Hello Simple Sew makers!
It’s Vicky of Sewstainability here with my latest Simple Sew make! This time I have made the Simple Sew Cocoon Dress with a few modifications. I just love Simple Sew patterns for the basic shapes and easy-to-sew instructions which give us so many opportunities for putting our own unique stamp on things.
I chose to use this basic dress pattern to create a breezy summer dress version. I chose some of this beautiful linen/viscose blend Lady McElroy Orange Blossom Linen Viscose from Minerva. The blend of linen and viscose has resulted in a lightweight fabric that feels smooth but very cool. I am absolutely in love with it. It doesn’t crease as much as linen and doesn’t fray as much as viscose, it responded really well to the iron – love it!
My version of the Cocoon dress has a few small changes, here’s what I did… Firstly, I wanted to preserve this huge print (seriously, it’s huge!) so the first thing I decided to do was to eliminate the front seam, so I folded the seam allowance out of the way and cut out the front piece on the fold. This meant the pattern in the front is uninterrupted and also means that it was an even quicker and easier sew!
I also wanted a little more ease to create more gathers in my breezy summer dress, so I cut out one size bigger than my measurements. I didn’t make any adjustments to the overall shape as the cocoon shaped curve towards the hem is my absolute favourite design detail of this pattern!
I was so inspired by Marie’s hack of this dress, did you see it on the blog? It’s sooo beautiful! I just love this amazing community of brilliant makers all inspiring each other! Anyway, I was so inspired that I took some design elements from her version – Marie rounded off the neckline and made a belt which was super easy to copy. If you do round off the neck, remember to do the same to your facing piece too!
To make the belt, I cut a piece of fabric 4 inches wide so that I could sew it with a 0.5in seam allowance and have a 1.5inch wide belt. You could cut it as long as you like – I cut it as long as my fabric piece which was 1.8m long. This fabric is really drapey so I decided to interface the belt so it actually held its shape a bit, I also made sure to interface the facing pieces.
I chose to eliminate the pockets, because the fabric is so light I would never be able to put anything in them, but I can assure you the pocket pieces were huge – I was seriously impressed! When I make another version, I will definitely include those giant pockets! With no pockets and no centre front seam the dress came together in hardly any time at all. It was a joy to sew, I love the shape of the side seams and the sleeves as well as the topstitching around the neck facing.
I think this is my new favourite basic dress pattern. I cannot think of a better way to display a beautiful fabric than this, it is such a simple and classic shape it really lets the fabric shine! I think I want to make a classic linen version next, not oversized but in my own size. Don’t you just love it when you can get so much versatility out of one pattern?!
Until next time, I hope you are safe and well!
Vicky’s clever Cocoon dress hack is definitely a candidate for whipping up one evening and wearing the next day. To celebrate this sunny weather and maybe to treat yourself to something nice to wear in the garden or park, take a look at our pick of other summery linen / viscose blends from Minerva.
Abstract Print Linen & Viscose Blend Dress Fabric
£11.99 per metre
Lady McElroy Floral Linen Viscose Fabric Multicoloured
£15.99 per metre
John Kaldor Abstract Leaves Print Linen & Viscose Blend Dress Fab…
£15.99 per metre
Floral Print Linen & Viscose Blend Dress Fabric
For more details on fabric and sizing requirement see the back of the Cocoon dress envelope below.