Simple Sew – Cocoon Dress

This week I have mainly been sewing the Simple Sew Cocoon Dress which I saw in this version on Pinterest Pigeon Wishes Cocoon Dress. I loved the shape in this version, looked it up and saw that it came with a Sew Now magazine which I bought.

The pattern comes with a sleeved and a sleeveless version and I decided to make the sleeveless version. There are 6 pattern pieces, front and back facings, front and back pieces, sleeves and pockets. I decided to try the pattern with some soft denim that I recently bought from the sale section of the Minerva Crafts website for no other reason than it was £3.99/metre and with no particular project in mind.

The make was quite straightforward although there were no instructions for under stitching the facing which I think is essential for the neck to sit nicely.

I’m very pleased with how it has turned out. For a simple silhouette, it looks quite smart.

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So pleased in fact, that I wanted to make another version while the pattern was on my table.

Some time ago I read a blog post about a sweater dress from Emily of Self Assembly Required  I had sweater dress envy and thought I could make a sweater dress from the Cocoon Dress pattern, so I did…

I had quite a lot of loose knit fleece left over from when I made some Bethouias and I know this fabric just gets nicer every time it’s washed. This time I made the sleeved version and finished the sleeves and hem with sweatshirt style bands. It has turned out to be the sort of garment for an evening on the beach when the sun is going down and it’s beginning to get a bit chilly, or maybe for yoga nidra in the winter….

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This pattern gets a thumbs up from me.

Simple Sew – Cocoon Dress

The patchwork bedcover -progress

So I have now finished my first ever patchwork and quilted item. Since my previous post I have swapped out the two offending adjacent pickle jar items as I knew they would get progressively more annoying.

I also found some 3mm organic bamboo/cotton batting at a local shop which doesn’t even sell dressmaking fabric !

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Armed with the batting I set about tacking it to the patchwork top as per the instructions in my little book….this was absolutely backbreaking work as it took me 5 1/2 hours crawling around on the floor to achieve and I had to do it all in one go as it took up the whole floor and there is a limit to the family’s patience being required to tiptoe around the edge of it.

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I purchased some 250 cm wide red 100% cotton sheeting from eBay for the backing and quite coincidentally came upon a giant wooden reel of vintage red ’embroidery’ thread at a local village fair which is really thick and which I thought would be perfect for the quilting and finishing thread for the project.

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Once more back to the floor to pin the backing onto the batting/patchwork and then to the sewing machine.

I attached the quilting table that came with my sewing machine and which has never been used and got going. I really needed the large flat sewing surface that this provided. As the squares for this project are so big it was a relatively straightforward if time consuming  task sew the three layers together.

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Then came attaching the edging and learning the air of the mitred corner both of which are also made with the same scraps as I have used for the patchwork top and LO ! I have a bedcover.

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I am so pleased with it although having seen some properly made quilts exhibited at the village fair where I purchased the thread I realise it is a very amateur effort. Nonetheless I am still thrilled to bits with it.

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The patchwork bedcover -progress

The week I tried patchwork

I love reading other people’s blog posts and a few weeks ago I came across this post from mensew with this really sweet patchwork quilt he has made for a nephew.

I really like the look of patchwork and inspired by this post and by the ever mounting bin bags and laundry baskets of leftover scraps from various dressmaking projects I decided to have a go myself. I bought an instruction book from a local shop, the selling point being that it claimed to be ‘…for the complete beginner’.

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The book advises that the beginner should start with a small project such as a lavender ball, but looking at my vast pile of offcuts I knew I would have to go for something a bit bigger. I therefore chose the last project in the book, a double bedcover. The individual patches are large varying from 13cm square to 33cm  square which I knew would make more inroads to my leftovers. These are the templates I made from a cardboard box.

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It took two whole days to go through and iron all the pieces and assemble the necessary piles of patches, but eventually I ended up with the right number of squares and rectangles and was able to start sewing (having reduced my scrap mountain to one bulging bin bag of pieces all less that 5″ x 5″).

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The project caused a lot of hilarity among the ladies on my pattern cutting course who also do quilting….’You’re making a what…?…’ ‘Are you sure …..?’ ‘HOW big….?’

Undeterred, I started anyway. The instructions in the book are really clear and although you are supposed to develop techniques by working your way through the projects in the book from the lavender ball to the bed cover it’s still easy enough to go backwards and forwards to refer to the bits you need.

Blocks began to appear…..the corners were in the right places and I was beginning to feel quite pleased with myself.

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Then came joining the blocks together, and before I knew it I had enough for my hallway, or a single bed !

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Another day’s work and it was too big for the hall so here is my double bed cover in the garden, it measures 240cm x 180cm.

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I think it’s lovely ! The beginning of the book advises choosing a base fabric with at least six colours and picking fabrics of those six colours to complete the rest of the cover. As you can see I’ve obviously had a theme going on for the last few years as these random scraps are all from the same colour palette although once I had started sewing I deliberately removed all my blue pieces. I am slightly disturbed by the two pickle jar pieces next to each other on different grains and may remove one of them.

Anyway I am very excited by progress so far. I know the difficult bit is going to be putting a back on it but I WILL get there ! I might even get the opportunity to use the quilting table attachment which came with my sewing machine but which is still in its box and being used as a footrest.

I have also signed up for a patchwork course at the local adult education centre so maybe they will give me some pointers…. I may be some time……..

 

 

The week I tried patchwork