Monday, January 21, 2013

Paco's Coolie Jacket

Paco includes a label in the pattern. Love it.
Paco Peralto designs and sells such interesting patterns. They are hand-drafted in pencil, and all the sizes are included. The instructions consist of the yardage requirements and little else.

Because they travel across the Atlantic to me, and a bit of postage is involved, I decided to go ahead and buy three - the Coolie Jacket, the T (shaped) coat, and the drape front shell. I started on the Coolie Jacket first.

Iteration 1.2
It is a very simple design, not really requiring instructions. There are just two main pattern pieces - the front and the back.

I'm so spoiled by using Louise Cutting patterns. So I did wring my hands a little, and scratch my head a bit on the in-seam pockets.

I shopped the stash and used red silk noil for the face fabric. I decided to use a Mary Ray quilting technique, and chose cotton flannel for the batting, and Bemberg Ambiance for the lining. I channel quilted it following the front grain line. This created a nice chevron effect on the lower portion of the cut-on sleeves.

The pattern calls for 60 inch width in the fabric, but my noil was only 45 inches. I pieced the sleeves on both the front and the back, based on where I encountered the selvage. This fit in with the chevron in the quilting, as the new seam followed the grain.

pretty curved vents on the side
As is becoming a habit of mine, I ran out of fabric. This meant I had to piece the front facing piece. So I added a third in-seam pocket where the piecing occurred.

This jacket is evolving. Garments often do this. I sort of enjoy it.

This time, I tried some experiments. Now that I've worn it, I know some things that will be changing.

First, I created a closure with bias tubes on one side, to be wrapped around buttons on the other side. It doesn't really work, so I will convert the tubes into button loops.

Second, I pinked the edges of the facing. In version 1.0, I turned the edges of the facings under about 1/4 inch and hand-stitched them to the lining. This created a hard line, particularly across the back. Not good-looking.

In the next iteration, I pressed the pinked edges flat and hand-stitched them to the lining.

That worked until I wore a white blouse under it. Lots of red fluff stuck to the shirt. Next I will apply a Hong Kong Finish to the edge of the facings, similar to what I did to the seams. Hope the hard horizontal line doesn't appear again.

bracelet length sleeves
Third, I was so short of fabric that I had nothing to finish the sleeve edges. Since I'm taking classes from Jude Hill, I decided to try to simply attach a raw edge binding.

More red fluff. So off with those bindings, and on with some ordinary (enclosed) binding in silk dupioni of similar color.

The raw edge was pretty, just not practical in this instance.

In sum, I think this is a cute little jacket, perfect to toss on over lots of clothes. There is PLENTY of room for layers underneath. I believe I will wear it often.


  1. That's a lovely jacket. It's shape is rather Kimono-like. Very nice.

  2. Yes, this is a cute jacket. Kudos to you for doing all of the channel stitching. Doesn't sound like fun to me. Love your button choice!

  3. Lovely jacket - and such a great color on you.

  4. This jacket is really lovely and looks so good on you too.

  5. I love the color and the quilting!

  6. Martha.- Thank you very much for trusting in my pattern. I enjoyed reading the realization process, really. You have ahead, because I also thought I have to make a quilted version. I love the color chosen and you look fantastic. Thank you.