The Coco Mademoiselle Dress (Mad Men Challenge #1!)

I’m not a big fan of bandwagons. Unless you count the musical, The Bandwagon, because it’s awesome and Cyd Charisse is amazing and because musicals about Broadway musicals are hilarious. Fred Astaire does a dance in an arcade, it’s great. The point is, I’m not a big follower, never really have been. In fact I can be quite contrary, often neglecting to do something because it’s so very popular. I literally just saw Frozen last week. And you know what? It’s a-god-damn-dorable. Seriously that thing is charming as hell. I have no idea what country or time period it’s supposed to be in, but whatever I just want Olaf the snowman to be my best friend. And we could have adventures with Sven the reindeer and sing together and live our lives in utter happiness in some unknown mildly Scandinavian country, oh, it would be so great! But, tragedy of tragedies, I don’t live that life. I guess I have to Let It Go, right?

Anyway, I have been trying to cure myself of this knee-jerk anti-following reaction when it comes to sewing. When it comes to moral decisions and Juicy Couture sweatsuits, I think it’s positive that I make up my own mind about it rather than following others, but when it comes to sewing, well, maybe imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right? So when Tilly released her newest pattern, the Coco top/dress, I bought it almost immediately, and assembled it the same day. Only, I had to wait for my fabric to come, because despite my stash of jersey fabrics, this pattern demands a jersey with limited stretch. Honestly, I might try it in a stretchier fabric in the future because minimal stretch jerseys aren’t easy for me to find and also, comfort is essential to all things, because the more stretch int he fabric, the more food I can eat, the happier I will be. But for the first time around I wanted to follow the rules (well, sort of, more on that to come) and use the right fabric. So I waited patiently as Cocos popped up all over the internet, biding my time, telling myself it was worth it to wait and get it right. And you know what? I think it was!

CM 1.jpgOkay, so I mentioned that I stuck with the fabric recommended. What I did not do is leave the hem as it was drafted. First of all, I lengthened it quite a bit, because Tilly, waif that she is, has drafted this dress to be shorter then even my diminutive stature would be comfortable with. And then I realized that the original flare in Tilly’s design wasn’t working for me at this longer length, so I cut off a chunk, slimmed down the skirt, and added the extra fabric back in as a band, neatly finishing the hem and giving it a slimmer silloutte. And I always want the word slim to involved with me, frankly, so I love it!

CM 4.jpgSo this is the first of several, yes, I say, SEVERAL Mad Men Challenge Dresses! I love love love Julia Bobbin’s Mad Men Challenge (huh, maybe I AM a follower!) and I’m always excited to sew tribute dresses for the show that has changed the face of fashion on television. Even now, as we head into late 1960’s hell, I’m going to make it work. That being said, my next copy-cat will probably go a couple of seasons back. Come on. Can you blame me? phontoWhen I saw the Coco, especially Tilly’s mod versions, I thought, I bet there are some Mad Men dresses out there along those lines. And low and behold:

4071fba39e658f13b2b0d51141f9d2a4And then there is this:


And also, this:

830e552d5a2071ec6e4aa843f7d7f7d3Coral knit shifts seem to be the uniform for brunettes at Sterling Cooper Draper Price. That and misogyny. AM I RIGHT? So I tried to use elements of all three:

CM 3.jpgIt’s darker than this photo would imply, but not by too much.

CM 8.jpg

What I really like about the design is the funnel neck, which is sort of like a turtleneck but has the added benefit of NOT making me look like the bustiest person who ever lived. Turtlenecks are not my jam, but I do like the way they look, so this offers me a tribute-neckline without the negatives.

CM 6.jpgI cut the back on the selvage and seamed it, and the front on the fold. The sleeves didn’t quite ease correctly so I gave them a little pleat at each shoulder seam. I have to say, the thickness of the fabric is nice because it adds structure and warmth, but it’s still a comfortable dress. I used a Ponte de Roma from GirlCharlee.

I finally had time, given that this is spring break for me, to take daytime photos in my apartment alone with my tripod. Not only is the light good, but it has the added benefit of being able to include a guest star:

CM 9.jpgHe’s ready for his close up:

CM 10.jpgAnd so am I!

CM 7.jpgBoy am I glad I followed the crowd on this one. This dress went from dinner to a show to drinks afterwards and back home again in perfect comfort. It’s a nice spring dress for this brisk New York weather, and it’s just insanely cute for such a simple shape. Thank you, Tilly. I’ll get on your bandwagon any time.


Filed under Challenge, Clothing, Sewalong, Sewing, Tilly and the Buttons

13 responses to “The Coco Mademoiselle Dress (Mad Men Challenge #1!)

  1. Pretty! The colour and shape are both lovely on you.

  2. I love this dress on you. One of my faves of your makes.

  3. Judi

    That would certainly be a winner for Mad Men challenge #1. The pattern fits you perfectly…looks awesome. I like the funnel neck…frames your face very nicely and is dressy, but still comfortable. The fabric/color is beautiful.

  4. i’m so not a follower type, don’t even know what the frozen is, won’t make any cocos ever, and although i love mad men challenge, i never menaged to participate in any of them.. but that’s just me.. you, my dear, are winning it big time with this dress,. as judi said, you should be a winner for mad men challenge (and for the sassiest coco as well)!

  5. beebeesvintagedress

    Love the colour of your Coco! I had some serious adjustments to make and I think slimming down the skirt is a smart idea. I am intending to do that with my next version in an emerald green! Also yay for the funnel neck. I have the same turtleneck bustyness problem of which you speak! x

  6. That dress is totally awesome! Love the shoulder pleats. If I had this and also a what-does-the-fox-say dress in my closet, I would be such a bad-ass.

    Emily at

  7. It looks great on you! I love the colour!

  8. bimbleandpimble

    This colour is absolutely smashing on you! Radness!

  9. What a perfect color! And this dress is so you- another fun knit dress pattern to add to your arsenal!

  10. GoingBackToStudyingInABit

    OOOH! This is soo pretty!! I love all the arm-length dresses that you’ve made thus far — need to go find some for myself (pre-made though, we’re not all as great as you are). Seriously, love the color and the cut of this dress, and neck part+hem part. I might steal this dress from your closet if I’m in NYC ever with Y-what’s-his-name.

  11. Love this on you, especially the color. You look incredible, and happy. It’s cool that you jumped so enthusiastically onto this bandwagon. I did too. I’m thinking about forming a support group for Coco addicts, so if you need help let me know.

  12. adorable dress! I want to copy you!

  13. Pingback: The Knit Wit Outfit | Struggle Sews a Straight Seam

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