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Sewing, Style & Creative Writing
  • Coco Dress Pattern Update

    Posted on 11/03/2014 by David in The Women I Sew For.

    I’ve just embarked on my next sewing project which is the Coco Pattern from Tilly. I’ve opted for the dress option with three-quarter sleeves, funnel neck and cuffs. I really want to recreate a 1960’s style dress and I think the fabric I’ve chosen would be perfect for this:


    This is a black/light grey Dogtooth Ponte Roma Jersey fabric. It should be a fairly quick project to make although I was left wondering for a while when I lengthened the front and back of the pattern by an extra 5 inch so that the dress finishes at knee length instead of mid-knee. Look at the lines which I’ve highlighted in red for size 3 (Nadia’s size for bust and waist). You simply cannot join them without altering the shape of the pattern!


    Nadia’s hips go to size 4 which lessens the issue but still, you can notice that the line of the pattern curves towards the right while, if I were to follow exactly the size 3 grading line, it would curve into the opposite direction. I did wonder about the best possible way to tackle it when cutting the fabric so this is what I’ve decided to do:


    It was paramount for me to follow the lines of the pattern as much as possible so I started altering the curve earlier, at bust level between size 2 (green line) and size 3 (red line), before joining size 4 (blue line) below the waist. This way, it leaves me with the option to shorten the seam allowances if it’s a bit too tight in the bust and take off any extra fabric around the waist if it’s too loose. I thought that was the most appropriate solution in my mind without dramatically altering the pattern and Nadia’s measurements. Would any of you have done differently? Let me know your thoughts if you’ve already done something similar. Until now, I’ve never had to lengthen a commercial pattern!

    I’ve already started working on the pockets which I’ve cut on the bias to make a nice contrast and used a gorgeous French vintage binding tape around the edges.


    To conclude, I bought 3 metres of that dogtooth fabric which was too much. It’s such a nice fabric that I’d like to make a project for myself with the rest of it. I was either thinking of a short-sleeved shirt or a T-shirt. Somehow I feel either would come out nicely with extra touches of yellow. Any suggestions for me?

    Have a great week!

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4 Responses so far.

  1. KarenJ says:

    Lovely fabric. I love the pockets.
    I can’t give much help in lengthening a pattern, being 5′ I’ve never had to!
    You may just have to eyeball it. Being knit, it shouldn’t be too big an issue.

    • David says:

      Thanks Karen. Just did the fitting on my friend earlier this morning and it worked fine overall. Working on the dress today as I have a bit of spare time!

  2. Susan says:

    Hi David

    that is beautiful, can I ask where you got your fabric from? when I saw the coco I imagined it in dogtooth, so went shopping Saturday, found it in pink and black but really wanted white and black and I love the length too. if I did the dress I make it longer, being more mature.

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