I’ve got a lovely bunch of Cocos!

Tilly and The Buttons Coco

As much as I have been having fun making dresses of late, it would be remiss of me not to write about my most worn home-made makes of this year: my Tilly and the Buttons Cocos! Plus, I’m waiting for my resident photographer to return home to help me photograph my new Deer & Doe Sureau (squeals with excitement – new pattern love affair!).

Tilly and the Buttons Coco

The Coco is a pattern that keeps on giving. I have made no less than four so far, and I suspect that I will keep returning time and time again. The striped Coco was my first foray into stretch sewing. Tilly’s blog convinced me that i could do it despite the lack of an overlocker and experience. So, filled with misplaced new-found confidence, I dug deep and went for it. After all, if I could crack this the possibilities of sewing knit fabrics would be a total wardrobe changer.

Tilly and the Buttons Coco

I found the striped viscose at Simply Fabrics (where else?!). It’s quite a lightweight knit with a good drape, and the perfect navy and white stripes. I duly read up on all things stretch and sat down to my first stitch. To my huge frustration, the needle just seemed to be bouncing off the fabric and skipping stitches so that there were more gaps than there was sewing. After an entire evening of web-search, I found the advice I was looking for:

  • put the kettle on/top up your wine glass
  • take a deep breath
  • do not throw the machine out of the window
  • re-thread
  • ensure the bobbin case is free of lint
  • check you have the right needle (stretch or ballpoint)
  • ensure said needle is in the right way round
  • test again using a larger needle size

It seemed that the sewing machine was using the rather bouncy fabric as a trampoline, and that the bottom thread wasn’t getting high enough up the needle to make the stitch. Amazingly, this advice worked!  I have since used a size 16 stretch needle on all my knits with success. The crazy highs and lows of sewing, eh?!

Tilly and the Buttons Coco

Woodland Stroll Cape in Red

What’s the first thing you think of making on a sweltering hot day? An autumn cape! Was it a coincident that the bedtime book of the moment was Little Red Riding Hood? I genuinely didn’t twig until it was made!

Woodland Stroll CapeI had been craving a cape for the past two winters, but hadn’t got as far as scouring the shops for one. When I saw this Woodland Stroll Cape by Oliver & S, it was love at first sight. This is the first item of outer-wear I’ve made, and it was so simple – just three pattern pieces plus lining.

Red Woodland Stroll Cape

I toyed with making it in a sensible, work-friendly colour, but in the end it had to be red. What’s more gloomy and depressing in the depths of winter than a sea of dark-clad commuters? I found this synthetic Melton online from Calico Laine and bought matching polyester lining. I don’t usually buy fabric online as I much prefer to shop with my hands. I was trying to manage my expectations over the colour, so was very pleasantly surprised when it arrived. This was another super-quick make, which was just as well as I had the denim beignet hanging over me!

Red Woodland Stroll CapeI’m wearing it here over my striped Coco by Tilly and the Buttons. It’s surprisingly warm to wear. Well, not that surprising considering it’s synthetic on synthetic! Am I the only person in South London praying for a cold snap?