Thursday, 10 April 2014

Minerva Bloggers Network - Vogue 8721 Shrug Jacket

Time for April's Minerva Project! This time inspiration comes from the shapes and techniques of Balenciaga and Givenchy in the 50's and 60's. They molded and draped fabric around the body in such a way as to completely transform the silhouette, commonly making the garment stand away from the body in round shapes. 

Givenchy coat

Balenciaga Egg coat, 1960

Balenciaga evening dress, 1960's

That's why Vogue 8721 caught my eye:

Here's my red version, made from a mid weight red twill, with a matching red lining:

This was a really interesting piece to make. It's just 2 large pieces with a seam at the centre back that then join with a horizontal seam at the front. Shaping is added with darts around the neck and at the waist.

Openings in the front seam work as armholes:

Arm openings with lining handstitched around edges

The whole piece has facings and a lining:

Can you see all of the understitching around the edges? What a pain!!!! Don't get me wrong - understitching is great, but this was difficult because you have to squeeze in through the arm openings. And then the lining gets caught underneath, and you have to un-pick it, and it gets REALLY frustrating. I ended up being unconventional and doing it from the wrong side.

But to counteract the annoying understitching, there are these lovely covered buttons!

Covered buttons - I'm gonna put them on everything!
This was a pretty quick and easy piece to make, so much so that I'm probably going to make a few versions for work and for summer as alternatives to the ubiquitous cardigan. Don't forget, you can get everything you need for this project at Minerva.

See you soon!


  1. What a genius piece! You have such a great eye for style and it looks nothing less than fabulous on you, lady x

  2. That is such a lovely jacket! I love the shape of the Givenchy coats from the 60s, I actually have a 60s Vogue pattern for a coat similar to the Balenciaga one x

  3. Charity Shop Chic11 April 2014 at 10:25

    Nicole this is incredible! I absolutely love it, this is right up my street. I'm a big fan of Balenciaga. The finished piece looks like couture. Congratulations and I'm very jealous!

  4. This is gorgeous, totally 'you'. I love it!

  5. Oh my goodness, Mrs Needles I have fallen in love with you all over again. This must happen to Mr Needles everyday! This is truly fabulous and you look incredible. I really want to make this but not sure I could rock it like you do. Awesome make xx

  6. I found a similar Balenciaga design and instructions on this blog:
    and I was planning to make it in a softer fabric and wear it as a blouse. Your red "shruggy" version is so cool, I need to add it to my "to sew" list :)

  7. Sew Little Time13 April 2014 at 22:19

    Wow - this looks amazing on you! You rock a vintage styled cropped jacket!


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