Monday, 4 May 2015

Parisienne poodle cocoon coatigan

I love it when a plan works out...! This is fabric I bought back in March last year during my trip to Paris, and as soon as I saw it I knew exactly what pattern I wanted to make: BurdaStyle Magazine 2013/11/107. I've finally got around to making it, and it's pretty much exactly as I envisioned!

Pattern description

BurdaStyle Magazine 2013/11/107: Long-length cocoon-style jacket, with raglan sleeves, pockets and continuous hem band, and without fastenings.

Pattern sizing

36-44. I traced a 44.

Fabric used

Mystery blend wool knit from Coupons de Saint-Pierre. It was marked as wool and definitely includes it, as it has that slight wet dog smell after washing and when using steam, but there's also probably poly in there, as it didn't shrink or felt with machine washing, and without a pressing cloth it was a little melty on the iron. It also sheds like crazy on dark colours, hence the title - after sewing it, I looked liked I'd been rolling around in pale dog hair... I'm hoping this will reduce a bit in time.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope when you were done?


Were the instructions easy to follow?

Mostly straightforward. I didn't really understand the directions for the pockets, but then I never do for Burda. I always do mine the usual way of sewing the pockets pieces separately to the front and back pieces, then sewing the side seams including the pockets.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

Likes: I really love the cocoon shape - once again Burda were ahead of the game with on-trend styles (although of course us Europeans are terribly fashionable - my three-year-old winter coat is also a cocoon shape). I think it's a surprisingly flattering shape - I am a long way from the slim model they use, and according to the "rules" I should probably emphasise my waist, but I really like how I look in this shape. Plus no issue after a big meal. Or over a big jumper I suppose.

Dislikes: It would have been really useful to have some notches on the hem band in order to distribute it evenly. As it is, only CB at neck and hem are match points. The pocket openings are also a bit narrow and a bit low for me.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made

Be warned - this jacket is really long. I knew from previous reviews that this was the case, so I shortened it 15cm so it fell between mid-thigh and knee (for reference I'm pretty tall, 178cm or 5'10" in old money) - I actually need to refine the shape of the front just a little bit more to soften the front curve at the bottom, and shorten the hem band slightly more to draw in the bottom of the back to more of a cocoon shape.

I also shortened the sleeves about 4cm. Apart from slightly enlarging the pockets I made no other changes.

Construction details

As I was using a fairly beefy but not super stable knit, I stabilised the seams with Vilene bias tape (love this stuff, buy it by the roll when I visit London). I also stabilised the front of the pocket openings with silk organza selvedge.

As the knit wasn't super stable I knew I'd also need to stabilise the pocket bags. I'd originally planned to use silk organza, and totally should have gone with this (or at least regular lining fabric). In the end I used a nylon tricot, but this is surprisingly heavy and bulky, and makes the pockets pull downwards a little weirdly. In order to try and counteract this, I pick stitched the top and bottom of the pocket to the jacket front, as well as the pocket opening. This supports the weight of the pocket a little so there's a bit less distortion, but is also fortunately pretty much invisible with this fabric.

Although I could have constructed it mostly on the serger, I actually serged the edges and then sewed nearly all the seams with my regular machine, with a straight stitch as stretch wasn't important in such an oversized garment.

The hem band is interfaced with the same nylon tricot used for the pocket interfacing (although here it was the perfect choice). I had originally contemplated sewing just one half of the hem band to the edge of the jacket, then folding the other seam allowance in and hand sewing that edge to the jacket so that the seam was fully enclosed. I'm not entirely sure why I didn't do this, possibly I thought it might be too bulky - in the end I attached it as directed (folded in half and serged), and it's not too bad. Maybe I'll pick stitch the seam allowance here too to keep it flat. The sleeve hems are catch stitched and invisible from both the outside and inside - I needed very good lighting whilst I was doing this bit!

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

I might sew this again in a lighter weight knit for the summer, or even in a lightweight woven (there's a lovely version on the Russian BurdaStyle website in a bias cut yellow plaid...). It's a very quick make, and a fashionable and easy-to-wear shape too.


Despite being very pleased with this, I've managed to finally make it just in time for it to be too warm to wear it! I wore it on Friday night (when these photos were taken), but I think that's going to be the last time for a while... But it's a still a useful garment that means I'll have something to pull out when the weather does cool down again - I just need to work on a summer jacket now!


  1. It looks lovely. I'm a fan of cocoon shapes, and I agree that they are surprisingly flattering.

  2. The coatigan is warm, isn't it? It's a Paris like dressing for sure. It will go well with any dress or even jeans and skirts.
    Merry every holiday!
    Joanna Darts