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The ideal chef jacket


tejon
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I'm not a professional cook or chef by any means. I cook for my family and friends, and to amuse myself. So technically I have no need for a chef jacket. However, I have always hated the way aprons fit, and have wanted something more functional that I could put on and move around in without worrying about catching my sleeve on something or staining my shirt.

I'm a seamstress, so making one up for myself is no problem at all. My question for those of you who have lived in chef's whites is this - what would you want in a chef's jacket? What kind of fabric? What kind of fit? What kind of fasteners? If you could design the ideal jacket for yourself, what would it be like?

I'm assuming I want a fabric that is washable and sturdy, and will be looking at something patterned so stains aren't as much of an issue. I'm also a bit curvy, so any input from the females out there would be much appreciated as well. Any suggestions or comments would be helpful.

Kathy

Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all. - Harriet Van Horne

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Patterned? :blink:

Um. Big buttons. Easy to do up, easy to undo when on fire.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Patterned?  :blink:

Sure - why not? It's for use at home, so I'm mainly looking for function. Something that isn't uncomfortable or constricting, that stands up to washing, and that will look decent without a lot of fuss. Patterns of any sort help hide any residual spots or stains nicely :wink: so I don't have to spend all my time keeping it pristine and can get on with what I'd rather do with my time - cook :biggrin:

I've already ruled out any fabric that melts, with fire in mind :shock: I will never forget working a Madrigal dinner back in college with the choir, in costume. They were mainly made out of polyester (had to keep costs down and make them easy to wash). The highlight of the dinner was a flaming Figgy Pudding, carried by two men in tunics and tights. One night, one of them slipped. The front of his shirt caught on fire and started to melt as he ran to the kitchen with a stunned look on his face. Those dining all applauded, probably thinking it was part of the show :blink:

Kathy

Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all. - Harriet Van Horne

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I find patterns of any kind call more attention to themselves than they are worth. Occupy too much space. But that's me. So I go for black.

Definitely a cotton canvas. Double stitching. Good venting at underarms.

One still needs an apron at the waist to protect the legs. No pockets. Tempting to put things in them and then one can never find them. :laugh:

Actually, rather than buttons, what I usually wear is like a Japanese jubon and just ties inside and outside at the waist.

Kind of like this.

But failing that, big buttons.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Black! Why didn't I think of that? Perfect!

I love the design of the jubon you linked to - it looks simple to get on and off, and more comfortable than something with many buttons. Looks like it would be pretty easy to make up, as well. Thank you :biggrin:

Edited by tejon (log)

Kathy

Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all. - Harriet Van Horne

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some of the best jackets i've used were actually fitted. i'm not a seamstress, but i think the term is darts?! particularly for women to bring the jacket in a little below the breast and in the back. this way, you don't have a lot of material which does catch on things when you least expect it (the walk-in refrigerator handle, thus exposing you to the frigid air :laugh: ). i also remember seeing a well-known female chef who was rather larger than curvaceous. her jacket was cut shorter than most (tailored for her), so that it sat at her waist and didn't have to go over her hips and look tight.

make sure the sleeves are not wide, but can be rolled up. roll them down when you're reaching into the oven.

good luck.

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:

Actually, rather than buttons, what I usually wear is like a Japanese jubon and just ties inside and outside at the waist.

Kind of like this.

Is there any couture more elegant than Japanese work clothing, whether stitched for a hod carrier or a geisha? I don't think so.

And I love ties. My favorite blouse ties, and now that I think of it---so did my wedding dress.

Jinmyo, do you know a source for your jubon? Or a pattern? (I sew.)

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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Jinmyo, do you know a source for your jubon?  Or a pattern?  (I sew.)

I do too, though not often. I'm sure I can turn up a pattern. I'll PM you if I do.

A seamstress for the Chateau Laurier makes "industrial strength" jubon for us.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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If you find a pattern, I would be interested as well :-)

Kathy

Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all. - Harriet Van Horne

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. . . this way, you don't have a lot of material which does catch on things when you least expect it (the walk-in refrigerator handle, thus exposing you to the frigid air  :laugh: ). 

make sure the sleeves are not wide, but can be rolled up.  roll them down when you're reaching into the oven.

