Coco

Coco

November 17, 2014

This is my first Coco dress and my first go at sewing with knit fabric.

Coco dress - Tilly and the Buttons


The pattern is by Tilly and the Buttons. The pattern comes with a detailed  instruction booklet with which includes lots of useful tips and hints. All the steps are illustrated with a photograph. It includes details of how to make either a top or dress, with the option to add cuffs, pockets or a funnel neck.




Coco is designed to be fairly easy fitting, so is a flattering outfit for all body shapes as it skims over the hips and is not too clingy. I made the size 4 based on  my measurements, grading to the size 5 on the hips (as usual). I decided to make the dress version with the full length sleeves and cuffs. I also chose the small pockets to add to the front of the dress. I lengthen the pattern by 5 cm as I thought it would be a bit short on me although when it was all sewed up, it was actually looked too long. I lopped off a fair bit so the dress is probably near the original length.

Coco dress - Tilly and the Buttons

I chose a quite heavy weight double knit which was fairly easy to sew as it didn't  have too much stretch. I don't know too much about the material as it was a bargain that I picked up at the Knitting and Stitching Show last month. I pre-washed the fabric and it  seems to wash quite well.  I deliberately chose something plain to work with as I didn't want to pattern match.

Coco dress - Tilly and the Buttons

The one thing I found tricky was the placement of the pockets as there are no markings for this on the pattern. I can understand why there are no markings, as with all of Tilly's patterns, she's keen to encourage you to make your garment your own. However, I would have preferred to have markings on the pattern for the placement of the pockets, that I could choose to ignore if  I wished. I found it very difficult to pin the pockets in the correct place. When I was happy, I then tacked the pockets first to make them easier to sew in place. In the end, I unpicked and removed the pockets as they made the garment look distinctly homemade. I do like the pockets on all the versions I've seen online but mine were just not neat enough. I would steer clear of the pockets if your top stitching can be a bit wonky like mine.

Coco dress - Tilly and the Buttons

I would like to look at how to finish the dress more professionally as to be honest it's a bit of a mess inside. Tilly suggests in one of her tips to stitch or fuse stay tape or hemming tape to the neckline and hemline to give a neat and strong finish.  She doesn't go in to any more detail about this in the pattern booklet so this is something I will have to investigate as I've never heard of either before.

All in all, I'm pleased with my Coco and will be tackling it again.  It's a quick and easy make and perfect for this time of year.  My new dress is nice and warm, and perfect for a cold day with tights and boots.  I've also discovered that knits aren't too scary for beginners!

Have you got a favourite knit pattern that you could recommend?

Catherine x

sew over it

The Ultimate Shift Dress

November 03, 2014

So the first of my Autumn-Winter Stitching plans is now complete!

Ultimate shift dress - Sew Over It

This is the Ultimate Shift Dress by independent sewing pattern company Sew Over It.  The fabric was something I picked up at the Knitting and Stitching Show.

Ultimate shift dress - Sew Over It

This is a very easy dress to complete. In fact I think it is the fastest thing I have ever sewn. I traced the pattern pieces one evening and then cut and sewed most of the dress the next evening.

Ultimate shift dress - Sew Over It


This is a good pattern for a relative beginner like me and the instructions are quite clear. I think it's not suitable for a total beginner as it assumes a bit of knowledge such as how to sew bust darts and the sleeves are eased in which is quite tricky.However, the pattern booklet includes a glossary which is helpful as it explains some of the terms that other patterns assume you know and understand.

The pattern comes in size 8-20.  Looking at my measurements, I was between the 12 and the 14 sizes. This pattern is designed for a very close fit and includes less ease than more commercial patterns. I traced a size 12 and graded to 14 on the hips.  Thank goodness for machine tacking as when I tried it on to see what the fit was like, the dress was far too tight on  the hips for my liking.  I had to sew from the waist downwards with a very tiny seam allowance.  I will have to grade to a 16 on the hips next time I think!

I made the long sleeved version due to the season. I started with wrist length sleeves but altered them to three quarter length after trying the dress on. The dress is finished with a simple hook and eye but you could easily make a button loop instead.

Ultimate shift dress - Sew Over It

I like the simplicity of this pattern and also love the fact that not only can you make three versions of the dress (long sleeved, with sleeve frills and with a neck frill), cutting lines are also marked on the pattern for making a tunic or a top version instead. I think that to get a better fit though at the back, I would need to look at making a shift dress with some darts to give it more shaping.

It's a great basic pattern though and I will definitely be checking out some of their other patterns.

Catherine x


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