Sew Over it released new pdf pattern last week: The Coco jacket and I had to get it immediately. I had a perfect fabric for it that I had by change bought from Sew Over It Clapham shop while visiting London. I was originally planning to use it for a pair of trousers but I still remember the sales person telling me that many people had used it for their Coco class. At that time the Coco pattern wasn’t available outside those sewing classes, so I was so delighted when it was released.
Coco is a Chanel inspired short jacket that is perfect for the kind of weather we are having right now in Finland. The sizes range from 8 to 20. I am between sizes 8 and 10, but because Sew Over It patterns have usually been a bit on the loose side on me I decided to go for the smallest size. Also, my upper body has slightly smaller proportions than my lower body. My choice turned out to be the right one. In fact I did not do any adjustments at all to achieve the fit you can see in the images.
The pattern has many suggestions for suitable materials: tweed, boiled wool, boucle and jacquard among others. I am not exactly sure about the contents of the fabric I used. My best guess is some sort of cotton, polyester, elastane blend. Basically it is stretch suiting fabric and it worked nicely.
This jacket doesn’t take much fabric which is great. The instruction booklet states you need 1,4 metres of 140 cm wide fabric for size 8 and that is probably correct. I chose to make the version 2 without the fringe which meant I needed even less of the fabric. I think I had 170 cm of fabric (width 150 cm) and I could still make another similar jacket with the amount I have left.
You also need the same amount of lining and the bodice length of interfacing fabric.
Sewing and my additions
The sewing instructions were clear. However, I have been learning some tailoring techniques recently and wanted to use some of them for this jacket. Instead of iron-on interfacing I used sew-on interfacing. To make the jacket fronts drape nicely I taped them using (grey) ermazine tape.
Furthermore, I added a back stay that I made of bias-cut cotton lawn. The sleeveheads also needed some extra support so I cut 2 x 9 inch bias strips out of wool canvas I had ordered from the Lining Company for my trench coat project. Following the advice from my sewing guru Michele (Thanks, Michele!) I folded 3/4″ of the bias strip lengthwise making sure that the foldline rolled softly and steamed it a bit to shape it to fit better to the curved sleeve head. I then hand-stitched the result in place.
On an afterthought, I think I should have stretched my bias strips a bit more or shaped them either by cutting them curved or by steaming them a bit more. The edge of the sleeve wadding shows a bit since it doesn’t lie completely smooth. To make the edge less visible I pulled the threads apart at the edge of the sleeve wadding strip.
I cut the back part of the lining on the fold so that I had enough fabric to make a boxed pleat to the center-back. This allows me more movement, since my lining fabric didn’t have any stretch to it. I then followed the instructions that came with the pdf-pattern and sewed the lining and fastened it to the jacket.
However, after the jacket was supposedly finished, I wasn’t happy how the bottom hem sat and the lining was showing in places and pulling in some other places. I decided to rip all the hems off and fix them.
I cut more bias strips out of the wool canvas I had used earlier and used it to interface all the hems. After ironing the interfaced hems upward, I hung the jacket over the dressform and carefully pinned the lining to the top fabric. This was to make sure I got rid of all the extra bagginess and prevented the lining from pulling the top fabric. To finish the jacket I then hand-stitched the lining in place.
I think that redoing the hems was a good choice. I am happy how the jacket drapes now.
The only thing that I think I will change in the future is the bust shaping. The side fronts were eased into the side panels. Unfortunately my fabric did not ease very well and the fabric is not very smooth at those seams despite my careful easing and ironing. Furthermore I don’t really see any need for the shaping for me. In fact, I might end up modifying the side seams to get rid of this feature.
The finished coco jacket
I think that this finished jacket looks nice and I love the soft pink colour. The short length is just perfect and it is part of what makes this nice relaxed jacket that doesn’t feel too formal. I can throw it on jeans and a tee-shirt and I am ready to go. The fit is good and I have a feeling that I will use this pattern a lot in the future.
Here is the jacket from the back. You might have noticed that besides using lots of different tailoring techniques I did not insert any shoulder pads. In fact, I tried the jacket with different shoulder pads and in each case the shoulders looked too bulky for my taste.
All in all, I am very happy with the Coco jacket pattern and can recommend it to others.
That’s all for today. Remember to subscribe to receive notifications when I post something new! Happy sewing!