A post by Ruth
The challenge: Coco by Tilly and the Buttons
The fabric: Spot French Terry Jersey in Grey Marl
A leisurely weekday afternoon. The sewing machine buzzes merrily; the baby slumbers peacefully. I sip tea, listen to classical music, and munch large bits of cake to reward myself for being so totally brilliant at sewing.
This is how I imagined the sewing of my second ever garment to be.
2pm, Wednesday, early March: Hurrah the baby is asleep! Put on radio. Make cup of tea. Fetch pattern from drawer. Baby wakes up. Pattern goes back in draw and tea goes cold.
1.30pm the following day: Hurrah the baby is asleep! Make whole pot of tea (I’m in this for the long-haul). Successfully iron fabric without burning myself or fabric. Get pins and fabric scissors out.
Baby wakes up.
Refold fabric. Put pins and scissors away. Pot of tea goes cold and is later knocked over by a 4-yr-old pretending to be a shark.
8pm the next day: Order husband not to disturb me under any circumstances bar life-threatening ones. Cut pattern pieces to my size while being delighted this pattern is actual proper paper rather than faffy, wafty tissue.
8.16pm: Husband knocks on door. Can’t smell fire or feel earthquake. Am furious.
Our Deliveroo has arrived. Am delighted. Stuff face with curry and pass out in front of Netflix.
For the next few days continually move pattern pieces around house to avoid the grubby hands of supremely interested 4-year-old.
7pm, Sunday, mid-March: Children asleep. Both of them! Pin pattern to fabric and cut out pieces at speed of light. Very satisfying fabric to cut. I’d read that sewing with jersey can be tricky, but am at least finding the cutting stage enjoyable!
7.30pm: Clear up bucket-load of sick, and comfort red-hot infant till gone midnight.
For the next week totally forget about sewing amid haze of sleep deprivation and germ-infested children.
10am, Monday, late March: I MUST SEW! I MUST! Get out sewing machine and thread. Do the twizzly get-thread-on-bobbin bit, thread the needle and pop in bobbin. Go to pick up bobbin thread with needle. Nothing comes through. Try again. Nothing comes through. Swear. Try roughly seventy thousand more times. Baby wails. Want to cry.
Over the next few weeks have numerous unsuccessful attempts to get the bastard sewing machine to pick up the bastard bobbin thread.
Mid-April: Friend comes over, listens to me rant about my terrible bastard machine, holds thread out to the side at an evasoslightly different angle than I’d been doing, and picks up bobbin thread instantly.
12pm next day: Sit down at machine and sew entire top in under an hour.
Put top on.
It genuinely looks awesome.
Spend rest of day feeling as if I’ve completed a degree in textiles / won Ru Paul’s Drag Race.
Despite the fates (and my own stupidity) colluding against me, I made a lovely top! It’s soft and cosy, yet lightweight enough for all but the most blazing of summer days. A really useful piece of clothing. The soft grey is gentle and flattering, and I can see myself wearing this with pretty much all my jeans, shorts and skirts.
I am frankly amazed at how easy the Coco is to sew. If I add together all the time actually spent cutting, pinning and sewing, it really can’t have been more than two hours.
Things I did do wrong…
* I decided to shorten the length of the original pattern. But I did cut this a little shorter than intended! Arms above my head and I’m in danger of flashing my twice-stretched-to-oblivion belly button.
* I didn’t leave large enough seam allowances on the left cuff and the bottom hem, so they are both curling up a little.
* I forgot to wash the fabric first (please don’t shout at me Fabric Godmother!) so am REALLY hoping it doesn’t shrink too much when first washed! (Crop tops are totes in fashion though, right?!)
But, unbelievably, that’s it. Not too bad considering the sheer chaos amid which it was created! I’m keen to make a short sleeved version too… and definitely the dress version in something funky… and a practical black long-sleeved top… and ooooh a pretty floral cotton version for sauntering around on sunny days…