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Tilly and the Buttons Coco Dress Pattern Review

Alright, I know I am a little late to this party, but I have finally made my first Coco dress. I have wanted to try sewing with knits for a while now and decided that this would be the perfect pattern to start with. I picked up this medium weight knit fabric from a recent trip to The Fabric Place in Nottingham (along with some other fabrics which will be making an appearance on the blog at some point)! It’s lovely. Originally I wanted a classic navy/white stripe in a ponte but this was the closest I could get and I’m so pleased with it. The stripe is still there but with a pretty detail to it.dsc04660

As usual there are different options available on the pattern, you can make a top or a dress on this pattern. Choose different necklines, sleeves, cuffs and pockets to make it just right. I chose to make the dress with 3/4 length sleeves and a plain neckline. I also decided against giving the sleeves cuffs as it is likely that this will be worn with a cardigan and I didn’t want any bulk. The amazing thing about choosing this option was that there were literally 3 pattern pieces to cut out! How simple and quick – result!

This was also the first time that I had cut out fabric for a dress using my rotary cutter (only ever used for a little bit of quilting previously). The stripes lined up beautifully despite the dress pieces being cut on the fold -so no stretching or shrinking had occurred during the pre-washing of the fabric. I was also pleasantly surprised that this fabric doesn’t fray! I was very aware of the stripe pattern matching at this stage, so took time to match up my notches. This dress can be made up using your regular sewing machine. I was thinking that the overlocker would surely be needed for a knit project but no, this was all done on the regular sewing machine. No fraying seams means no neatening of them too. Woohoo!

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The sleeves are finished by simply turning them under and zig zagging into place. The same goes for the neckline ( yep – no facings), and the hem. I like the way the sleeves are set into the dress, instead of sewing the side seam and shoulders first and setting them in, the top of the sleeves are stitched in first and the side seam of the dress runs right up the side of the dress and then down the sleeve. Very easy – kind of a cross between a set in sleeve and a raglan. I must admit I did find the sleeves a little baggy. Not a problem but I will make them slimmer the next time I make it.

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Take care with your pattern matching

This is probably the quickest dress to make that I have ever made. I wish I had made one sooner, I love to wear knit fabrics in the Winter months, but it hadn’t occurred to me to sew with it until now. It’s comfortable, cosy and it doesn’t crease – winner. I do love pockets in a dress and the pattern gives you the option of patch pockets, although these aren’t my preference maybe next time I will pop some in-seam pockets, I don’t think this would be too much of a problem. The length was perfect for me, I didn’t adjust this at all.(I’m 5’2″).

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Little details make all the difference

So, another winner from Tilly and the Buttons, and I’m not surprised that I love it. This is my third Tilly dress, do check out my previous posts on the Bettine and the Cleo. Again this is simple enough for a beginner, but should you need help there is lots of advice to be found on http://www.tillyandthebuttons.com/p/coco.html do check it out – it’s brilliant!

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Hope this helps those who, like me, were nervous to work with a knit fabric. I know I won’t look back now. Have you made a Coco? I would love to hear from you.

Thank you again for stopping by, take care and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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Tilly and The Buttons Cleo Dress Pattern Review

The day I saw that Tilly and The Buttons had released a pinafore dress pattern was a great day for me. I had been trawling the internet for a decent pinafore pattern for a very long time and whilst I could find patterns with bibs and ‘skater’ style skirts I couldn’t find any with this all in one style with no waist seam. This was perfect! Last Winter I had admired a couple of patterned pinafores I had seen in the shops and this was what I wanted my Cleo to look like.

I was very excited to read that Tilly and the gang were going to be hosting a Cleo sewing party on November 26th, where you could share your progress on Instagram. Do check out the hashtag #sewingcleo for tons of inspiration. I very much wanted to be a part of this so the pattern was promptly ordered and whilst I waited for this to arrive I searched for my perfect patterned Cleo fabric. I ordered a gorgeous cotton drill from eBay – bit of a risk but it was just right. The only other supplies I needed to buy were a couple of buttons as I already had black thread, interfacing and some leftover lining fabric.

I chose to make the mini length version of the dress, which was perfect for my 5’2″ height. There is a knee length version with a front split if you prefer it longer. I also only cut and used the top pocket as I decided the hip pockets would not be flattering on my shape. I  decided to use buttons as the fastenings, as I thought using dungaree buckles would be too tricky – I am really happy with the button finish but have seen so many versions online made with the buckles that next time I will definitely be giving them a go. They can’t be that difficult can they?

As always the instruction booklet is superb. Great step-by-step photos and written instructions guide you through this project easily and it sews up in very little time – it would have been even quicker if I hadn’t chosen to line it. It’s a perfect pattern for any skill level. I must admit I prefer to cut out my pattern the day before sewing but on this occasion I wanted to do it all in one day.cleo6

I was concerned that the weight of the fabric would make the pocket too bulky to lie flat but this was not a problem and I enjoyed the placement of it and the topstitching. I love a bit of topstitching!

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Simple buttons and more topstitching

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I chose to line the dress with some pretty emerald green lining as I know this will always be worn with tights, and I hate it when dresses and skirts ride up over tights. It was simple enough to do I just cut the lining with the front and back dress pattern pieces and lay it on top of the dress pieces and tacked them into place. Easy.

It was such fun to be a part of the Tilly community for the day, I am thrilled with how the pattern came out – I may cut it a size smaller next time. If you love Tilly and The Buttons patterns too you may like to check out my Bettine pattern review on the blog. I am also currently just finishing my first Coco dress and of course that pattern review will be on the blog too very soon.

I love the finished dress, and I know I will happily make many more, I will probably try a corduroy or denim for my next one, or even a pretty upholstery fabric…

Have you enjoyed making a Cleo? Did you take part in the Cleo sewing party too?  As always I love to hear from you.

Thanks for joining me here and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy xcleo5