I put together this tutorial for a cocoon cardigan for you and I am so excited about it.  I love a loose fitting cardigan.  It has everything I look for with a good layering piece.  It’s long enough in the back to wear with leggings, it’s loose and drapey so that it’s flattering, and it has a modern on trend silhouette.  It’s also very easy to make and here is how to make your own:
– 2 yards of knit fabric
– matching thread
– ruler
– sewing machine
– serger (optional)
Step 1 – Cut your fabric into two rectangles that are 30″ wide and 40″ long.  The most stretch should be along the 30″ length.
Step 2 – On the inside top edge cut at curved line from 5 inches in and 10 inches down. (This will taper the top edge for the neck and shoulders.)  Also cut a straight line 11 inches in from to top right corner to 18 inches down.  Repeat a reflected version on the other piece of fabric.
Step 3 – With right sides together, sew the two pieces together at the center back.  (I just serged this seam, but in retrospect it would look a lot nicer if you did a french seam.)  Connect the new top right corner to the bottom right corner and the new top left corner to the bottom left corner.  Sew together with right sides together to create a sleeve.
Step 4 – Measure up the sleeve seam from the point 5 inches and cut a vertical line through all layers to create the sleeve opening.
Step 5 – On both the armholes and the body opening turn back edge by 1/4″ and then another 1″ to create hems.  Stitch at just under 1″ to finish it.  Because it is so oversized there really is no tension on these seams, so even though it is a knit fabric you can still do a basic straight stitch. (Because of the drape of this style you will most likely see these hems so make sure that they look nice.)
Step 6 – At the neck, sew a gathering stitch from the top to 6 inches down on the center back seam.  Gather that stitch until it is 3 inches in length.  Stitch on top of the gather to secure it.
That’s it!


97 thoughts on “DIY COCOON CARDIGAN

  1. Thanks for posting this! I know cocoons are considered ‘simple’ to make, but I wanted to follow a tutorial and didn’t like any of the ones up. Yours looks great! I could see adding ribbed jersey to the sleeve openings, too, to give it some sleeves.

    • Meg – Yes, I love the idea of making a long sleeved version too. I’ve been thinking about do a black version like that. I also think that ribbing around the inside would be nice too.

  2. Wow I love this, will definitely make one! Not sure if I’m clear on the first bit of sewing, how much of it do you sew up to make the centre back seam? up to the top of the curved part, or just the bottom?

  3. You know what, you were right. We are vibing each other from across the oceans. I’ve been mulling over the idea of a Cocoon coat / Kimono jacket too. Yours is beautiful, looks perfect for layering.

  4. I did not realize I needed a drapey cardigan until I saw this but now I must have one! Thanks for posting this. I love garments that don’t require a pattern!

  5. I’m busy debating whether this will look good on me while mentally running through my stash to determine if I have any fabric that would work for this.

    It looks GREAT on you! 😀

  6. Hi!

    I thought I was all set to start making this but now I think I’m misunderstanding the measurements. Is the greatest amount of stretch supposed to run parallel to the 30″ side? All the knit fabric I’ve seen has the greatest amount of stretch running width-wise, but that would mean that this project would require fabric that is at least 60″ wide or more than 2 yards in length (total 80″) to complete.

    I bought 2 yards of 56″ wide fabric. Am I supposed to cut the pieces so that the greatest amount of stretch runs parallel to the 40″ side or should I cut them a few inches narrower or a few inches shorter?

    I can’t wait to make this!!

    • Dana – My fabric was 60″ wide so I just cut it down the middle making two pieces that were 30″ wide and 40″ long. That being said some of the people that have made it have found it too roomy so I would suggest just cutting it in half making two pieces that are about 28″ x 40″. You will have to fiddle a bit with the numbers, but really it will be fine. Let me know once it’s done. I would love to see it!

      • Hello, I love your pattern, but why do you ask for 2 yards of fabric since it is 40 inches long…? I’ve been sewing for 40 years and I to didn’t understand wright away the way to assemble it. maybe it would be easer if you put arrows to where it should be sew.

        thank you

  7. Love this. Can’t wait to try it. I’m down in the dumps because my sewing list is sitting pretty stagnant while my pregnant belly is anything but. I love projects that span the pre-during-post pregnancy life. :)

    I hope at some point I’ll get the chance to run into you in real life at a stake event or something….I think we have some friends in common, and I so admire your work.

    –an admirer from the other end of the island

    • Shanna, yes we should meet in real life sometime. Who are our mutual friends?
      Also, this would be perfect for your prego transition. You know another great prego project would be tessuti’s fav top – and its a free pattern too. I just made mine in a 4 way stretch bamboo knit and I kept thinking how I wished I had it during my last pregnancy.

