Sewing a Koos Jacket - Part One

Posted by Susan Liane, The Smuggler's Daughter on 9/10/2014 to Sewing Projects
In the last couple of days I've gotten that feeling of a slight chill in the air when I first get up in the morning. The back of summer has definitely been broken and it is time to focus on sewing things with sleeves, heavier materials, etc. You know how hard it is to think about sewing a coat or jacket when it is still hot out, but now I'm definitely feeling the season start to change and I'm ready for a challenge. 

Last year my friend Karen sewed this pattern, Vogue 1277, by the designer Koos Van Den Akker, whose work I have long admired but never sewn. I love the jacket she made and I have been envious ever since I first saw it last winter. The pattern is rated "advanced" and I would take that rating seriously.  This is not a project for the beginning sewista and it is not really for the faint of heart.

The pattern is described as "very loose-fitting" which is accurate - I am sewing a medium and it has lots of room. Because of the way this jacket is designed, it is very difficult to make even simple adjustments, like shortening sleeves, for example.  So be sure to take a close look at the measurement chart, the pattern pieces and instructions before you start.  You may want to sew a size or two smaller than normal.

The pattern calls for eight (eight!) different fabrics varying in amounts from 5/8 to 2.5 yards (in the medium size) but you can play with this - meaning that you can repeat some of the fabrics.  I am only using six fabrics which feels like plenty of visual variety for me.  Choosing fabrics is an exciting design challenge for this pattern.  I suggest that you have more yardage of each fabric, so that you can change your mind about placing the various pieces - this is part of the fun of sewing with this pattern.

One of the first things you will notice is that the pattern pieces are such unusual shapes.  The pieces are large and unwieldy and did not fit on my table.  I ended up crawling around on the floor to lay out and cut the pieces.  It is critical to mark the fabric carefully on this project because of the unusual way the pieces go together.

I found that sewing the main pieces together was a fun challenge.  The difficulty came in sewing the bias strips over the seams.  It is counter intuitive that this pattern calls for sewing the wrong sides together and then covering the trimmed seams with a bias strip made from one of the eight fabrics. I had a difficult time getting the bias strips to lay down flat and maybe I should have chosen a different fabric.  My bias strips are made of a stretch woven and I thought this would make the curves better than a plain weave fabric, but now I'm not so sure.  This part is tricky.

The next installment will show how the project is completed.  I can't wait to finish.  BTW - Diane Ericson is offering a fantastic opportunity to sew a great coat or jacket with inspiration and coaching from herself and another fabulous sewista, Carol Lee Shanks. As part of her incredible "Design Outside The Lines" workshops, this retreat is in Ashland, Oregon and promises to be an exciting exploration of coats as personal shelter.  It is filling up fast but she has a few spaces left. Check it out at 

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The Conversation So Far
Jane McCartin Date 10/10/2014
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eLYZABETH Date 4/3/2015
Thank you for all the helpful info. I just purchased this pattern (on ebay!) and can't wait to see your final creation. You are an inspiration!
Jori Whitehead Date 7/28/2015
I am certain you have received more inquiries than you ever wanted about the Koos Coat Vogue 1277. But here is one more. Have you made any progress in the completion of it? I am currently trying to work my way through the confusion of the pattern. After many days of analyzing the pattern and blogs I am getting close to the first scissor cut. Any help you can send this way?!
Sylvia Date 9/26/2018
Have the body of the jacket 1277 sewn together, but completely stuck on the sleeves is it possible l don't have all the pattern pieces, l have 1 piece #9 & l don't even know how to start cutting it, thanks for any help u can give me.
Lois knudson Date 7/26/2020
Pattern number 5 and six at center back , notches to match center seam are marked wrong on my pattern. I did five fabrics,useing navy as basil fabric, am doing strap jumper to wear with,my pattern. Will enter it in Az. Make it with wool. Am not lining it because of hot weather. Useing five and six for facing, putting stiff interfacing to stand up the collar. Love the pattern. Will make another of silk next.
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