Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Hello Coco!


Say bonjour to Coco, my new sewing pattern – and my first sewing pattern that’s available PRINTED as well as digital! Woop! Coco is available to order NOW in my shiny new shop. Let me tell you more about it…

Coco is an everyday top and dress with multiple variations, designed to be made in medium weight, low stretch knit fabrics (interlock knit, double knit, ponte di roma…). If you’re new to sewing with knit fabrics, then the Coco pattern is the PERFECT introduction. It can be sewn on a regular sewing machine – no overlocker or serger required. I’ll walk you through the whole process, with lots of tips and tricks for making sewing with knits simple.  The garment is easy to fit and there are no zips, buttons or other fiddly bits involved - just throw it over your head! The simplest version of the pattern only has three pieces, so the whole project is super duper speedy. Sound good? Good! Let’s talk about the design of the garment in a bit more detail...




I’d been dreaming about creating a sewing pattern for the perfect Breton top for ages. Wearable and stylish at the same time, Breton or "marinière" tops are my favourite things to wear in the world. Coco is a classic Breton design – easy-fitting (not too tight, not too loose), with turn-and-stitch boat neckline, and choice of three quarter or long sleeves. I added gentle shaping at the waist to make it more feminine and flattering side splits that skim over the hips. Stripes are totally optional of course – it also looks great in solids, polka dots, florals, graphic prints, quirky prints… But Coco isn’t only a top…



… there’s also the dress version! This mid-knee length tunic dress is so comfortable and easy to wear – snuggly over woolly tights in the winter, easy to throw on in spring, and great for strolling the Riviera this summer. Can I tell you something? This is my favourite dress EVER!!! It’s just so… gah! I love it!




And that’s not all! There’s also the option of adding a sixties style wide funnel roll neck and turned up cuffs – this is a style I’ve become a little obsessed with of late. Very Audrey, non? You can also add the funnel neck or cuffs to the dress. In fact, Coco is a seriously versatile pattern. I’m only showing three versions here, but basically you can make a wardrobe full of Cocos which all look different. The pattern also comes with two different size patch pockets which you can add or omit depending on your preference.


So that’s the garment design. Please can I tell you about the pattern format? I’ve thought long and hard about how to make my sewing patterns simple and enjoyable to use to everyone, including people who have never even seen a sewing pattern before, and you guys gave me some great ideas a little while back when I was at the research stage.


Remember the first time (and maybe even the last time) you looked at a sewing pattern, how perplexing it was to get your head around how the pieces would come together to create a piece of clothing? I’ve labelled the seam lines and markings on the pattern pieces to make it easy to picture how it all fits together. You are welcome.


The printed pattern comes on durable paper that you can use again and again without having to trace it off first. You can fold it back up again neatly when you’re done, without it scrunching up into a stupid ball like tissue patterns do (urgh), and slide it back into the gusset envelope. Gusset. (Good word.) This envelope is so roomy you could even keep fabric swatches in here.


The printed pattern is accompanied by a full colour guide with photos showing you every step. It’s seriously beautiful – like a mini book in itself! The guide includes a jargon buster, an introduction to sewing knits, and the steps are explained clearly, without assuming any prior knowledge. If you need any further help, I’ll also be writing some more detailed instructions online in a series of blog posts going up over the next few weeks, with loads of tips and tricks for sewing knit fabrics.

The printed pattern comes in a gorgeous package, with a fresh and modern design which I hope will appeal to a whole new wave of potential DIY dressmakers. The paper is FSC certified and printed using vegetable-based ink. Unusually, every element of the pattern was printed in the UK.


The pattern is also available in digital format as a PDF download to print at home (or at the office – ssshhh!). This is a great option if you are on a budget, if you want to avoid international shipping costs, or if want to make it NOW! The digital version of the guide is black and white text only to save on printer ink, and the pattern is tiled so you can print it off on A4 or US Letter paper and tape the pages together to form a full size pattern. Want to see the sewing steps in colour photos? No problem – I’ll be putting the tutorials online too over the next few weeks.

