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Thursday, 27 February 2014

Can't decide which fabric for my Coco - please help!

favourite shoes, skirt and purse
Good morning, my lovely readers.

The sun is shining here in Bedford, today, and so it has bought with it an optimistic feeling about my wardrobe. By this, I mean I am imagining myself skipping off for the school run (okay, power walking whilst encouraging my girls to scooter faster so we aren't late) without a coat on.

Coco pattern from Tilly and the Buttons
And, when it is warm enough to do that, I want to be wearing a stripy Coco dress. I am thinking blue and white, as the shoes I love wearing most are red. And, I would like some pockets on it - a bit like the mustard ones Tilly has used, only the pockets on the dress I am dreaming up are going to be green - because, that is my favourite and my best and so of course they will be that colour (you know you have spent too much time reading/watching Charlie and Lola when your own inner monologue starts to speak like Lola).

Yesterday, I spent the quiet morning slot (whilst only have the baby around) riffling through my wardrobe and all the various black sacks I had stuffed clothes into during the moving house and being pregnant months. Half way through this major sort out, I looked at my bedroom floor and the landing, and realised it reminded me of that old advert for Yellow Pages, where the girl comes into the boy's flat and sees the mess and assumes he has been burgled.

FIRM FAVOURITES: Amy Butlet Lotus Tunics, a couple of infinity scarves, a Ginger Skirt, (another) Lisette 2211 and two Kelly Skirts
I sorted my clothes into piles - those that are hand made and those that are not. Not because one is necessarily better than the other - but more for me to see them all laid out in one place again, and, in the case of the hand made things, appreciate quite how much I had ended up with.
MEDIOCRE PILE (Gosh, I got my money's worth out of that Lisette 2211 pattern!)
After that, I sorted each of the two piles (hand made and shop bought) into sub piles. Those I liked and fitted; those I liked and would need to breathe in a lot and accept a certain amount of bulge if I was to wear them right now; those I had made but in all honesty didn't love enough to wear that much; and those that were out and out rejects and were not likely to see the light of day any time soon.

Lisette 2211 made with gorgeous red wool from Nottingham
In the first category, came a few happy rediscoveries - such as my red woollen skirt (Lisette 2211) - where I had just got lazy in my jeans, t shirt and cardigan habit and forgotten to wear. What I noticed, is that skirts tend to be the big success stories in my hand made wardrobe so far. The Kelly Skirts would both join the red skirt in this category. The two Amy Butler dresses (Lotus Tunic) also fell into the hand made and love wearing category, but these get less wear mainly because they are not stretchy and are therefore not massively comfortable for chasing around and bending down looking after children. I do still feel wonderful wearing them for special occasions.

RARELY WORN: Jasmine tops (x3); Liberty Tunic (another version of Lisette 2211 with Peter Pan collar added), skirts with flounces I no longer like, and my gorgeous polka dot silk maternity dress/tent (this will be refashioned)
The final (failure) category was made up of a variety of things - some that I had just leapt in without enough thought over fabric and had therefore sewn something that I don't love wearing; some that I have fallen out of love with the style; and, some that I think could be chopped up and made into something new. More of that clever and cunning plan in a future post (if I ever fulfil the plan, of course!).

But, back to the wardrobe, and the purpose of this post.

I am glad I bothered to empty my clothes all over the floor yesterday, because I think it has given me a bit more clarity over what I like and what I don't when it comes to my clothes. It has also given me a better sense of where the genuine gaps are, too. I have a bad habit of impulse buying some fabric on a whim, only to realise too late that I have made myself a garment that doesn't really go with anything else I wear, and therefore becomes redundant.

Some running needs to happen before these look decent!
I like stripes. I like stretchy clothing. I am confident the Coco is going to become a wardrobe staple for me. A firm favourite that will make me feel good when I put it on.

Well worn but faded
And this is where I'd like your help deciding. Tilly's blog is full of inspiration and useful advice, including where to buy fabrics for Coco. I have been looking. But, without breaking the bank and ordering all the ones I like, I need to make a choice. 

Fabric A
Fabric B

Fabric C
Fabric D
And the criteria (so I avoid making another thing that doesn't work with the wardrobe I have) is that it will be the dress version of Coco with green pockets, and will be worn with red shoes (and black leggings on cooler (for that read `haven't shaved my legs for quite a while') days.

Please can you comment - either below or on the Facebook or Twitter feed, and I'll hold off ordering until after the weekend when I have hopefully had a few replies and a firm favourite is coming through. I have a little treat I plan to gift to one lucky reader who comments - more about that in the next post (need to snap a picture first). Thanks, everyone - and feel free to comment away!


  1. I love C, a bold stripe that will go with everything. And, I also speak like Lola in my head, especially when someone is a meanie pegs :-)

    1. Sshhh! Don't tell anyone, but C is my favourite, too. Now I must resist the temptation to go ahead and buy it right now... thank you for commenting! :)

  2. C is definately the one. the contrast pockets will stand out well.

  3. C navy looks great with red shoes!

  4. I disagree, if I was to buy coco I would definitely choose stripe A. I love it!

    1. Ah... am beginning to be swayed. The A Team is fighting back! Perhaps it is better for spring/summer...? Decisions, decisions...

  5. I'd say C, considering the green pockets and red shoes x

  6. A for me, it is my favourite shade of blue :-)

  7. I think c as it's fab looking on its own and will be greatly enhanced by red shoes. Cool!!!!

  8. I like B as it is different from the traditional blue stripes. But I think, if you are going to put green pockets, they will look better with C.

  9. Sticking my neck out and saying D. All are lovely though.

  10. Fabric c will b a good contrast with Red.

  11. I'm on the A team too! I have been pondering a coco too - might be a bit mad but I LOVE the idea of the dress version in the fox fabric Tilly links to. And a more sensible stripy one too. Can't wait to see yours!

  12. A or C are lovely. A is maybe the most versatile, its a bit more blue than C and so will possibly work better with black leggings . The blue on blue is nice but won't go with as much and doesn't have the lovely nautical feel of the others. D maybe not so practical if crawling around after little ones :-)

  13. I like a better too will be watching with intrest for how easy you might find this to make as im a very newbie sewer yet love this dress and would love to wear it