My First Coco - Tilly and the Buttons

My First Coco

Into each life, some knits must fall. Knits, rain. Whatever. I’m actually a fan of rain, so this turn of phrase is one I spin with glee!

My first attempt at sewing with knit fabric was the Coco pattern from Tilly & The Buttons. Here is a lovely introduction to its variations. If you find yourself pining for a Coco of your very own, I highly recommend the printed pattern. It’s just a gorgeous package all around, as you can see in the introduction. It didn’t hurt that Tilly hosted a Coco sew-along. I was sold early on.

Coco Pattern from Tilly and the Buttons

The gorgeous Coco pattern

Part of the joy of being clueless on a topic is that there aren’t many warning bells sounding in my head. Had I known more about sewing in general, I may have been apprehensive to try sewing with knits so early in my sewing career. The web is full of people bemoaning the miseries that accompany knits. I didn’t know any better – and thank goodness, because I immediately fell in love with sewing with knits. My penchant for wearing knits helps.

I found the most adorable retro-floral interlock knit that told me it wanted to become a Coco dress, and I had to make that happen. I’m not typically a fan of floral anything, unless it screams vintage retro to me. I worried that this fabric might be a bit lightweight for this project, as Tilly requests a medium weight knit with little stretch for Coco, but it turned out just fine.

Tilly uses custom sizing, and going by the bust measurement (44″), her size 8 is approximately the standard pattern size 22 or so. (Note that pattern sizes do not in any way follow the same numbers as ready-to-wear store sizes. Here’s a tutorial on finding your proper pattern size). That’s right about where I fall at my current weight, but I carry some extra baggage in the midsection. What’s the proper fruit-body-shape for “spare tire?” Unfortunately for my belly, that’s as high as Tilly’s sizes go, so there would be no easy way to grade up in size from the bust to the hips. Since this pattern is for knits, though, I decided to try it anyway.

I used the slash-and-spread method to add a couple inches to the hip area (pattern grading and alteration is a topic for another day!) and hoped for the best.

My First Coco - Tilly and the Buttons

Retro Coco

And here she is: my first Coco. I goofed on my pattern tracing and cut the wrong size neck, but that didn’t turn out to be a problem. The overall fit is a bit snug in the bust and just a bit too huggy in the midsection for my taste, but it’s definitely a wearable dress (even more so if I could lay off the pizza and lose ten pounds). I love this fabric and the dress just begs to be paired up with some cat eye glasses. Meow.

I’ve made Coco a couple more times since this first attempt. Details coming soon!

What styles of fabrics are you in love with?

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