8 July 2014

A Summery Short Sleeved Coco Hack

I know I say this every time, but I think this is my favourite thing I've ever made.

It is, bien sûr, the Coco sewing pattern, this time with both a contrast yoke and short sleeves. You may recognise the fabrics - the yoke and sleeves are made from leftover fabric from my turquoise funnel neck Coco top, the bodice and pockets are from the striped dress with yellow pockets, both of which feature on the Coco pattern cover. Just like my Sixties Stripe Coco top, I decided to position the pockets so the stripes are vertical - I love how the contrast directional stripes look together (was that a sentence?).

If you want to make your own Coco dresses and tops for Summer, it's super easy to shorten the sleeve pattern.

First, decide how long you want the sleeves - you can measure down an existing top, from the armpit to where you want the sleeve hem to fall, then add 3.5cm (1 3/8in) to account for the seam allowance and hem allowance. (My short sleeves are 15cm [6in] long, including seam and hem allowance.) Using a tape measure standing on its side, measure down both underarm seam lines on the Coco sleeve pattern (on the lines corresponding to your pattern size) and mark the length of your sleeve. Standing the tape measure on its side, rather than laying it flat, will allow you to bend it to measure the curved line more accurately.

Using a pattern master, set square or similar tool with a 90 degree angle, draw a short line, about 1.5 - 2cm (5/8 - 6/8in), at right angles from each of these markings.

Then, using a curved ruler (or a gentle hand), draw a very very slight curve for a few cm up and away from these lines, and connect up the curved lines with a straight line. You should end up with a smooth, very slight concave curve, with the ends at right angles to the underarm seam lines. The reason you want this shape rather than a simple straight line is that the ends of the line need square corners so that, when you sew the underarm seam, they match up nicely without any weird angles in the seam allowance.

And that's it! Cut out your sleeves using your new pattern and sew them to the bodice as normal.

Hmm... now I'm thinking about making another one...