Simple sew cocoon dress
The sun has been shining, so all I’ve wanted to do is be outside. When I worked full-time in a secondary school I would arrive at school in the dark and leave in the dark, so with this new freelance life style brings choices and my number one choice is to be outside as much as possible. It’s all about timing, if I hadn’t lived that life before, I wouldn’t want this life. It’s all about change.
As I do most days, I start with a coffee, do the school run and when back home today, my first job is cutting out my paper pattern on my patio floor. I carried the big roll of denim and unrolled it, making sure the right side was inside, all the while catching some rays. Win win right? Apart from the uncomfortable kneeling on paving slabs I managed it, time to get back inside? I also managed to find the extension lead and take both machines to my garden table. Sewing in sunglasses is so strange and fun. I threaded my sewing machine with a dark blue thread and my over locker was already threaded with black, the denim is very dark so this is fine. The next exhibition I teach at I will look out for some cheap navy overlocking thread.
I firstly overlooked all the seams as this denim seems to fray a lot. However before overlocking the facings, I applied black interfacing. I have a sheet of Teflon that I use to protect my iron when pressing interlining. I started using this after years of ruined school irons, from students ironing the sticky side of interlining or getting transfer paints on the iron plate. You can use ae used to use this when I worked in the bridal industry. Make sure your room is well ventilated as it does give off a lot of fumes.
I then overlocked the facings. Firstly sewing the shoulder seams and shoulders of the facings. These facings were then added to the neckline. I trimmed the seam and pressed it to the inside. The instructions don’t tell you when to press it round, the simple sew patterns keep it very simple, which I am happy with and the pictures show that it’s pressed the other way at this stage anyway, so I’m ok.
The next part is the pockets. I have done pockets before and hated them, as they can be challenging, not so on this pattern. The notches have gone after overlocking so I marked them again with a chalk pencil. I think having a clear right and wrong side helps here too, when I made some trousers the fabric wasn’t as forgiving. I pinned the 4 pockets to each side matching the notches, I made sure to lay them together to make sure they lined up. Once they are all attached you can overlock the pockets together. This was really easy. Quite relieved.
Then it’s just sew the side seams and hem the arms and hem. I pressed the hem first before top stitching. It says snip the underarms, I didn’t as I don’t like cutting into the overlocking. It doesn’t look bad when on, so don’t need to. I would like to know how they over come this in industry, as you don’t buy clothes that are cut into do we?
I was half expecting this dress to not fit, or look like a tent, one or the other, so I was surprised it actually looks quite sexy and is so comfortable. It is above the knee, so think I would add an inch next time, as sitting down it looks much shorter and could be inappropriate at work. It looks really great with heels and I added a thin red belt and again this makes it look more dressy and feminine. You can wear it with flat shoes and even leggings (as short). It is also smart enough for, as it looks quite elegant in the dark denim.
I cut out my pieces first and then the actual sewing only took 2 hours. Such a great quick sew, I loved it.
Don’t be put off by the pockets, they are quite technical, but really simple at the same time. Sewing this can give you confidence and make you feel quite clever, it did me. At the end of this make I managed to get brown shoulders too. Sewing in the sun is the best.
I can’t wait to wear my cocoon denim dress.