I used to be so impressed when I would see bloggers sewing things that look store-bought, since my clothes never looked that way. Some bloggers (Honig Design and Sew Charleston come to mind) have a knack for designing and executing clothes that make you think "where did she buy that--and can I get it in my size?" I struggled with this for a long time, feeling like my clothing, even things that fit decently and were nicely finished, didn't have that "I bought this" look to them, partly because of personal style (for example, a preference for 60s silhouettes that aren't always in stores), but partly because of fabric and design choices.
Since I've been branching out a lot on my fabric choices, choosing more challenging options like rayon and knits over stable woven cottons, I've felt much more confident about my handmade items. I'm feeling very good about this most recent make: a breton-striped Coco dress with little false pockets that (drumroll, please) I really think looks like you could purchase it at a J. Crew. (Well, maybe if it had rhinestones or something all over it, haha).
I made version one of Tilly & the Button's Coco Dress a couple months ago, in a bright coral knit ordered either from Girl Charlee or Fabric.com. I wish I could remember, because it's horrible!! I wore and washed it only a few times before it became terribly pilled. It wasn't a total loss--it helped me conquer my fear of knits, and did its time as a muslin for two people: my mom tried it on as well since we're almost the same size (well, we are the same size, but differently distributed).
I generally enjoyed the fit of my Coco but found it to be much too A-line. Or perhaps the fullness wasn't distributed properly? I felt like I had two big hip flaps/wings. Basing the measurements on another jersey shift I have, I trimmed down the sides quite a bit: about 2 inches at the bottom tapering to nothing at the armscye. I like this slightly less dramatic shape a lot better. I think it looks less costumey. I also added some length on (just a bit) as the original Coco is pretty short!
I did a really great job on the side seams but I really have no pattern matching on the seams. I tried, but I should have matched up higher rather than at the pattern notches I guess?
Instead of the tiny patch pockets on the original, I made some false welt pockets: These are just tubes stitched down around three sides and a button sewn permanently on. I think it gives a nice nautical 60s look. Fact: this was at least 300% easier to do with my new sewing machine! It went through all those layers like a champ and made me swoon a bit.
The most frustrating part of this whole project was finding the dang fabric! It is so extremely annoying to have a fabric in mind and be unable to find it. Thankfully, I found this perfect 100% cotton non-stretch knit at Miss Matatabi. I should have just looked there first--she always has the best fabric. If you love this fabric as much as I do, you should keep an eye on Sewing the 60s as I know she's got some as well... wonder what she'll make!
ps: sarah at Style Sixties made a really cute black and white striped coco a while back. she always looks cool, and this is no exception.
just look at that faaaaaceeeee
just look at that faaaaaceeeee
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