Cozy Cocoon Cardigan in Quilted Plaid Wool

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, and I really like that.  I love to be bold and try new shapes!  I thought it would be really fun to try out a traditional cold-weather fabric in this modern silhouette, so I used this amazing plaid wool coating from Mood Fabrics NYC (look how many kinds of plaid wool coating are available online!  This fuchsia and red plaid is particularly awesome!).  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 seen 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!  Fabric like this is practically an insta-coat!

Gingham-backed quilted wool coating from Mood Fabrics NYC

My plan was to bind the seams as I stitched them so the inside would be beautiful and clean, but that added some unneeded bulk, 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 a top I made last year.  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!

Burda cocoon cardigan 11/2013 #107 in wool coating from Mood Fabrics

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.

Burda cocoon cardigan in wool coating from Mood Fabrics NYC

After cutting, construction was a breeze!  This pressed beautifully, despite the thickness of the double-layered fabric.  I just made sure to use a press cloth to protect the fabric.

The pattern is a new Burda download, Cocoon Cardigan 11/2013 #107.  It was really easy to put together– you really don’t even need the instructions (luckily, as they were pretty cryptic).

Burda cocoon cardigan in wool coating from Mood Fabrics NYC

Alright, that’s enough construction talk– let’s get down to the nitty-gritty.  Guys, I’m honestly on the fence about this style!  I’m about 50% in love with it, and 50%… not.  Somehow it sort of walks a line between Olsen Twin Chic and The Dude Abides.  I’m thinking that it might help to shorten and narrow the sleeves–  maybe it would look a bit less overwhelming if the sleeves weren’t so oversized.  Looking back at my inspiration images, most of them also have really slouchy, baggy sleeves, so maybe that’s just the style.  I also really like how the curved hem looks in the front, but I’m not crazy about how long it is in the back.  What do you guys think– should I reduce the curve and shorten it a bit?  I’m really on the fence!

Burda cocoon cardigan in wool coating from Mood Fabrics NYC

I wasn’t totally sure how to style this, but I figured that I needed to be as streamlined as possible underneath the coat, so I whipped up a quick pair of leggings using a cotton-Lycra jersey with four-way stretch (here are some fun Lycra-blend prints!).  Would you believe I’ve never sewn leggings before?  I don’t even have another pair in my closet!  I always thought they’d be itchy and uncomfortable, but these are so soft and cozy that I’m craving a whole arsenal of them!

How would you style this?  What do you think of the cocoon coat trend?  Do you have any suggestions for making this more wearable?  What’s your strategy for keeping warm when it’s so cold you don’t even want to get out of bed?

Burda cocoon cardigan in wool coating from Mood Fabrics NYC

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Comments


  • Sallie
    November 25, 2013

    Wait a second… I’m not seeing the problem here if the style is straddling “Olsen Twins Chic” and “The Dude Abides”?! I think you just described my ideal wardrobe!! Haha!
    No, but seriously, this coat/cardigan/woolen cocoon of warm goodness is freaking cool! And I think you’re pretty damn ballsy for trying new shapes (it’s a hard thing to do!) Maybe you’d feel a bit better about it if it were just a bit more fitted. I know it’s supposed to be an oversized cardigan, but your frame looks like it might be getting a bit lost in it.
    And I love how you paired it with leggings and boots. Generally my rule of thumb with styles like this is to go oversized and layered on top and skinny on the bottom. So I’d probably wear it with long, drapey t-shirts and a scarf and leggings.

    • Ginger
      November 25, 2013

      Ahahahahahaha, yes! You’re like a super stylish Dude! I think if I make this again I’ll cut a size down, and maybe go down to elbow-length sleeves just to lose a little bit of the bulk.

  • devra
    November 25, 2013

    i’ve got to pretty much completely agree with sallie. where is the problem of a style between “olsen chic” and “the dude abides”? :-D

    i’m considering a quilted wool coat myself, actually, and this looks so comfy and fun you may have just sold me on it. and i’d style it exactly like sallie.

    • Ginger
      November 25, 2013

      The quilted wool is fantastic– especially if you don’t have to quilt it yourself! I really wish I’d bought more!

  • Angela
    November 25, 2013

    It’s super cute! Maybe dress it up a bit since it is so oversized, just because you are so tiny (this is coming from someone who is also very small and has to do the same thing with my oversized items :) Skinny jeans and flats or heals or something similiar. Love the coat. Really nice job, it turned out fabulous. I would love to have that jacket!!!

    • Ginger
      November 25, 2013

      Thanks, Angela! I think I need to go with some sleeker shoes– the big, stomping boots kind of make me look like I’m wearing my dad’s coat and boots!

