Good news, the weather has finally decided to be spring here in Wisconsin, well it has actually been closer to summer temperature wise for the last few days. I’m actually writing this out on the back porch enjoying some sunshine (don’t worry I’m loaded up with some sunscreen). It has been absolutely lovely being able to wear skirts with no tights for the last few days, I have two new summer staples that have been getting quite the workout, one of them being the Coco Dress by Tilly and the Buttons.
After making up my Coco top I couldn’t wait to try out the dress variation and I must say that it is an absolute pleasure to wear. I’ve only been able to wear it out and about twice since the weather here had stayed so cold for so long, but now that spring is here this dress is going to see heavy rotation, which is a good and bad thing. The bad part about that being that this fabric pills up like mad! It is the same stuff that I used for the top variation (which I purchased at the same time) and while I like the colors and the drape I don’t think I would order anymore of it due to the pilling I am getting, luckily I do have a fabric shaver which is helping slightly.
As you have noticed I did something a little different with the top of the sleeves and the top of the bodice and used some solid white ponte to create a subtle contrast. I followed Tilly’s tutorial for the shirtfront and back, but rather than having the sleeves solid I split them as well. To do this I measured where the striped and solid fabric would meet on the bodice and then using a soft tape measure I measured where the sleeve would connect all the way down to where it would match the seam of the front and back yoke. I hope that makes sense. Lemme give you some math to better help explain. For the Dress front I made a horizontal cut 5 inches down from the center front and for the sleeve I made a horizontal cut down from the sleeve cap at 6 ¼ inches. The reason the numbers don’t match is that you have to accommodate for the shoulder so that all the lines match up. Here are a couple of photos so that hopefully makes sense.
And this is what it looks like all stitched up.
The other alterations I did were my standard ½ inch FBA as well as adding two back darts. After making the top version I noticed that I had a bit of extra fabric pooling in the back, which doesn’t bother me too much, but I knew would drive me absolute crazy in a dress. For the darts I used Colette Pattern’s Laurel Dress as a jumping off point for positioning, but for depth I measured how much fabric I was wanting to remove (using my top) and came up with 1 ½ inches for each dart. I them used a straight stitch and tissue paper to sew them up. While I think I have the darts a little too low, I am very happy in how they worked.
Here’s what my dart looked like in the end.
For a finishing touch I added some metal buttons to the shoulder seams!
The only sewing problem I had in making this was sewing the neckline, this thiner white ponte just did not want to stitch up nicely. I used a twin needle and it kept skipping stitches. I ripped out the first set bought a new twin needle, since the other was getting kinda dull, and still had the same results. Oh well, no one should be looking that close at those stitches. Other than that this was a dream to whip up. I could have easily completed this in a single afternoon, but I had to wait to use my sister-in-laws sewing machine to hem it since mine wont fit a twin needle.
P.S. Here are a few bonus cat photos for you. I’m surprised it has taken her so long to come and try photobombing me.
Can you see her in the corner?
And here she is, distracted by the window.
Pattern: Tilly and the Buttons’ Coco Dress
Size: 4 tapered to 5 in waist and hips
Fabric: Blue and White Ponte de Roma and White Ponte Fino
Alterations: ½ inch FBA, added two 1 1/2inch back darts, and cut pattern to create contrasting yoke and sleeves