    • Ciara S. is a friend from her days downtown, and I am recently acquainted with Diana H. (I’ve seen them both comment on your insta feed. :)

      Ooooo…thanks for the tip about the Tessuti top! I will check it out for sure! Love that bamboo knit at Mood. Perfect project to try it out.

    • I know Ciara Sch… from her days downtown and I’m recently acquainted with Diana H. (I’ve seen both of them comment on your insta feed).

      Good tip about the tessuti pattern! Downloading right away!

  8. Thanks “sew ” much! I look forward to sewing this soon! p. s. thanks for the clear directions and pictures too!!

  9. I am ordering fabric right now to make this. I need a new layering piece. Is there an easy way to put sleeves on it?

    • ive thought that you could just add a skinny tube that would extend from the elbow to the wrist approximately. i am going to try it this fall for sure.

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  11. Help! I love this! I’m probably the only one who cannot tell which is the center back seam – step 3.

    • Elizabeth, sorry that is not more clear. you are not the only who asked me that. its my fault. the cb seam is the one that curves at the top. (that part curves up and around the neck if that makes sense. Sorry. i think i need to update the post.

      • Yes, if you just indicate where the seams are (which side gets sewed to which side) it would help a lot! I’m going to see if I can figure it out anyway…super cute idea 😉

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  13. cool…!! i’m searching this pattern for so long.. thank u very much Kelli.. u’re so inspiring for my sewing project ;)…

  14. I love this tutorial and the final product!
    I have some really nice jaquard fabric I’ve been dying to use. Any recommendations on using non-knit fabric or fabric with no stretch? Thanks so much!

    • i havnt tried woven’s yet. it is oversized enough that it shouldn’t be a problem. The only issue I could see is that it might slip off the shoulders since it won’t form to the shoulders with the knit. sounds amazing though!

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  16. What size would this be? if you are a XL would these measurements still be as loose fitting for me? what should the measurements for XL?

  17. I tried this in a mini to test it out. I am totally lost at step 3. My patterns looks nothing like the diagram. What am I missing ???

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  19. Thank you for the tutorial! Saw one of these in a store and fell in love and here you are wearing one! I made one in a metalic sweater knit I bought last year and it is beautiful! Next will be a simpler daily wear version.

  20. I really want to make this, but step 3 and its diagram make no sense to me. Wish the diagram had the parts labeled or something. Back, top right, bottom right, heck even just A to A and B to B.

  21. hello. my english is very bad. i like this cardigan but i dont understand. for me y i s too complicated make the sewing, i cant see the step. sorry for me. Im lost . thanks

  22. I am totally lost on step 3. I sewed the cb. Can’t figure out the right and left corners. Plus where do they go. I’m lost. I’m sure it’s my fault. Can you help? Thanks.

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  24. Where is the center seam??? I get lost at step three. I love the cardigan my Mom made me one similar to this years ago but now she cant remember how to do it. I am unsure of the next step as well. I hope you can help me. Thank you.

  25. This is perfect for any creative type, but it is so practical too, wow, simply wow, and the relaxing color, all.

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  27. hey Kelli! I am trying to sew myself this sweater, maybe this is a foolish question but you be kind enough to tell me which side (once I have both sides cut out) is the ‘center back”? :S

    Huge thanks!!!!


    • not silly at all! a lot of people have been confused. I really need to redo this tutorial so that it’s more clear. the cb is the line with the small curved portion at the top. That little curved part will be at the neck at cb to keep it up and around the shoulders.

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  29. Bonjour

    serait il possible d’avoir le tutoriel du patron en français avec les dimensions en français, merci beaucoup

    (it would be possible to have the French boss in the tutorial with the French in size, thank you very much ==) avec Google traduction)

  30. I’ve just come across your site. This looks to be much fun and I love the “easy” part! I’m planning to make this sweater this weekend. Lightweight for the time being…I live in Mississippi! Could you give me some ideas to shorten it? I’m five feet tall and I’m afraid this would be way too long on me. Thanks much and great inspiration!!! :)

  31. If I have a print pattern and don’t want a center seam, could I just adapt the curved part for the neck?

  32. Pingback: DIY Cocoon Cardigan - Sewtorial

  33. Do you think this could be made out of fleece… It is so hard to find knit in my area… but thinking fleece might work…. what do you think.

  34. Love this! Can I ask how tall you are? Would this need to be shortened much for someone that is 5’3?

  35. Evening,

    I just stumbled upon your site trying to shop for a cocoon cardigan and I must say I absolutely love this! Quick question though, What size is the sweater based on your measurements?

    I have 0 sewing experience so please bear with me =S. I can’t wait to try this design out myself.

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