Due to popular demand, I'm pleased to announce that the pattern comes in eight sizes – that’s two extra sizes larger than my previous patterns! The full size chart is available to view in the shop, in both metric and imperial measurements, along with other details such as what fabric and supplies you need. Over the next few weeks I’ll be working on updating my other patterns, Miette and Mathilde, which are currently digital patterns, to have all the same features as Coco – including labelled seams, eight sizes and printed format option. Watch this space...

Coco is now available to buy in my new online shop!



Over the next three weeks, I’ll be posting the steps and lots of extra tips for sewing Coco:

Thurs 20 Feb 2014 – Design ideas
Fri 21 Feb – Choosing fabric and supplies
Mon 24 Feb – Choosing your size and adjusting the pattern
Wed 26 Feb – Tips for cutting knit fabric
Fri 28 Feb – Introduction to sewing knit fabric on a regular sewing machine
Mon 3 - Fri 7 March – Sewing Coco!

… plus some bonus posts after that on things like sewing stripes and customising your Coco. We can sew Coco together as a group sewalong, or you can refer to these posts whenever you’re ready as they’ll stay up on the Coco page permanently. And of course you can simply use the instructions in the booklet that accompanies the pattern if you want to be amongst the first to sew it up!

I’d LOVE to see what you make, so please leave a link to a photo either on the blog or tweet me using the hashtag #SewingCoco. I’ll pin these images to the Coco gallery on Pinterest and will feature some of them in future blog posts, so if you leave/send me a link I’ll take that as consent for me to share your pictures.




Well, I’m sitting here now, patterns and mailing supplies at the ready, waiting for your order so I can start playing shops. Roll up, roll up, get your Coco sewing pattern here!

101 comments:

  1. it's lovely! great work tilly. can't wait to see all the cocos popping up on the internets!

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  2. Gorgeous! The funnel neck option is inspired.

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  3. Congrats on the new shop and pattern Tilly. I love the whole design direction you're going in with the colours and everything: so modern and coherent. I can't wait to make a Breton Coco top!

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  4. I tried to resist, but the sixties funnel neck won me over (as well as the lovely envelope/booklet design!) and I just had to buy it! Congratulations on your first printed pattern!

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  5. Oh I just love it Tilly! Will definitely be ordering a copy x

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  6. J'adore!! Off to buy now and make a funnel neck.

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  7. I'm in love with the shape of the dress and that funnel neck. This will absolutely be a fab way to dive into knits. I'm purchasing it immediately!

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  8. OK, I'm sold. But . . . Do I need a zigzag stitch to make this? I'm currently learning to sew on my mom's vintage machine from the 60s, which hasn't got one; I've promised myself I'll make half a dozen things before I splurge on a new machine.

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    1. Zigzag stitch does help. It's not totally essential on this pattern as the neckline and hem are wide enough to get on without stretching the seam, but I would recommend zigzag stitch to be on the safe side.

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    2. I'm sad. I love my 60s Singer Featherweight (I learned on it decades ago, though I've forgotten almost everything, and they are apparently prized collectibles too!), but I am zigzag-less.

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  9. Lovely! I adore the elegance of your design! :D

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  10. Best pattern yet, Tilly! Funnel collar and cuffs? You're right - so Audrey. And I love how much thought and care you put into the printed version. Way to go!

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  11. Ooh the 60s one is divine with a big D! I love it :)

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  12. YAY! Such a cool pattern! We all needed more fun and wearable patterns for sewing with knits and here you go :) Congrats!

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  13. I've ordered my copy! Now I just need to find the perfect striped knit with which to make it. Any suggestions?

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    1. Yes, I'll post a list of suggested fabrics on Friday, so watch this space...

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    2. Ooh brilliant, I'll hang on until then :)

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  14. Lovely pattern Tilly. That's my March project for my friend sorted out, can't wait to get started!

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  15. Wow! It looks amazing! I will be ordering my copy too... Any chance of doing a paper version of Mathilde?

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    1. Yes indeedy, that's what I'm working on next!

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  16. Ooo! I love the funnel collar! How much is the shipping charge to the US? I tried to find out by pretending to order it but I'm up to the point where it wants my paypal deets and I'd like to know the US shipping charge first before proceeding.

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    1. Oh don't worry Kyle, the shipping costs are all listed here so you can see what you're paying before going through check out.

