Thursday, April 9, 2015

A Jacquard Coco

Schnittchen Coco
I've been on a mission to find patterns with shoulders that fit me because they are the most difficult part of my body to fit. My shoulders are square and angled forward, and Burda's shoulders, for instance, never fit properly and require all sorts of adjustments. I figure if I can collect different types of shoulder blocks that fit, then I should be able to use them to adjust any pattern I like. That's the plan anyway.

Schnittchen Coco

Scnittchen's Malu Jacket's shoulders were spot on, but of course dolman sleeves are never as much of a struggle as set-in sleeves. So I was very curious to try the Coco Jacket for a fitted set-in jacket shoulder. Plus, it seemed like it could be a great staple pattern to have.  As it turns out, I am very pleased with the fit. The shoulders are square enough and have that forward tilt. I also really like that the sleeve is a two piece, so even though it is quite slim, it's very comfortable.



These were my alterations:

- Slight swayback adjustment (the pattern already has some shaping in the back).
- Shortened the sleeves a couple centimeters (the length was neither here nor there on me).
- Took in the side seams at the hips. This pattern has a lot more shaping than your usual boxy jacket, and I'm pretty straight up and down.

Schnittchen Coco


We took these pictures in a village named Créon in the Entre-Deux-Mers region (famous for its wine) near Bordeaux. The central plaza, called Bastide, with arches running all around is typical of the region. It was windy, as you can see, but so nice and sunny. I'm so happy spring is finally here!


So, the fabric... It is a cotton jacquard.  Pretty, right? But it frays so badly!


This is what happens pretty much as soon as you cut it, so I had to serge all the edges immediately. Even if you interface it, it frays. After I'd sewn on one of the sleeves, it pulled out partly from the seam and I had recut it and resew it entirely. It was a quite battle!

Here's what the wrong side of the fabric looks like:


I actually really like the way the wrong side looks because the colors seem more vibrant, and I considered using it as my right side. But I was concerned that all those threads would get caught on things, and this fabric was giving me enough of a hard time already. The right side is more subtle, but it's pretty too.



When I run into this much trouble as I'm making a garment, I tend to prepare for the outcome to be a disappointment. Does this happen to you too? I hate to give up though, so I never leave a garment unfinished and I always finish what I'm working on before I allow myself to start something new. As it turns out, it was worth it because I really like this little jacket after all. And I also know this basic pattern is a great staple that I can use over and over again.

Schnittchen Coco


39 comments:

  1. gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous fabric !!!!! I am right there with you on the “don’t leave stuff unfinished “ philosophy - in my mind unfinished garments become ghosts that haunt me. Love the way your jacket turned out - I am hoping I have enough scraps left from my jacket to try and make this one maybe … off to check out the tacnical drawing and see if it’s possible…

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    1. thank you Sasha! I think it should work really well in a scuba fabric!

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  2. This is lovely! I've been seeing this pattern popping up lately around the blogosphere and have been curious about it. I'm very glad to read that the shoulders are a good fit for you, as I have similar fitting issues. I think I'll have to give this one a try!

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    1. Thank you Gail! Yes, it does seem everyone is making it. It's a great pattern for a wardrobe staple.

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  3. I love the fabric but I REALLY love the shape of the neck! So feminine.

    I try to finish things before I start other things but then life happens and when I come back to the sewing room, I have to make something for a different occasion lol

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    1. Thank you! Necklines are complicated though. I find this one doesn't work over every kind of top, though I guess that's pretty much true of all jackets...

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  4. Your fabric choices are always so inspired! And I'm glad to hear your perseverance paid off in a really great wardrobe piece, it can be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel sometimes when things are not easy. I'm with you on the one garment at a time process, though I do sometimes leave a tricky or uninviting project for a short while. But the key is short, or otherwise things would not get finished at all!

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    1. Thank you! Yes, I think it's almost always worth it to persevere. Even when the garment does turn out to be a failure, then you can really analyse why, and hopefully learn something from your mistakes.

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  5. beautiful jacket and gorgeous fabric! i actually have a similar fabric (mine is upholstery hehe, but pattern and colors are similar), might try to steal your idea and make a jacket out of it

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    1. Thank you Mokosha. Mine may very well be upholstery too. I'm not really sure ;)

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  6. What a lovely jacket! It looks perfect on you - really like your fabricchoice too!

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    1. Thank you so much Mette!

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    2. I'm starting making this jacket in the upcoming weekend and i have a construction question I'm hoping you could answer.
      Seeing all the lovely Cocos online I can see a lot of them look a bit floppy in the front neckline and down the front - but yours doesn't. Have your interfaced your main fabric as well as your facings?
      If you were to make it again - would you make som kind of closure in the front?

