Coco – Tilly and the Buttons

A review of Tilly and the Buttons Coco Top and Dress

Reviewed by sewandstylelou on 8th January, 2018

Tilly’s patterns are lovely but not generally my style. However, seeing their specially made knit fabric on instagram, and getting to feel it’s insane softness it at GBSB Live, I couldn’t resist buying some to run up a Coco. I love the classic elegance of a Breton tee, and the top version of Coco would definitely do the job. I decided to forego the pocket, as for me it’s a bit of unnecessary, difficult sewing for no practical gain.

I quickly set to sewing after Boxing Day, and was able to run myself up a Coco top in a couple of hours. It really is a quick and easy sew, and the pattern and instructions were great. Indie patterns have the monopoly over the big four here – photo patterns are so much easier to follow.

As someone who only recently acquired an overlocker, it was pleasing to see the instructions were written for sewing the garment on a regular machine. However, as a new overlocker user it would have been good to have some notes on the pattern to help with this. Sew Over It do this well, suggesting either overlocking or using a zig zag stitch to prepare pieces at certain points. I made the mistake of overlocking some of the seams together after sewing, which made them a tad bulky. Next time I’ll just prep the pieces by overlocking them before I sew.
The only challenges for me as a sewist were pattern matching the stripes,and sewing the hem. The former I managed well at the side seams and on one of the sleeves, but the latter was stretched a little. I still have some upskilling to do when it comes to sewing knits. But it’s a journey and at least I’m headed in the right direction!

I made a size 2 and I really like the fit – it has a fair amount of ease, but I think that gives it a nice relaxed fit and feel. The day after I made it I wore it shopping for new jeans, as I couldn’t wait to wear it and suspected it might become my go to weekend look.

However, I made a bit of an error. I don’t generally pre-wash fabric (I know, I know) and when I washed it…it shrank a little. Not by any means disastrously – it’s just more tight fitting now which is fine, and I preferred the more relaxed fit. Thank the sewing gods it is still wearable, and lesson learnt.

I will definitely make the Coco top again. I don’t sew a lot of basics, and this is a really nice elegant one,that’s a sinch to sew. Also, one of my sewing buddies Emma wore the dress version to our latest sewing day and it looked totally different in a thinner knit with a belt. I’m definitely tempted to make a similar dress version. Emma advised making the dress version a size smaller to get a better fit, and I think she’s spot on – then, it will fit more snuggly like my shrunken version of the top!