A slightly austere Coco dress

I’ve been meaning to make a black, funnel neck Coco dress for a loooong time. In fact I actually attempted to make it months ago, but I took in the side seams to make it more fitted and overestimated the amount I needed to remove. The resulting dress was uncomfortable and unwearable! In a way I’m glad it’s taken me this long though, because I now have a clearer idea of my clothing preferences and was able to adjust the pattern accordingly.

As well as the funnel neck, I also added cuffs so it wouldn’t look too plain. I used a french terry from Minerva Crafts (I’ve made several polyester Cocos in the past and they’re all unpleasantly sweaty, so cotton was a must for this one). When I was imagining how the dress would look, I started referring to it as my ‘1960s funeral-goer dress’, for obvious reasons, and I think this is the perfect description of it.

One of my pet hates with clothes is when they’re tight under the arms (not a fit issue, just a matter of personal preference); it makes me paranoid about getting sweat marks and honestly just makes the garment get smelly quicker, so you have to wash it more often/at a higher temperature. And whilst Tilly and the Buttons is my favourite pattern company, I’ve often found their patterns to be too close fitting under the arms.

I’ve made two Coco tops in the past (see here and here) and have had this problem with both of them. So, for this version I lowered the armholes by a few centimetres. I used the method I learned in school, which isn’t super precise and doesn’t come up when you google how to lower an armhole… this makes me think it’s probably not the best method, but it seemed to work fine in this case!

I’m so glad I made this adjustment, as it’s much more comfortable to wear than my other Cocos. I might add dropping the armholes to my list of common adjustments I need to make.

Looking at the side view photo, on my next Coco I think I’ll make a forward shoulder adjustment, as those shoulder seams are sitting a little too far back.

Making this dress has reminded me how much I love the Coco pattern; it’s a quick and effortless make, yet still makes you feel put-together! I like how the finished dress is clearly ’60s inspired, but not in a naff way.

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