Cuckoo for Coco!

Posted by Kristin on Friday, March 21, 2014.

The past couple of weeks have been absolutely dreadful for me.  First, a guy sort of missed the road while driving and managed to do $8500 worth of damage to my house.  Then Miss Bailey was diagnosed with congestive heart failure along with a few other things (none of which are good).  I truly thought that vet visit would be our last one ever.  And work has just been...well...work. 

On the bright side, the driver's insurance is covering all repairs.  Miss Bailey's medicine seems to be working.  And it is almost Spring Break (provided Mother Nature stops dumping snow and ice on us). 

So I am going to celebrate with a couple of Coco's!  It is rare that I finish a dress in a weekend, much less two.  It is also rare that I use a pattern and then turn around and make another.  But Tilly's Coco is just that fabulous.  It demanded two dresses be made immediately. 

Tilly and her Coco  
The Coco is designed to be made out of super comfy knits.  You can do a dress or a top.  Your neck and sleeves can be accentuated with retro cuffs and funnel neck or left plain.  I made two dresses without the cuffs or funnel neck.  But, I livened each up with some pattern/color blocking.

Coco #1
When determining my size for the Coco, I was lucky (or unlucky enough) to have a chest measurement a good three inches larger than the largest size.  My waist and hips fit, but the girls didn't.  So I took the cheater's way out and graded the entire front and back up by 1.5 inches.  I know I didn't need the extra from the waist down, but my poor brain had melted from stress and I just couldn't make myself figure out how to do an FBA on a dress this basic.  Sad, I know. This made my shoulders a little large.  Oh well. 

My inspiration was a basic brown t-shirt I bought at Talbots on megasale ('cause the only way I can afford Talbots is on sale).  My tee had some cute flowers appliqued down the side.  Unfortunately, the shirt shrunk in the length and I just don't have the body for a belly baring tee.  But I've held onto it because I liked the flowers.  This is one of the reasons I am a borderline hoarder...I keep clothes that don't fit because they are cute crammed in a drawer. 

Yes it is covered in cat hair.  Every single time I went to press the camera's button Phoebe turned it into a bed.

I purchased some amazingly soft organic knit from Fabric.com in fuchsia and chocolate.  The pink became the body of the dress and the chocolate formed a band at the hem.  I then cut my flowers out of my t-shirt and sewed them to the skirt of my dress.  And voila...a Coco was born!

A little off topic..but how do you like my Bonnie Raitt hair?  It is red with an ever growing gray stripe in the middle.  I had been trying for a month to make a hair appointment but due to snow, or illness, or trucks hitting houses, we had to reschedule about three times.

I adore this dress.  And no, my side hem isn't longer than the rest, that is a shadow.  I didn't notice it until now.  And my curtains are pulled so you can't see my ghetto'd up front window covered in plywood and garbage bags.

Coco #2
It is time for some Spring up in here!  Which is why my next dress is a navy and white stripe topped off with a pink polka dot.  Who doesn't love stripes and dots together???

I did not learn my lesson (or my brain had not quite regained normal thought patterns) and I used the same adjustments as I did the first time around.  I didn't bother to try to fix my baggy shoulders or slightly gapey neckline.  For shame.  My fabrics are a lighter knit by Riley Blake.


I love this!  And I can't believe I am about to admit this, but I am wearing "jeggings" from the junior department.  I blend in with my middle school students with my jeggings.  Ok, I still don't blend. 

I also managed to get my hair done between dress shots.  I am now a bit shorter and a bit blonder.  I am all ready for Spring!

No, I'm not taking a pit sniff here...I'm trying to show off my stripe matching!  I've never ever sewn with stripes before and just look at that...perfection! 

I've also never done a contrasting top before and I think the pink on my sleeves is a bit too long.  I had no idea how to measure it so I guessed.  Again, too lazy to really think hard about it.  And here you can really see the extra fabric around the shoulder.  But you can also see how well the fabric combo works.  I'm pretending that the patterns and colors distract you from the extra wrinkles.

There will definitely be more Coco's in my life.  A pattern this easy AND this fabulous deserves a few more makes.

A few construction notes:  I don't own a serger so all of this was done on my trusty Opal 650.  I used a lightning bolt stitch for most of it.  I also used elastic in the shoulders instead of the stay tape mentioned in the directions just because that is what I had on hand.  Not only did I grade up a bit, but I also added about three inches in length.  For my first dress, that extra length forms the chocolate band.  The directions are super easy and if you are new to knits, this would be a great start!




5 Responses to Cuckoo for Coco!

  1. Anne Magee

    Love them both!

  2. Kristin

    Thank you Anne! I sort of love them both too....

  3. Nakisha

    Oh my gosh, those stripes are PERFECTION at the side seams! :-D

    Really love the striped one; it is awesome!

    Love the blending :)

  4. Lorna

    Hullo! They're both great, but I really love the spots and stripes. Have ordered polka dots for my Coco, and am desperate for my fabric to arrive, but now I want stripes too! Easily swayed... the hair's great, by the way.

  5. Kristin

    I think polka dots will be wonderful! And I still can't believe I got those stripes to work out so well..life usually doesn't line up like that for me. Thanks for viewing my blog :)

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