Pattern Testing: Coco Dress - Tilly and the Buttons


Tuesday was a pretty exciting day. Not only did the Great British Sewing Bee return to our TV screens for a second season, Tilly and the Buttons released her third sewing pattern...which I had the absolute pleasure of testing!


The Coco Dress is Tilly's third pattern and her first available in both print and digital formats. It's designed with stable knits in mind, sews up very quickly and can be done so using a regular sewing machine (not just an overlocker), making it hands down the perfect pattern for beginners and anyone apprehensive about sewing with knits. However, the number of possible (and seemingly endless) variations - dress or top, long or three quarter length sleeves, cuffs or cuff-less, pockets or pocket-less, slash or funnel neckline - make it a pretty fun pattern for the more experienced stitcher too!


Coco is quite literally beautiful, inside and out! As always, Tilly's step-by-step instructions and accompanying photographs are second to none. She's also added extra pattern markings to make the whole cutting and stitching proces as clear as possible - outlined here. Hand-holding doesn't get better than this! 


For my version, I used a fleece-backed, medium-weight knit from Minerva Crafts. The Aztec print and vibrant colours are so much fun on bleak winter days and the fleece backing keeps me nice and toasty. It's an undeniably busy print though, so I went for the simplest version of Coco - slash neckline, cuff-less and pocket-less. 




Fitting & Construction

My version of Coco only requires three patterns pieces, so fitting and construction is a total breeze! With proportions are all over the place, I cut a Size 3 for the neckline and shoulders, a Size 4 for the armholes down to the waist and a Size 5 from the waist downwards. Due to the simplicity of the pattern lines, grading like this is really easy to do, so don't be afraid to have a go if you're in between sizes.

I love that Coco's slash neckline isn't finished with a neckband, instead it's turned under and topstitched. This results in a cleaner and less casual finish, but I have found that this method can be prone to gaping and the wrong side peeping out. To prevent this by stabilising my neckline, I stitched stay tape to the wrong side of my neckline before turning under and topstitching. It worked wonders! Finally, I topstitched the neckline, sleeves and hem using my trusty twin needle.

The only small change I would possibly make next time, would be to slim down the sleeves just a smidgeon...but that's easily done and just personal preference really.


I'm ridiculously pleased with my stripe matching skills by the way! I know I'm a complete geek for saying it, but I don't think I've managed to match anything this well before!


Like everyone else who has tested or made Coco, I give it a big thumbs up! It's a cute design, versatile, easy to sew up and the perfect pattern for beginners and experienced stitchers alike! If you're tempted or need a little more inspiration, check out Tilly's Pinterest board chock full of design and fabric ideas, as well as 'real life' versions!  

60 comments:

  1. Love it! I'm still a bit scared of working with striped fabrics cause I'm so sloppy... You on the other hand did a fantastic job :D

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    1. Thanks Irena! Matching stripes on a simple pattern like this isn't too hard really ;o)

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  2. Ooh hon that's looks smashing. Just reading the instructions for mine. Can't wait to knock one up :)

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    1. Oooh, bet you'll be a knockout in yours!

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  3. Stripe matching for the win!! You look very chuffed at how snuggly and warm this is. Great stuff!

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    1. Thanks Amy! It really is ridiculously snug and warm!

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  4. Lovely stripe matching, lady! I love the fabric you choose for this. Very different to the other stripy versions I've seen.

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    1. Thanks Sally! I wanted my version to be slightly unexpected ;o)

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  5. It looks great! I love the fleecey lined fabric!

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  6. Love the fabric you picked and thanks for sharing your thoughts on the pattern!

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  7. Gorgeous. Was hunting for some suitable fabric yesterday but nothing half as hot as this in the Goldhawk!

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    1. Hehe, thanks Janene...I'm sure Goldhawk Road will deliver in the end ;o)

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  8. Love this. Am a sucker for a cool print and this is just up my street Sassy Sewing Bees https://facebook.com/sassysewingbees ❀

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    1. Thanks, hope you give it a go ;o)

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  9. Great dress and that print is fantastic!

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  10. Great! I'm waiting for my pattern to arrive and seeing your fabric is such a great inspiration! Love it!

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    1. Thanks Pauline, you're going to love it!

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  11. I think I may be about to return to dressmaking for the first time in 25 years, thanks to Tilly and your inspiration. Been drooling over Coco all week.

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    1. Eeeeep, this is really exciting to hear! I really hope you do and that you share your journey with us ;o)

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  12. Love it Marie! It looks fab with those boots too. x

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    1. Thanks Jane! I actually forgot I had those boots...can you believe that?!?

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  13. ooh this is so nice! My pattern is on its way, can't wait to try it! I need some fabric first though, now I'll add aztec print to the inspiration list!

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  14. That fabric is fab, really suits the simple shape of Coco.

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    1. Thanks Louise! I thought so too...a more complicated pattern may bot have worked as well with this fabric!

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  15. love it!!! can't wait to get it in the mail and whip up some cozy tops and dresses!

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  16. its so beautiful. I got to sew my coco soon

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    1. It's going to look hot on you Rachel!

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  17. Love your version, I'm feeling inspired :)

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  18. Ooh I love this fabric! Your coco looks awesome!

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  19. Cute dress, the fabric is so fun!

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  20. C.U.T.E. I've downloaded my version but have yet to get fabric,...and sew through my sewing queue too...but every version of coco I've seen is gorgeous, yours being one of them!

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    1. Coco will look gorgeous on you too Winnie!

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  21. This is adorable! I LOVE the fabric you chose! It's perfect!!

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  22. looks great! Love the fabric. Can't wait to give this pattern a try myself!

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    1. Thanks Sarah! Hope you get to give it a go soon!

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  23. I love it! This fabric is gorge!

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  24. Your fabric is so great! I'll have to remember that stay tape trick when I get my hands on the pattern.

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  25. Very funky! It looks super comfortable as well x

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  26. There have been so many versions around the web and they all look adorable, yours included!

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  27. Thanks for the tip on the stay tape. When I make my version I'm going to have to try that!

    Your print matching skills are spot on!

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    1. Hope the stay tape tip works for you Erin!

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  28. Super cute dress! The print is awesome, and you should totally be proud of your stripe placement. Great job!

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  29. So cute! And great stripe matching between the sleeves and body.

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  30. nice work! good choose of the fabric!

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