Monday, January 26, 2015

Polka Dot Coco Top

The Coco pattern by Tilly and the Buttons is amazing. This is my first time sewing it and I can already tell that I will be making lots of these. Coco is so easy to make and comfy to wear!

The fabric for this version is more Robert Kaufman Laguna Jersey Knit, this time in Dots. I bought it from and found a small blemish on the wrong side of the fabric. Since it doesn’t show in the finished product, it’s not a big deal, but it does make me wonder exactly why the fabric at is so cheap. Other than that, I enjoyed working with the fabric even though it was a little lighter weight than what is recommended for this pattern.

I have been a long-time reader of Tilly and the Buttons. I love her aesthetic and her dedication to demystifying garment sewing for the beginner. Now that I’ve made one of her patterns, I also love the easy to use pattern pieces, the clear and detailed instructions, and the sizing. She uses her own unique numbering for sizes, so you don’t feel bad about your measurements not matching up with a standard size (or matching up with the "wrong" standard size). I was between sizes, so I sewed the larger size and graded out one size bigger in the hips. Next time, I’ll go down a size, since this shirt is plenty big and I think I can get away with it since it’s made with a knit fabric.

Even though I love this shirt, it is not my best work. The neckline in particular is a mess. When I started to sew the neckline, I was paying too much attention to the TV show I was watching and not enough attention to the directions, and neglected to use Wonder Tape. The end result was quite wavy, so I folded it over and tried again. I didn’t really like the zigzag topstitching that the directions called for, so I used my double needle. (With plenty of Wonder Tape this time, of course.) Halfway through, I realized I was sewing on the incorrect side, so the double line of stitches was on the wrong side of the fabric instead of the right. I left it that way because the black thread blends in so well that you can’t tell unless you look really, really hard at it. However, the fold-it-over-and-sew-it-again technique made the neckline so wide that it’s almost unwearable. I’m going to have to wear a scarf or cardigan over it all the time, but since I intended it to be a layering shirt to begin with, I’m okay with that.

Another problem area is the sleeves. Initially, they were way too long, so I trimmed off three inches. That was too much. When my hands are at my sides, the sleeves look fine, but I would have preferred them longer so that when I use my hands my wrists would be covered and warm. Next time, I won’t trim the sleeves so drastically, although I may narrow them a bit.

So if the neckline is awful and the sleeves need work, why do I like this shirt so much? Two reasons: the length and the shape. The last knit shirt I made was so short that I try not to lift my hands over my head in public, lest I expose my stomach. Coco is so long that my dignity is safely intact. The exaggerated A-line shape flatters my body type, which I love.

While this shirt isn’t 100% perfect, it’s sure to get a lot of wear. I’ve already ordered fabric to try the funnel neck version. Stay tuned!


  1. Love the spots! I also got Laguna jersey from that had holes all through it -I notified them and they refunded me for the parts that were 'holey' (I estimated how much I had lost). I have been holding out on getting the Coco - but it always looks so cute!

  2. Yay for another pattern in the repertoire! Love how much you are learning as you create your wardrobe!