2018 Makes

The Perfect Beginner Jersey Dress – Coco by Tilly & The Buttons

I ordered 2.5 metres of this beautiful textured jersey from 1st for Fabrics because I have a mild obsession with stripes and also because I thought it would be perfect for the Coco pattern.  As always, the fabric arrived beautifully wrapped in pattern paper, with a handwritten note and a spool of cotton, from Julie which added a lovely personal touch.

I’d not made the Coco pattern before but I had heard lots of good things about it, I love simple jersey dresses in the autumn and winter for wearing with tights and boots so I knew that this pattern would be a very useful addition to my wardrobe.

As always, I pre-washed my fabric, it dried quickly and didn’t need any ironing which is always a huge bonus!  I traced off my pattern because I wasn’t too sure on the sizing, I’m quite petite and things often need taking up and in on me unfortunately and didn’t want to cut the wrong size.  I used my cutting board and rotary cutter to cut out my fabric which is a super speedy and easy method for cutting jersey fabric that isn’t too slippery.  This fabric has a little stretch but not too much so it cut out beautifully.

I love the construction of this dress, it’s such a simple but effective style, no darts, no set in sleeves – I’m still quite a beginner when it comes to sewing jersey so it was perfect practice for me. The neckband is also finished simply by turning over a hem rather than fitting a fiddly neckband – super simple and quick.  I overlocked my neck edges before turning and topstitched with a zig zag stitch for a neat finish.

I used my sewing machine to stitch the dress, set on the recommended zig zag stitches and overlocked my seams for a durable finish.  This worked fine but I have heard of people sewing completely with the over locker and I think this is something I might try next time.

Before sewing the hem, I tried on the dress and found it a bit too A line for me, the bodice fitted me perfectly so from the waist I increased the seam allowance to 2.5cm each side and trimmed the excess when finishing with the over locker. I like this slightly narrower style much better on me – it’s still A line but not too much.  I also had to trim off 2 inches from the length of the dress before hemming because I wanted a more ‘tunic style’ length.

Overall, I am so happy with this finished dress.  I made it up in 2.5 hours including tracing the pattern and cutting the fabric.  This jersey fabric from 1st for Fabrics sewed like a dream, no slipping or stretching, it is an absolutely perfect fabric to use for this pattern, especially if you are new to sewing with jersey. 

I love this pattern, the dress will be made again and again although I am going to have a go at the top version next.  Another wardrobe staple.- in fact I’m off to look for some more jersey right now! 

I hope I’ve inspired you to have a go at your own Coco Dress!

Sally x

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