Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane

Catch up Chanel


A piece of Linton tweed is a precious thing and I had some left over from the summer Chanel jacket, so it was kept wrapped in cotton wool and in a secure area until I could think of something to do with it. After trimming off the scraggly bits I had two pieces 20″ X 40″. What ya reckon ? Just enough to make a pencil skirt?

My hips are 40″ and I need a length of 29″ so there was only one direction these bits were going to hang. I took the extra few inches off the length, cut them up into 5″ pieces and sewed them together, added this panel to the right side seam to give me a skirt with a finished hip size of approximately 42″ – just fits! And there’s nothing left of the Linton either – all usefully used.


Close up of added side panel, made up of even smaller scraps of Linton.



I didn’t use a pattern.

Make your own couture pencil skirt using two rectangles: half your hip measurement and add 3″ to each rectangle; choose the length you want the skirt plus 4-6″ – 2″ for hem and 2″ for self facing waist band.


  1. Machine tack the two rectangles together using regular seam allowances leaving an 8″ gap on the left for the zip
  2. Try on. Pin the gap closed and keep the side seams at the sides – pin to your knickers.
  3. Pin out the excess at the waist into 2 or 4 darts on the front and the same at the back. They will be different lengths on the front from back. This is normal.
  4. Take the skirt off and check the darts are evenly spaced. Sew the darts. Try on again just to be sure.
  5. Rip out the machine basting.
  6. Make lining using same measurements as the skirt but instead of darts just pleat the fabric to fit. Put the shell and lining together and sew as one.
  7. Sew side seams, leaving a gap for the zip on the left.
  8. Fold under 2″ (whatever you can spare) for a self facing waist band; finish the raw edge and insert grosgrain, interfacing or wide elastic. Hand sew down to the skirt or lining if using.
  9. Insert zip with the pull right to the top of the skirt.
  10. Hem.
  11. Wear

Needless to say – press well at every step.

I had a meagre amount of the cream silk dupion that was used to line the jacket. This was transformed using Sorbetto into a sleevless top, with the neck trimmed in Linton selvedge edge (also stashed from when the jacket was cut out – see how precious, and useful, the Linton is?)


I now have a complete suit, jacket, skirt and top. I’ll never wear all three together in real life but the jacket and top look great with black trousers and the skirt and top look great with a black cardigan. Please excuse the paparazzi-style photos – something went wrong with the camera.

DSC00385 DSC00396DSC00387

I never did a separate post about the jacket as all construction details are the same as this one. But here’s a montage of close up details:


Chain sewn round the hem to the side seams only as the four front pockets provide enough weight to balance the jacket.

Selvedge edge used as trim on neck and fronts, pockets and the Sorbetto top neck edge.

Quirky wooden buttons ( a gift from Prettynpink). Sleeve vents left open without buttons or closures.

And the moral of this story is – Never throw anything out!

43 thoughts on “Catch up Chanel

  1. There is something so rich and lovely about a suit in this color- this is perfect!!

  2. I have a ridiculous amount of Linton hidden away from many visits which is gaining ‘too good to use’ status. I really must dig some of it out. I am going to Windermere in October – I daren’t have another visit to the Linton shop!

  3. Gorgeous pieces. You’ve got me thinking about the piece of beautiful wool in my closet. Not Linton but should be sewn. I love the detail on the top, very creative.

  4. Great save with the fabric for the skirt. Beautiful mix and match pieces.

  5. I think those side panels are a great detail–no one would ever imagine it was a virtue made of necessity. Brava!

  6. What a beautiful suit, Ruth. I love the details on the jacket!

  7. Gorgeous. I love your idea of adding panels at the sides. 🙂

  8. I’m sorry but I think all three pieces worn together would be amazing although I love your combo ideas too. These pieces are just awesome!

  9. Absolutely beautiful and the suit is pretty good too! Love the way every scrap is used – appeals to the Scot in me!!!

  10. So pretty – you’re very clever to put the pieces down the side to finish the width you needed. Can tell you’re enjoying all the pieces.

  11. Gor-geee-us. Just gorgeous.

  12. Absolutely beautiful.
    I think all 3 pieces worn together look amazing – very classy!

  13. WOW! absolutely perfect. Loving this colour suit.

  14. Nicely done! That fabric almost looks sparkley in the pics.. very cool and its great you managed to squeeze a skirt out of it too.

    • There is a slight gleam to the fabric – Linton’s are woven with so many interesting and unusual fibres. Squeeze is the right word and I squeeze myself into it too LOL

  15. You look absolutly fabulous in that skirt and jacket. I just ordered myself some Linton Tweed as well. 😉

  16. My word that was amazing! And you look fab!

  17. Oh you are so clever! I love the side panel on your skirt ( might even borrow that idea even when I don’t have to squeeze out my skirt pieces). The whole outfit and individual pieces are totally fabulous too, of course.

  18. Ruth, you look spectacular! Beautiful craftsmanship.

  19. Stunning and Elegant. It looks fantastic on you.

    Gorgeous suit, and brilliant piecing on the skirt, no one would ever think it was anything but a design element. You smart.

  20. Wow, you have created a stunning outfit. I love the way you have made use of every bit of fabric and it is so beautifully sewn.

  21. As I was reading about your skirt I remembered that I hadn’t read about your jacket (a pang of dread at this point: oh, no had it gone wrong?)so I was really relieved to see it in all its glory. Very well done with all three pieces. They are all “really you”.

  22. beautiful! And I’ve always had a thing for Linton tweeds, since it’s my mother’s maiden name 🙂 This is one is particularly stunning though. I really love the set and that jacket is lovely.

  23. How much fabric in total did you use for the jacket and the skirt. Brilliant by the way. Did you fray the fringe yourself?

    • Hi Princessa. Yes I frayed the woven edge of the selvedge and hand stitched it on. I can’t honestly remember how much fabric I bought but I think it was 2m.

  24. Pingback: Navy Daisies | corecouture

Let's talk.....

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s