Sunday, October 11, 2015

Jalie Cocoon Sweater - fast and fun

This has been fun. I'm not a big Jalie fan or aficionado - so many of their patterns are based on an 'active' lifestyle. And I had my Eleonore pants disaster a few months ago. That one still bothers me (which means I'll probably try it again in a different fabric).

Over the last few months, I've picked up three sweater knits, poly/cotton/lycra blends, lightweight and sort of loosely woven (like the grey one below). Nothing near as dense or heavy as a hacci knit. Since I wear jersey knit shrugs and cardigans all the time, over my sleeveless things, I thought I'd try something new. 

What to make? I've always liked the look of Burda's cocoon cardigan 11/2013 #107, but it's meant for a substantial fabric and would be really warm for south Florida. Lots of pattern cruising later, this Jalie cocoon pattern caught my eye. I like the simple design and the length, and love the cut-on sleeves.

So, muslin time. I was really wary of the band around that big convex curve in the hem. Give me a band on a concave curve, like a neckline on a tee and no problem. But I don't often tackle something like this - it's not as easy as it might look. I started off with a thin nylon knit with 40% horizontal stretch, just to get a feel for the pattern and the size I chose. 

No cuffs, I just lopped the sleeves at 3/4 length and hemmed them.

When I got it all together, the band drooped and turned inwards very badly around the front bottom curve. So I ironed it. Bad idea. I flattened the band everywhere, including around the neck, where it needs to be more conforming.

But it's a muslin, and I did learn some things. First, I needed to force even more of the band onto the most extreme parts of the curve. And second, a thin fabric wouldn't work very well - the band needs some heft in the fabric to keep it from curving in on itself.

Muslin #2. This time in a poly crepe knit, a little heavier, with the same prerequisite stretch. This is dark navy, hard to photograph, so I've tried to lighten the pics a little bit.

Better, but I still ended up with a lot of droop in the bottom of the front band. It just bugged me! So I pulled out the big gun - ponte de roma. It's a nice, stable, hefty knit - why not give it a go?

What a difference. It really looks nice! I lightened these pics on Emile as well, black is worse than navy in photos.

Ponte from Fabric Mart,  68% rayon, 27% nylon, 5% spandex

And the same view on me...I love it!

A few sewing notes:
  • I sewed a size 38. 
  • And learned how to measure my torso. It's 64" by Jalie's guidelines. Since the size 38 has a 61" torso allowance, I added 3", which meant lengthening the front and back by 1 1/2". I imagine the torso measurement is really valuable in all the activewear and performance patterns that Jalie has. Pretty neat.
  • The finished sleeve is a little short. My arms are not long, and this sleeve just covers my wrist. So I widened the cuff by 2", bringing it further down on my hand.
  • The cuff pattern is the same width as the sleeve, so it's really a band. I shortened the width of the cuff by 2", so I could gather the sleeve into it. And now I can push up the sleeves and they stay put.
  • And good news - the band actually fits. On all three versions, I cut my band pieces 3" longer than the pattern. I distrust band patterns in general, because the fit often varies with the fabric. Better too much than too little. But this band fits without the additional length. 

I think ponte turned out to be a perfect fabric. Those three sweater knits will just have to wait a little longer. A couple more pics of this super nice little jacket:

Bye for now! Coco


  1. Oh very nice! I have never tried the Jalie patterns but that one looks like a keeper for the right fabric.

  2. what a wonderful wrap. As the weather cools a bit, this will be perfect.

  3. Third time's a charm! Your final version is just perfect!

  4. I like this. Thanks for describing the three fabrics' attributes, for that will help me in choosing the fabric. I look forward to making this and wearing it a lot. It looks great on you!

  5. OOH! I LOVE it ! and it's available as a PDF !!!

  6. Looks great in that substantial ponte!

  7. Looks great! You're very patient, I think I'd have given up after the second fabric. It's a beautiful top in the pointe.

  8. The cardio turned out beautifully in ponte - such a perfect fabric for so many patterns. It will serve you very well. When I read your last post, you had mentioned this Jalie cardio pattern. Funny thing is, I had just taken a look at the same pattern online for a new knit I bought. It's like we've got a little pattern ESP going on. After seeing your very patient and thorough examination of this pattern, I see that it is not the right pattern for my lightweight knit, so thank you!!! You save me, because I likely would not have muslined as you did.


I love it that you came by...and thank you for your comments! Coco