Completed: A Striped Coco Dress

13 Oct

Coco is one of those patterns that I loved when I first saw it (and immediately made up), promised I would make dozens more, experienced feelings of jealousy whenever I saw other people wearing it… and yet left that damn pattern hanging for 2 1/2 years. Too long!

Coco Dress

I have been slowly going through my stash, uploading fabrics to my Cora app– which takes forever, since I have to pull each piece out, photograph it, measure it, and then fill in all the details. Individually, it’s not really a time suck – but I have a lot of fabric! It’s kind of fun, though – I feel like I’m rediscovering all this great fabric I forgot I had! (very similar to how I treat doing laundry – oooh, look at all these fun clothes I forgot about in the past few days! Yay!) I’m making an effort to sew more from my stash – at least, the pieces that are suitable for the current season, and the colors/prints that work best with my current wardrobe. It’s certainly not doing me any good just hanging out on my shelf!

This navy/white striped ponte is one of those pieces that I unearthed. I bought a MASSIVE yardage of this shit when I was in Mood Fabrics… uhh, probably also in 2014. It’s a heavy, thick ponte with a very dense hand – and it was a pain in the butt to drag it all home, though of course I persisted because I am all about taking one for the (my)team. I made a couple tshirts out of the stuff, and quickly learned that I don’t like wearing tshirts out of such a heavy knit. It feels strange, like wearing a jacket you can’t take off. And while it’s a great weight for stuff like hoodies, blazers, jackets, skater dresses… I dunno, guys. I just wasn’t feeling it. So the remaining yardage has been hanging on my shelf until I managed to almost forget about it.

Coco Dress

Coco Dress

Coco Dress

So here we come right back around to Coco! I was desperately in need of a easy, mindless project that lent itself well to leaving unfinished for long periods of time in my sewing room – this was during the week that my dad was in the hospital, and while I spent most of that time sitting next to him (or camping out in the ICU waiting room, waiting my turn), I needed a day to be “normal.” I didn’t feel like sewing at all, but I knew it would calm and relax me – again, the key being something easy and mindless. So I took the pattern and fabric, both of which I’d been kind of avoiding, and channeled my energy into this project.

It’s not anything special, obviously. It’s a simple A-line knit dress with a funnel neck collar. I can – and have – made much more impressive pieces. But the simplicity was exactly what I needed – so I could turn my mind off, and just focus on making. That fact that I have a pretty great dress out of it is just a bonus ๐Ÿ˜‰

Coco Dress

Since I’ve already made this pattern and it’s fairly simple to begin with, I don’t really have much to say about the construction. I sewed the size 1 so I’d get a close fit (my measurements hover right between 1 and 2 in Tilly’s patterns), but ended up taking out another 1/2″ or so from the side seams because it still wasn’t quite fitted enough to my liking. I originally sewed the long sleeves, thinking I’ve had a cozy little ponte winter dress – but y’all, I dunno, something about all those STRIPES with those SLEEVES was just really… awful.Maybe it’s because I’m so short, but it was really overwhelming on my frame. Pulling them up to 3/4″ solved that problem, as did removing a couple of inches from the hem (I know it’s REAL short in these photos; I had a fat 1.5″ hem that I ended up letting out before I wore it out for the first time and resewing again at about 1/2″. So it’s a tiny bit longer – as in, when I raise my arms you don’t see buttcheck anymore true story ok).

I added the sleeve tabs as an afterthought – I liked the way the sleeves looked when they weren’t totally smooth. To make the tabs, they are just rectangles that I sewed with the right sides facing and then turned right sides out, sewed to the inside of the sleeve and then tacked down the other end with a button from my stash. Actually, if I recall correctly – the measurements were determined by me cutting the small pocket (included in the pattern), deciding I didn’t want to add it, and then cutting it in half to use as my tabs haha.

I sewed all the seams on my serger, except the hem and sleeve hems – which I just used a zigzag stitch for. Easy! (except when I ended up ripping out that hem later to let out some length, ugh haha) And while the dress looks like it’s black and white, I promise it is actually navy. It’s just a really really dark navy.

Coco Dress

See?! Navy! ๐Ÿ™‚

My fabric isn’t quite as beefy as what they use for the project photos – or what I used for my first Coco, even. As a result, the funnel neck is definitely a lot more floppy and slouchy. I like it, though!

Coco Dress

Sleeve tab and button. This button was seriously the closest thing I had to matchy in my stash.

