SEWING TUTORIALS

DIY COCOON CARDIGAN

March 4, 2014
cocooncardi-5672_zps535cf3f8
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:
Materials:
– 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!

 

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106 Comments

  • Reply Teresa March 4, 2014 at 3:32 PM

    Ooh…I love this Kelli! I am definitely going to have to try it!

  • Reply blacklabelblog March 4, 2014 at 4:02 PM

    Stunning & simple! you rock.

  • Reply K.Line March 4, 2014 at 4:34 PM

    Genius! Thanks for this post.

  • Reply Meg March 4, 2014 at 4:37 PM

    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.

    • Reply Kelli Ward March 4, 2014 at 5:28 PM

      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.

  • Reply Andrea March 4, 2014 at 5:14 PM

    Thia ia great – thanks so much!

  • Reply Gwen March 4, 2014 at 5:20 PM

    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?

    • Reply Kelli Ward March 4, 2014 at 5:34 PM

      Gwen – You sew the entire back seam from top to bottom including the curved part. Thanks for pointing out that it is unclear.

    • Reply Gwen March 4, 2014 at 5:52 PM

      Perfect, thanks! Time to dig through my stash… 😀

  • Reply Madalynne March 4, 2014 at 7:55 PM

    This is a great tutorial! Do you know what Iove most about it? It’s seasonless! This would work during winter, spring, summer and fall.

  • Reply Faye Lewis March 4, 2014 at 9:52 PM

    What a wonderfully understandable tutorial. Thanks for sharing it

  • Reply Kelly March 4, 2014 at 11:49 PM

    Ooo, I just got the perfect fabric for this. Definitely will make one soon, thanks for the tutorial!

  • Reply Jen March 4, 2014 at 11:54 PM

    So cute and all weather appropriate (I’m a known cardigan layer-er) and that fabric is SO good!

  • Reply lifeandcity March 5, 2014 at 3:13 AM

    Love this style of cardigan! So comfy and cozy

    http://lifeandcity.tumblr.com

  • Reply Cirque Du Bebe March 5, 2014 at 3:18 AM

    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.

  • Reply Sam March 5, 2014 at 5:17 AM

    This is lovely! I’ve been looking for a good tutorial for something like this, thank you.

  • Reply mokosha March 5, 2014 at 6:04 AM

    stunning! i’m so sewing this, as soon as i find the fabric

  • Reply DanaRose March 5, 2014 at 10:03 AM

    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!

  • Reply Darsana March 5, 2014 at 11:08 AM

    Thanks for sharing this great tutorial! You look effortlessly chic (as always!)

  • Reply Anne Weaver March 5, 2014 at 12:17 PM

    Beautiful layering piece for spring!!! I’ve got a Craft Gossip post scheduled for later today that links to your tutorial: http://sewing.craftgossip.com/tutorial-drapey-cocoon-cardigan/2014/03/05/
    –Anne

  • Reply sallie oleta barbee March 5, 2014 at 12:36 PM

    Gorgeous! Great layering piece. And I love designs that look so visually complicated but are actually just simple geometric shapes! Thanks Kelli!

  • Reply angela March 5, 2014 at 5:03 PM

    I so so want to try this, it looks fab on you! Very chic!

  • Reply Yeshka March 6, 2014 at 3:30 AM

    It looks gerat! I will totally try it 🙂 Thank you!

  • Reply anu*miki March 6, 2014 at 4:05 AM

    Love this ! And will definately try it!pinning it right now…

  • Reply Nettie March 6, 2014 at 8:49 PM

    I loooooove this!!! Thanks!

    I need all the long cardis I can get to cover the ole bum ;o)

  • Reply gingermakes March 6, 2014 at 9:58 PM

    I want this RIGHT NOW! Ugh, I don’t think I have any fabric for one- nooooooooo! Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply Kristi March 6, 2014 at 11:59 PM

    Cool cardigan, and very nicely illustrated. Can’t wait to try it out.

  • Reply kristin March 7, 2014 at 2:34 AM

    ooooh it’s pretty and so cozy! thanks for the tute!

  • Reply Heather Lou March 7, 2014 at 10:57 AM

    RAD RAD RAD!

  • Reply Gail March 16, 2014 at 7:13 AM

    Great little number.

  • Reply Sara Cougill March 18, 2014 at 5:43 PM

    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! 😀

  • Reply txell, rita i els alberts April 4, 2014 at 5:27 AM

    i.ve just finish my new coccon cardigan, thanks a lot I love it!

  • Reply Anonymous April 22, 2014 at 12:54 PM

    I am DEFINITELY!!! doing this. Your instructions are SO CLEAR!! Thanks so much for sharing this!

  • Reply DanaRose April 23, 2014 at 5:52 PM

    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!!

    • Reply Kelli Ward April 23, 2014 at 8:32 PM

      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!

      • Reply Good4me September 27, 2015 at 12:52 PM

        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

    • Reply DanaRose April 24, 2014 at 7:53 AM

      Thank you! I’m going to get started on this tonight.

