Ginger Made: Coco Jacket!

Hi, guys! I hope your week is off to a great start! One of my favorite things about sewing clothes is that you can find unique ways to make a style your own. For example, you can take the edgy, menswear-inspired moto jacket, but make it up in pastel lace,  and you’ve created a unique look that really shows off your personal style! Personally, I’m a really casual dresser, but I’m always looking for ways to dress up my everyday wardrobe a bit without looking too dressed up. So, I tried the classic Chanel-inspired silhouette, but in a casual (and extremely washable!) fabric that screams “me”!

Schnittchen Coco Jacket | Ginger Makes

I knew right away that I wanted to use a plaid flannel cotton for my take on this look, and what better way to go than a classic buffalo plaid in red and black? So for my Mood Sewing Network project* this month, I used this flannel that I bought with my allowance a while ago and then didn’t end up using. I’m so glad I saved it for this project! My original plan was to quilt the flannel with a layer of cotton batting- wouldn’t that have looked cool?? But after further reflection, I started to think that the jacket might be too warm with the added layer (since it’s a cropped jacket with three-quarter length sleeves, I won’t be wearing it on very cold days). But I wanted it to have a bit more body, so I fused all the pieces to ProSheer Elegance Light, except for the facings (I used a medium-weight weft interfacing for them). I like the effect of this- it’s not as drapey and baggy as flannel is on its own, but it’s not stiff, either.

Schnittchen Coco Jacket | Ginger Makes

Now, there are quite a few patterns you can use to make a little French jacket like this, but I chose the Coco jacket by Schnittchen. Silke from Schnittchen kindly sent it for me to try out after I found her company during my autumn coat obsession. As a fairly rectangular person, a really boxy jacket can look pretty terrible on me, so I decided to use this pattern over a few similar styles because because it includes front darts and there’s a fair amount of shaping in the center back and side seams. Plus, I like the rounded corners at the center front- I feel like they help to keep things from looking too boxy, too. I really enjoyed putting together this pattern, and found that this two-piece sleeve gave me the nicest-fitting sleeves I’ve ever had in a blazer! Just for reference, I made a size 36 and didn’t make any alterations. This was my first time using a Schnittchen pattern and while the instructions don’t include drawings, I didn’t need them (and there is a step-by-step photo tutorial on her blog if you need it). Also, I just noticed that her PDFs are only 5 euros, (about 5 USD these days!), what?! I’m pretty sure I’ll give into temptation soon and order the Tina jacket & vest pattern! I’m thinking it will make for a very fancy sweatshirt! [Sidenote: have you seen Kelli’s version of this jacket? I’m hoping that I bump into her in a dark alley so I can just grab it and run!]

Schnittchen Tina vest

One thing I noticed is that for the sleeves to go in nicely, the sleeve seam and the side seam don’t line up- they line up with notches instead. One nice thing about this pattern is that the notches are numbered so you know exactly where they’re supposed to match up! Clever! Also, a tip if you make this pattern: when I go around curved edges like the center front, in addition to shortening my stitch length, I also sew one side with the facing up and one side with the jacket front up. This way you’re stitching the exact same curve in the same direction on each front (from top to bottom in my case, but you could also sew bottom to top). If you’re a very accurate stitcher, you probably don’t need to do this, but in my experience, my curves are much more symmetrical when I do this!

OK, let’s talk about the elephant in the room… the PLAID elephant. GUYS. I totally failed to match the plaid at the side seams. Here’s the thing- I always use this technique to match the front, back, and sleeve pieces at a spot 2″ below the armscye, BUT, I completely forgot to factor in the dart! As a result, everything matches… between the armpit and the dart! Ack! I spent ages matching this and it doesn’t look I even tried! I didn’t have enough fabric to re-cut the front pieces, so I decided to just live with it and really, it’s not the end of the world… as long as I don’t think about it too much because HOLY COW SO ANNOYING!

Schnittchen Coco Jacket | Ginger Makes

I lined the jacket with a Mood fabric I’ve had in my stash for a very long time. Now, I love me an animal print, so when I needed to buy some black lining, naturally I grabbed the black-on-black animal print! There is a bit of disagreement in my home regarding the exact animal we’re dealing with- the fella feels that it’s python print, while I’m CONVINCED that it’s a small-scale giraffe print because EWWWWWWW PYTHONS NOOOOOOOOOOOO! Obviously it’s a small-scale giraffe print. Wait, that makes me want to see a small-scale giraffe!!! Scientists, get on that! Remember the miniature elephants in Jurassic Park? I’m still waiting for that to happen!

