Republique du Chiffon Gerard twill jacket

Finally! cool weather and I get to layer jackets and shirts. And it’s delightful. After over 20 years of living in Deep South Florida, Orlando has seasons, the leaves turn and fall, and I get to wear sweaters and jackets and leggings…well, you get the idea.

The Republique du Chiffon Gerard Manteau is my very favorite loose jacket. I’ve made so many, the pattern just doesn’t disappoint.

I made this version in July, in Kaufman Santa Cruz Cotton Twill from And this is my first opportunity to wear it!

Some notes on the ‘newer’ version of the pattern. I first sewed this lovely jacket in 2014, when the line drawings were by hand, sizing was sketchy, and there was no English version. Versions by Jolies Bobbines were my inspiration. I went looking for pics for my earliest makes, alas, I was not good at keeping them. But I’ve enjoyed them all.

From 2014 to now:

  • The pattern and the PDF are very standardized and professional. Easy to use and understand. I bought the new version specifically because I really like this pattern.
  • The sizing, height options, and pockets have changed.
  • The jacket is more commodious – it just fits better, the design is more proportionate.
  • It has a much better English translation, instructions, and illustrations.
  • The instructions are separate PDF.
  • The pattern has middle and long length markings.
I sewed size Medium, and used Hong Kong finishing on all my seams, no lining needed.

My more recent versions from the updated pattern include:

Stretch cotton poplin

This was fun. I’m wearing a cotton big shirt and stretch leggings, could not be happier. Bye for now – Coco

Fabric and project agony…

The agony. I purchased 3 yards of this lovely abstract stripe linen for a jacket. In reality, it is like cheesecloth, and even three launderings did not close the weave.

So – a lining required. But wrestling the fabric on the grainline was just horrendous.

What was meant to be a starlet jacket will be a scarf for many people on my Christmas list, including me!

What next? this project was meant to carry me for a while. So, I ordered some lovely Kaufman black cotton twill for that jacket. Before I go any further, the jacket? A Republique du Chiffon Gerard Manteau, a classic boyfriend style. I ordered the pattern when it came out, ages ago. Believe it or not, everything was drawn by hand, pattern and instructions, and challenging. Last month I ordered the updated pattern. It and the instructions booklet have since entered the 21st century. Below, new line art and ‘old’ pattern.

The updated pattern has different pockets and options for 3 lengths. Yes! As to my new project with twill, it will be unlined, which is very easy given the facings and hemline bands provided on the pattern.

Meanwhile…I’m prepping tools for paper beads and laying low, I’m into the 2nd volume of Churchill’s books on WWII, and being patient on the sewing front. I actually have 3 books in progress simultaneously. Beside Churchill, also Barbara Tuchman on WWI ‘The Guns of August’ and Stanley Karnow ‘Vietnam: a History’. I finished John Toland, ‘The Rising Sun’ and ‘Korea: Mortal Combat’, in the last year.

For now, I hope you are well and coping – difficult times, my wish for your peace and calm. Coco

Exuberant fall jacket, Gerard Manteau

The temperatures are falling, time for a new fall/winter jacket.

Going in, there are no pics on me. I seem to have lost touch with my narcissistic self, I have myopic vision, and I dislike taking photos of myself. Is this growth (sounds good) or or a symptom of Covid stasis…

I know I’m not alone in this. Moving on, check out this wonderful, happy, show-it-off jacket!! More pics…

Sewing notes:

  • This is the Republique du Chiffon Gerard Manteau, a lovely boyfriend style reminiscent of the 70’s and 80’s. My ‘old’ version is not quite like the new one, see my last post of this jacket for differences.
  • I sew the size small, with some adjustments below the midriff if I want to button it, as in the last corduroy version, link above. It has a distinct cocoon shape, which I love. I don’t plan to button this one, so it is in the original design, cocoon glory.
  • This is a large print, STOF Zoya Multiflore in linen, from So I laid the fabric on the floor, having drafted duplicate tissue of all the pattern pieces.
  • This jacket begs for Hong Kong seam finishes, since I’m not lining it. I used poly broadcloth, my go-to for binding. I ordered a yard, and cut the entire piece in bias binding, you never know when you will need a strip of a fun color. And I go for a mass binding application!

It does feel strange to close without a final photo on me. So here’s a pic of the same fabric, 30″x40″, over my piano 🙂

I’m grateful to share , and I sincerely hope everyone is well and hanging in there.

Ciao! Coco

I’m so busy!

Look familiar? My kitchen is my staging area for all kinds of painting, my only issue is that all the stuff is in front of my coffee maker!

The bathroom vanity – it was not an easy upgrade, because painting stained wood is giant pain. This vanity was ’80s oak, a Thomasville cabinet, so it was worth the effort. It looks so high end now! Black paint, new hardware 🙂

Speaking of black paint, I’m actually painting all my exterior doors black as well. They are all stained oak, so it takes a coat of primer and 2 coats of paint to finish. And it will take forever to cure. I’ve finished the door to the wash house and the kitchen door (pic below). Notice that it cures very quickly on my hands…

The kitchen door, framed glass, and very exposing without something over the glass. I want to stay in the 21st century, so I added a frosted film (Rabbitgo), with a 1/2″ clear border. It’s great! and I can walk in my kitchen au naturel

Pending – the front door. I need more paint and a rest (at least 24 hours) from painting.

