funnel neck detail on Coco top

Pique Coco top with funnel neck and cuffs

Between Christmas and New Year’s, I took some time off of my Oxford Dogma making to indulge in some personal sewing. On my list were:

  1. a Coco top
  2. lounge pants
  3. long sleeve boatneck tee
  4. long sleeve scoop neck tee
  5. chambray button down shirt

First, my new Coco

Many months ago I bought some dark blue pique knit fabric, and have been wanting to make a Coco with it. This time with the funnel neck collar, 3/4 length sleeves, and cuffs (my Pinterest inspiration). And a good length for wearing with leggings.

navy pique Coco with funnel neck and cuffs

Process notes

  • funnel neck
  • 3/4 sleeve with cuff
  • lengthened 1 in. at lengthen/shorten line
  • used size 3, tapering to size 2 from waist down
  • used lightweight twill tape for shoulder stabilizing (next time: align 3/8 in. from cut edge on shoulder seams)
  • joining stitch: 75/11 stretch needle, with zig zag stitch set to 1.5 stitch width & 2.0 stitch length
  • top stitching: stretch twin needle, 3.5 stitch length

Results

So cute! I love the timeless yet mod look.  I like this longer sleeve better than the short sleeve on me — the short sleeve is more blunt and boxy, and the longer sleeve seems more graceful.

And as I was hoping, this Coco looks great with leggings and slim pants.

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Sleeveless Coco top with contrast yoke

Another Sleeveless Coco with Contrast Yoke

For this Coco, I blended two sizes to improve the fit of a sleeveless version. Size 2 was too snug in the upper torso, and size 3 was too loose in the lower torso.

Pattern

Coco by Tilly and the Buttons

Process notes

  • used the contrast yoke alteration, with yoke made from thrift store t-shirt
  • blended size 3 from the base of the armscye up, and size 2 from that point down
  • trimmed 1/2 in. off the width of the hem on each pattern piece, reducing the flared hem by 2 in. total
  • self-fabric armscye facing

Results

After seeing how my last sleeveless Coco gaped at the armscye once I removed the facing to adjust the fit, I decided it would be a good idea to add that into the construction of this top. It helps polish the fit and finish enough that it’s worth the step.

Coco top with facing finish on armscye

I had to laugh once I put the finished top on — the area where I “blended” the two sizes at the underarm was quite prominent, not blended at all. The fabric pointed outward at the side seam because the the sharp curve I used. To fix it, I picked out some stitches at the top of the side seam and pinched it in, resewing that area. It improved the fit, but I lost patience and didn’t finish the topstitching of the armscye well. At some point that’ll need to be repaired, but in the mean time I get to enjoy a new sleeveless tee.

Since I’m using a thinner, stretchier jersey than the pattern recommends, there’s some neckline gaping going on. I may try a collar band next time to see if that helps.

Pattern adjustments for next time (sleeveless version):

  • add 1/4″ to middle of back armscye
  • remove 1/4″ from lower section of front armscye
  • lower armscye 1/4″ at side seam
  • reduce sharp curve at side seam from where I blended sizes 2 and 3
Sleeveless Coco with contrast yoke

Sleeveless Coco Top with Contrast Yoke

I enjoyed sewing my first Coco so much that the second it was done I began plotting my next one. And since it’s been 110° lately, a sleeveless version sounded like a smart idea.

Project features

  • Wonder Tape (optional)
  • contrast yoke
  • stabilized shoulder seam
  • side splits
  • armhole facing

Process notes

  • made size 2, and shaved 1 1/2 in. off the length (at the bottom, not at the lengthen/shorten line) and 1 in. off the hemline width on the front and back pieces
  • used thrift store tee for the striped yoke
  • used 1 in. wide self fabric for armhole facing, as a single layer sewn raw edge to raw edge, right sides together, then turned to the inside and topstitched
  • stitched neckline, armholes, and hem with stretch twin needle

Results

Sleeveless Coco with contrast yoke

My hemline adjustments made the top tighter across the bottom than I would have liked. I meant to just take 1/2 in. off each piece (2 in. total) but accidentally doubled that.

The size 2 works fairly well as a sleeveless top, but the arm holes are too small and the size 3 works better overall. Next time I’ll stick with the size 3, shortening 1 1/2 in.  at the lengthen/shorten line and bringing in the hipline circumference a bit to reduce the flair at the hips.

Now that I’m actually threading the machine right with the double needle, there were not skipped stitches. However the bobbin thread is too tight, causing it to come undone at the splits. Post-Coco tests revealed that tightening the needle thread tension helps make bigger zig zags on the bobbin side, so that’s something I’ll continue to work on.

Update: Because the arm holes were just too tight for comfort, I removed the facing, trimmed a bit from the bottom of the armscye 1/4 in., and just folded over the raw edge to stitch down. The back of the armscye gapes a bit now, but at least it’s a wearable top. The size 2 bodice is actually starting to feel better so my plan next time is to cut a size 3 from the armscye up and a size 2 below, without tapering at the hemline.

Short sleeve Coco with contrast yoke

Coco Top with Contrast Yoke and Short Sleeves

My favorite type of tee is a boatneck Breton in blue and white stripes. I’ve had my eye on the Tilly & the Buttons Coco pattern for awhile, and after my t-shirt sewing challenges decided it was finally time to buy it.

Project Features

  • Wonder Tape (optional)
  • contrast yoke
  • stabilized shoulder seam
  • side splits
  • flat sleeve construction

Process notes

  • made size 3
  • used a thrift store tee for the yoke and sleeves
  • followed the contrast yoke variation and short sleeve instructions
  • trimmed 1 1/2 in. off bottom before hemming
  • used Wonder Tape to stabilize the neckline and hem

Results

Short sleeve Coco with contrast yokeBetween the straight-forward design, options for sleeve lengths and collar, contrast yoke tips, and the super clear instructions on how to sew it up, this top was a complete pleasure to make. The fit in the shoulders is good, but the pattern flares out at the hips more than I’d like — which is a quick pattern adjustment next time.

I think it would be cute to try the short sleeves in more of a cap style, and I’m looking forward to making the 3/4 sleeve and funnel neck versions once the weather cools.

I’m on the fence about the Wonder Tape…it was tricky get all the wrinkles out while sticking it down around the neck and hem lines. But once it was down evenly it was nice not to have to deal with pins.

Count me in the Coco fan club! Next up is a sleeveless version with contrast yoke, in a smaller size for comparison.