Tilly and The Buttons Coco Dress

Coco Dress ii

I don’t know how you deal with jetlag, but I make a Coco dress! That tells you everything you need to know about how user-friendly this pattern is. I absolutely love it.

I bought the fabric and pattern before my recent trip away. All I needed was time, so when I woke up at silly o’clock I decided to dust off the sewing machine. I did a quick FBA on the bodice as didn’t want material bagging around my upper chest. I added an inch to the length of the dress and graded the sleeves in by two sizes, after reading other bloggers’ comments on the roominess of the sleeves. Other than that, I sewed this up straight out of the packet.

Coco Dress

You want to know about the fabric, don’t you? £3 a metre from Classic Textiles on Walthamstow market. Remember, you can find this shop using my map here. This shop often stocks striking border prints, though you’ll need to cut out on the cross grain as the birds fly along the selvedge. Aren’t these hummingbirds wonderful? I love how I have a bird flying away across my sleeve. No birds on the rear of this dress – I didn’t want any oik in the street calling after me, ‘Ey up, Missus, a bird’s pecking your bum!’

I used a scrap of denim for my pocket, after spotting this on some jersey dresses in Anthropologie. I really like how its placement balances out the birds. I also like the fact that for £3 a metre, I have replicated an Anthropologie vibe that would have cost me many dollars in the shop.

Denim Pocket

These dresses scream to be worn with brightly coloured tights! Not only is the Coco comfortable, but it is flattering as heck. After a week of scrutinising my paunch in hotel room mirrors (urgh!) I am immensely grateful to Tilly for giving me a dress that makes me feel attractive and slim.

Best news of all: I’ve come home to Spring! The sun is out, today I am being reunited with Ella (I survived our separation by begging my family to send me daily photos and videos of her) and I can feel that a heavy weight is finally lifting from my overburdened shoulders. This dress will for ever remind me of happiness returning. Can’t ask for more than that.


Coco dress iii

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63 Responses to Tilly and The Buttons Coco Dress

  1. Jenny Lester says:

    Love the birds they “pop” out of the dress and even if there was a slight feeling of chubbiness, which by the way cannot be true of you, the birds certainly would detract!! HaHa!! Seriously though lovely!!

  2. Tash says:

    Last weekend I went into Classic Textiles and bought the exact same fabric. My plan was to make a maxi dress and leave the bird on the selvedge. Love your dress!

  3. bimbleandpimble says:

    This is smashing, Karen! That fabric is fab and who doesn’t love the Anthro look for less that $200 a frock? 😀

  4. Yours is my favourite Coco. That fabric is full of awesome, quirky happiness. I love it!

  5. Masha says:

    I think my favorite part is the littel stars around the birds. So cute!

  6. Kat says:

    Love the fabric and your cute little matching pocket!

  7. Sassy T says:

    Wow, this is such a cool version. Love eeet.

    Sassy Sewing Bees https://facebook.com/sassysewingbees

  8. creative pixie says:

    Fantastic print

  9. Fadanista says:

    So jealous of that fabric. I think I’m finally convinced, I’m going to have to buy this pattern!

  10. Michelle Robertson says:

    Lovely dress and a fab print, wish we had a market like your round my way.
    Also would like to thank you for being my sewing inspiration, after a new years resolution to learn to sew clothes, I discovered your blog and have been reading it from the start!
    I am currently sitting here in a top I made all by myself yesterday and feeling pleased as punch, my first ever attempt has surprised me with a wearable item.
    Thank you for your lovely blog and tips I’ve picked up reading it 🙂

  11. Ooh those birdies look like they’ll fly straight off your dress! You may be jetlagged but you sure know your way around a sewing machine… but we already knew that 🙂


  12. Roberta says:

    only one word: wonderful!!!!

  13. Sewing Diet says:

    Hummingbirds are great! I like the fit and the colour.

  14. Emma says:

    Wowsers handmade trousers. This is an absolute stunner. I adore your choice of fabric.

  15. sewbutterfly says:

    Love the dress, fabric choice, and the “pop” of colour on your arm! ;D

  16. So cute! I just taped the PDF together. Curious – did you use the recommended size from the measurement chart? I always have a difficult picking sizes for knit patterns.

  17. Katie M says:

    I love the fabric. It looks really nice in the Coco pattern. Sorry, but I’m not a fan of the pocket. It looks too high up. Other than that it’s a great make.

  18. Welcome home! 🙂 This dress looks fantastic, a very classy Coco! The bird print is beautiful.

  19. liza jane says:

    Gorgeous! The bird fabric is very cool . I love that neckline.

  20. Carolyn says:

    The fabric is perfect for this dress! Lovely!!!

  21. Amazing fabric! I see this dress in my future too.

  22. senjiva says:

    Karen, do you think this pattern would work with a non-knit fabric, if I added a bust dart? If so, I can see myself making up a half dozen for my summer wardrobe!

    • Joanne says:

      I’d love to know too. Perhaps Tilly has future plans to show us how to do that.

    • My instinct would be a ‘no’ – but I honestly don’t know/am no expert. Patterns for knit fabrics do tend to rely on the ease in a knit.

      • senjiva says:

        I finally got smart and called my former boss/mentor who is a freakin guru when it comes to pattern making. She says yes, just be sure to triple check the measurements and add some ease. And to add bust darts of course.