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  17. Wow, this is such an adorable pattern. I really love the retro style collar/neckline on your aqua version of the top. Really cute and wearable! I've just hopped to your shop and bought my printed copy --- can't WAIT to sew it up. :D

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  18. Love, love, love!!! Ah Tilly you do not disappoint! :)

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  19. Just ordered it!! It's a gorgeous pattern (the funnel collar - swoon!), and I am determined to conquer my fear of knits!

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  20. This is sooooo darling! Oh Tilly - you. have. out. done. yourself! I'm dying over the printed pattern format. So lovely to look at, so clear, so inspiring and so tempting. I love everything about this new pattern too. Oh its just lovely! LOVELY! Girl, this is fabulous! Hopping over to purchase my copy NOW!
    xx

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  21. Amazing work Tilly! It looks like a fantastic classic and versatile pattern and I really REALLY love the step by step photos!

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  22. This is perfect Tilly as I was JUUUST THINKING THIS MORNING about when you were going to release this pattern as I desperately need some knit dresses right now. Would love to whip up a bunch. One thought - it may be nice to include colour illustrations for us PDFers so we can print in B&W if we choose. I personally never print out instructions and just work from my screen so having full colour would be nice. Otherwise, congrats on the new pattern! The packaging and new shop look great!

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    1. Don't worry, the colour photos will be available in the online version of the instructions, going up over the next three weeks. So you can either print on B&W or look at the full colour version on screen.

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  23. Oh my goodness, Tilly... THAT COLLAR. I have had dreams of a wardrobe filled with funnel collared tops and dresses. Seriously, it's one of my favorite things ever. I am absolutely drooling over this pattern right now. Congrats on the new pattern, shop, book, everything! I can't wait to get my hands on this pattern and the updated Miette and Mathilde patterns and make oodles of them.

    xoxo, Alesha
    www.oldfashionedwhimsy.blogspot.com

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  24. Oh this is so wonderful! I have the purrrfect striped interlock fabric to use to make a Breton top - and I can't wait! I have a feeling it will also become my new favorite shirt :) Congrats on another great pattern!

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  25. Congratulations Tilly, Coco is a beautiful pattern. The funnel collar is so my thing. I paid silly money recently for a similar RTW top called Audrey, now I can make my own! Have some navy roma ponte in the post and have ordred a prited pattern.

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  26. LOVE LOVE LOVE the funnel neck tunic version!!!

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  27. Congratulations!!! It is a great pattern, I loved the 3rd view!! Just I need to but the pattern (of course) and buy a very nice fbric!

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  28. Oh Tilly, this is so great! I absolutely love the funnel detail. Wonderful job :)

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  29. Oh Tilly, this is so great! I absolutely love the funnel detail. Wonderful job :)

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  30. Love it! the funnel is beautiful!

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  31. Yay!!! this is a top I wear ALL THE TIME and yet never sew. So clearly I'll be making your version now! Love all the variations too! Congrats on your first printed pattern lady! I know how much work it is and am so happy for you!!! xoxo

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  32. *squeals excitedly and runs about the room in search of her credit card!*

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  33. I love everything about Coco. You've really nailed it with all 3 style variations. I want to make all of them. I'm really excited over your new range of paper patterns. The concept is brilliant, I can see a lot of thought went into this. If these patterns don't get the nation stitching I don't know what will.

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  34. I was so excited to see this today! It is printing as we speak :) I love love love the funnel neck option- it looks exactly like a Boden top that I have wanted to copy for a long time! And I have quite a few fabric options in my stash already that will be perfect. It looks like a really well thought out pattern, congrats! (oh, and the paper version looks lovely, if they were available locally I would totally buy one!)

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  35. This is my dream top!!!!! Thank you for designing it! xoxox!

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  36. Love it love it Tilly!!! The only thing that seems scary is the idea of changing the needle of the sewing machine, which I've never done. I bet It's the simplest thing ever but I'm still a novice at this..... Have preordered your book also, which hopefully will arrive as soon as I finish my Uni exams and then.... the machine will be burning!!!
    Congratulations!!!! Well done girl!!
    Pati xx

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    1. Hi Pati
      I've just taken my machine apart and given it a mini service. It is really easy a couple of screws and your there! Needles are even easier, just a couple of twists with a little key thing and its out!