Meanwhile, sewing plans…

I’m making my son an Hawaiian shirt, white linen, using Kwik Sew 2935. I’ve measured him every way from here to Sunday for this project 🙂

And of course I’m sewing for myself. I ordered 3 yards of this gorgeous STOF France Zoya Multicolore linen for a Republique du Chiffon Gerard Manteau.

I won’t line it, I have a beautiful burnt orange voile for Hong Kong seams.

I’m grateful to be so busy. I’m feeling loved, my family stays in touch, and my son comes by for porch hellos. For which he gets Twizzlers and loop band bracelets.

I hope you are well also – Coco

Beautiful glorious day and a Gerard Manteau

What a nice day – cool, well, for Floridians, cold 🙂 My new Gerard Manteau is perfect.

This cute and casual jacket from Republique du Chiffon is a gem. It has a semi-grunge aspect – loose and long.

I’m in the back yard, in front of my newly trimmed tangerine tree. I was concerned that it was so full and thick, a hurricane could push it over in a flash. Not now! And the birds love the tree.

Sewing notes:

  • I sewed the size small – a medium would have swallowed me, but would be perfect for fleece or fur.
  • I have the PDF pattern, and the instructions and illustrations (hand-drawn and very small) are minimal. Additionally, only the French instructions are really useable – the English translation provided is just weird. If you’ve made a jacket, you will be fine. This is a very basic pattern.
  • A caution: the pattern does not discriminate sizes by line style – they are all the same solid black line, so don’t drink wine while cutting…
  • The fabric: Heathered Sapphire 100% Cotton Corduroy 66W from Fabric Mart, 7-wale.
  • It did get some special prep work. I serged all the pattern pieces before I started sewing, to prevent bias stretch and loss of fabric on the edges.

Then I vacuumed my entire house!! and cleaned my serger.

  • Originally I used twill tape to define the roll of the lapel. But I found that it distorted the lapel because the wale opened and rolled around. So I took it out.
  • For the same reason, the distortion of sewing across this wide wale, I squared the bottom of the pockets (I love that they are lined, nice touch).

Tree hugger 🙂

Ciao! Coco

Gerard Manteau in corduroy – prep!

Time for a new Republique du Chiffon Gerard Manteau. I’m in love with this casual jacket.

I found a beautiful 7-wale heathered saffire corduroy at Fabric Mart late last year. And I knew it’s destiny.

The prep, driven by my fabric, has taken hours and hours 🙂

Of course I laundered the fabric, and I was rewarded with piles and piles of lint in the dryer. I tumbled it twice to get the last bits off the yardage, and then I cleaned my dryer!

Prep – once I start sewing, I want to work with nice pattern pieces without lint or unexpected bias distortion. So I cut and serged every single piece of my pattern.

As I was cutting, I marked notches with a chalk pencil, but after I serged the edges, I marked them with a small pin. Chalk disappears from corduroy in a flash…

I’m anxious to start, but my interfacing, Pellon SF785 sew-in, is in the laundry. Yes, non-fusible interfacing should be washed and dried… I prefer sew-in interfacing on anything with a wale or heavy texture, as I don’t want to crush the fabric pressing a fusible.

So, next up, my Gerard Manteau! Bye for now, Coco

Republique du Chiffon – le Manteau Gerard


One of those perfect projects.

I purchased this jacket pattern from Republique du Chiffon 5 years ago, and somehow it got lost in my stash. I love the 80’s vibe of the jacket, which is why I picked it up in the first place. Check it out – there are some beautiful versions to view online.

The line art below is from the currently available version. Mine, the original PDF, has applied pockets, which I really like on this casual semi-grunge style.

line art


I used a cotton/tencel/lycra light-weight denim from Fabric Mart. The fabric has enough weight that I was able to skip the lining. It’s warm enough here in south Florida without any additional layers inside.

Top: Named Saraste shirt



Sewing notes:

  • I drafted the size Small, and it’s a beautiful fit on my frame. However… I don’t see the PDF on the pattern site now, only a printed/envelope version. I noticed sizing changes that would definitely impact my purchase decision – the small is too small, the medium is too large. Sorry to be a bummer, but I might not go for it at 17 euros plus shipping from France.

Screen Shot 2019-04-27 at 4.38.05 PM-down

  • I removed the ‘cocoon’ curve from the side seams, the silhouette is just not my thing.
  • The facings and hem bands are generous and perfect for finishing the jacket without lining.

Inside view

  • I used 3/4″ buttons and buttonholes with rounded ends. Honestly, I didn’t even open the buttonholes because I won’t wear this buttoned. But I like the additional visual detail.

g buttonholes

  • Small tip on making a perfect front curve on the bottom front edge…clip, check, clip, until the curve is even and flat with no lumps when it’s turned.

g curve

So, here’s lucky. Fabric Mart sent me an additional 8″ in length – I got the end of the bolt. I had just enough to make the matching capris I’m wearing in these pics. Now I have a casual suit as well 🙂

Pants: Vogue 8584 loose leg pants, View A


I’m not sure what I’ll sew next. Being the good Fabric Mart shopper that I am, I have 5 fabrics coming my way next week. Perhaps I’ll do a pair of True Bias Hudson pants, since I have a beautiful black matte jersey tempting me from my stash. I wear my leggings – Love Notions Sabrina Slims, Hudsons, and Pattern Emporium Harem pants – so much that I just keep on making them 🙂

Ciao! Coco