FINISHED! Ocean scallop lace Coco

Completely unexpectedly, here is my second finished Coco. This time the dress.
Last week I started a muslin of a pair of Colette Clovers, but after sewing the muslin went a bit blah about the project and put them aside.  I then cut out another Kanerva, but didn't have the right thread to start sewing up so on Friday,  so thought I'd cut out the fabric for another Coco.
I bought 1.2m of this slightly stretchy knit from Tessuti when I was there in January (It's called Ocean scallop lace and is 4% elast & 96% polyamide). When I bought it I thought it might make fun leggings and even bought the Megan Nielson leggings pattern to make them up.. but then got cold feet (or legs) and never went through with it.
On Friday it seemed right to cut this fabric as a Coco. My first Coco is quite fitted so this time for a dress version I cut straight down the side, omitting the slight tapering that happens as I was looking for a slightly more 'swinging' version. I didn't quite have enough fabric so cut the sleeves cross grain (?) which turned out perfectly as I used the selvedge omitting the need for a hem.
Before I knew it, the dress was cut and I was overlocking the seams.  With my first Coco, I sewed then overlocked for neatening, but with this one I went straight to overlocking.  This always causes me a bit of a problem with the sizing as I always find it hard to overlock at big seam widths.  I need to get out the manual and read this bit again. I admit to running down the sides quite a few times until I was happy with the fit across the shoulders.  My first one fit so perfectly that it was weird to try this one and find it so big across the shoulders. It is still not perfect with a bit of excess but not a huge deal.  A product of a different fabric weight as well as no funnel neck perhaps.
By the time the sides were sewn up I knew I wanted to wear this dress to a party we were going to on Saturday afternoon.  After all I only had the neckline and hem to do.  Now Saturday mornings are extremely busy so this probably wasn't the best idea but my mind was made up.  The clock was ticking. I put out a call on instagram to Kelly and others as to how to hem as I don't love knits. Lots of suggestions were to just cut the scalloped edge, but given the weight and content of this fabric, I was worried about it rolling or fraying and Kelly suggested heming with bias tape.
I popped down to Addicted to Fabric during Oliver's piano lesson and they convinced me to use elastic in the neck and as a hemming tape. It was genius. I probably could have stretched it a bit more at the neck for an even flatter result, but I like how it makes the neck sit really flat and I like the weight it gives to the hem.
The only thing I regret was that I originally sewed the neckline and hem using a zigzag stitch. I hate this stitch. I tried to convince myself that no one would notice it but couldn't. So after finishing it and dropping Oliver to a birthday party, drove with purpose home to unpick it and use my twin needle.  Do you know how hard it was to unpick this!? Mmm, so unpicking finally finished I loaded up the twin needle but didn't change the stitch (because let's face it, now it was almost time to be leaving for the party and I was a bit panicky) and immediately broke the needle as the machine tried to do a zigzag.  #$%!  No spares.  Urgh. So single stitch it was around the neck as I faced the reality that going out to get another needle would be unsafe!
The hem remains zigzagged and will forever because let's face it, no one is going to notice that part of the dress. I took these photos Sunday morning, recreating my look from Saturday afternoon. I really love the long socks with ankle boots look.. could be my Autumn style.  I really like this look on me and think with the right fabric there might be another Coco in my life.

FINISHED! A Lounging Liberty Kimono

I have been wanting a kimono to lounge about in for ages.  I’m one of those people that loves nothing better than to change into pyjamas at the end of the day and then potter around in them for the rest of the evening.
I have had the Liberty Book of home Sewing for a while and have had the kimono book marked but haven't got around to it until now.

I've also had the Liberty Fabric Growing Fonder from the AW13 Liberty Art Fabrics collection,  in my stash for a little while as well.  My love of the fabrics by Mo Coppoletta is well documented, having sewn with Joy and Sorrow and Daydream.

Growing Fonder explores and re-interprets the famous Liberty peacock feather, it was the first design Mo created for Liberty, so he wanted to adapt a subject that defined Liberty at a glance. Mo feels Liberty epitomises English style, rooting itself in its turn of the century heritage.

Growing Fonder was also the first Mo designed fabric that I bought and it is an intricate and beautiful print that I couldn’t resist, but there was something about the colour scheme and the ombre effect that rendered it difficult for me to make into a garment.  Mrs Pomeranz had no such trouble and has made a gorgeous dress for sale on her website.

We are going on holidays in a couple of weeks so I decided that the time was right to make the kimono as I have a lot of lounging planned and decided that this would be a good use of the Growing Fonder fabric. I wanted a contrasting fabric for the binding, just as in the book.  I went to Addicted to Fabric as they have a good selection of Liberty there so I thought I’d be able to find something. It was hard though. Harder than I thought it would be to find something within their range of Liberty that also suited the aesthetic I was trying to create. I think I found it though with the Torsten B. A pattern from the SS14 Gallery of Prints collection by Liberty Art Fabrics.
Inspired by the unique structure of retro fabric and the optical shapes found within them, the Torsten fabric design represents Liberty’s eclectic Men’s Designer Collections Department. 

The Basement fabric story celebrates Liberty’s eclectic Men’s Floor. Each design pays homage to a different area or department, taking on the intrinsic mood of each individual space.


I looked at it when I was at Addicted to Fabric with my sewing friends a couple of weeks ago, but then went back to get it on Friday after turning it over in my mind for the whole week.

It is a masculine print, but I think it has a bit of an art deco feel when combined with Growing Fonder and works better than you would expect by just holding it up against the fabric.
The pattern is straight forward, although you have to draft it as the book doesn't come with patterns. I added side seam pockets and omitted the belt straps because I didn't need them.  I couldn't perfectly match on the sides because I only had 2 metres of fabric. In the end I don't mind as the peacocks match, just not perfectly on colour.

I machine attached one side of the 'binding' and then hand stitched it to the opposite side. My stitching in the ditch is always a bit rubbish and on the weekend we had a 6 hour drive to some family events so I utilised the time to hand stitch in the car.

Oh how I love this make. It is already getting nightly wear!
 

FINISHED! Baby Cords

Nothing much to see sewing wise around these parts at the moment, except these baby pants. 
Last week I had to quickly put together a new baby present so turned to the new Oliver + S Lullaby Layette pattern. I know I really should have done the jacket as well.. it's super cute, but I was a bit lazy and instead I just made up the pants in left over cord from my Rigel Bomber and bought a little pink cardigan to go with it.  A pair of soft cord pants are a must for a little baby!

It's a cute little pattern with nice little pockets on the back. I promise I did hem these evenly, despite the photo! Even though this is a simple pattern it comes with thorough instructions.  I like instructions that make me a better sewer and Oliver + S patterns definitely do that.

If I have to make any more baby presents I might try the other options in the release.  I feel like my natural instinct now is to try and make a baby present, maybe supplemented with something bought.  Presents can be a quick, in between project, while I think about what to make next.

P.S. It's lucky I only have boys because I would so be wearing coordinating outfits with a little girl!