  • carolyn roemer
    November 25, 2013

    Since I don’t know what Olsen chic is; Nor where the Dude abides. I just like the coat because it’s different and warm. I might add a matching or blending scarf for warmth on really cold days. The back hem does not appear too long in the picture. Recutting curves has never been a success for me. Good luck and happy thanksgiving.

    • Ginger
      November 25, 2013

      You know what, I hadn’t put a lot of thought into it, but I bet I would end up with a big mess if I tried to change the hemline. Thanks for saving me from that hassle! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  • Amy
    November 25, 2013

    Ooh prelined and quilted eh? Very interesting! Good on you for breaking out of your comfort zone and making something cool and different. Plus mmm yummy plaid :-)

    • Ginger
      November 25, 2013

      I could wear plaid every day and still wouldn’t be sick of it! :)

  • Heather Lou
    November 25, 2013

    I’m actually pretty into this – looks super cozy and seasonally appropriate. I pinned that cardy when it came out cuz I loved the shape so much. Sometimes you just want the fashion equivalent of a sleeping bag, amiright?I think maybe it needs a little ankle boot though. I bought a pair this year and that shit goes with EVERYTHING. Lighten it up a bit? You’re kinda making me want a cocoon coat too… there is a Ralph Pink one I have my eye on….

    • Ginger
      November 25, 2013

      You would so rock this! It’s a really fun shape! I really like the Ralph Pink pattern, too– it’s so dramatic!

      Ankle boots are a great suggestion! Maybe some with a wedge heel? I think the heavier boots are making me look a little stumpy, especially combined with the long hem and the volume of the jacket.

  • Lori
    November 25, 2013

    I think it looks great, stylish but warm. Somedays you just have to have warm. I think it would look great with a black turtleneck, skiinny jeans and boots. Great job venturing out and trying something new.

    • Ginger
      November 25, 2013

      Today is one of those days! When we were taking the photos Saturday, it was about 20 degrees and suuuuuper windy– every part of me was freezing that was outside of the cardigan! Yikes!

      I can actually imagine you wearing this styled the way you described it. I bet you would look killer!

  • Peter
    November 25, 2013

    I love it. I’d style it with an oversized v-neck sweater (to echo the neckline) and leggings or tight jeans and maybe a bit more of heel for height. I think it looks great on you — go with the oversized-ness. I think it could easily be dressed up too; it’s an elegant silhouette. Great job!

    • Ginger
      November 25, 2013

      You’re right– I think I need a little more height from a heel or something. Looking at photos of gals wearing the cocoon styles in the ’60′s, they had big hair or hats to elongate their silhouette! Probably easier to grab a pair of wedges than to do a beehive, though. ;)

  • Carolyn
    November 25, 2013

    It’s suppose to be Olsen Twins Chic! That’s the aesthetic for these types of coats/jackets. It just takes some getting use to since it’s so far afield from the tight/belted look. I love your new coat and I would style it with a big furry eternity scarf, long Olivia Pope leather gloves and the leggings and boots you have going on right now! I know it’s hard stepping out of your comfort zone but you did a great job on this coat!

    • Ginger
      November 25, 2013

      Gosh, will you be my personal stylist? You always have the best ideas! And you’ve said the two magic words: Olivia. Pope. I think we need to start wearing bracelets that say WhatWouldOliviaWear? ;)

  • Lauren
    November 25, 2013

    I can’t help it; I’m biased because I think you look great in EVERYTHING! The only thing I’d change is the sleeves; I think they look a little long (unless you just shoved your hand in up in there because of the cold, can’t say I blame ya for that haha!). I love the oversized, snuggliness of it! And that fabric! It’s sooo good. Wear it with a bunch of fitted black (turtleneck, leggings, boots) and a bright yellow, chunky knit cowl :)

  • anne jewell
    November 25, 2013

    i agree with lauren–chunky around the neck. if a cowl is not for you then try a big, loose muffler. the big coat on little you is a great look.–anne

  • Amy
    November 26, 2013

    Based on many of the cocoon cardigans I’ve seen online, I think you’ve got it spot on here. You could go smaller, sure, but I think you could also go larger and get away with it. This style seems to run the gamut, so it’s all what you feel comfortable in. I love everyone’s alternative style suggestions, too: chunky cowls, ankle boots, and skinny, skinny pants. I bet by next year, you’ll be pulling this coat out more often than not!

  • Diana
    November 26, 2013

    OH; I love this coat. Looks completely cool, cute, sporty, comfy, cozy,(shall I go on?)! You’ve styled it just right IMO. Skinny jeans and boots would look great too, don’t you think?

  • Sarah Gunn
    November 27, 2013

    I think it’s just your style ! I’d roll up the sleeves since it has such cool backing. Very cute!