Hey Minerva Makers! It’s Vicky of Sewstainability here with my first ever post for the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network! I am so thrilled to be a new addition to the Blogger Network and to have my posts sit alongside some of my sewing idols!

For my first post I chose some of this absolutely gorgeous apple Jersey Fabric, there are three colourways and obviously I chose the grey-mustard one (anyone who knows me knows I have a deep love for anything mustard!) I often find it hard to find good quality cotton jersey that is affordable. I started trying to sew more sustainably mainly because of budgetary restrictions, trying to make use of every scrap and buying secondhand fabric is not only good for the planet but also good for my purse too! When I do treat myself to fabric I like it to be excellent quality so I know it can be worn and washed for years and will last me a long time. I also tend to stay away from synthetic fibres where possible and this is where I have trouble buying jersey – I want it to be good quality, cotton, and affordable.

I ordered this apple jersey with my fingers crossed that it would feel nice and not be too thin, I was thrilled when it arrived! It is a lovely weight, similar in weight to Art Gallery jersey - not thin and really soft and stretchy in all directions. After prewashing I also was pleased there didn’t seem to be any fading or colour loss either – a good sign if I want my dress to last me years!

Ok, so I think I must be one of the last sewists to discover the Tilly and the Buttons Coco Pattern. I do love a dress with a bodice and attached skirt as I am drawn to silhouettes that are ‘nipped in’ at the waist but I find with some prints and patterns I need a simple shape that doesn’t break up the pattern at the waist – the Coco pattern is perfect for this. I cut out the size 4 and graded to size 5 at the waist, an adjustment I usually make for my pear shaped body and I added 1.5” to the length at the lengthen/shorten line to account for my 5’7” height.

It was a really easy sew, I whipped it up in a couple of hours with help from my overlocker. I used a walking foot attachment on my sewing machine to do the hemming, pockets and the neckband. If you don’t have an overlocker, I highly recommend getting hold of a walking foot for your regular machine to make working with knits a breeze! A twin needle also makes hems look professional – all on your regular machine!

To add a little bit of extra detail I chose to add on the optional hip pockets, I raided my stash of scraps and found some small pieces of mustard jersey which matched the apples quite well. A great use for any small pieces lying around! Altogether this pattern was super simple and only required 2m, with some small scraps leftover. Top tip – I love using small jersey scraps to make t-shirts for my 3 year old, often there isn’t enough for a whole shirt but I can often squeeze the front of a shirt or even the front and back out of scraps from one project, then I look for some coordinating scraps or wait for another project to get the sleeves out of!

I think the Coco pattern would be a great first project for anyone who is new to knits as it is so simple to make and easy to wear. I will definitely be making this again, perhaps in some of the Art Gallery stripes I’ve been drooling over. When I make this again I think I will slim down the sleeves slightly as I have found them to be a bit baggy for my personal taste, something to bear in mind for next time…

Anyway, thanks Minerva for having me on the Blogger Network, I love my new apples dress, it’s so perfect for autumn layered with leggings and boots – maybe I should find somewhere to go apple picking in it?!

Until next time,

Vicky aka Sewstainability