  23. Joanne says:

    Superb job and amazing fabric. Can’t believe you picked that up in good old walthamstow! Agree dress is immensely flattering, I love mine!

  24. Ruth says:

    I love that fabric! It’s a great dress!

  25. No offence to anyone else, but this is the most beautiful Coco I’ve seen so far. My eyes went straight to your post on my feed, because of the fabric. Dreamy!!!

  26. Jan says:

    A simply gorgeous Coco! It so suits you as well. I have just received my Coco in the post and bought some fabric from TMOS in Walthamstow to have a go at the top. Which stall / shop do you like best? I like the trimmings man before you reach TMOS. And the lovely shop on Vernon – it has been closed for a while as the owners were in NZ on hols but was open yesterday so I celebrated their return with some purchases! They sell a lovely selection of Fat Quarters as well.

  27. Adrienne says:

    What a beautiful dress! The collar feels very you, Karen.

  28. Marie says:

    It’s perfect Karen!

  29. thornberry says:

    Love the birds! I’ve never seen a print like that on a jersey before. And you know, always look attractive, slim or otherwise.

  30. lisa g says:

    that fabric is too awesome! i completely love your version of this pattern. nice touch with the denim pocket!

  31. Melanie says:

    I’m loving seeing all the Coco dresses popping up. I’m waiting for my pattern to arrive from the UK…anyday now! Love the birds…if in doubt putting a bird on it always works.

  32. Jenny says:

    Well if this isn’t just a picture of pattern & fabric matching perfection! Quirky but oh so wearable 🙂

    I swear sewing is a cure-all. I find if I sit down to an evening of sewing after a particularly blerrrgh day at work, it’s like having a stiff drink… only productive!!

  33. Pingback: Coco numero uno | Boom Stitch

  34. boomstitch says:

    Your dress is beautiful! I love the birds. I’ve been struggling to find a knit with an interesting print. I was wondering how you did your FBA? I think I need to do the same for my next Coco but am not sure how to when there are no darts etc.

  35. Auntie Prawn says:

    I think I might be Walthamstow stalking you! I bought some of that fabric too, about 6 months ago – I think they also had a turquoise version? but it’s been lurking in my ever expanding stash and I haven’t attached it to a project yet, so thanks for the inspiration….. when I look at the size of my stash I sometimes wonder if I find the idea of sewing more fun than the actual doing it…..

  36. tillybuttons says:

    I love this! The pattern really shows off that amazing fabric xx

  37. redsilvia says:

    You are the hummingest of all birds! That doesn’t make sense, but your dress is fab!

  38. I have fabric envy right now. I’m going to be in Walthamstow this week but I wasn’t planning on fabric shopping. I actually just have to drop someone off then quickly rush to my gym class. But now dagnamit I’m gonna have to hunt for some of that fabric. I love it and I want it.

    The dress looks great on you, completely suits you. Not sure about the position of the pocket, but that’s just my personal preference. The tights are the perfect choice too.

    I’m so impressed and just a teeny bit jealous.

    • You’re not the first person to comment on the pocket. My main priority was to not have a pocket sitting right on my boob! But, as you say, all personal choice and I quite like readers giving constructive feedback.

  39. foamofdays says:

    What a fabric! Absolutely love your dress!!

  40. Lisa says:

    A perfect Coco. Suits you completely.

  41. melanie says:

    Love the birds! and that luscious deep blue. It’s a happy dress. I’d like to try the Coco but I’m rather, ahem, top heavy, and I’ve never attempted an FBA. But this really makes me want to try.

  42. Justine says:

    Wonderful dress – I’ve been looking for one this shape for ages. I’ve just ordered the pattern and can’t wait to get sewing. Thanks for the inspiration!

  43. Gjeometry says:

    Heyyyy Karen, this is one of my favourite makes of yours! That gorgeous fabric with the bird placement and rich indigo colour along with that groovy space age neckline. It’s fantastic. I think you should wear it every day. Okay, make 7 of them, then you won”t have to launder as often.

  44. The birds are very cool! I am super interested in your knit FBA (it’s been on my to do list forever) and how you approached it. On pocket location since it’s been mentioned above: I think the lighter colour of the pocket balances out the lighter colour birds on the lower-half of the dress.
    Glad to hear you’re bouncing back from travel stress!

  45. Such a beautiful dress! I love the design! 🙂

  46. Michelle says:

    That dress is both splendid and cheering!! Nice wok, and yet again a post full of inspiration.

  47. CUP + PENNY says:

    Oh my goodness! I’ve seen many a Coco dress, and yours is the absolute best! The hummingbirds are fab!

  48. ooobop! says:

    So late to the comment column but nonetheless soooo wowed by your Coco! Gorgeous fabric for the job and you look amazing in it! I’m concerned about the roomy arm issue now. I didn’t find that. I think my bingos are bigger than I thought! :-/

  49. Lynn says:

    Oh, I love the birds. Giant hummingbirds. Awesome.

  50. Magnificent! I love the fabric and the style of the dress. Coco is a winner!

  51. Jo says:

    Love it! Just bought the pattern and looking for inspiration, yours is great. How did you do the FBA?

  52. Sarah says:

    Karen, this looks great! Would you share your chosen fba method?

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