Hi, guys! Hope you’re all well! Here in NYC it has suddenly grown bitterly cold, so perhaps we can blame what you’re about to witness on the weather.
I’ve been really interested lately in the fun cocoon coats and jackets popping up on Pinterest and fashion blogs. There’s something really daring about the exaggerated shape– I love it! I chose an amazing plaid wool coating from Mood in an attempt to mix a pretty traditional winter textile with a more modern style. The really special thing about this fabric is that it’s already backed with a contrasting red gingham cotton, and both layers are quilted together. I’ve heard Carolyn urge her blog readers to take advantage of fabrics that come pre-lined since so much of the work is already done for you, and boy, she’s right (guys, she’s always right– I’m serious)! This was practically an insta-coat!
The pattern is a new Burda download, Cocoon Cardigan 11/2013 #107. It’s so easy to put together that you don’t need the instructions (which is a good thing, because they aren’t very good). If you plan to make this, note that it’s very oversized– I cut my size, and, as you can see, it fits me very loosely.
My plan was to bind the seams as I went along so the inside would be beautiful and clean, but that just seemed too bulky, so I opted to press the seams open and serge each half separately. This cardigan forms a sort of circle when it’s assembled, so the neckline and hems are finished all at once with a single hem band. I drafted a two-piece band instead of the suggested one-piece so I could cut the inner band with some buffalo check flannel I had leftover from my Banksia top. Wool can sometimes be a little scratchy right on my neck, but the flannel is sooooo soft and buttery! I also added my very favorite thing– flannel pockets! Seriously, try them in your next A/W garment– it’s such a treat for cold hands!
Matching plaid that’s as large-scale as this was not a pleasant task– I think I spent three evenings after work puzzling out my cutting layout. The real problem was that I didn’t have enough fabric (a frequent problem when you buy fabric without having a plan for it). But I made it work as best I can, although it’s not perfect. Actually, I’m not sure there would be a perfect way to do it– the pattern is simple, but it has two-piece raglan sleeves, so I was trying to match at the front and back raglan seams, plus along the seams on the top and bottom of the sleeve. I nearly pitched a fit when I realized I couldn’t cut the final sleeve piece on the cross-grain after all (the plaid looks square, but isn’t quite, so it didn’t line up at all). When I calmed down, I figured out that I could cut the piece from two smaller pieces and seam them together. While this was annoying, you can’t really see the seam, so it worked out just fine.
Alright, that’s enough construction talk– let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. Guys, I’m just not sure this style works on me or in this fabric! I’m about 50% in love with it, and 50% in hate. Somehow it’s sort of walking a line between Olsen Twin Chic and The Dude Abides. I’m thinking that it might help to shorten and narrow the sleeves– there’s something a bit overwhelming about this huge garment, so maybe it would be a bit more balanced if the sleeves weren’t so oversized. I also really like the curved hem, but I’m not crazy about how long it is in the back. But again, I’m really on the fence! What do you guys think– should I reduce the curve and shorten it a bit?
I wasn’t totally sure how to style this, but I figured that I needed to be as streamlined as possible beneath the coat, so I whipped up a quick pair of leggings using Megan Nielsen’s Virginia leggings pattern and a cotton-Lycra jersey, also from Mood. Would you believe I’ve never sewn leggings before? Talk about instant gratification! I made these in about two hours, which is INSANELY fast for me, and included putting together the PDF. Now I want about 58 more pairs! If you’re looking for a leggings pattern, this one is no-fuss and ridiculously easy.
Alright, guys, what’s your honest opinion– do I look like I stole a blanket from a horse? What do you think of the cocoon coat trend? Do you have any suggestions for making this more wearable? Anyone else want to stay inside until May?