Sewing Life Cocoon Dress!

I always enjoy trying new pattern lines, so when Maria Denmark announced her new English-language online magazine called Sewing Life, I was excited! I’ve sewn Maria Denmark patterns since I started working with knits, and I’ve always appreciated her drafting. Maria has run a Danish-language sewing magazine called Sysiden for a few years, and now an English one as well.

Sewing Life Cocoon Dress

I mentioned in my “Good News in Sewing” post that the Sewing Life magazine patterns go up to Euro size 54, which is couple sizes beyond me. That is roughly a 2x or a size 22, I think. It’s a wider size range than plenty of indies, so I’m pleased to support them!

According to the size chart, I’m a 48 bust and 50 waist/hips. They do suggest that you go down a size if you are sewing with a knit, as I was. I compared the pattern dimensions to my trusty Cashmerette Cedar dolman pattern to get a sense of the size, and ended up cutting 48 on top, and between a 48 and 50 from the waist down.

Sewing Life Cocoon Dress

In the end, the hips fit well, but the bodice part was huge! I took it in at least an inch above the waist, and also raised the shoulder seams an inch. (I’d already shortened the pattern an inch at the waist.) When I cut my pattern down to match, it seems like I sewed something like a 44 on top. Fitting a shapeless garment like this is hard, because if you go overboard it will pull in all the wrong places! In the end, I’m fairly happy with the fit.

Sewing Life Cocoon Dress

Did you notice the snow falling and scattered on the ground? I sewed this during a little warm spell last week, but now it’s colder. I was *determined* to shoot it as a spring dress though, with my bright scarf, red sneakers and denim jacket, so I braved the cold yet again. (What you can’t see is my winter pelt of blonde leg hair keeping me warm!)

Sewing Life Cocoon Dress

The fabric is a stiff poly pique fabric, which was destashed to me by my sewing friend Sarah. It was perfect for testing out a pattern like this – thanks, Sarah! I wore this outfit today, plus warm leggings and boots, and felt good all day… so I picked up a very-large-scale floral scuba to make another one!

Sewing Life Cocoon Dress

I’m wondering about how I could make the pattern longer sleeved, without losing the all-important proportions. I could try for set-in sleeves, like the Named Inari dress, or do dolman sleeve extensions like I did on my Cedar tops. It’s a pattern which lends itself to thick knits with body, I think, and that says cold-weather clothing to me! Which method do you think would be better?

I almost forgot to mention – the first issue of Sewing Life is free! So if you want to try out the drafting or make a cocoon dress of your own, you can go download the issue and the pattern on the Sewing Life website. (That’s how you know I’m not being paid or asked to write this – I forget to spread the word about the important stuff!)

Are you sewing for the new season yet, even if the old season hasn’t really left yet? We could easily have another 6 weeks of snow here, but I sure would love it to be spring!

 


30 thoughts on “Sewing Life Cocoon Dress!

  1. Ooo! Thank you for sharing a new resource with plus sizes. Love the polka dots and the shape of the dress! I just finished sewing a spring dress and shirt and now it’s freezing again. It’s sort of killing me that I can’t wear them hot off the sewing machine!

    Like

    1. Booo to winter weather! I just sewed another spring dress, and meanwhile the snow has piled up… March always makes me so impatient! Hope you get to wear your new clothes soon!

      Like

  2. The dress is very cute and the whole outfit is just great. If that’s all the snow you got, you are lucky. We had more than twenty cm over two days in Ottawa. So no spring sewing for us yet 🙂 But thanks for the tip. I got the magazine and the pattern!

    Like

    1. LOL – as it happens, I’m in Ottawa right now, so I hear you on the snow! I’m flying home today, so I’m happy it’s all clear this morning!

      Like

    1. In all honesty, I almost never feel cold while I’m taking pictures, even when it’s a lot colder than this! i guess the adrenaline kicks in? I do feel cold as I go back in the house though once I’m finished! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Like the fabric and well done on another completed project you’ll probably get lots of use out of! I am struggling with re-sizing patterns – currently licking wounds as last two sun tops were a disaster. People like you inspire me – I shall keep watching for posts here

    Like

    1. Ugh, sorry to hear that fitting is getting you down! I do find it helps a lot to compare the flat pattern to a TNT before I cut, so I have an idea where to start adjusting if the fit is not looking right!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. NOOOOOO! I know you are right, but I won’t accept it! (I think almost every year I blog in march complaining about the endless winter, and yet somehow I”m still surprised each time!)

      Like

  4. Cut-on sleeves with this style would be perfect I think.

    I love the fabric and the easy-wear fit. I love cute little dresses with a denim jacket any day of the week!

    Like

  5. I’m a little skeptical of how the dress will work for me, as I’ve always been leery of unfitted styles on myself. But I did really like that they considered and showed how to use the same pattern for different seasons! So maybe I’ll give it a try when nursing access isn’t a factor anymore. Yours looks great, and I love how you styled it!

    Like

    1. I think cocoon shapes are just an acquired taste – i felt a little uncomfortable in how shapeless this was when I first put it on, but now that I’ve worn it and seen pictures, i’m ready to make another!

      Like

  6. I’m sewing for winter and spring at the same time! I just squeezed in a long sleeved turtleneck dress, and it looks like we’re getting another wintery weekend, so it was not in vain. At the same time, I have a skater dress and sweatpants in my queue.

    Like

  7. Aaaaaah! Yours looks so good! It’s inspiring me to pick up mine, which I gave up on in frustration last weekend.I made the fatal mistake of choosing a size based on my bust and only rounding down a bit – I should have taken it down at least two sizes, I knocked about another inch or so off each side seam and then gave up when it was still rather sack like. I’m also using a jersey so that’s probably not doing me any favors. Your point about taking in the shoulder seams makes a lot of sense – I’ll spend some quality time with a seam ripper and give it another go. Thanks for providing the push to get me back in the saddle!

    Like

    1. I hope you can make it work! i think a jersey might be trickier than a very stable fabric like this, because it won’t hold the cocoon shape… but if nothing else, maybe you can chop it into a tee?Good luck and happy sewing!

      Like

  8. This is really cute – I especially love it with the denim jacket! I am attending a conference in Ottawa in July – it will be my 1st time in Canada since I was a 3rd grader! I hope to visit a few fabric stores while I’m there. I was trying to see where in Canada you are, but I can’t find your “about me” on your blog. Any suggestions on stores I need to visit? Thanks in advance! 🙂

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s