Coco En Noir

Coco En Noir

Hello, sunshine! What bliss. Fresh off the plane from Bologna, I scrambled to start sewing with the velvet flocked black jersey I recently bought for £2 a metre from Classic Textiles on Walthamstow market. This shop has several stable jerseys (including some in solid colours) that would make great Coco dresses or tops. Go, buy some!

Close Up Black Flocked Jersey

Coco En Noir Against Wall

On this version of the Coco Dress I added fusible interfacing to the funnel collar as I really wanted it to have strong definition. I have no idea if you’re allowed to add fusible interfacing to knit fabrics but, hey, no one died.


I think this makes for a really classy Coco that I would happily wear into the office. What about you? Do you see Coco as a weekend outfit or do you think it translates to more formal occasions? I suspect it’s all in the execution. It’s definitely an outfit for the sunshine…

Coco In Sunshine

Finally, I dedicate this blog post to Ros – my new publishing/sewing friend. In the midst of Bologna Book Fair a screech was heard echoing out from the agents’ centre. It was Ros, running towards me. ‘You’re Didyoumakethat! Why aren’t you wearing your Coco?’ In about 30 seconds flat, she and I had become firm friends, bonding over our sewing antics. Ros was able to recommend a Bologna fabric shop to me, though I didn’t have any time for shopping on this trip. Next time? I am SO buying some of what Ros bought…

photo (9)

Have you ever made a new sewing friend in the most unexpected circumstances? And are you as happy to see the sun as I am?

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30 Responses to Coco En Noir

  1. Emmely says:

    Oh, yes I am super excited to see the sun again! When I want to interface a knit fabric I always use a fusible that has some stretch in it. I think it is Vlieseline (Vilene) G785. It reinforces the fabric but doesn’t make it stiff and the fabric retains some of its stretch.

  2. Aussiegirl says:

    I discovered a couple of fabulous fabric stores in Bologna last year Karen when we were living in Europe – not cheap but oh! so beautiful! I definitely recommend searching them out during your next visit if you can! (Lucky you, being so close to bella Italia! It’s a long way from sunny Brisbane.) I so enjoy your blog – thank you for the inspiration & entertainment!

    • Aussiegirl says:

      And yes, I do the same as Emmely interfacing knits. In Australia, it’s available in varying weights so I’m sure the UK would have the same.

  3. Rachel says:

    That is classy! Well done!

  4. Jen (NY) says:

    Oh yes, fusible interfacing is perfectly okay on knits. I usually use a fusible tricot or some other stretch crepe-y looking stuff. It’s also a useful way to give some weight to a knit hem when the knit is a bit on the light side. The funnel neck looks good!

  5. Pat says:

    Your fabric is so pretty. Nice job on the dress.

  6. has some lovely knit interfacing. I use that on knits and very light wovens. Love the Coco!

  7. Tilly Buttons says:

    Ooh it’s lurrrvely! xx

  8. EmSewCrazy says:

    I too am delighted to see the sun when it appears. Especially when it’s unaccompanied by snow.
    Cool Coco!

  9. amaryllislog says:

    Oh it’s super cute, I’d wear it for all occasions happily.

  10. I love your dress… I really like its 60’s vibe.

  11. katemcivor says:

    Great dress! As a dedicated follower of your blog, I’m sad for you (and me) that you don’t have more time for sewing. I would love it if you would take some pics of the beautiful European cities you travel to for work. Here in the US, we consider it quite exotic to travel to Italy for a quick trip!!! 🙂

    • Aw, thank you for your kind comment. Yes, it makes me a bit sad, too. If readers can bear with me for the immediate future, I’m determined to bring more balance (and sewing!) into my life eventually. I’m at a key stage of my work life, pouring my heart, soul and many man hours into what I hope will be a positive result. I tend not to talk about work too much here, for fear of boring people, but maybe I should explain the busyness. As for photos, you can follow a lot of my adventures on Instagram at didyoumakethat. But I know not everyone is on Instagram, so maybe I’ll share some piccies here, too!

  12. Ros says:

    Next year I am SO marching you straight to Valli. Looking forward to having gushing fan-girl gibbering at a book fair near you soon!

  13. Nice one! I’m a new reader and I think I’m falling in love with your blog ^_^

  14. Molly says:

    I second tricot for knits, the interfacing should match the weave/stretch properties of your fabric (unless your trying to block the stretch as I so often do with icky stretch velvet when my costume budget won’t allow the nice stuff!).

    As a heads up, Textile Centre is now on eBay. Prices aren’t as cheap as in store to offset the huge cost of postage (boo) but they’re still bargain level and additional postage rate is free when you spend £10. I was chatting to the owner yesterday, he says so far they’ve listed just a tint fraction of their 250+ lines (!) but they’re building up. Yay for Walthamstow shopping online though 🙂

  15. Melanie says:

    Good idea to add the interfacing to the collar…I love how it’s standing up. We’re yet to come into winter but when we do (and when I make my Coco) I’ll be wearing here to the office!

  16. jansew says:

    That is one fabulous Coco. I am definitely gonna start mine tomorrow – you have inspired me! I am a bit confused though – is there a Classic Textiles on Walthamstow market? I know the one on Goldhawk Road but can’t place it in Walthamstow and I was there today – is it near TMOS?

  17. Lorna says:

    Hello! That’s a lovely Coco, definitely smart enough for work. It’s a great fit, too. Inspiring!

  18. Yvonne Bennett says:

    Black is my favorite color and you look stunning in that dress! You have such a classic beauty. I’ve seen so many lovely versions of this pattern on sewing blogs I may just attempt one for myself. I splurged on some Liberty of London jersey (having never sewn with any Liberty fabric at all), so maybe this will be the pattern for it.

  19. Fadanista says:

    So happy with myself, I’ve just finished my first ever Coco. Not sure it’s as cool as yours, but it’s a start…

  20. Jane says:

    Very chic and classy Karen, a gorgeous Coco! x

  21. Kat says:

    Totally cute and I totes use fusible interfacing on knits and yeah, as you say, the world didn’t tilt on its axis 🙂

  22. Melanie says:

    I have loved your other Cocos, but this is the one that sent me over to Tilly’s site to buy the pattern. Can’t wait to get started!

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