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    3. Oh - and did you interface the hemline on the sleeves and the bottom of the jacket as well?

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    4. Hi Mette!
      I interfaced all the edges, so the hems as well as center front, neckline, shoulder seam and armscye, in addition to the facings are interfaced. I used a soft weft interfacing for this, but it does keep the edges and neckline from flopping around.
      As far as closure is concerned, I do generally prefer jackets that close as they are more practical in my opinion. For this particular jacket, in this difficult fabric, I decided to keep things simple. I you added an overlap at center front though, that would alter the shape of the neckline, so maybe an edge-to-edge closure with hooks and eyes? Or a zipper might work too, if you like zippers (I don't because they chew up my scarves) ;-)
      Happy sewing!

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  7. Oh, this is lovely. I'm interested to hear it has more side shaping than many similar jacket patterns, as it's the boxy-ness that puts me off a lot of them. I might have to give this one a go.

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    1. It definitely does have shaping, just enough to be much more flattering than a true boxy jacket, I think :)

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  8. I really like your version of this jacket and like you, I prefer the wrong side of the fabric. I've also seen this pattern made up before too. I really like the shaping in this jacket and also that the neckline is lower, more flattering, and doesn't come up to the base of the neck, if you know what I mean. I think I'll have to add this pattern to my list!

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    1. Thank you Joyce! Yes it was a tough choice with the fabric.

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  9. Beautifully made and such a lovely, feminine fit. When I saw the reverse side of the fabric I much preferred the more vibrant colours, but you're right, they'd catch on everything! I love the way you've managed to line up the brown stripe on the main jacket with the same stripe on the sleeves. It gives the jacket a really professional edge. x

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    1. Thank you Jane! Lining up the stripes was tough given how challenging this fabric was to work with, but worth it I think :)

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  10. I really love the fabric too! Perfect match of fabric and pattern, and the fit looks spot on. I have trouble fitting my shoulders too, they're much smaller than the rest of me and together with a hollow chest I always get gaping. I need to remember to measure every new pattern against my fitting block and see hoe they compare.

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    1. Yes, I'm hoping I'll be able to avoid some fitting struggles in the future by really figuring out what shoulder shapes suit me best. It's a process though...

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  11. Yay for shoulder success! This looks like an endlessly modifiable block, too, as well as a lovely piece to showcase cool fabrics.

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    1. It's all in the shoulders, right? I know you agree :)

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  12. It's just beautiful and well worth persevering. It looks like a great wardrobe staple and it's been on my shortlist for a while. I think it's moving to the top of the leader board! Really lovely

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    1. Thanks Jillian. I recommend it, and I think it should be a nice quick project in a nice easy fabric ;-)

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  13. Goodness what fickle fabric! You conquered it beautifully though. It does seem a wonderful pattern. And I should follow your example and finish one thing at a time..... I'm very naughty that way....

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    1. Thank you Sarah! For me personally, it's just too stressful to leave things unfinished, but I'm not judging ;-)

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  14. Great jacket, wonderful fit and delightful fabric, and superb pattern matching. Good to hear you conquered the fraying. I've heard experts say that you should not serge pieces before they are sewn together because it could stretch them out of shape, but I've never had this experience. Looks like you didn't either.

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    1. Thank you! I can see how serging would stretch some fabrics out, but that's a problem I didn't have, fortunately :)

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  15. Such a great jacket - a true staple and the fabric is perfect! I try to follow the finish one thing before starting another philosophy but always seem to deviate. It's a good idea in principle though

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  16. This is perfect! I've been looking for the perfect 'little boxy jacket patten' - and you have me convinced to try this ♡

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  17. Lovely jacket and a great fit! I've just made one myself

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  18. So nice and elegant jacket! I would like to try to sew jackets myself but I think it is too difficult for me%)

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    1. Hi Sveta! I took a look at your blog, and I think you're totally ready to sew a jacket, especially a simple one like this :-)
      Schnittchen have a very clear photo tutorial you can follow: http://www.schnittchen.com/schnittmuster-jacke-coco-fotoanleitung-2/

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  19. What a beauty! I've bought a few of her patterns and never really considered this one because it looked so shapeless on the model (why oh why do models engage in wierd "cool" poses that totally obscure the shape of the thing?) Your version totally changed my opinion and I am going to make it tout suite. And thank you for your detailed answer regarding all the interfacing you did, because I was wondering about that:). I too prefer jackets with some kind of a closure even if I leave them open but I think big hooks like the ones for fur coats should do the trick.

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  20. Thank you! Yes I think big hooks would work perfectly on this jacket.

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