I did it! I made progress in tackling my fear of stretch fabrics!
Finally, almost 6 months after going on a workshop to make a Tilly and the Buttons Coco top/dress, I sat down all on my own and made another one!
Here is the top, on a very tired me at the end of a very long day (hence we both look a little rumpled!)
And actually, by and large, it was surprisingly painless.
Except for the bit where I had to rethread my machine about 20 times because the thread kept snapping. That was quite painful. Discussion on Instagram led to the conclusion that this was due to the cheaper thread I was using (which annoyingly came free with my previous Janome which never had a problem with it!)
Snobbish sewing machines aside, I’d forgotten how simple the construction on this pattern is. I particularly like the way you sew the shoulder seams, THEN sew the sleeves in flat, leaving you to finish the side seams and sleeves in one fell swoop from hem to cuff – so straightforward! Indeed, had it not been for the re-threading requirements (and a 2 year old with a nasty cough who kept waking up and needing a cuddle), I’d have finished this one in a single evening, post kiddies’ bed time, without even pulling a late night.
I have also apparently remembered what Zoe taught me about stripe matching – check out these side seams!
The fabric is a very luscious feeling interlock from The Village Haberdashery. It’s actually one I Pinned when I booked the course in February this year, and which was promptly out of stock for several months. It was pure serendipity that it was restocked just as I had won a £10 voucher for filling in their customer opinion survey – clearly it was meant to be mine! And it is every bit as lovely as I’d hoped – lovely, soft, smooth fabric in the most gorgeous colour. Wonder what I can get out of the offcuts…..
In terms of the pattern, I cut the same size 5 as I had on the course (my measurements are 38″/33″/42″ – not something I thought I’d be putting online, but there you go!) And I got the same slight fit issue as I did making the dress on the course (and which I should clearly therefore have adjusted for) that it’s a little too big. I made enough of a difference this time by resewing both side seams/sleeves another cm in but I think another time, I would just cut the 4 as it’s still quite loose.
That would hopefully also help with the fact that the neckline is still rather wide and hence has a tendency to show a little bra strap – never a good thing.
As someone accustomed to sewing woven fabrics, it does feel very strange leaving things unfinished on the inside. However, I’ve worn the dress I made on the course (aka secret pyjamas!) lots and there’s no problem with fraying so clearly that’s a feature of the fabric type. Does feel odd though and I know most jersey type RTW tops are finished off inside – so when do you do that and when do you not? Confused!
This top feels like a total win for me – it’s stretchy, it’s comfy, I adore the colour and it’s a style that I must have bought ready to wear versions of a dozen times.
And, most importantly, it was finished in time for me to have something new to wear to walk my biggest little girl to school for the first time this Friday.
How did she get to be so grown up??
This was the reason that both the top and I look rather rumpled in the first photo – it was taken after getting her to bed after her first half day at school and to say it was a full on day is to understate things rather! But we all survived, she had a lovely time, she didn’t cry once (as she pointed out to me several times) and she’s now up for going back on Monday after months of nightmares and worries about the whole thing (her more than me!)
So this was the start of both my autumnal sewing and my adventures with stretch fabrics and it was a success!
Clearly there need to be lots more Cocos in my wardrobe….wonder whether I can squeeze one in this week…..
Do you have any quick and easy patterns which are a perfect fit for your wardrobe and lifestyle? I’d love to hear about them!