Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Coco knit top a la Great British Sewing Bee

I've wanted a Breton style top for a while, so decided to make Tilly's new Coco pattern.   I thought it might be fun to time how long it took me to see how far out of the 2 1/2 hour limit round 1 of the Great British Sewing Bee allows, not in a really serious way (after all sewing is my fun time).   I didn't count the cutting out having done that on Saturday while watching Endeavour.  So .... ready, steady, sew ......

In the first 45 minutes  ... stabilised the shoulders with clear elastic, staystitch the neck

turn under the neck, check it looks even

Stitch under (some good stripe matching!).

Next 45 minutes ....  insert the sleeves ...

Have a break .. tea and toast, walk the dogs.

Next hour  ... sew the side seams, overlock all the seams, top stitch the split ....

..... all went pretty well, with generally good stripe matching except for one sleeve which was a disaster

As you can see, the stripes ended up completely mismatched, but unpicking on knit (I used a stretch stitch is a nightmare - ask Heather?) so I decided to just turn it under as it was.

Next 40 minutes, complete the hem and the sleeve hems, finish off ends and press et voila 3 hours 10 minutes later .....

If you made the top in a plain fabric I think it could easily have been completed in 2 1/2 hours as the stripe matching took quite a bit of time.  There were also a few distractions, including the must have sewing room accessory

I probably enjoyed it less having a time constraint and definitely had a bit of back ache.  The pattern is a good fit.  I cut a size 3 graded to a 4 on the bust.  I like the fitted waist and the split sides.  The instructions are also detailed and clear which would be straight forward for even a beginner, however, I really don't think knit is easy especially with a pattern to match, and unpicking is almost impossible.    I bought some fairly cheap interlock for this but I don't like the fabric, it is quite nylonny and don't think it will be pleasant in hot weather.

It's felt like spring this week and I enjoyed

Meg sitting like a person

Dan's pizza with a cauliflower base

Mary Berry's apple cake

Some lovely new wool, approved of by Bronte (more later).

Hope you had a lot to smile about ... and now its time for the next episode of the Great British Sewing Bee ... wonder what the theme will be this week?


  1. Mags, every time I watch The Great British Sewing Bee I think of you and think how good you'd be on it! I am really enjoying this series. But what a great top. I am a huge fan of a breton style top and have a few but have never made one (ha! as if!) since I've never used jersey or stretch fabric before and think I'd need to go and lie down in a darkened room afterwards. It makes you realise that while two and a half hours might sound like a good amount of time it isn't really that long. x

  2. Your top looks great. I'm not at all tempted by this pattern, it's a style that wouldn't suit me in a million years, but I'm enjoying seeing all the different versions popping up on everyone's blogs.
    Your little sewing room companion is adorable. x