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    2. Thanks Karen, i will definitely give it a go.... (scaryy!) and may check on You tube to see how it's done. x

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  37. Tres Awesome lady! I loved the one you wore when you were ironing out the kinks. Totally on my sewing wishlist! xxxx

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  38. wish i had this pattern for when i first began sewing!

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  39. This is my perfect top, I love it and whilst still very much a sewing beginner I have bought it. Thank you Tillyfor all your hard work x

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  40. Love it ... that's a must sew :)

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  41. Let's be honest. As soon as I heard you were developing a Breton dress pattern I wanted in. Now i've seen there is a funnel neck option I am double excited! Looking forward to the coming days, especially good places to buy stripy jersey. Congrats Tilly, looks like you have done a great job. Right, where's that credit card....

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  42. I have been looking everywhere for the ideal marinière top and you just went out and offered it to me on a silver platter. It would be rude and foolish to pass on this.. The dress version is also bananas: I honestly squeeled when I saw the flared hem!

    I also think it is great that you are making larger sizes!

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  43. Love it. It has gone to the top of my list of must-have patterns!

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  44. Tilly you are FaNtAsTiC!!! It looks a dream! I am looking forward to hearing fabric suggestions, I have no clue where to get knit fabric, having only bought cotton before. I am so happy for you, that you're livin' the dream baby :) xxx

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  45. Wow, it's really adorable Tilly! And, I love the colourful instruction booklet.

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  46. Yeyeyeyey! I'm loving the simple as pie patterns that are being released! So versatile!

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  47. Ordered! Can't wait to receive it and make the 60s style roll neck top. What's the fabric in the pics? I love the colour.

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  48. Love the funnel neck! It's lovely, well done!

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  49. Thank you so much for extending the sizes range. As a someone who didn't previously fall in your size range, it is very much appreciated.

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  50. Very cute! I've had Breton tops on the brain as well, and have putting them on pinterest. I'm about to make one with a 60s crushed boatneck. Really, they work on anyone. I'm eager to have a look at the pattern!

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  51. Oh Tilly, it's gorgeous! All of it! I am pregnant just now but can't wait to make this once the baby is born! I love Breton tops too, so see many of these on my future sewing plans!

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  52. Looks lovely Tilly! Congratulations on the new pattern.

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  53. YAY! Cannot wait for this little beauty to arrive, I have just ordered a pattern to be delivered :)

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  54. Congratulations. I ordered my printed copy as soon as I saw this. It looks like such a versatile top and dress. I also couldn't resist the printed pattern. I absolutely LOVE the printed instructions. They look so clear and detailed. A couple of weeks ago I finally took the plunge and made my very first knit item - a 3/4 sleeve t-shirt I drafted myself. It wasn't perfect, but it wasn't horrible. Not so scary after all!!! I'm now looking forward to making a few different staple Coco tops and dresses for summer.

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  55. I love the funnel neck and cuffs. And your hair looks gorgeous. btw!

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  56. Congratulations!!!! Coco looks lovely. I especially love the version with the funnel neck :)

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  57. love it! love the variations you have here, and what a great idea to mark the pattern pieces as you have. so thoughtful!

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  58. So cute! I love the dash of red with the stripes. I'm imagining that little pocket would be a great way to use up some Liberty scraps. And thank you for labeling the seams--how ingenious!

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  59. I love the teal with the big collar. It reminds me of Breakfast at Tiffanys.

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  60. OH a sort of "shift dress" in knit, how fabulous! Been waiting for something like this to appear on the market, all funny designs out there, I think designers have forgotten that the basics are always best and flattering. Thank you so much for your time and effort you have put into this gorgeous little number! Running to the shop!

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  61. Wow well done Tilly. The dress is beautiful and actually, the pattern instructions and envelope look so pretty I'm tempted to buy it just to put on display! x

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  62. Congratulations Tilly! It's every bit you, and every bit of everyone! YAY!

    Wishing you lots of clicks and downloads and sales, the overall style is just gorgeous! Also, GREAT idea for putting the tips of WHAT the seams are instead of having to second guess. AGAIN, you're there for the beginners! Will totally recommend this pattern! xoxoxo

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  63. Tilly, you've read my mind! I've been on a hunt for a funnel-neck knit. Thank you! Can't wait to sew this up.

