Recently the good folks at Sew Essential were good enough to get in touch with me and see if I'd like to do a lil review of their website and fabrics! And well Momma didn't raise no fool so I pretty much tripped over myself to say yes!
I must have spent a good hour pursuing their website and that was without looking at their wool! I did however spend a good 15 minutes trying to convince Rikki that £529.00 for this Janome machine is in fact completely reasonable, and yes I do want one, I promise I'll be good!
Anyway after much deliberating I chose the Coco Dress pattern by Tilly and the Buttons. It's a pattern I've been wanting for a while but haven't gotten around to getting.
And being that this was my first foray into this sort of proper jersey sewing , Lucy was kind enough to recommend me some fabric [this is a huge thing for me, if a shop owner can't give me a personal recommendation I'm not interested because chances are they don't know about their stock or care about their customer!].
Anyway she recommended some Roanne jersey that they carry, which comes in some of the most beautiful rich colours I have ever seen. The Roanne jersey is a "medium weight viscose nylon elastane jersey" which I'll roughly translate for you as: a lovely drapey fabric, with good weight, that's softer than a babies bum. I opted for the Amethyst colour with Kingfisher [teal] pockets. Sensible but with a pop of colour! I'm eyeing up a black and red version next!
The pattern comes printed on thick paper, in an expandable envelope so you can fit your traced pattern pieces in as well. The pattern is only printed on one side so technically you could cut it......but! the paper its printed on is such lovely quality that I'm not sure you'd want to. Plus with the simplest version only having three pattern pieces it's not exactly a beast to trace.
Its a simple shape with an aline skirt, and no darts. I cut a size four, but I think I could have gone down a size as I took this version in about 1 inch on each side.
Naturally I gave it a prewash and I'm pleased to report that their was no colour running, no bobbling and no shrinkage. In fact it came out of the washer pretty much as it went in. And it didn't need ironing! Can we hear a hallelujah ?
It didn't shift too much during cutting but I made sure to line up the fabric correctly and put lots of pins in. And I cut it out on the floor because you should never cut jersey fabric if its hanging off a table because it stretches and you can end up with pieces that are too short. That's basically a top tip guys!
I pretty much stuck to the instructions provided with the pattern, I used a zig zag stitch and my walking foot. Mainly because the walking foot helps with the feed of the fabric. To be honest though my walking foot was already on my machine because I use it for EVERYTHING! Velvet, leather, quilting, shifty fabrics and now jersey!
The instructions are very clear and explain everything from stay stitching to stabilising the shoulders clearly.
I finished my seams with a second row of stitching to keep things neat but this jersey doesn't fray so that was more for peace of mind rather than necessity. [Nobody wants to find a popped seam when they are out at Asda]
I used a Ballpoint needle for my main seams and a Twin needle for all my top stitching on the neckline, arms, hem and pockets! The twin needle isn't necessary but it gives a really professional finish , just like you'd get in the shops!
I've been wearing this belted because well I'm not bloated at the moment? Yeah my wardrobe very often depends on how bloated my stomach is [gluten I'm looking at you] Luckily I was not feeling the bloat and could define my waist without people asking how far gone I am!
Here's the top stitching detail on the pocket.
And how the top stitching looks on the inside and on the outside of the hem! By the way if your machine doesn't have two thread spools for your twin needle you can just just pop one of your spools into a glass or mug! or you can get super crafty and tape a chopstick to the side of your machine as a crude second spool holder [Plus it justifies all those chopsticks you have in the drawer from your Chinese takeaway.]
So do I think it was a success?
Yes the fit isn't quite what I would have liked but I think it will still work belted and its nice and practical for the school run.
I'm really pleased with the twin top stitching and with how the fabric behaved during sewing!
I'm also chuffed to bits with the pockets! Which I eyeballed! Measuring is for wusses!
To say I made this in an evening, from 7.00pm till 9.30pm I'm really pleased! and that evening included tracing, cutting, having my tea, and fielding two phone calls!
I'm also in love with how it feels on is basically secret pyjamas!
So yes I'm now a fully converted member of the Coco club! and I can't wait to make my next one!!!
Disclaimer: Although Sew Essential sent me the pattern and fabric for free all the love and opinions are my own! I would never provide reviews for products I would not use or do not like, as a teacher once told me I am honest to a fault!