Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to you and yours! My husband and I were lucky enough to enjoy 4 days of skiing this week at Mammoth Mountain resort in the California Sierra's. While we were there, it snowed 10 inches!

We wear helmets when we ski and it's interesting to note that almost everyone else does too. You must protect the noggin!! This year I made bags for our helmets to keep them from bumping around and also to give us a strap to hold onto them when not in use.

We got lots of great compliments and they were so easy to make. I traced the helmet, adding a few inches all around and cut the pattern out of fleece. Fleece was perfect - no fraying, soft and easy to sew. For the closure, I put in a heavy duty sport lace and a plastic toggle.

Make it Yourself and you'll be the hit of the slopes too! If you don't ski, I'm sure there's a bicyclist, snowboarder, skate boarder, motorcyclist or other active person in your life that could use a helmet bag.

Chanel and That Jacket: Part 2

Like I said before, the Chanel Jacket has always caught my eye. So, I went to the Chanel "sale" at Decades Two, an upscale designer resale boutique. The two main rooms were flooded with Chanel jackets, suits, coats, purses, shoes, handbags and more. All used, all in great shape and all on "sale". Now, when an item originally costs around $4,500, the word sale here means 50% off and sometimes more. A Chanel bargain if there ever was one. Here's a pic of the main room, loaded with jackets.

I know the cardigan shaped jacket is what made Coco famous but I like a traditional collar. So, I decided to try a few on. European sizing can be tricky. The more relaxed, boxy jackets fit me in a 36. The fitted versions meant a 38. Many of the jackets were quite small - size 32 and a few 34's. I guess those starving Hollywood celebrities are the people who buy these new! I went with a friend - that always helps. She was honest and brutal. I fell in love with two.

The first was a green and black cotton/linen/wool fitted military style jacket. Fit like a glove. Pockets that buttoned at the breast and hip locations, beautiful sleeve vents and a back vent, all with 4 hand sewn buttons. The buttons were made for me - tiny open scissors with the Chanel logo. The inside is lined in green silk.

The second was a multi colored more traditional hip length style with shades of lavender, brown, grey and black. Bracelet sleeves, pockets at the breast and hip but no flaps. More relaxed fit, easy to dress up or down. Buttons are detailed with two hands shaking and the Chanel logo. Lined in grey silk. Lovely.

Merry Christmas to me!

Chanel and That Jacket

I'm not sure when my fascination with Chanel jackets developed but as long as I can remember, it's an item that I vowed to one day put in my closet.

Several years ago I had the distinct pleasure of being invited to Palm Springs to observe Claire Shaeffer's class, Chanel and That Suit. This is a very high end hands on class. For five days a select group of students learn about Coco Chanel, her life and contributions to fashion, examine Chanel designs from Claire's personal collection as well as slides from private and museum collections, learn to select and adapt patterns and choose fabrics, and learn the techniques that make Chanel, well Chanel! Decorative trims, the three piece sleeve, unusual and contrast linings, unique hand buttonholes, chain weights and quilting. You work on a half scale model of a jacket but focus on techniques so you can go back home and spend the next weeks (months?) creating your own. I was inspired and loved looking through her collection. She is a wealth of knowledge and a wonderful woman.

I was so pleased to recently learn that she has published a CD-based album exploring her wonderful collection of Chanel garments, inside and out. Here is a quote from her blog about it:

"I doubt there's ever been such an extensive collection of full-garment and close-up, full-color photos—over 600 images—detailing the work and influence of a single designer, so readily available; all thanks to the wonders of the pdf format. It's been quite a mammoth task, shooting, editing pix and commentary, designing, building, proofing, testing… But it's finally done!"

"If you've ever wondered what all the fuss was about regarding couture garment-making, prepare to be amazed at the astonishing skills and efforts that emerged from the Chanel workrooms. Each pdf page is 11x17 inches at 100%, so the slides can be zoomed in on for great detail. The couture blouses are particularly spectacular!"

I just ordered my copy and I can't wait to receive it. In the meantime, Decades Two in Beverly Hills is having their one day a year Chanel consignment sale. I think I'll have to check it out..........