Oops, I’ve been sidetracked by tiny giraffes! ANYWAY, I’m really happy with this little jacket and am glad to have a little more tomboy chic in my wardrobe. I’d like to make another version in something fun and textured, like jacquard or a chunky wool knit! This is the PERFECT style to use up special pieces from your stash- it doesn’t take very much fabric, and will look really different depending on your fabric choice. I’m already planning a few more! Now, tell me, do you like to sew classic shapes in untraditional fabrics? What’s the most fun you’ve had mixing up a look? Jackie O sheath dress in vinyl? Classic trousers in quilted nylon? Peacoat in neon boucle? Do tell!

Schnittchen Coco Jacket | Ginger Makes

PS- I’m wearing my Coco jacket with my new favorite t-shirt, the Megan Nielsen Maker tee! I’m so pleased to support this awesome collaboration between Megan and Freeset– read more about it here! I’m not even kidding when I say that when I wear this tee, I basically beg people to let me tell them about it! Fashion with a heart is so dear to me, so THANK YOU for for this opportunity to support women in need, Megan!

*Once a month I receive a fabric allowance from Mood to make something fun! I blog it first on the MSN blog, then over here. If I use stash materials or things purchased from another source, I’ll let you know in my post. 🙂

113 responses

  1. You and your outerwear! I’m always impressed! It’s very very nice, I hope you get lots of wear out of it 🙂 also…I regret to inform you that I agree it’s a snake print, lol! Well at least it’s not spiders, they are the worst of all, haha.

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    • Heeheehee, isn’t it funny the way that everyone has some sort of critter that they JUST. CAN’T. DEAL. WITH.? I’m totally fine with spiders (and really, almost any critter), but snakes… SHUDDER.

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  2. I am lusting after this jacket after seeing your and Kelli’s versions. It’s a really cute, really classic way to add a little bit of pizzazz to an outfit. I totally agree with you in the department of customization. It’s one of the best things about making our own! Brilliant idea to fuse a light interfacing to pieces too. The effect is fantastic.

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    • Man, after Kelli’s, I’m so tempted to use a black and white print! But I already have one black and white blazer… hmmm! I bet this would wear well over your skirts and dresses! You should try it!

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    • I bet this would be a fun project for you- it’s not as complicated as a regular blazer with lapels and a collar and the whole shebang. Maybe you could get it done during baby naptimes! That is, if you could ever stop snuggling your sweet baby!

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  3. THis could almost make me want to sew a jacket! It’s so cute. Love the plain, and how casual but classic it is. And: tiny giraffes! I’m loving that image.

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  4. I think you put into words something that had been in the back of my mind – being shaped like a rectangle doesn’t necessarily mean I should wear rectangular garments! I like how your jacket looks relaxed but still a bit fitted.

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    • I think I have always been a little confused about it because I don’t like to wear clothes that are tight or really even very fitted, but there’s such a big difference between “relaxed” and “baggy rectangle”! A little shaping really goes a long way! My least favorite garments have been ones where I saw it on a curvier sewer. I have to remind myself that the garment doesn’t create curves that aren’t there! I wore one of those dresses yesterday and remembered why I don’t wear it often when I saw my reflection in a mirror and realized I looked like a tube!

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  5. Love the buffalo plaid in this style! And who cares about the lack of plaid matching, I’m sure the tiny giraffe doesn’t mind.

    Mixing things up is my favorite thing about sewing for myself. As a designer, it’s hard for me to accept others making these choices for me. Although, honestly, I never go too wild.

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    • I hadn’t thought about that, but it makes perfect sense that it would be even harder to buy RTW when you’re a designer and have the eye and skills to really know what you want! Even if you don’t go crazy, it’s still nice to have control over factors like ease, fiber content, etc!

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  6. This is gorgeous! I love a cropped jacket and that plaid is just perfection. I. Finding it really random that I’m planning winter makes while winter makes are still popping up from northern hemisphere blogs. I’m used to planning out winter wardrobes while reading about summer dresses.

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  7. Love your jacket and your styling. Thanks for the introducing me to the Tina jacket, not sure how long my resilience will last before I have to make this gorgeous jacket 🙂

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  8. I like your rounded corner technique–great idea! And this fabric is way too cute and practical. I think your casual/chic style is what I love most about your makes–it’s what I like to make/wear too. The Maker tee looks perfect with the coat; I’d like to get one of those tees. Did you go with your bust measurement for the tee size? I like a loose fit tee, and I’m wondering if I should go up a size?

