Today I’m reviewing another pattern that has been on my wish list for ages and for the life of me, I can’t give you a reason why I’ve not made it sooner. I’ve gone as far as looking at patterns on Tilly’s website and haven’t bought any, waiting for the bundles to change and my favourites to magically appear together. But then I struck lucky; Tilly was one of the guest speakers at the Sewing Weekender in August and just happened to drop in that she had bought patterns with her and didn’t really fancy lugging them back on the train…oh, and that they were 20% off. I didn’t need telling twice, I was up at the front like a shot and I’d picked up the only Coco and Agnes patterns in case I missed out, then sat back down and planned out which vouchers I had in my goodie bag so I could make best use of each of them in my fabric shopping for both projects.
The Coco Dress/Top pattern is a classic silhouette, easy to construct and uber stylish; in short exactly the pattern you need in your sewing room to call on. I wasn’t too taken with the funnel neck version of the pattern, but I really liked the pattern made up in dress and top form. Tilly styles hers with a stripy fabric for a classic, French Breton look…a look that I’ve loved and worn for ages but since turning sewist for myself but hadn’t dared to make. If truth be told, I’d stuck to a small print that you didn’t need to match out of laziness – think tiny flamingos (Colette Lily Dress and Lauren Guthrie Yoke Top), foxes (Deer and Doe Datura) and florals (Button Down Back Top.) I really like that the dress is the perfect day dress and works well with a good quality jersey. It can be dressed with thick tights and boots for Autumn/Winter and (bravely) bare legs and sandals in warmer weather.
I decided to start by making the dress – I used my Girl Charlee voucher code in my Sewing Weekender goodie bag to buy some black and white stripe ponte roma. The quality of the fabric was beautiful, thick enough to give the structure the Coco needs but snuggly enough to feel like I’m wearing pyjamas. When you’re working with stripes, be really careful to make sure you’re lining them up as you fold your fabric to cut on the fold – you’ll need lots of pins or quilting clips to keep your fabric where you need it. The other tip I’d recommend when you’re stripe matching is to remember where your stripe starts – so for my front and back pieces, under the arm was the bottom of white/start of black.
In terms of construction, the dress is really easy to make – if you’re using a plain or print fabric, it’s mega easy…if you’re using striped fabric, it’s not difficult, but you do need to think about your stripe matching (both in the cutting and sewing process). The instructions are really easy to follow, go into a good level of detail (particularly for when you’re tired and need things spelling out to you) and have some great illustrations to follow. I also like that Tilly puts little notes on the patterns so you can see what is matching up to which; for beginner sewists, this is really helpful. Tilly recommends using a zig zag stitch when sewing your dress – I’ve always used the stretch stitch on my machine but I really like using the normal zigzag stitch – why didn’t I think of it before?! It seems so obvious now.
I was torn over what pockets to add; after much deliberation and pinning on a range of plains and prints, I decided to keep it simple and stick to stripes, rotating the fabric to vertical for a contrast.
I’m really happy with my Coco Dress and so glad I finally bought the pattern and made it. A matching Coco Top is still very much in the pipeline (I’ve cut it out and everything!) – expect to see the review of this very soon!
If you are loving Tilly’s 60’s vibe, you might also like my Swing Cape pattern review – you can find that here.
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