Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Sewing: Coco, The New Travel Dress

I made a dress!  For myself this time.  I've made several for my little girl, and even one for my niece, but I have never attempted one for myself.  There's something about sewing dresses for grown up big girls...they look so complicated.  This, however, was a fantastic 'starter-offer' for beginners like me.  It's another pattern by Tilly Walnes, it's called the Coco dress, and can be found on her blog Tilly and the Buttons. 

It was my very first attempt at putting in sleeves in ANYTHING so I was pretty excited that they went in without a hitch!  This was also the very first time I had sewed with a knit fabric, and this one is fairly stretchy (the dark blue fabric I'm pointing the finger at here), and without an overlocker, that was a whole different kettle of complicated fish.  Well, not really complicated, just a challenge to cut out (especially when you decide to lay out your pattern and cut it at NIGHT....idiot Amber...you're half blind and can't see well at night...and you were using a dark fabric...what on earth were you thinking....????)....and you have to be careful not to stretch the fabric as you sew.  This wasn't that big a deal really, and I was pretty happy with the end results.

I will briefly explain the little tin of 'English' tea in front of my face, just in case you were wondering the relevance of this.... (it actually reads "Keep Calm & Carry On" on the tin).  I made this dress with my next year's England trip in mind!!  I saw a really comfortable looking dress on my favourite clothes shopping website (Birdsnest) and it looked perfect for sitting on a plane in....for a really long, long, long time....but the price tag was also really long, long, long...so I figured that finally getting around to making this Coco dress would do the trick nicely.  This navy fabric is that type of lovely cosy soft knit fabric that you wouldn't mind wearing to bed, so I thought, BINGO....the perfect dress for the plane when I head off to England next year to visit my husband (who will be shearing over there for a couple of months....read about my excited explanation of this trip here).

Anyway, I also changed the pattern a little, adding on this contrasting fabric around the hem.  I thought it added a little bit of something to it.  I also really loved this spotty fabric, but when I went to order it they only had a tiny amount, so I decided to go for the solid navy (which was probably a better colour that would be more flattering on my "cuddly" body, particularly in this knit fabric that tends to show off all your.....well.....fat bits......)....soooooo....I decided that I would get enough of the spot fabric so I could add this contrasting hem, the cuffs (which were also optional with the pattern) and the pocket (another optional extra!). 
The pattern itself gives you a few different options, as a matter of fact, where you can choose to do a top or a dress, with the choice of adding a sort of rolled collar, the cuffs on the sleeves, having long sleeves or 3/4 length or adding the pockets.  Tilly's original Coco dress is this stripey version here with the little yellow pockets.  To add the contrasting fabric on the bottom I had to be a little bit cunning and cut a strip off the bottom of the pattern, making this the template for the spotty fabric, but making sure I still remembered to add seam allowances to join the navy fabric with the spotty one.  It took a little bit of fiddling but it wasn't too bad....even for my rusty mathematical abilities.

Nearing completion of the dress (which really only took me a day and a half all up when you work it out) I ran into a bit of a conundrum where I had no idea whether to have it with no pockets, with one pocket or with two pockets.  Ahhhh....the dilemma.  I asked my eldest son and he thought one pocket.  I texted these photos to my Mum......
No pockets....
One pocket.....
....or two?

My Dad thought two pockets.  My Mum thought no pockets.  And then there was my son who thought one pocket.  In the end I decided that I did like the look of two pockets but figured it would drive me batty trying to sew them on evenly....and then if I stuffed that up I'd have to walk lopsided to hide the fact that my pockets were uneven....so I went with just one.  What is your pocket based opinion??

In other news, while I was having my 'pocket dilemma', my daughter was getting into my bathroom cupboard...
....and trying on my lipstick!






8 comments:

  1. Hm... that's tough, but I think the one pocket looks really cute. Plus you are totally right with that sewing on evening this. I think this dress will do so nicely for your travels! That I'm still really excited about for you. I feel like I'm going. (;

    Penny has yet to get into my makeup. Aw little Imogen, it would be hard to be mad at that adorable face! (;

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    1. Yes, you need to come over to England too! Bianca has said that you should, as has Stephanie. Imagine the four of us let loose on London!! Penny getting into you makeup is a certainty. Looking forward to seeing the cute photos!

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  2. I think it looks fab with just the one pocket! Have you ever considered sewing in two concealed pockets with a decorative trim? That way you could almost please everybody in your family :) x

    http://ditsysprinkles.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Ha! What a good idea! Although I'm not sure my sewing skills would cope with concealed pockets...it all sounds very 'Spy Vs spy'!!

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  3. This is gorgeous - I love the contrast hem, and I think I have to agree that I like the single pocket best, mostly like you due to the fact that it would be frustrating trying to get them even on both sides! Strangely I'm the opposite to you with making "grown up" clothes - I feel like baby and child's clothes are more difficult (in my head, in practice they've never been that bad!). I think it's because I imagine there are lots of fiddly details, plus the fact that the one proper baby dress I made had loads of poppers along a line of thick bias binding that took forever to sew by hand (and I don't particularly like hand sewing!). And what a cute picture of your little girl getting into your lipstick!
    I've only just come across your blog now and am thinking I'll be doing a bit of reading back through your posts - I'm loving them!
    Sian xx Rebel Angel

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Sian and I'm so glad you did! I've been really happy with this dress, it's so comfortable. I think I might make the top version come winter time. I'm not a big fan of hand sewing either because I get a bit impatient and generally have limited time around the kids. I need to practice!

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  4. Great post dear!

    I'm following you on GFC :)

    mystylishcorner.blogspot.ba

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    1. Thank you, and thanks for the follow! Heading over to check out your blog!

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