A Nautical, Breton Striped Coco Dress

breton coco | allie J. | alliemjackson.com

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).

breton coco | allie J. | alliemjackson.com

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).

breton coco | allie J. | alliemjackson.com

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!

breton coco | allie J. | alliemjackson.com

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.

breton coco | allie J. | alliemjackson.com

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!

xoxo,
allie



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.



bonus puppy:

breton coco | allie J. | alliemjackson.com

just look at that faaaaaceeeee

allie J.

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21 comments:

  1. Cute make! I think you will get so much use out of that dress. Those pockets. Those buttons! I felt that fabric and I am so tempted to order some.

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  2. Love this dress, it looks great on you. I don't think this pattern is the best fit wise but it's easily adjustable which is good. If I ever make the dress version I'll probably adjust the side seams like you did as well.

    p.s. Thanks for the kind words! x

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    1. Yeah, I'm mostly looking for a comfortable boxy shape with this pattern. I could size down I think for the next one but I'm not sure how many more times I'll be using it so I can't be bothered to retrace it now!

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  3. the puppy is getting more and more adorable

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    1. Because his bad haircut is growing out!!

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  4. Very cute! I lurve me a striped dress, and the contrasting stripes really make it.

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  5. Your dress turned out really well. It definitely looks like something you could buy at J Crew. I have made a couple Cocos but always skip the pockets because I think they look "too handmade" for my taste but I like your variation. Simple but adds a really nice detail.

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    1. I don't understand patch pockets, really. Are you supposed to put things in them? I'd rather have no pockets, or fake ones like these, than tiny little pocket that look homemade!

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    2. I feel like putting things in them would make them look lumpy and weird. I avoid pockets in knit garments in general as I feel like they always either show through the garment or look saggy and weird when there is stuff in them. I'd rather carry a purse.

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  6. I love Breton stripes, too! and have similar fabric but in ponte knit. Your dress definitely looks like store-bought and seems to be a no-brainer for a casual outfit for the weekend!

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    1. I wore it out Saturday, in fact! It was lovely and cozy.

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  7. Omg I love it! I made my one too! It's on my Instagram and the fit and feel of the fabric is amazing! Totally worth it! I wish I could buy more of it and sew more things with it but then I'd look like a crazy person wearing stripes everyday. It was so easy and pleasant to sew with too don't you think? I got mine done in an hour! And the lack of major stretchiness just gives its such a lovely fit! The false pockets in yours are a good addition and those little buttons - so perfect!

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  8. gorgeous, i am beginning to see my handmade clothes as handmade rather than homemade - I will admit that I find 'where did you buy that' a bigger compliment to 'did you make that' as I think when you make something you are slightly critical and in turn, will take the 'did you make that' comment potentially out context (ie that it looks flawed)! I am less bothered now as flaws or not, I figure that handmade or homemade has so much more over store bought (this includes cakes too!)

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  9. This is so cute! I really like the faux welt pockets, I think they look a little chic-er than patch pockets.

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  10. This is suuuuper cute! I love it on you! The pocket (errr, fake pocket) detail really does make this look special.

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  11. I absolutely love what you did with the pockets! I think I have too many stripes in my wardrobe but this has inspired me all over again!!

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