I think this is the craziest sewing binge I’ve ever been on. I’ve always been a jeans kind of gal, but now I’m all about dresses! I found this Coco pattern accidentally at Tilly and the Buttons and didn’t I just have to drop everything and sew this up! Yeah, I grew up in the 60’s and it’s like coming home! While I really enjoyed my first/test version blogged here. It was too big through the shoulders and back. That dress was just so dang comfortable and cute that I wanted to get the fit corrected right now. I took measurements across front chest and same area in back. I found the easiest way to do this is to stick a pencil or ruler high up under each arm and then have someone else measure between these points. I matched that measurement to the narrowest part of the armscye on the pattern. This turned out to be the smallest size – size 1, where I had used a size 3 throughout for my initial version. My new draft used size 1 to the narrow section and then graded out to 3 by the armsyce/side seam junction.
The knit was mutch stretchier than the 1st version and I still ended up taking in an additional 1/2″ from upper sleeve to just above the bust. It was an easy fix and I didn’t alter my new draft. I really liked how the A-line skirt ended up in soft folds. Oh, and the belt? That was a tutorial on Tilly’s site, so was the idea to just color block the top. My fabric was reversible stripe/polka dot – doesn’t get much easier than that!
I had this great Aztec kind of print, sweater knit, in deep shades of gold that would be perfect and after the ease of the lavender, I thought I could whip one up in no time…
Think again – if that had been the first knit I ever sewed with, it might have been my last. This was melt like butter knit – not a good thing going through the serger even with differential feed, I had also basted the seams before serging and still had problems. I would have just used my walking foot on the regular machine, but the cut edge was shedding as sweater knits will do. In retrospect, I should have used a light weight interfacing on the seam edge. It did stretch and that combined with the A-line skirt made the stripes a little crooked. Since the stripes were so dominant, I opted for an uneven hemline and preserved the pattern stripe at the hem edge.
I cut the sleeve on the lengthwise grain for the stripe effect, added a short cuff to the end of the sleeve and used a neckband as I’m not such a fan of the turn and stitch neckline.
I have a table that I share for drafting/cutting and then have to rearrange to use as my ironing center – it makes me want to cut out several things at once so I don’t have to go back and forth between setups as much. I really needed something easy to make up for all the trouble I had with the aztec version (even if it was worth it!)
I had another remnant piece of fleece in a very cool wine print, and what better for the Coco party than a dress covered in wine bottles!
I don’t know why, this version just makes me want to giggle! That’s poly/rayon/spandex ponte knit for the sleeves – all fleece would have been too hot and too much print.
I did have fit issues with the sleeve – when I altered the armhole, I enlarged the sleeve mostly at the base of the cap, when what I should have done was raise the height of the cap. There are are wrinkles along the sleeve that tells that tale and I will be sure to correct that when I start working on the tops. I made the provided funnel collar, but just stitched down a single layer so I could fold up the collar in multiple ways – fleece is awesome like that. There is one pocket that is drafted to be deeper than the one provided. I do have some stress wrinkles in the back; as I move closer to a woven fabric, the need for bust darts also increases.
Here is my favorite! I have had this fabric in my stash for like 18 months, just waiting for it’s perfect pattern mate…It’s a poly/spandex blend – but it has very little stretch – it really acts like a woven. It’s a beautiful shade of blue-grey with black flocked dots. This version was the funnel neck, 3/4 sleeve with cuff and reminds me of a Jackie O dress – except shorter 😀
This one was in definite need of bust darts, but I settled for a horizontal dart in the back – the pattern makes it barely visible and I know I will be getting a lot of wear out of this one!
So here they all are – my Coco girls!