Coco Dress

That’s all! I am heading out in a few hours to catch a plane to NYC – Camp Workroom Social is this weekend! ๐Ÿ˜€ I cannot WAIT to hang with all the campers and help my (well, Amy‘s ๐Ÿ™‚ ) class make some beautiful bras!

And speaking of classes – I spent the last weekend at Pintuck & Purl in Exeter, NH, where we had a lovely 4 days of sewing, eating delicious food – and drinking whiskey, because of course we did. I had an AMAZING time with amazing company – great conversation, great food, and of course, great sewing! I love doing these sorts of retreats because it’s really fun to see what everyone is working on – for this class, we had jeans, a bra, a coat, an Archer, fitting help, and a shirt dress! The only downside is that when I get home, I REALLY miss everyone because we’ve been so close for the past few days! Which basically just means I am gonna have to go back ๐Ÿ™‚ Exeter is so beautiful and Pintuck & Purl is the cutest little store with a beautiful selection. I definitely came home with some fabric and yarn, although my tiny suitcase meant that I had to restrain myself a bit ๐Ÿ™‚

See y’all next week!


42 Responses to “Completed: A Striped Coco Dress”

  1. heather October 13, 2016 at 9:59 am #

    i love your dress! the tabs rock, too! have fun in NYC ๐Ÿ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD October 13, 2016 at 2:39 pm #

      Thank you! I promise I will try to ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. ellegeemakes October 13, 2016 at 11:22 am #

    Great dress and how nice that you’re burning through that stash! I have that pattern…must use! I need to get that app too because i have lost control of my stash.

    • Jane Mary Green October 13, 2016 at 12:03 pm #

      I love following you! You continue to inspire me! Great job on this cute dress and you look amazing in it! Sewing for me, as well, is a sure way to stop stress! Thanks for sharing and hope your dad is ok!

      • LLADYBIRD October 13, 2016 at 2:40 pm #

        Thank you so much!! Dad is doing much better now ๐Ÿ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD October 13, 2016 at 2:40 pm #

      The app has been SO helpful – I am really excited to take it with me when I go fabric shopping in NYC next month (I dont’ have time this week, but I planned my next trip to include that essential extra day :)) – I think it’s going to be really useful! As long as I finish uploading the rest of my stash, that is hahahaha!

      • ellegeemakes October 13, 2016 at 6:48 pm #

        Yeah, it sounds like the initial effort is time consuming but then, voila!:)

  3. Beth October 13, 2016 at 12:32 pm #

    Being a long-over-short (my back waist length is the same as my 5’8″ sister’s and I’m 5’5″ and change!), I truly get that it’s all about proportion! Love the buttons on the sleeve tabs…and we must be laundry sisters ๐Ÿ™‚
    Now, what all your new friends need to do is come down to visit all you Southern Belle-issimas!

    • LLADYBIRD October 13, 2016 at 2:41 pm #

      That is true! I was definitely trying to push a Nashville trip on everyone during that week haha ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Hรฉlรจne Martin October 13, 2016 at 1:06 pm #

    Total classic awesomeness. I seem to always forget that I have a butt when I eyeball length so I’m familiar with the “raise arms to display cheek” phenomenon. ๐Ÿ˜† Glad you could save it and the tabs are a very inspired addition. Here’s to finding more treasures from the deep stash! ๐Ÿป

    • LLADYBIRD October 13, 2016 at 2:42 pm #

      Seriously, though, if and when we inevitably meet in person – l am gonna buy you a drink, cos we gotta celebrate the awesomeness that is your app!

  5. Naomi October 13, 2016 at 2:03 pm #

    Yes: Laundry be like… Great dress.

  6. Aubrey (@alwaysaubrey) October 13, 2016 at 2:33 pm #

    Love this dress, especially the tabbed sleeves! xoxo

  7. Carol S October 13, 2016 at 3:07 pm #

    i knew exactly which fabric you used just from the title. I made a Coco out of what i bought too!

    • LLADYBIRD October 21, 2016 at 10:56 am #

      I think you were part of my inspiration, actually! haha!

  8. New Capel Street: Fabric Division October 13, 2016 at 5:11 pm #

    The button tabs might actually be my favourite thing about that dress. Looks good!

  9. thumblenina October 13, 2016 at 7:10 pm #

    Whoop, navy stripe Coco twin! Mine doesn’t have your sleeve tabs though, and now I wish it did – they’re so cute!

