Mary-Ellen's Jessie Coatigan

Mary-Ellen's Jessie Coatigan

The SOI Jessie Coatigan
Sewing for Pregnancy & Beyond

My latest blogger project was born as much out of necessity as desire. The fabric was irresistible, as I adore a check print and orange is my leading autumnal wardrobe colour, so I knew it was going to easily become a staple. The necessity was due to the fact my wardrobe is filled with fit and flare outerwear with cinched waists which, due to my being seven months pregnant, have be resigned to neglect this season (and I am praying to all the gods that they will fit me fine again next year). It took me some time to come to a conclusion as to which pattern would be suitable for my current shape and size. Admittedly, I am not a lover of loose fitted garments; I prefer tailored, vintage styles. While there are so many choices of oversized outerwear patterns out there, most of them don’t appeal to my style or my wardrobe - then I remembered the Sew Over It Jessie Coatigan pattern, which Jenny kindly printed off for me on her A0 printer (as it is a PDF only pattern).


The Jessie Coatigan is an unlined, loose fitting garment, perfect for the in-between seasons of spring and summer but also for layering on colder winter days because of the amount of ease that is built into the pattern which means you can wear chunkier knit layers under it with comfort. Depending on the fabric you chose to make this pattern, you can decide how much of a coat or a cardigan this garment is – using this gorgeous pumpkin check polyester / wool blend from Jenny, I’ve gone more for a coat but since making this, I’ve also made the pattern in a boucle – check out the colours currently in stock in Jenny’s shop if you fancy one yourself – and in a cotton jersey just to wear as a throw on knit for snuggling up on the sofa in the evening.

The Jessie Coatigan has a bit of a 60s feel to it; with its swing shape and shawl collar, it’s also quite timeless. It’s incredibly easy to fit being generous with ease and having dop shoulder sleeves. For me, personally, I usually have to spend quite a while toiling the shoulders and arms of more tailored outerwear pieces, having narrow shoulders but needing bicep adjustments for fitted jackets and coats, particularly when I need them to fit over a couple of layers in the winter. It also features pockets, which is a must for me. The coatigan is unlined, but it is tidily finished with a wide facing to keep the seams hidden, making it a rather quick and straight-forward project. The coatigan does not have closures, but these could be easily added if you wanted and you can always wrap it closed with a belt, which is what I’ll be doing when I come to bringing this make back out next autumn / winter when I don’t have a rapidly growing bump to accommodate. The coatigan is nicely finished with deep cuff facings which you might want to skip if using a lighter knit fabric but look great when stitched up more as a coat.

The pattern was a good compromise for me in making outerwear for maternity – I haven’t found maternity clothing in the stores to be even remotely appealing, but I was also hugely resistant to sewing ‘maternity clothing’ or spending time adapting clothes for maternity that would inevitably mean they’d never be worn again after a few months. Instead, I have been looking at making garments that I will be as likely to wear when my body finds its way back to its pre-pregnancy shape and size. The Jessie Coatigan fitted the bill.

One of the main reasons I took up sewing in the first place was my desire to be more sustainable in my approach to fashion and my wardrobe. Realistically, how much of a lifespan will maternity clothes have? No more than a year; from 4 or 5 months into pregnancy to a few months post birth. So far, I have managed accommodating my bump by sewing and wearing jersey fit and flare dresses. I didn’t want to spend time or money on making clothes that I cannot wear after my pregnancy, but I also wanted to wear clothes that sat within the confines of my aesthetic. My self-confidence, as a plus size woman, comes, in part, from wearing form fitting, vintage-inspired dresses; and I wasn’t going to let pregnancy take this with me completely.

Fabric Notes: This is a lovely fabric to sew up. I skipped on the pre-washing as the percentage of wool is 20% and the rest is polyester (which really does not shrink much and I only dry clean outerwear, anyhow). The weave of the fabric is loose but not so loose that it frays while cuts, which I often find to be the case with acrylic fabrics, which made it easy to cut and sew and it did not stretch out or lose its shape. The weight is more medium than heavy weight so it has enough movement to make it work really well for this coatigan pattern.

A Note on Sizing: The Jessie Coatigan comes in 2 size blocks - sizes 6-20 (B Cup), and sizes 18-30 (D Cup). I opted to sew the D Cup block and made the size 18. Pre-pregnancy, I would have been a size 16 in SOI sizes but always had to make rather extensive full bust adjustments so I thought I would try the D cup block without adjustments (even though, technically, I should have added a couple more inches) as I had never used it before, and I knew the size was better to easily accommodate my growing bump. I’ll still be able to wear this post maternity but given the amount of ease, I will probably size back down to the 16 in the future and carry out an FBA on the pattern pieces; I’m interested to find out how the shape changes when I add a dart.

This is definitely an autumn / winter staple and has made me consider oversized garments as a new possibility for my wardrobe in pregnancy and beyond.

Jenny Says:

"I love how Mary-Ellen has thought about the sustainability of her maternity clothing choices, her Jessie Coatigan is a truly beautiful piece which I'm sure will be a part of her wardrobe for a long time to come!"

Inspired to make your own version? Here's what you'll need:

Pattern : Sew Over It Jessie Coatigan (PDF only)

Fabric : Pumpkin Check Wool Blend Coating



Mary-Ellen was provided with the materials for her project free of charge and received a gift voucher in recognition of the time spent on her project.


Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.