      • Reply Jeni September 26, 2016 at 9:17 PM

        Did you do another one w arrows or something showing where the seams should be?? I can’t grasp it & on my 3rd attempt…

  • Reply Shanna April 24, 2014 at 7:48 PM

    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

    • Reply Kelli Ward April 24, 2014 at 8:17 PM

      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.

    • Reply Shanna April 26, 2014 at 5:07 PM

      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.

    • Reply Shanna May 3, 2014 at 4:16 PM

      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!

      • Reply sildenafil November 24, 2014 at 9:15 AM

        It’s like you’re on a mission to save me time and money!

  • Reply DanaRose May 4, 2014 at 6:33 PM

    Hey, I made this! Thanks so much for the tutorial. I love my new cocoon cardigan!

  • Reply d July 6, 2014 at 2:21 PM

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

  • Reply Alysha August 8, 2014 at 2:07 PM

    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?

    • Reply True Bias August 11, 2014 at 8:20 PM

      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.

  • Reply Jewel August 19, 2014 at 11:47 PM

    How would you change the original measurements for plus sizes?

    • Reply vbcoach March 2, 2015 at 10:23 AM

      I would love to know as well. I’m a size 18. Thanks so much. Would love to be able to rock this 😉

    • Reply Danielle November 20, 2016 at 3:25 PM

      I was wondering the same thing.

    • Reply Danielle November 21, 2016 at 11:31 AM

      I just made this. All I did was add a couple inches to the original dimensions, and everything else stayed the same. I’m a size 26 and it fits fine.

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  • Reply shiraz September 19, 2014 at 5:51 AM

    Thank you so much for sharing ….Just completed my cardigan 🙂

  • Reply Elizabeth September 20, 2014 at 12:13 AM

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

    • Reply True Bias September 23, 2014 at 9:36 AM

      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.

      • Reply Beth December 2, 2014 at 6:59 PM

        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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  • Reply Annabel Esohe October 14, 2014 at 3:32 AM

    I love it, wow am definitely going to try it. Thanks for sharing

  • Reply Rita Indriany Bachtiar October 24, 2014 at 12:55 AM

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

  • Reply Brittany October 27, 2014 at 1:44 PM

    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!

    • Reply True Bias October 31, 2014 at 8:32 AM

      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!

  • Reply Sassy T October 30, 2014 at 12:04 PM

    I love this so much. . .

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  • Reply Ashlynn Blackshire November 3, 2014 at 2:41 PM

    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?

    • Reply True Bias November 4, 2014 at 8:33 AM

      Im sorry I don’t have exact measurements but I have seen it made up by some xl women and it looked great on them.

  • Reply Mary November 5, 2014 at 8:06 PM

    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 ???

    • Reply True Bias November 9, 2014 at 1:07 PM

      hmmm, not sure Mary. if you want to email me a pic i am happy to take a look at it and see if i can figure out what is wrong.

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  • Reply Angela November 15, 2014 at 7:22 AM

    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.

  • Reply Nicole November 25, 2014 at 11:10 AM

    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.

  • Reply Kelly (Kelroc) November 26, 2014 at 8:43 PM

    Such a quick an easy sweater and on trend. This will be my thanksgiving sewing project. Thanks!

  • Reply trish December 3, 2014 at 7:35 AM

    Love this, so simple but such a great make. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply alma. December 4, 2014 at 2:45 PM

    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

  • Reply Bonnie January 5, 2015 at 2:47 PM

    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.

    • Reply Mia January 19, 2015 at 11:39 AM

      Same for me… 🙁 I am trying to figure it out with paper… but can’t get it after the CB.
      Really love the cardigan though!

      • Reply Jenny March 9, 2015 at 8:15 PM

        I’m stuck as well, after seeing the CB seam. Help, I’ve driven my husband crazy trying to figure this out!!

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  • Reply Shellie March 8, 2015 at 5:08 AM

    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.

  • Reply mila March 30, 2015 at 9:13 AM

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

  • Reply jenni April 22, 2015 at 10:23 AM

    Thank you – I just blogged about my attempt at following your pattern – I credited you in it of course – take a look 🙂 I’m really happy with my new cardigan! http://daydreamsandsunshine.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/slouch-cardigan.html

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  • Reply Adry April 28, 2015 at 4:16 PM

    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!!!!

    Adry

    • Reply True Bias May 5, 2015 at 9:07 AM

      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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  • Reply Laurence May 25, 2015 at 10:32 AM

    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)

  • Reply Nancy July 23, 2015 at 2:14 PM

    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!!! 🙂

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  • Reply tina August 10, 2015 at 9:37 AM

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

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  • Reply Cheryl Enyart August 23, 2015 at 10:13 AM

    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.

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  • Reply The mrs m 13 October 9, 2015 at 12:55 AM

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

    • Reply True Bias October 10, 2015 at 11:01 PM

      I’m 5’3″ actually.

  • Reply Christy October 13, 2015 at 12:22 AM

    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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  • Reply hillary March 13, 2016 at 11:50 PM

    hi,

    i am really sorry, but i am really confused with the instruction.
    i got the part of cutting the fabric somehow
    🙁
    can you somehow edit the steps and do markings like a-z or 1-100;
    what to connect, where to sew up to.

    thanks!

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