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    • Let’s see- my bust is 34.5″ and I like a looser fit, so I went with the S, which is for 36″. I washed and dried it before wearing, so any shrinkage should already be factored in, so I would say sizing up one may be a good idea?

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  9. I love that you made this out of buffalo check!! It is so you! I wanted to make one when I saw Kelli’s but now I need to make one – you have me considering all the possibilities!! Thanks for the tips and the review!!

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  10. This is adorable!! Is the lining a silky type, fabric. And when you mentioned fusing all pieces with interfacing….I am assuming you mean flannel pieces!!??

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  11. Noooo, but if boxy styles don’t look good on your rectangular types, who ARE they supposed to look on??

    And the giraffe thing reminds me that I convinced a friend once that you could get tiny giraffes, as pets. Which unfortunately isn’t true, but did you know you can get tiny pony’s?? There’s a few around the corner from where we live, that are as small as out dog. Like this small http://i.telegraph.co.uk/telegraph/multimedia/archive/01458/horse-cat_1458212i.jpg

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  12. Terrific jacket Ginger, I can imagine a further nod to Ms Chanel… Would you wear a bit of bling at the front. Chanel might have liked a chain with gold buttons attaching the 2 sides, but you could rock a couple of kilt pins and something between I reckon. So punk!

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  13. I love this take on a coco jacket. I’ve been wanting to make one for ages, but I never thought of using plaid. You are so right about personalizing items through unique fabrics. And PS I didn’t see an elephant in the room!

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    • Thanks, Kate! It really is nice to have a wardrobe that really feels like “you”, isn’t it? I’d still be clothed even if I didn’t sew, obviously, but I wouldn’t feel as confident or have as much fun choosing my outfits!

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  14. I’ve been rather torn as I don’t need any more jackets but I love to sew them. I’m also torn as I own enough jacket patterns and I really don’t need any more… I’ve also been torn as IF I was to be weak & give in to yet another jacket… would I make the Coco or the Named Lourdes jacket… you might have sold me on this. I adore the simplicity. Nice job xo

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  15. What a fun idea for a jacket! I absolutely love how you made this pattern your own with the unusual (and awesome) fabric choice. It’s so you!! (And am I right that there’s *no snow* in the background of these photos? Spring is coming!) 🙂

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  16. Wow, if I saw this jacket in a store I would definitely have bought it! It looks great on you and I love your tomboy-chic style. I recently bought some cotton knit blackwatch fabric and was thinking about what I could make with it – I may just turn it into a Coco:-)

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  17. wow. If you had described this to me before making it I would have said don’t do it. No way. But it’s awesome, I love the contrast. In Australia I’d call it “ocker chic”. In a good way. A really good way. Nice work!

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  18. Your jacket is so great! I love how well you know how to sew for your own personal style… I still make things that I just don’t end up wearing… Need to work on that! 🙂

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  19. So cute! I love your take on this shape and style of jacket. And whenever I totally space on pattern matching I just look at some RTW and it makes me feel better. 🙂

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  20. Love your plaid version and I wouldn’t worry about the plaid matching it’s a design feature. Love the shaped boxy silhouette and the fit. … and of course the tiny giraffe guts 🙂

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  21. What an original combination of pattern and fabric. I would never have thought of this combination but it looks great on you. Makes you want to remix some other classic combinations.

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  22. You’re on a roll with jackets/coats this year! I’m super impressed. This one looks so cozy – flannel for the win! If you pair this with my red and black buffalo check shirtdress it’d be a matchy matchy outfit just like the ones from the 1950s and ’60s. 🙂

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  23. Well now I’m thinking I’ll need to buy that CoCo pattern–this is so cute! Nobody will notice the plaid elephant if you don’t mention it–and I think Man friend is right, (python) but let’s stick with mini giraffes-I just saw a documentary where the python bit the owner and her arm was bleeding forEVER……and was crazy swollen up….ok…..how did I get there? Very cute on you–Buffalo check is so classic. 😀

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    • Ewwwwwwwwww!!! I read a horrible article about Burmese pythons taking over the Everglades and eating EVERYTHING in sight… ick!!!!! 🙂

      You would really rock this jacket! You can make it out of basically any fabric on earth… how cool!

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  24. Definitely giraffe-y. By the way you might enjoy the North American House Hippo commercial. Probably on YouTube, most everything is.
    Mary in Thailand

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