10 March 2014

Make It Your Own: Contrast Yoke Coco Variation

Meet my new favourite dress!

Breton tops and dresses with a striped bodice and contrast colour yoke and sleeves (or shoulders) seem to be all over the shops at the moment. And with good reason - they're absolutely gorgeous! Inspired by what I've seen all over Pinterest, and in an effort to use up the small amount of lovely striped fabric left over from my Nautical Dress, I thought I'd make a contrast yoke Coco dress... and show you how to make one yourself with a cheeky bit of pattern hacking.

You can make the yoke and sleeves - or just the yoke - in a contrast colour, or how about playing around with contrast prints too? Boden has some really cute striped tops with polka dot yokes... mmm... stripes and polka dots... Whatever your design, it's a good idea to pick fabrics that feel similar to each other in terms of thickness and stretchability.

You will need:
  • Coco sewing pattern
  • Large paper, pencil and ruler
  • Two different fabrics
  • Other Coco supplies as listed with the pattern (fabric, thread, sewing machine etc)
How to make the Contrast Yoke Coco:

1) On the Front Bodice piece of the Coco sewing pattern, draw a horizontal line, perpendicular to the grainline arrow, where you want the yoke seam line to be. I positioned mine about an inch above the bottom of the armhole. Add in a notch line about half way along this line - a small marking that will help us later when it comes to pinning the yoke and bodice together. Repeat on the Back Bodice piece if you want the contrast yoke on the back of your Coco too.

2) Trace off the Yoke and the Bodice pieces in your size lines on separate pieces of paper. (To trace, you can either lay semi-translucent paper over the pattern; or you can put a new piece of paper underneath the pattern, run a tracing wheel over the lines, and then go over the indentations the tracing wheel made on the new piece of paper with a pencil.)

Label the pieces so you'll remember what they are when you find them again in your pattern pile (eg. "Contrast Yoke Coco, Front Bodice, Size 3 etc"). Add in the notch lines and grainline arrows.

We need to add seam allowance to the seam lines that join the yoke and bodice. Draw a line 15mm (5/8 in) below the bottom edge of the Yoke piece(s) and join it up with the rest of the outline. Draw a line 15mm (5/8 in) above the top edge of the Bodice piece(s) and join it up with the rest of the outline. Move the notch lines so they are on the new lines you've just drawn.

3) Cut out your fabric, cutting the Front and Back Bodice pieces in one fabric and the Yoke and Sleeves in the contrast fabric. When it comes to sewing Coco together, begin by pinning the Front Yoke to the Front Bodice, with the right sides together, matching up the notches. Stitch and press the seam to one side. Repeat on the Back Yoke and Back Bodice if you're making them contrast too. Then follow the rest of the steps in the Coco sewing guide to complete the garment.

Lovely stuff! See y'all at the Coco Party!


  1. Oh my that looks fan - love a good colour pop :) I might have to buy this pattern - it looks just too darn delicious!

  2. Very cute option, and it reduces amount of eye-crossing matching of stripes.

  3. Oh wowsers!
    That looks amazing. Just ordered some mad printed retro fabric and some plain cream today. I was thinking of doing contrasting cuffs and a hem. Would the concept be the same as your pattern hack?

  4. This one is the best of all your Coco's! The contrasting yoke really goes well with the simple cut of the dress and makes it look really chic! Love your Breton fabric!

  5. This is soo cute and my favourite Coco so far.

  6. Sooooooo cute!

  7. It looks a lot more beautiful with the contrast.

  8. Just finishing off a version of Coco very like that. It definitely relieves the stripy effect - nearly passed out with dizziness cutting my black & white stripe fabric. Thought it might be overkill to have it all stripy. Love the pattern.

  9. Very pretty! love tha use of those colors

  10. It's just too cute. All right, I surrender. I've put in my pattern order so I can make a coco for myself.

  11. This variation has persuaded me I need to make a Coco!

  12. That's awesome! My absolute favorite coco yet!

  13. Oh you look so cute in this. Love it.

  14. You are such a clever girlie Miss Tilly :) A simple change but sooooo effective. Loving the Coco <3

  15. Yesterday I received your Coco pattern. Well done Tilly!
    Enthousiasticly I entered a big fabric store and made some mistakes.
    Everyone be warned, never enter a fabric store when you are thirsty or hungry and in a hurry!
    I picked the wrong fabric, way to stretchy and not exactly the colour I was searching for.
    But as my husband said, It's not wasted - someday the right project for this fabric will come. So my stash is growing bigger...
    So today after work I will give it another try....... wish me luck........

  16. I've just finished my first Coco with contrast yoke, I'ts come out a little star trek but I really love it - thanks for the great pattern https://isthathomemade.wordpress.com/2015/02/08/coco-the-star-trek-version/

  17. This is a wonderful idea! Makes the dress much more interesting.

  18. I would like to add some darts to make the dress a little more fitted, any suggestions?


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