Yes I needed more Ccocos! They are probably the easiest and comfiest things I have ever made. They can be dressed up or down so are the perfect throw on garment. I made three Coco dresses recently which you can read about here. As part of my #mmmay17 pledge I’m planning in sewing days and here’s what I did in the first week of May.
I was luckily enough to be given some more jersey from Mr C’s mums craft stash. The polka dots and stripes are quite thin so I decided on some short sleeve Coco tops to go under my Cleos (here and here). After seeing Abi’s Coco with ruffle sleeves I knew the denim effect jersey would be perfect for this hack.
First of all I knew I wanted to work on the fit as the neck gaps slightly. This is down to needing to do an FBA which I have been terrified of doing until recently (read all about it here). With no dart I had no idea where to start. I couldn’t see anything on the website and the fitting guidelines were about grading between sizes. Due to the style of the Coco the fit doesn’t have to be perfect so I decided to try this. I need the larger size around the bust but smaller around the upper bust and the shoulder seams moving up about an inch. I don’t know if what I did is the proper way to adjust a pattern but here’s what I did. From the side seam/under arm seam corner point instead of continuing on the same size line I drew the arm seam two sizes smaller and continued along the smaller size across the top of the sleeve and neckline. The sleeves were cut at the larger size and fitted perfectly. On all my Cocos I have graded the arms from the under arm to wrist by about 2 inches.
For the t-shirts I wanted them to have straighter sides. I measured on myself what length I wanted them and marked this on the pattern piece, including the seam allowance. From where the dress starts to flare out, I used the side notch, I graded out to only an inch rather than following the original line.
And ta-dah two t-shirts.
Now for the ruffles. With the gaping neck sorted the main bodice pattern pieces were ready. For the sleeves I used the short sleeve pattern piece from the t-shirts. Following Abi’s tutorial the ruffles are made from a rectangle of fabric wider than the sleeve pattern piece. I was very tight on fabric so to get a good amount of ruffling I had to have a join in the rectangle but this isn’t noticeable with all the ruffles. Due to the small amount of fabric left over they are also only 4 inches long. Abby also shares an amazing gathering technique that I had no idea about. On the sewing machine use a long stitch length and a high tension, feed the fabric through and gathers appear. Amazing and so much quicker than basting and gathering by hand. With the gathers done I attached them the the bottom of the sleeve pieces and then followed the instructions as normal. The sleeves are a perfect length for the summer and if ruffles are still all the rage in the winter then an Agnes can be worn underneath.
I usually finish the hems and neck with a zig zag stitch but I love the twin needle finish that I’ve been seeing a lot of recently. With my new machine I actually have the ability to do this! And wow, everything is now being finished with the twin needle! I think I spoke to soon as the machine did not like the thinner jerseys I used for the t-shirts so I finished these with a single line of straight stitching. I used the stretch stitch on the machine to construct the Coco’s and to finished the seams I used pinking shears as the fabric won’t fray.
I haven’t had a chance to “model” these makes but I’m off to Portugal next week so I’ll get some photos then.
If you haven’t made a Coco then I would highly recommend it.