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  64. Amazing! I got a terrifying looking overlocker for Christmas and this is the perfect pattern for me to practice on. Also seen some lovely pastel striped fabric that I'm drooling over that would be perfect. Think the idea of labeling the seams is a fantastic idea too! Now just to wait till pay day..

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  65. Hi Tilly, I've bought a paper copy of Coco - can't wait to make a whole wardrobe of Breton tops :-) I don't have any decent fabric shops where I live. Would it be possible to include some suggestions for UK online shops selling quality knit fabric please when you do the blog post about choosing fabric and supplies for Coco? Many thanks.

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    1. Yes definitely! Look out for the post on Friday...

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  66. Colour photo instructions! Yay! *hugs*
    I've been waiting for so long for someone to do this....it would have made such a difference when I was a absolute beginner at sewing to have clear colour photo's rather than grainy monocrome sketches which had you puzzling over if it was a fashion fabric shading or a lining shading. etc.

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  67. I have my pattern!! Wohoooooo!!!! Thank you Tilly! that is super quick delivery in the post!:)

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  68. Yay! I really can't wait to get mine!

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  69. Congratulations! I love the funnel neck and dress options on this; I'll be ordering shortly. Also, thanks for larger sizing, especially on the Miette. I have the pattern, but am outside the size range right now, thanks to a newborn. :) For those of us with the pattern, will there be an option to update when larger sizes are available?

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  70. Thank you for such a quick delivery. I'm a beginner and really excited about getting my teeth (or needles) into this as I think it will definitely become a wardrobe staple.

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  71. Tilly this is perfect! I've been obsessing over 60's style sheath dress made up in double knit AND with those fab little collars! Coco is next on my list, can't wait. Congratulations on your book and new pattern!

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  72. OMG. How did I know you'd make this up in navy and white with red or yellow accents? LOL. You're so predictable!

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  73. I bought my fabric in the mornig and I JUST bought the pdf pattern!!

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  74. Hi Tilly! I just found your blog and I love this pattern! The funnel collar and rolled cuffs is my favorite. Is it possible to make the dress version longer? I'd definitely make the top, but I'm one to wear my dresses more knee length. I'll be adding this to my sewing pattern wish list!

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  75. Adorable! I wonder - do you list ease? Just that my butt is the next size up from bust and waist on your list of measurements - would I need to grade? And if so, is it simple?

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  76. I am so excited to give this a go as soon as I have got my sewing machine back (its currently at the repairers) and I've finished my current project! I have a complete obsession with all things striped, and like you in your inspiration post, regularly lust after half the Boden catalogue. I'm excited to try and make my own! I love that you can do the funnel neck version or the dress as well, and I like the way it flares a little at the bottom- I hate it when you have a beautiful Breton but its really boxy and makes my boobs look all lumpy. Very excited for your book launch now if this is a sign of things to come!

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  77. I didn't get to see this post last week but wanted to say how great Coco looks! The pattern itself looks really useful but I also love the look of the printed pattern (polka dots!), the labelling on the pattern itself, the gusset envelope...all of this makes it clear how much time and consideration has gone into the process. It just seems really smart.
    Can't wait to sew it up!

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  78. I love this pattern and already made one. I don't have a Twitter account to send the pictures. But here is a link to the blog post.
    http://sewlongcowgirl.blogspot.com/2014/02/coco-dress-by-tilly-and-buttons.html

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  79. Congratulations! It's adorable. :)

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  80. I made up my first Coco in a patterned floral ponte. Dress with cuffs this time. Which version to try next! http://englishgirlathome.com/2014/03/04/floral-coco-dress/

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  81. Made and love!

    http://griffinfoodandsewing.wordpress.com/2014/04/06/my-coco/

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  82. Hi,

    I bought the downloadable version and not all the cutting lines have printed out. Is this normal?? I need to use some of the sizes that aren't printing

    Thanks

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    1. Oh no, no that's not normal at all! So sorry to hear that. Email me if you're still having the problem and I'll see if I can figure out what's going wrong...

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    2. I downloaded it at work and printed it there..... Seems to have worked (and it's free!) :)

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