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Sewing the Cos “Made By You” Women’s Shirt

Earlier this week I showed you my finished version of the Cos “Made By You” women’s shirt kit with the promise of giving far, far more details on the kit itself and some construction instructions so strap on in! This is a HEFTY brain dump intended to help others who’ve bought this thinking they were getting a full sewing pattern, or who bought it and no longer have Cos’s video online to help. Or frankly, if you’re just intrigued about what a high street shop thinks a home sewing product should be!

My Cos “Made By You” Women’s Shirt

Back in November I caught wind that the high-end high street shop Cos were selling sewing kits for two of their classic white shirt designs. Coincidentally, it was right after Black Friday so I managed to buy both with a hefty discount, purchasing size M/L for the women’s and size S/M for the men’s (the RRP for each kit is £29/€35 but I think I paid less than £20 each). Now, Cos label these as “women’s” and “men’s” but to my eyes they’re really both unisex designs, so I’m sewing up both for myself! I decided to dedicate my January sewing to tackling these kits, starting with the women’s one (as voted by my Instagram followers), so this post is to show off the finished shirt!

A snake-print Tessellate Hoodie

What better way to kickstart January than with activewear, amirite?? Especially if it’s a pattern you’ve sewn a thousand times before, in a fabric you love, and made entirely with stash fabrics. Bonus points if it’s also essentially a clone of a garment you already own so you’re pretty much guaranteed of success!

In the years since launching our Tessellate Tee pattern, I found myself wearing the turquoise, yellow, and claret hoodie sample (featured on the pattern cover) for nearly all of my coldest runs – I can’t even tell you how many early morning run commutes this came along on! The key here was that I made it in Funkifabrics’ “thermo” fabric which is essentially fleece-lined lycra. It’s stretchy with great recovery, and has a smooth exterior, but the interior is fluffy and fleecy like the inside of a sweatshirt, which makes it really warm. I often paired this hoodie with a pair of Steeplechase Leggings I’d also made in black thermo, and the combo is one I’d wear on my coldest and wettest runs or cycle commutes.

An ochre Named Saraste Top

For once I’ve actually coordinated my sewing with the weather! Though, like most of my makes, this had a rather long lead time… I actually bought this 1.5m of Atelier Brunette “Shade Ochre” viscose fabric from Lamazi Fabrics last summer but didn’t quite work out which pattern to pair with it until recently, when I decided I wanted to try another variation of the Saraste shirt/dress/top from the first Named book, “Breaking the Pattern”.

A black dP Studio slash top

Last year my mom bought me a surprise off my wish list – the dP Studio book, “Fashion Couture”, which ended up being one of my favourite sewing books of recent years. The included 12 patterns are all tops (hooray! No dresses I’m unlikely to wear taking up space in the book!) which are all really interesting and fashion-forward designs. Be aware that the size range is quite limited – it only goes up to a B111/W91/H118. I made the “wink top” in a jungle print viscose last summer in size 46 and it’s one of my favourite makes from 2020.

I loom knitted a sweater!

Strap in because this may be my first finished make of 2021, but it started in 2019, and it’s a whopper.

I learned to loom knit a few years ago because I was really only interested in making socks, and I have zero desire whatsoever to learn “regular” needle knitting (I am beyond bored of people telling me I should – I don’t care – there’s the door!) so to discover there was an old-fashioned method to do so got me excited and I made a LOT of socks over the years. I also made a few hats, and a cowl, and a pair of weird mittens, but then the worm of an idea grew in my head – “You should make a sweater.”

A monochrome striped rib knit top

Back in May I bought some irregular striped rib knit jersey from Like Sew Amazing (now sold out) at the same time as I bought the fabric for my Burda jumpsuit. I didn’t really have a plan for it, but I could tell it was high quality and a steal at £15 for 1.5m, so I kept hold of it in my stash until a plan presented itself back in early November when I thought to myself – I should definitely make a long sleeved top with it.

I’d been meaning to sew more from the excellent Named Patterns “Breaking the Pattern” book (since everything I’ve made so far has been incredible!), and having most recently made the Ruska knot dress back in March for my birthday, the other Ruska variations were already printed and cut to size. Even though it’s all one pattern, you actually get two fit choices – a looser cut through the body (used by the teeshirt, tunic, and outer layer of the knot dress) or a more slim-fit version (used by the dress and inner layer of the knot dress). Since I already liked the fit of the knot dress, I opted for the slim-fit with long sleeves and a taller collar similar to the dress in the book (I’ll get to that in a second though).

A Tie-Sleeve Top to Cheer Up My Mom

Our family have had a rough 2020, and my mom especially. We’ve had three family members die this year, and the enforced separation during these times makes the distance between us feel even greater. I feel thankful that I was able to fly over in February when my dad was in hospital (which actually feels like a lifetime ago), but it’s been impossible for a multitude of reasons to visit since then.

So I wanted to do what I can to both give her a boost, and to make the distance between us feel a little less severe. I’d sent over a few care packages full of face masks but as practical as they are, they’re not particularly cheery. Back in February I’d I made her (and myself) this tie-sleeved top from the June 2019 Burda magazine, and she really loved that we had “twin shirts”. You can see more about the shape of the sleeve pieces and the general construction notes in this post, so I won’t repeat it here. She really loved that one so much that she picked out some fabric at JoAnn for another version and I brought it home in my suitcase to sew up at some point.

A leopard print Wink Top

A month or two ago my mom sent me a surprise gift in the form of the dP Studio book “Fashion Couture”, which had been on my Amazon Wish List since it was released, while I secretly hoped it might get translated into English at some point.

For some reason the dP Studio standalone patterns never really grabbed me, but I LOVE so many of the tops in this book (and they’re all tops, yay!!). The book is only available in French but the instructions are fully illustrated and should be totally fine for any intermediate sewist with google translate to hand.

I’ve gotten loads of Pattern Magic vibes off several of the designs, and there are about five I really want to make! So I started with Le 516 “Wink Top”, but the Slash Top is also very high on my list (and that sweatshirt, yessss!). You can swoon over a bunch of the designs from the book here.

Monochrome silk blouse

You saw a peek of this in Monday’s post about my mustard wool shorts, but today I can tell you all about this sleeveless blouse.

The pattern is No115 from the May 2020 Burda magazine and is available to purchase as a pdf here. This was a real standout for me from this issue and I knew right away that I’d be sewing it up – it has a distinctive gathered front neckline with no shoulder seams and it only requires 1m of fabric as a bonus, yay! And frankly I love anything with a cutaway shoulder…