Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Navajo Print Coco Dress

Ladies and Gentlemen, I think we have a winner!

So far my favourite Coco on the interwebs is this one by A Stitching Odyssey. I LOVED the Aztec printed fabric she used and really wanted to make a version of this for myself.  It's hard to find nice, printed ponti in Australia so I started trawling fabric sites and found this Navajo Arrow Desert Tribal Ponte de Roma on Along with postage I paid about $45AUD for 3 yards of this fabric - not cheap, but not bank breaking either considering the price of fabric here.

This ponti felt nothing like the version I used for my previous Coco. It was much thinner for a start and felt quite slinky. It was defiantly more stretchy (55% stretch according to the Girl Charlee website, whereas the sparkly ponti had only 25% stretch). This Navajo ponti also feels less "stiff". Although this version of Coco has the same fitting issues as my other version it seems to drape much better so all is forgiven (or hidden).

I had a total brain fade when cutting this dress out. On the last version I couldn't cut the back out on the fold (due to lack of fabric) so had to add a 1.5cm allowance to the back pattern piece. Stupidly I forgot to take this off when cutting out this new version and didn't realise until I went to sew the dress up. Ergo...I had to remove the extra 3cm by basically cutting the back in half and sewing it up again with a 1.5cm seam allowance. It does ruin the flow of the fabric but I cannot see it so I'm going to pretend like it's not there.

I didn't like the turned down neckline of my last version as it feel messy...and I didn't like the funnel neck on my first version as it didn't suit my bigger bust.  This time I decided to finish the neck with a neckband.

As you can see above (and below) the band is a little big (though I did use the pattern piece provided) so next time I'll just cut it a bit smaller if my fabric is similar to what I've used here. I could probably unpick this and redo it but it's pretty securely attached so I'm just going to live with it.

I'm pretty happy with my stripe matching - I spent a lot of time trying to make sure that the stripes would line up on the side seams. I didn't give much thought to the rest of the pattern placement so I'm just thankfully I don't have too big yellow blobs right on my boobs.

You can see below that I still have quite a bit of a fabric pooling above my butt and below my shoulder blades. I'm not sure how to get rid of this within my current skill set - and I think the drapiness of the fabric - and busyness of the print - pretty much hides it. What do you think?

Next time I think I am going to cut the sleeves a size smaller too - and possibly reduce the size of the sleeve head thingy as I'm having trouble fitting it to the sleeve "hole" thingy.

All in all I'm pretty happy with this dress - especially as I sewed the entire thing whilst immersed in the worst cold I've ever had (complete with sinus, chest and throat infection). I didn't refer to the instructions once and was on total autopilot - so snaps to me that it's actually wearable! I think what makes me really like this dress is the print...I LOVE the fabric.

And...I've already worn the dress. TWICE. IN PUBLIC! Once to work where I got quite a few compliments, and once out to a family dinner (where I had to point out to everyone that I made the dress myself - but that's family for you)!

AND...there was NOT one single problem with my overlocker or my sewing machine whilst sewing this. Both behaved perfectly. Go figure.


  1. I still don't understand the nuances of my sewing machines' dummy spits episodes either.
    I'm so glad people have given you comments on this version. It's great.

  2. Lovely Coco and that fabric was a good price, I am looking at some Ponti and it is $23 a metre!

  3. Catherine Alekna22 July 2014 at 18:35

    Happy days!! I love this print too, and yes, so forgiving so any fitting boo boos! And also snaps to you for getting those machines of yours to behave! I the colours on this print suit you so well, and I love your little booties. Good job you! I hope this is the first of many successful projects!

  4. Melanie I love this on you. It's fabulous! The print is wonderful and the colours are perfect on you. I would be living in this dress if it were mine. I definitely think the print hides fitting issues, because truly I couldn't see any.

  5. This is great! Yay to behaving machines and fabric that wants to be sewn. Love this with your boots !!

  6. This looks so good! The print is fabulous and it appears to fit much better than the previous versions, plus mad snaps for being on autopilot and getting it done while you were sick that is awesome! (the autopilot bit not the being sick bit).

  7. This is awesome and well done on the print matching. I didn't even know about print matching when I first started sewing so to plan that is pretty impressive!

  8. FAB job on this - and the joy of a busy print in hiding any sewing "imperfections" (of which I cannot spot any) and yay for evading yellow boob blobbage!

  9. Definitely a winner! The colors and the cut look amazing on you and I love the print. The print placement across the front looks professional. Great job!