Tag Archives: coco

Looks like Purple People Eater to Me!

31 May

IMG_2670Oh yes, Sheb Wooley, I’m after you! Here is my Tilly & the Buttons Coco dress – is it called a franken-dress, or is that just me in it?!

It’s a Coco top, shortened a wee bit, with a sort of Merchant and Mills Factory Dress skirt on the bottom. It’s what I call a result, after the trauma of my first Coco.  Last time, I managed to disfigure my fabric by drying it badly and then forcing my daughter to model it. This time I went for a more stable knit, using a lovely ponte roma bought from Plush Addict, and washed and dried it carefully.

It was a one-eyed, one-horned flyin' Purple People Eater!

It was a one-eyed, one-horned
flyin’ Purple People Eater!

Originally, I cut a funnel neck but I thought I looked a bit too much like a purple ET, so cut it out and used some black cotton ribbing I had lurking instead. I really liked the contrast – black/purple, purple/black – and added the ribbing to the cuffs too, using the lovely Amanda method (from Kitschy Coo), as detailed in her Lady Skater dress pattern.

So all’s well that ends well really: I had wanted this dress to be in a Kelly green (as I had pinned on one of my Pinterest boards) but thought it might be too bright, being a gal who favoured black for all seasons for most of her twenties and thirties. So I chose vibrant purple instead.

Despite cutting the same size Coco as before, this fabric behaved differently – just like my children, in fact. The end result is a little bit big, thus casting it into the “roast dinner dress” corner of my wardrobe. It also functions as a giant nighty, which means on all these balmy Spring days that have so far eluded most of the British Isles, I remain snug as a bug and asleep at my desk. Happy days.

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I Should Coco

9 Mar

IMG_2585Yes, let’s bring a little Supergrass to this sunny Sunday afternoon as I welcome the arrival of my first Coco. Note that, my first. Yes, because I will surely have to make another not least because I love the pattern (as I have done all Tilly patterns) but because of the sewing gremlins that beset this much looked forward to project. (Note the blame of the imaginary third party, obviously no room for Panda error…)

Having sewn no less than three other garments with knits (Lady Skater one, Lady Skater two and the Aslan Plantain) since January, I felt hot to trot in sewing terms. The pattern and instructions is nothing less than top drawer and entirely what I’d expect from Tilly: this is a woman who talks my language, pattern-wise, and presents the step-by-step instructions clearly with beautifully shot photos (and a glorious red manicure) to match.

There’s been a sewalong on her website to accompany the release of the pattern, together with various different posts offering advice on sourcing fabric and sewing with knits for newbies. She really has thought of everything. Frankly, the only thing she appeared not to cover was the evil weevil that escaped from the bottle once I opened the pattern, or should I say the fabric.

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I bought my fabric from Tissu Fabrics, a navy cotton jersey interlock as recommended, and it seemed perfect, but I think the problems began when I washed it. As Tilly points out, dry your fabric flat. FLAT. FLAT. FLAT. Roll it in a towel, lay it on the table, just make sure it’s flat. I didn’t. I hung it up. It stretched and distorted and although I continued my Coco in a belligerent and cautiously optimistic fashion, I knew I was chancing my arm. Learn from my mistakes.

Construction wise, a straight size 3 was cut and I slimmed the sleeve down as per the recommendations of other more competent sewing ninjas than I. I love the funnel neck style and 3/4 length sleeves, I’m just sorely disappointed with my efforts.

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If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands

You can see by the way it hangs on the delighted Lady Moo that all is not Coco. Still it could have looked a lot worse. This will be my working toile or maybe toil?  Threads kept snapping on my sewing machine in twin needle mode for weevil knows why, causing me to unpick and unpick and stretch the hem despite the Wundaweb I used to stabilise it.  Why did the thread keep snapping? Why? Why?

I fully intend to Coco again, perhaps with a heavier, more stable fabric (ponte knit anyone?), and will sew armed with a Nerf gun to shoot the sewing weevil down in its tracks. You can’t say I haven’t warned him. Bar steward.

I’ll be back 😉