The last dress of summer…

Good Golly, Miss Molly – it’s October! Coat-weather has arrived seemingly out of nowhere, stews are back on the menu and my pockets keep filling up with ‘ooh-that’s-a-shiny-one’ conkers.

I do however have one last glimpse of summer to share with you before we leave that heavenly season behind. It’s a Tilly and the Buttons Coco dress I actually made right at the start of May, but have mostly been too busy wearing to blog.

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So first I’ll let you in on a secret – I used to think stripes were a bit, well, boring. I only wanted to wear things with big splashy prints, or fascinating intricate ones – prints that told stories. Stripes were just about acceptable if they were multi-multicoloured – but black and white? Navy? Dull! Even watching Coco Before Chanel had not been enough to convince me, because, let’s face it, Audrey Tautou could make an old sack look chic, let alone some Breton stripes.

But that was the old me, and she was a fool. The change began about a year ago with my first Agnes top. As I pranced about in that I gradually began to realise the power of the stripe. So … simple. So … easy. So … je ne sais quoi. And lo and behold, I was a stripe convert. Which is why over the past few months this blog has seen a striped cardigan, a striped Papercut turtleneck, a striped sweater, a striped Archer shirt, a striped Negroni shirt, a striped shirt refashion… and now a striped Coco. I saw the stripe – now I’m a believer.

Anyway, back to the pattern: I cut a size 3, but then took it in down the sides and the arms (but made minimal alteration to the armscye and none to the neckline) to create a closer fit. I also made it quite a bit shorter; too short as I belatedly realised – whenever the weather was warm enough for a mini dress, the dress was over-warm. I’d been inspired by some Boden striped knit dresses but really struggled to find a knit of the right stripe. This one came from Sew Over It; it’s a medium-weight poly/spandex which meant it was perfect for cooler days but a bit too synthetic for when the temperature picked up.

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I’d recently discovered the concept of ‘pancaking’ my plait…
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The cream stripes are actually ridges, which give a great texture and make the dress feel that little bit smarter – although they are now becoming slightly tufty…

Being a sucker for a cliché I couldn’t help but wear my nautical stripes down to the seaside, completing my outfit with – what else – a pair of deck shoes. Thank goodness there weren’t any actual sailors around to witness my sartorial tomfoolery. There was however a handy selection of their boats to casually lean against.

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That’s it for this summer then, *sob*. It’s hard to accept, particularly given I’ve spent the past week preparing a sewn capsule wardrobe for my mother’s upcoming tropical adventure in south-east Asia, and therefore handling light linens and lawns. But I feel comforted when I take a peek inside my fabric chest and see denim, corduroy, wool, rich luxuriant prints and jewel colours, even, ahem, some stripes… well, whoops, I’d better get my sew on! x

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9 thoughts on “The last dress of summer…

  1. How adorable! And love the glasses.
    I’ve always been an intricate print girl myself too, but I see stripes as a neutral. They go with everything, but they are less boring than a block colour 😉

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  2. Your stripes look great, I think they’re classy but still have some wham factor (no I don’t know what that is but hey it sounds fab) the Coco fits you so well and have the legs to go mini, super dress

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  3. It’s really cool! I like the shorter length on you. I made one the regular length and ended up taking it in so it was form-fitting! Can’t you come with your mum to SE Asia? I’d love to meet you!

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    1. Ohhh, I SO wish I was going with her – and it would be fantastic to get to meet you! I am hoping to get out to Singapore early next year though, fingers crossed! Do you have KL sewing meet-ups at all?? x

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      1. I wish!! I haven’t found any other dressmakers via the internet. If you come across any, please send them my way. There’s a few people in Singapore and Thailand but I’ve yet to meet up with them.

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