    • LLADYBIRD October 21, 2016 at 10:58 am #

      It’s not too late to add them! TWINZ!

  10. Lynsey October 14, 2016 at 1:59 am #

    I love stripes, esp white and navy! Super coco and the sleeve tabs and silvery buttons add the extra interest. Perfect (esp now it’s not so cheeky ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Kirstin October 14, 2016 at 2:52 am #

    I have a similar fabric and I’m so stuck with what to do with it! I keep thinking something like Coco, a dress with an easy shape, sleeves, etc, but then I worry about all those stripes! It’s good to see your version though, maybe I’ll take some cues and make the sleeves shorter, thanks!

    • LLADYBIRD October 21, 2016 at 11:00 am #

      Yeah, I think the key is shorter length (albeit not cheeky haha) and shorter sleeves! Otherwise, it get overwhelming – at least on me ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Lisa Poblenz (patternandbranch) October 14, 2016 at 5:56 am #

    Great dress! I have the same pattern and had the same feelings about it, but only made one dress. I need to make the t-shirt! Thanks again for all the help over the weekend. I learned a lot and it’s been fun to show my projects off. I’m glad you got home safely. Hope you have fun in NY!

  13. GotTheTravelBug! October 14, 2016 at 8:22 am #

    Love this Dress! Saw someone wearing a black & white one back in the summer and wished I’d asked her where she purchased it from and here you make one very similar! Know this is navy but do you make- to order please?

    • LLADYBIRD October 21, 2016 at 11:01 am #

      I don’t do custom sewing, sorry! ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. sharonkillian October 14, 2016 at 8:52 am #

    Great dress & nice work! Looks lovely on you!

  15. PsychicKathleen October 14, 2016 at 11:19 am #

    I love this dress! Thank you for all that guidance re fabric for the Coco (I have this pattern in my files somewhere too) – I didn’t know what I’d make it out of. I didn’t want anything too heavy (yes I’m one of those who can happily reside in a meat locker) but it has to be heavy ENOUGH or it will be shapeless. I like the fabric you used – you say “ponte” – does that mean a rayon or cotton or a blend? Do you remember?

    • LLADYBIRD October 21, 2016 at 11:02 am #

      I always assumed ponte was more of the weight/weave than the content – although I could be wrong. I have seen rayon/cotton pontes and also 100% polyester pontes. I think this one is a rayon/cotton, although I could be wrong!

  16. indigorchid October 15, 2016 at 3:45 am #

    Aah! I have the Clothio app since I’m an android-phone user, and I’m having the same experiences! It’s time consuming to go through and photograph, measure, log and put away each piece, but I’m also absolutely loving getting reacquainted with my stash. I’m feeling quite inspired by all the awesome stuff I have the materials to make!

    Also, your hair is looking super-nice. ๐Ÿ˜€

    P.S. I’m going back to London in Feb/March, and at the top of my list is V&A – I don’t know if you remember, but a lot of the permanent exhibitions were closed for renovations when we were there during your trip a few years ago? They will also have an exhibit on undergarments! Wooo!

    • LLADYBIRD October 21, 2016 at 11:03 am #

      Awww jealous!! I want to see all those undies!!

  17. Anonymous October 15, 2016 at 12:59 pm #

    Really cute! You are so right ยดbout the sleeves I’m small and all my sleeves look 10x better at 3/4. As a side note I also discovered (I don’t know if this is universal for petites) that a waistline that’s about 1″ over my real waistline in dresses also looks better. Agh it’s hard being petite ! Why can’t I have supermodel proportions! ๐Ÿ˜œ

    • LLADYBIRD October 21, 2016 at 11:04 am #

      Hey now, let’s count our petite blessings – we buy much less fabric than our taller friends. My 28″ inseam means I can squeeze pants out of a yard of fabric haha ! ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Tomasa October 17, 2016 at 8:57 pm #

    Oh I love love this dress! It’s perfect in the stripe fabric. Sewing from your stash is just the greatest – I am trying to do that too but I keep getting tempted by more fabrics…oy!

    • LLADYBIRD October 21, 2016 at 11:04 am #

      I know that feeling! I just try not to do any “window shopping” (well, internet window haha), although it’s hard when you work in a fabric store!


  1. Completed: The Ebony Tee | LLADYBIRD - April 4, 2017

    […] I didn’t want there to be too much stripe action going on, after learning that less with my Coco dress. With the length of the sleeves and weight of the fabric, this is a good mid-season top. Perfect […]

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