Simple Sew Cocoon Coat update

If you read my blog reviewing the new Simple Sew Cocoon Jacket a couple of months back then you might recall the crazy-big toile I made to start with. I didn’t want the fabric to go to waste and so eventually I went back to it to finish. Because it’s a checked fabric I had cut it carefully to match even though it was only for a toile originally. [Since writing the original blog its been brought to my attention that the instructions for joining the front and back pieces together are currently wrong and show the front piece being attached the wrong way up! I’ve done a little diagram below to show how it should be] I’ve realised I thought I’d misunderstood and put it together intuitively, when actually it was the instructions not me, but this isn’t very helpful to you!

This is how the diagram looks on the instruction sheet
This is how it should go together.



The original HUGE toile back in the summer.

Basically I deconstructed the whole thing by unpicking the seams so that it was the main pieces of fronts and backs again, I hadn’t put any facings on it so this process was pretty quick. Once I’d got the pieces broken down I placed the reduced size pattern pieces from which I’d made my denim version on top of the checked fabric, still matching the checks carefully, and recut them smaller. This time I cut out the facings and patch pockets too.

Then I simply made it up in exactly the same way as the denim coat, I didn’t use any decorative topstitching this time though.

I decided not to use the giant poppers for this one so I had a rummage in my button collection and found two HUGE buttons of unknown origin. This presented two problems, firstly I had to work out very precisely where the buttonholes should be sewn so that when the buttons are done up the checks on the front still match (because I’m like that!) and then I discovered that, because the button was far too large for the automatic buttonhole foot, there were actually NO instructions in the guide book for my machine on how to make a freehand outsize buttonhole. This caused me so much head-scratching! I goggled it on the interweb with no luck but then I remembered my friend Anne, who is an expert sewer, has the same machine as me so I messaged her. She agreed there were definitely no instructions (I wasn’t going nuts!) and whilst I’d have to work out the specifics for my particular buttonhole, she pointed me in the right direction and eventually I had two acceptable buttonholes. What a palaver!



Anyway, I finished it in the end and the Cocoon Coat pattern will be officially released in the next week as the free gift with Sew Now magazine and on their website so everyone will get the chance to try this very simple but stylish coat. [I noticed the website does draw your attention to the generous sizing and I strongly recommend you make a toile or tissue fit first] I’ve made both mine in woven fabrics but you could try it in boiled wool or another fabric which doesn’t need to be faced or neatened. What about a double-faced jersey cloth, perhaps with a soft fleecy side? You could add a collar, or turn-back cuffs? So may possibilities for such a simple garment.


I’ve had lots of wear from the denim coat, it’s been really versatile because it isn’t too heavy but there’s room for layers underneath when it gets a bit cooler. What will you make yours in?

Until next time,

Happy sewing


9 thoughts on “Simple Sew Cocoon Coat update

  1. I had 2 coat projects stalled for the same buttonhole issue but I think I have worked out the manual steps to replace the automated buttonholes. 1 coat fixed, 1 more to finish off. I even got my old machine out to see if that would work but that had the same automated feature. It must have been the one before that with the 4 step feature I had to replicate.


    1. It’s infuriating isn’t it? I wouldn’t mind so much about not being able to use the 4-step foot but the fact there were no instructions at all was really annoying. I actually spoke to the Pfaff demonstrators at a recent show and initially they didn’t believe me and got the manual out! I was pleased to be proved correct but I’ll be interested to see if they feed that back to Pfaff.


  2. I think you’ve been very kind about the Cocoon jacket pattern. I’m in the process of trying to make a toil but am going to have to abandon the pattern because it just seems to have been drawn wrong. The problem you pointed out with the diagram for joining front and back (which I’m surprised the company don’t even mention on their site) is pretty fundamental. Even by following your correction, I still can’t see how you would joint two edges when one has a convex curve and the other concave. Some notches would help to see if I’m even in the right place, but the instruction sheet and pattern markings are no help at all. I’ve sent feedback to Simple Sew for another pattern that was inaccurate and badly sized and they had no interest at all. Maybe you as a pattern tester can convey how disappointing I’ve found this. They might have appealing pictures on the envelope but the contents really doesn’t meet the standard I expect. Very frustrating.


    1. Hi Kathryn, thank you for your message, I’m really sorry to hear that even after all this time Simple Sew haven’t amended the pattern and you’re struggling. I’m not actually part of their testing process, I just review them for the blog. However I do try and be honest about them because people like yourself deserve to have an accurate pattern and I always try to include fixes or alternatives. I did tell Simple Sew about the major error when I found it (and I can’t believe I missed it in the first place) I would have hoped that they would at least issue an errata on the website if it’s too late to update and reprint. It’s very disappointing to hear that this hasn’t happened. All I’d say to you is give it one more try because the pattern does go together, there aren’t enough notches but it will work. I’m not sure what you mean by trying to match convex and concave curves? Have you possibly got a piece upside down? I’ll reread what I wrote at the time and see if there’s anything else I can suggest.


      1. Hi Susan, thanks for taking the time to reply to my rant! It’s really kind of you. My sewing tutor suggested stay stitching the curve at the out edge of the front piece and then clipping it so it can be matched to the back piece along the raglan seam so I’ll give it a go.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m really grateful for all your effort to photograph and detail this pattern and your subsequent update, it’s really invaluable. Thanks to your share I will definitely tissue fit first – thank goodness I read through your experience with this pattern before cutting any cloth. I think it would bear a funnel collar very well and I will have fun seeing if and where I can reduce a little fabric volume out of the armscye. Maybe I should have bought Ralph Pink’s very beautiful Fari cocoon coat pattern instead, ha ha. Ah well, I do like a challenge. I recently refurbished a complicated and stunningly engineered Oswald Boateng frock coat so I’m sure I can fiddle my way through this. And I will ‘gratefully steal’ your contrast top-stitching down the centre back, ta very much x

    Liked by 1 person

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