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Chanel-inspired Tweed Jacket Patterns

Tweed cardigan jackets became popular in the early 20th century when Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, renowned French fashion designer and founder of the Chanel fashion house, revolutionised women’s fashion with her innovative designs. Chanel was inspired by the traditional Scottish tweed fabric that was commonly used for men’s clothing at the time. However, Chanel’s take on tweed jackets was a departure from the masculine styles of the era. She transformed tweed into a luxurious and feminine fabric, incorporating it into her signature designs that were both comfortable and chic.

Chanel’s tweed jackets were characterised by their boxy, collarless silhouette, often featuring a fitted waist and a cropped length. They were typically adorned with contrasting trimmings, including braids, ribbons, and metal buttons, which added a touch of elegance and sophistication to the garment. The jackets were also often lined with silk, providing a smooth and luxurious feel against the skin.

Chanel’s tweed jackets quickly gained popularity among fashionable women of the time. They were favoured for their versatility, as they could be worn as part of a sophisticated suit ensemble or paired with a simple blouse and skirt for a more casual yet polished look.

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Chanel’s innovative use of tweed in her designs was groundbreaking at the time, as she challenged the prevailing fashion norms of the era that dictated women’s clothing should be restrictive and overly adorned. Her tweed jackets represented a shift towards more comfortable, practical, and modern women’s fashion. Because the tweed was soft and more fluid, and paired with the simple silhouette closed with button is loosely resembled a cardigan – hence cardigan jacket.

Over the years, Chanel’s tweed jackets have become iconic pieces in fashion history, synonymous with the brand’s timeless elegance and sophisticated aesthetic. They have been continuously reinvented and interpreted by subsequent creative directors of the Chanel fashion house, remaining a staple in Chanel’s collections to this day.

Many other fashion houses have made what they call French jackets (in honour of Coco’s French origins). The term now refers to a boxy, collarless jacket made from tweed or other textured fabrics, often featuring raw edges, contrasting trims, and a relaxed fit. (However, the term “French jacket” is not a universally recognised or standardised term in the fashion industry, and its usage may vary!)

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We’re rounding up our best jacket sewing patterns so you can recreate the tweed jackets style with the option to practice couture sewing techniques. Couture tweed jackets can include quilting, hand-sewn linings, weighted hems as well as construction of two piece vented sleeves and fabric pattern matching skills.

Pattern: McCall’s 8370.

Want to make your own two piece suit in the classic Chanel style? This pattern is for you. It’s a joint tweed jacket and skirt sewing pattern with fringe and trim details. The jacket has patch pockets with a hook and eye closure plus separate pattern pieces for A/B, C, D cup sizes. The A-line mini skirt has a slit opening with button detail at front. Looking for extra support when sewing your tweed suit? Follow the video sewalong for this design!

Pattern: Vogue 8804.

For the ultimate French jacket, with authentic couture techniques that you would see in a Chanel jacket, you should choose V8804. This Claire Shaeffer custom couture design features detailed step-by-step instructions for construction and special details that will set your jacket apart. Claire Shaeffer is a world renowned couture expert with several bestselling books and patterns to her name.

Pattern: Vogue 1926.

A spin on the tweed jacket… why not try the tweed coatigan! This tweed coat pattern lets you showcase beautiful fabrics with it’s clean lines. Choose between a button down version or a hidden placket button closure. It’s a fully lined coat with two-piece set-in sleeves with working vents. You can add side front pockets or patch pockets, and either leave it collarless or add a chic stand collar.

Pattern: Burda 6029.

Pay close attention to the envelope! This jacket has unusual dramatic seam lines. This is a unique garment you can wear for years to come. The edges of jacket view B are detailed with fringed strips of fabric for that Chanel-inspired finish.

Pattern: Vogue 7975.

Little French jackets made in the classic Chanel Tweed jacket style never go out of fashion. Vogue 7975 is the sewing pattern to use for this timeless cardigan jacket style. It is jam packed with variations for trim, pockets, fasteners and length options. It’s the MUST HAVE pattern to recreate this style. But if you’re interested in seeing more tweed jacket sewing patterns, check out our list of amazing alternatives.

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