Both excellent points. I also love the idea of waist-length, at least in back (can you do longer tails in front?). I happen to like big back pockets in my pants, for keeping my folded-up-towel-to-be-used-as-a-pot-holder, and jackets that cover my rear (as much as anything can :rolleyes: ) get in the way.

More thoughts on sleeves: I always have had trouble with them, because if they are wide enough to roll up easily, they dip into or catch on things when rolled down. So how about some sort of elastic material for the forearm, that can be pulled down easily when sauteeing or working with other stuff that can splash and burn, but pushed up out of the way during routine slicing/dicing/washing up?

And if you close with ties, make sure they are long enough to go around your waist at least twice, so you can hang a towel or 2 or 6 off of them. Although personally I like the idea of velcro closures better; or a combination: velcro at the cleavage, ties at the waist, both for speed and convenience.

I sense the start of a cottage industry here . . . want some links to women chefs and food business owners???

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I sense the start of a cottage industry here . . .  want some links to women chefs and food business owners???

Hmmm. You know, I think I just might.....

Yes please, Suzanne.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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IM A PASTRY CHEF AND I LOVE THE IDEA OF THE JAPANESE STYLE JACKET. IF YOU START MAKING THEM I'LL ORDER A BUNCH, HOW BOUT SOMETHING A LITTLE LIGHTER IN COLOR?

"Chocolate has no calories....

Chocolate is food for the soul, The soul has no weight, therefore no calories" so said a customer, a lovely southern woman, after consuming chocolate indulgence

SWEET KARMA DESSERTS

www.sweetkarmadesserts.com

550 East Meadow Ave. East meadow, NY 11554

516-794-4478

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IM A PASTRY CHEF AND I LOVE THE IDEA OF THE JAPANESE STYLE JACKET. IF YOU START MAKING THEM I'LL ORDER A BUNCH, HOW BOUT SOMETHING A LITTLE LIGHTER IN COLOR?

Sure, why not? Now, to find a pattern....

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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It's hard to see much detail in Jinmyo's link, but it looks like a variation of a gi -- a karate uniform. Maybe you could modify a pattern for one of those?

Thanks, Archie, I'll check it out. You're right, it's hard to see the detail. Jinmyo...is a juban a relative of the hippari? I have a pattern for those.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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Personally, I dislike black jackets. If you spent time baking you just end up with flour all over them. And I think black shows just as much staining as a white jacket. Just a thought.

The essential jacket has at least two narrow pockets on the left sleeve (right sleeve for left-handers). These pockets should be able to hold a clipped-in sharpie, a pen and a thermometer without falling out easily. I find pockets elsewhere on jackets to be virtually useless; everything just falls out when you bend over. And I don't like clipping pens sideways into my jacket placket (heh heh) because eventually the clips stop clipping as well and then my pens are falling out all over again. :angry:

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The essential jacket has at least two narrow pockets on the left sleeve (right sleeve for left-handers). These pockets should be able to hold a clipped-in sharpie, a pen and a thermometer without falling out easily.

Thanks for this detail. Say, three inches wide, five inches deep?

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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Something like that. I know very little about sewing, but that sounds a little large for the pocket. I figure you lose what, 1/8" on each side to the border, which you double-stitch, right? Then you just double-stitch one or two rows to divide the pocket into smaller vertical pockets for your pens. Or something.

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Something like that. I know very little about sewing, but that sounds a little large for the pocket. I figure you lose what, 1/8" on each side to the border, which you double-stitch, right? Then you just double-stitch one or two rows to divide the pocket into smaller vertical pockets for your pens. Or something.

Noted. Thanks.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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They're actually "samugi", Zen monastic work clothing. The top is called a "samue" or samu jacket. But a jubon, a standard Japanese style shirt, is close.

Martial arts gi are similiar but different. When I see someone wearing a martial gi they look like a thug to me.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Ack!

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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