Monday, July 31, 2017

Pattern Review: Ribbons and Stripes Coco dress Hack

Are you ready for another Anthropologie knock off? It is no wonder that Anthropologie is so successful! They have positioned themselves as an avant-gardist of eclectic and original fashion. 

I draw a lot of my inspiration from their store and particularly love their selection of striped clothing. 
I discovered this beautiful striped dress by designer Maeve a few months ago! It was love at first sight!

This dress had two of my favorite features: stripes and grommets! I've been infatuated with grommets and eyelets lately.

I knew I could to make my own for a fraction of the Anthropologie version's cost ($168). I already had a black and white St-James ponte knit fabric in my stash and all I needed to purchase was some ribbon and large grommets, all of which cost me about $30 at Joann's.

As for the pattern, I used the popular Coco dress by Tilly and the Buttons. I've had that pattern for ages and probably am the last person on earth who hasn't sewn it. Well, it's never too late to jump on the bandwagon! Besides, it was the perfect choice for the Anthro dress with the A-line shape and the boat neckline.

The dress itself would take no more than a few hours to sew from start to finish but mine took a bit longer to complete because of the special design features I was adding. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen the construction steps in my stories. 

I haven't really been able to go to the store and check how they constructed the sleeves opening for the grommets placement but I was able to come up with my own idea of construction.

 Sleeve pattern cut in half lengthwise with 1.5-inch seam allowance. Determine the length of your placket.

Apply interfacing to the seam allowances and sew the middle seam up the top of the placket and trim. The interfacing stabilizes the grommets placket to avoid fabric distortion.

 Press the seam allowances open.

Fold the placket facing backward over a piece of ribbon the length of your placket and stitch. 

Trim and turn to the right side.

Pin ribbon to the right side of the placket. 

And carefully topstitch.

Make holes to set grommets in and proceed with the rest of the steps for the Coco dress. In retrospect, I should have hemmed the sleeves before setting the grommets in. It was a real pain to coverstitch once the grommets were in. Lesson learned!

Now, the sleeves are ready to be sewn in.

Another step I did differently from the pattern instructions was to draft a facing for the boat neckline and topstitch it down. I also drafted the back facing a bit longer than the front one just like the inspiration dress. I saw this method in the Japanese sewing book: She Wears the Pants, and decided to give it a try. I will definitely use it more in the future.

I noticed some pooling where the sleeves are attached to the bodice after the pictures were taken. I wonder why I didn't notice it when I tried it on after the dress was done. Blame it on the excitement for completing another knock off! I think I will need to take the armholes in a bit more to eliminate the pooling. Hopefully, that's an easy fix!

I really love this dress! It's an interesting take on sleeves. And it fits right into the Year of the Sleeve that's been celebrated on Instagram!
The Coco dress pattern is also a winner! I will definitely make it again!

Until next time! 


  1. super cute, another win from the Queen of stripes!

  2. This is such a cute dress and so impressive on the sleeve design

    1. Thanks Lori!!! The sleeves do make this dress!

  3. I'm convinced that a striped dress is your trademark! This one is so cute too!

  4. So cute. I should really look at their web site for inspiration

  5. Love your dress - fabulous! The sleeves are wonderful and add interest to the dress. Thanks for sharing how you adding that design detail to the sleeves.

  6. Those sleeves are fantastic, the dress is beautiful!!