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 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, there are more detailed instructions online, 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 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.

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.

Coco is now available to buy in my online shop!

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!