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Friday, 14 August 2015

The pattern that changed my life

This month, I'm having a little dabble in Rachel's #sewphotohop on Instagram.

My favourite Coco.
I will weap (and hopefully find fabric to make another) when this top eventually dies a death...
It's working out to be a fun way of connecting with some of the other sewists out there, get a bit inspired, marvel at how different we are and yet how much we have in common, and, to be reminded once again how utterly lovely the online sewing community is.

Another favourite, usually worn with my red skinny jeans.
The fabric for both tops came from Kitschycoo.
One theme last week got me thinking - the pattern that changed my life. Hum... What would it be, I wondered? There have been so many things I have loved making, for different reasons. Could it be the coat I made earlier in the year - this was a big challenge and marked a big leap up in new sewing skills learned as a result. Or, how about my most recent make, the Lilou dress - which, made me realise how sewing could not only open up the possibility of gorgeous dresses at an affordable price, but, that upon wearing it, how flattering and good it made me feel, and how surprisingly comfortable it was for everyday wear.

Damn. That was another Kitschycoo fabric I couldn't resist in a late night fabric shopping spree (and no, this post is not sponsored!)
Then, I remembered. There was an obvious choice to be had - the Coco, of course.  Tilly's ever popular pattern marked a turning point for my own wardrobe, in that, for the first time, I realised I could sew the kind of clothes I wanted to wear every day. There was a real buzz amongst the online sewing community when this pattern was released - I totally got sucked into it, and before I knew it, I'd made several Cocos, both the tunic and the breton top style. At the last count, I have enough for a different Coco for each day of the week. The tops are perfect for wearing with jeans, and we all know that the dress just feels like you are wearing a nightie, right?

Sunshine Coco - made with Roma Pont from Guthrie Ghani, and, has my all time favourite sewing thing, Jumbo Ric Rac.
This version below is the only one where I stuck to classic breton stripes, and er, as some will spot, I quite blatantly took inspiration from Tilly's own mustard coloured pockets to add a bit of colour. Not one bit sorry.

As far as the sewing goes, this pattern was the one that made me realise that DIY clothing from jersey was achieveable. Using my normal sewing machine fitted with a ball point needle (and a twin needle if I felt like going all out on the professional looking stakes with some double stitched hems), it became possible to make an entire garment from start to finish in just a matter of hours. Hurrah to that!

When it comes to my the sewing courses I teach from my home in Bedford, I only ever choose things that I like to make myself. It won't come as a surprise, then, that when I sat down to plan out courses for the coming term, the Coco was high on my list. How could it not be? And, well... I may just need to make a new one as a sample...

There will be five places up for grabs on this course. Although the pattern is beginner friendly as a first adventure into garment making, I'd strongly recommend you have some sewing experience under your belt beforehand. This course is ideal for those who have been on my Complete Beginners' Course, and want to branch out into DIY wardrobe fun.

Alongside the Coco, I'll be bringing back the ever popular Complete Beginners' Course, and, running a second Megan dress-making course, after the success of the first one back in the spring.

Whether you're brand new to sewing, or, want to brush up and challenge yourself to start making clothing, there's hopefully something that might tempt you to join me this autumn. There'll be plenty of tea and yummy homemade cake, as usual.

Oh. And did I mention Liberty Knicker Making Workshops that will be popping up on a couple of Friday nights? How could I forget.

All the course and workshop date are here should you fancy booking yourself onto something nice to do when the nights are drawing in a bit.

Happy weekend, everyone!


  1. Gosh, sounds like you have a busy autumn. Fun to see all of your gorgeous Cocos together... and your description of like wearing a nightie may have just sold it to me! Happy summer

  2. All your Cocos are great. Looking g forward to seeing your next one!