Bonjour Coco!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The word 'coco' reminds me of so many things I like:
  • Chanel perfume
  • Chanel fashion
  • Coconut oil which I slather over my face every night and use on my hair
  • Almond Joy bars 
  • Girl Scout Samoas
  • Sweetened flaked coconut which make the most divine cookie bars
  • Coconut milk for curries
  • Coconuts for tropical drinks
  • ......and now a sweet little dress from Tilly 

Coco is a versatile lady!  I love this pattern because it fills a void in my closet: tops and blouses.  Plus, who can resist a simple comfy dress with pockets!  

Experiment:  Coco Dress
                    Size: 2
Materials:
2.25 yards of maroon ponte
Gutterman Maroon Thread

Procedure:
I decided to tackle the dress as my first foray with Coco.  We have such crazy weather here in the Southern United States that the Coco dress is a perfect winter to spring transition.  To illustrate, it was a sunny 75F (24C) on Saturday and on Sunday a cold front barreled through bringing with it freezing rain and a high of 38F (13C).  
A fabric splurge led to the purchase of maroon ponte and since maroon is one of the colors of the university I work for, it seemed like kismet.  The only down side to maroon ponte is that is maroon... a lot of maroon.  I have my Coco completed for over a week! I put her on and all I saw was maroon. She sat on my dress form taunting me.  Hence, my need to jazz her up a bit.  

Fabric paint, stamp, wicked cool design?  Tried it on fabric scrapes with no luck because the fabric is too dark.  Contemplated adding a fancy ribbon around the bottom to break up the maroon -- couldn't find a ribbon I liked.  Applique? Never tried it.  Beads around the neckline? A lot of hand-stitching. I even cut out contrasting pockets but it looked silly (silly in the sense: 'Oh, that looks so homemade!').

I eventually settled on this prefab applique that you set with an iron.  It was the shape I wanted around the neckline and added the pop of color to break up the maroon.  I may even add another on the opposite side at the hemline.  I love the way it turned out!
 Tilly is quite correct when she tells you that this sews up quickly!  I am a sew junkie and really like fast easy projects.  It fuels me for the longer more difficult projects (Ummm, Dolly Clacket dress!).  I confess that shift dresses aren't my thang, but the pattern has the oh-la-la top variation.  I also have to give a huge shout out to Tilly for her great directions.  This pattern and directions are perfect for the beginning seamstress.  I didn't really need the directions and when I did look at them I know I detoured a little.  Tilly suggests sewing in the flat.  I used my bias tape method to set the sleeve and I sewed the sleeve in the round.  I also used lace hem tape (in more maroon!) for the hem.
 
Conclusion:
I wore my Coco (complete with a new hair cut) to give a lecture and it stood the test of the day.  It was cozy and stylish.  The shoulders are a smidge long on me so that the sleeves are slightly below where the should be. If I make another Coco I'll have to pay attention to that.  I didn't muslin this so it is my own fault.

I really want to make the top.  However, it requires finding a right fabric.  I want a cute Breton stripe top.   What d'ya think of the funnel neck version?  Personally, I am not a huge fan.  It looks like it sits awkwardly on your shoulders.  I am sure there are adventurous seamstresses out there that will make a kick a$$ version.  I just don't think it would look very good on me.

Happy Stitching --
Annie

P.S.  I shared this project on Make it and Love it.  You should go check out all the other cool things other bloggers have made.


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18 Comments »

18 Responses to “Bonjour Coco!”

  1. I love this dress on you, and your new haircut is perfect! The iron-on adds a nice touch. Overall, it looks lovely!!

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    1. Thanks! Like I said this dress was done quite a while ago and it needed something more!

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  2. Beautiful dress, love this color on you! The new haircut is fabulous!

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    1. I think the haircut is my favorite part! Thanks ;)

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  3. Love the whole look! Shoes, dress, hair and appliqué :)

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    1. My styling skills are rather weak so thank you! It took several changes of shoes before I settled on the purple.

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  4. Great hair and color choice. I love your dress version. At first I thought that since I am stash-busting I did not need another knit shirt pattern similar to the Renfrew, but decided there are many differences and I am too lazy to recut the Renfrew to make it a boatneck so I downloaded the pattern. It looks like a fabulous everyday top and knit dress. I can't wait to stitch mine up.

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    1. Thanks! I have been contemplating getting the Renfrew. Another pattern with variations is always good. I think you will like the Coco.

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  5. Very cute on you! I think you should go for the striped top version too :)

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    1. Thanks! I cannot deny myself fabric shopping.

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  6. I loved the dress as soon as I saw the picture. Then you said it has POCKETS! Yippee! Now I might have to get this and hoard it until I have a need for another dress that isn't on my list.
    The applique really sets it apart and elevates it. A new dress, a fresh hair cut...that must have been a great lecture.

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    1. If you are looking for an easy knit to sew up -- this is your lady!

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  7. What a wonderful dress that you can dress up or down and it looks very comfortable. I have never purchased a pattern from an "indie" company but will definitely be ordering this one. What comes to mind on seeing it are the words of Stacy and Clinton on "What Not to Wear" when they would tell the current person they were helping that wearing a dress could be as easy, or easier, than putting on jeans and a lot of other things. I especially love the fact that the neckline does not go all the way up like a crew neck. I think this is just about perfect. I thought Spring was headed our way too (southeastern PA) but there is the possibility of snow in the forecast for tomorrow night.

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    1. Thank you -- it is comfortable. I would give an indie pattern a try -- there are some real updated classics. The only thing I dislike is putting together a pdf pattern. I am heading up to Cincinnati at the end of this week --forecast cold! Hopefully spring peaks its head soon :)

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  8. Dress looks great on you and the appliqué really gives it a lift. Looks like you are all set for spring

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  9. This is certainly one of the lovelier versions out there! It looks great on you.

    One tip: I find that I like to also stitch down this type of appliqué that irons on after it's attached. The iron part doesn't always last through multiple washings.

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    1. Ooohhh -- thanks for the tip! I will stitch it down also because I am the wash-and-dry kind of gal whose life is too busy to mess with remembering to line dry.

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I love to hear what you think -- it makes my day! I will try to respond to each of them.

Annie