Coco Tokyo

Taking a break from knitting socks and wrangling dogs, I ran up this Coco dress yesterday which would have been a very quick job but for the fact that my overlocker had to be re-threaded and , not having had it that long, this was a traumatic experience for me as I am absolute pants at following diagrams and couldn’t work out where the lower looper thread needed to go for about an hour.  Or was it the upper looper.  Who knows? – I’ve done it now and next time I will be much more careful when changing over the thread spools

Anyway, this pattern from Tilly and the Buttons is a nice, easy pattern which goes together quickly especially, but not necessarily if you have an overlocker ( preferably threaded!).  Also, a nice, easy style to wear with a couple of variations such as a funnel neck which I might do for myself.   You can also make a tunic length top with the slash neck or funnel neck and either long or 3/4 length sleeves.   I made this Japanese themed version for my daughter who is mad on all things from Japan (but especially manga) and I apologise for the mannequin rather than a live model but she is shy and I’m not sure Kanji symbols would do much for me.

Coco Dress - Short SleevesNot my finest hour really but it’s wearable.  The neck lays flatter than that on a real model but I’m not sure I am that happy with the construction as it is just turned over and top stitched.  I might try a band next time as I find that gives the neck a little more structure.  Madamoiselle Tialys decided she wanted short sleeves – after I’d cut the 3/4 ones out and, actually, I think that was a good decision with this fabric as the design looked a bit overpowering with longer sleeves.  I left a bit too much hem too so the top stitching is a bit higher than I’d normally do it but, next time……

Coco DressI took the mannequin outside to take the air and for a bit of March sunshine – nobody can say I’m not good to my staff.    I notice the sunshine made the fabric look a bit more pinky than it really is – top picture is more accurate.  I’m going to order some slightly less stretchy knit for my one and make it with the funnel neck and 3/4 length sleeves and, as I’ve tried the Japanese one on (even though no photographic evidence exists), I know exactly what size to cut for myself.

I am off to the U.K. tomorrow to help my Mum clear cupboards, wardrobes, drawers etc. of 40 odd years of tut in preparation for her perhaps downsizing now that she is on her own.  I’m not really looking forward to it but it has to be done and I will fortify myself with lots of Marks & Spencer ‘Dinners for Two’ especially as they come with a bottle of wine and Mum doesn’t like wine – shame.  Also, on Thursday or Friday, I will have a day off  from decluttering and go up to Olympia for the Knitting and Stitching Show.  I am taking a suitcase instead of the usual cabin bag – not that I’m intending to buy anything but it’s best to be prepared 🙂




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  1. #1 by Ann on March 9, 2014 - 17:30

    The dress looks like such a nice, easy style to wear while traveling. Love the printed fabric too. Good luck on the clearing out – it’s a tough task. My sister and I did that for our parents last winter and I really should make a start on my own house.

  2. #2 by tialys on March 9, 2014 - 18:14

    Thanks Ann. Really, my sister should do the clearing out, not me. She is the ruthless sort as far as keeping stuff goes and never keeps anything she no longer has any use for whereas I find it very difficult. I am hoping I might find some vintage 60s clothing in my Mum’s wardrobe because, yes, that’s probably how long it is since she went through it all.

  3. #3 by Jan Marriott on March 9, 2014 - 22:01

    Enjoy yourself with Mum and report on the show.

    • #4 by tialys on March 10, 2014 - 12:35

      I will Jan, thanks.

  4. #5 by katechiconi on March 9, 2014 - 22:46

    One day I must get an overlocker so I can make nice dresses like that without wibbly wobbly hems and nasty scratchy finished seams inside.

    • #6 by tialys on March 10, 2014 - 12:36

      Put one on your Christmas list Kate. You never know….

      • #7 by katechiconi on March 10, 2014 - 12:47

        Christmas is forever away, my birthday’s just gone, we’re going to the Caribbean for our anniversary…. I think I’ll have to live without it for a bit longer. Besides, I have nowhere to put it in my sewing room, which is already extremely bijou and compact.

  5. #8 by sew2pro on March 10, 2014 - 11:48

    Ha, spring is definitely here! Put away the winter socks and make more Cocos!

    • #9 by tialys on March 10, 2014 - 12:37

      I might do that once I’ve finished the current pair. Where’s your Coco btw??

  6. #10 by lovelucie1 on March 10, 2014 - 12:52

    I’ve been watching Janome overlockers on ebay. After seeing them on the GBSB last week I’m determined to get one, just not at the full price. I’ve never sewn with stretchy fabric. Is it tricky?
    So envious of your trip to the show. A reward for getting through all those memories you are bound to unearth?

  7. #11 by tialys on March 10, 2014 - 13:20

    Stretch fabric isn’t that difficult to sew with really it just handles in a different way but it does have advantages – such as not fraying. I know it’s possible to use an ordinary sewing machine when sewing knits – I’ve done it myself – but nothing beats seeing those seams overlocked, it looks so neat and professional. Saying that, for this dress I used a regular sewing machine to do some stay stitching, the overlocker for the seams and an ordinary machine fitted with a twin needle for the top stitching.
    I’m off for the flight to the U.K. in an hour – I’ll tell you all about the show when I get back.

  8. #12 by Jenn on March 12, 2014 - 19:39

    The dress has a lovely, easy flow to it. The fabric also just looks super comfy.

    As for the characters – they remind me more of chinoiserie but could also just be a highly stylized script.

  9. #13 by tialys on March 13, 2014 - 11:42

    Thanks Jenn. That might explain why we couldn’t find any of the characters in my daughter’s ‘Learn Japanese’ book! I only made the assumption because the supplier of the fabric had it listed as ‘Kanji’. As a title, ‘Coco Beijing’ doesn’t have the same ring to it though 🙂

  10. #14 by ooobop! on March 23, 2014 - 09:58

    Love your version of Coco. So many possibilities with this pattern. Such cool fabric too. Bet your daughter was well chuffed! And I completely get the overlocker threading issue. I was given one recently and by the time I’ve sorted the threading and the tension I may as well have sewn it with a regular machine!

  11. #15 by tialys on March 23, 2014 - 11:39

    But when it goes right, the results are so worth it aren’t they?

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