First Coco dress

Although I’ve made quite a few Tilly and the Buttons  Coco tops (here, and here), and some scarves refashioned into Cocos – here and here, I hadn’t made the dress. I don’t know why. I have been inspired to do so by Jean of Sew Jean Margaret, whose latest dress blew me away with the chevron stripes, and sent me immediately to my stash.

For some reason I eschewed all the knit fabric in my stash and went to this cotton sateen with the tiniest smidge of spandex which I thought would have enough stretch to be suitable.


I cut it out in a hurry prior to leaving for Melbourne and clean forgot to do a sway back adjustment, only remembering as I sat on the plane thinking about my plans for the dress.

Sure enough, I have wrinkles around the back. Jean even mentioned sway back adjustments in her blog, so I have no excuse.


The wrinkles are hidden by the belt. I decided to make one using a vintage buckle from Buttonmania in Melbourne, from the ’70s I think, and some of the elastic I bought in Hong Kong. I used the black embossed elastic which is actually shaped with the top side tighter than the bottom. I confess I didn’t notice this until I came to make the belt, but it’s nice. I didn’t make it too tight as I wanted it to sit down my waist and not hitch the dress up further. I thought I had achieved my aim until I saw the photos, whereupon I decided I needed to tighten the belt.


I bought this fabric as a remnant from Flash Fabrics in Hobart, and did have the presence of mind to make the dress longer, but wanted some short sleeves so couldn’t go quite as long as I would have wished. This dress is a bit of a compromise. Sadly I had to ditch the pockets. The Coco pockets would have broken up the pattern too much, and in-seam pockets were too bulky despite my best efforts. Now I see the dress without the belt, I think I prefer it and will put up with the sway back wrinkles.DSC01251

I really like the fabric and I like the shape of the Coco. I had to make a false hem using some wide satin bias binding from my mother’s stash, and I decided to change the way the neck was sewn using bias strips of the fashion fabric and hand stitching in the ditch to secure it.

I hadn’t planned on making this a work dress, but have worn it to work. It is a trifle short but I don’t think it’s too inappropriate.


The details: Pattern is Coco from Tilly and the Buttons. Fabric is cotton sateen from Flash Fabrics. Belt is from black elastic with a vintage orange buckle from Buttonmania, Melbourne. Shoes are Stilmoda from Soletta in Mt Hawthorn. Location is Kings Park, Perth.


9 thoughts on “First Coco dress

  1. How nice to gorge myself on your genius, Sue! It’s been a while since I’ve read blogs, an it’s just delightful to catch up! Now off to Tilly’s to MAYBE do some purchasing…

  2. I knew this would look lovely on you Sue. I hadn’t thought of using a stretch cotton sateen, but it looks like this has worked beautifully. Something I might have to copy. Glad I was able to inspire someone.

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