I finished up my houndstooth Coco last weekend and wore it for the first time today. There were some struggles along the way, but I really like this dress.
After I assembled the 31-page pdf (my largest so far!), I cut out the size corresponding to my measurements. I quickly assembled the dress according to the directions and tried it on, only to realize that it was about 3 sizes too big. I knew that it was supposed to be a comfortable fit, but it was too roomy. I ended up taking a lot of ease out of the side seams and sleeves. The pattern flares out quite a bit at the bottom. Because my fabric has more drape than it appears that the examples do, the flare looked really weird. I cut off the flare and made a straighter side seams.
I also had to redo the neckline, because I realized that my fabric would fray. Instead of the recommended technique of turning under and top stitching with a zig zag stitch, I ended up turning my neckline under twice and then securing with a zig zag stitch. It worked out pretty well, and has just a little gaping at the neck.
Here's the final product. I love that it's professional enough to wear to work, yet still comfortable and fun.
Here's a view from the back. It's tucked in a little funky in my belt, but you get the idea. Next time I'll probably make it slightly longer.
I can wear the dress with or without a belt. I'm not really a shift dress person, so I'll probably wear it most of the time with the belt. Here's how it looks without. Slightly more '60s.
I can see this dress working into my bi-weekly rotation. I might make another in springy colors or stripes, or pastel stripes?
Pattern: Coco by Tilly and the Buttons
Cost: 2 1/2 yards at $11/yard
Time: 8(ish) hours