lining layers

I am not cutting it, just pulling the thread gently. You can also use a pin to help pull the thread.
both threads ends are between the layers
Tie off the thread ends and trim them. In her Thread's article "Inside a Chanel Jacket", Susan Khalje recommends using a stronger and more durable jeweler's knot to tie off the thread ends. To tie the know really close to the last stitch use a pin. 

First, make a knot loop using your fingers (as you would normally do it), but before you tie it off, place a pin inside the loop. 

Pull the thread with the pin inside the loop and move the pin as close to the last stitch as possible. Remove the pin, voilà. 

However, if this is too complicated, or if your thread ends are too short to make a jeweler's knot, use your regular double knot, just try to get it as close to the last/first stitch as possible. 

That's it! Finita la comedia! Farce is over, readers!


After I made my Chanel-inspired jacket, some of you asked me whether the garment pieces shrank after quilting. No. There was no shrinking. Shrinking is likely to happen if you quilt excessively, but with vertical lines every 1" or so, you should be fine. If you are not sure, however, do compare the quilted pieces to your muslin, or original paper pattern and adjust stitching lines, or any other markings accordingly.


For my cape, I will be putting the pieces together as a next step. I am not sure how much interest this posts generate so I won't be making another tutorial for the assembly. But do let me know if you are interested. 

A new thing for me would be Chanel buttonholes. I must admit that I have never made hand-worked buttonholes, which scare  me a lot. And this cape does ask for some nice buttons, but that's a whole new story!..

If you missed previous parts of this tutorial, here are the links: {Part 1} {Part 2}. Also, check out my other tutorials and tips.

All the resources I used or referenced in this tutorial are listed in the Part 1. However, in my opinion, Threads Archive is the best resource for most of the techniques I use in my sewing, so if you can, do get a hold of it. Here is the link on Threads website. 

Now your turn, readers! Have you quilted bouclé before? Any tips, experiences you want to share? Do you think this technique is functional or just a gimmick?.. 


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