I was very pleased to be invited by Melissa of Melly Sews to be a part of her ever popular sewing series (30) Days of Sundresses. I knew right away I wanted to make a comfortable knit dress that could be a little dressy too. So I came up with this pleated cocoon dress for the occasion. I like my knit dresses to be a little loose fitting, especially on hot summer days. With the pleated neckline, you get all the ease you need without looking like a potato sack! 


- A knit tank top that fits just right

- Some paper

- A ruler

- Tape

- Measuring tape

- Paper scissors

- Of course some knit fabric ( stretch is not required- it's better to try and find something to the knit tank top you are using as a base) and basic sewing supplies- To determine the amount the fabric you will need to determine the length you want the dress and double that amount without forgetting seam allowance. 

I created two variations of the same style- my version has smaller pleats and is a little more form fitting, whereas my daughter's has deeper pleats and consequently a little more loose fitting. I will explain both methods below. I also finished both dresses differently, mine has a bias finish at the neckline and armhole and is hemmed. My daughter has raw edges at the armhole and hem and the neckline is finished with a facing. It really is up to you to choose what you like best- a more clean look or sporty? Also, the reason I choose the bias finish on my neckline was because the fabric I choose was a little thick and the facing just didn't hold in place nicely. Something to consider if you are sewing with a thicker knit. 

You will want to take you hip measurement and make sure the width of the dress at the hips is at least 4cm wider than your measurement. If not you need to adapt the pattern and make it as wide as your hips. I also recommend trying the dress on for a fit test before sewing the neckline facing or bias. In case you need to make adjustments. 

The tank top I traced from for my daughter's dress had some wide shoulders, so I tucked the edge in a little and tacked in place with some handstitching. 

 This is a really quick project and fast sew, once you've done all the slashing and taping! 

Depending on your tank top and on the fabric you will choose, the result will vary from person to person. 

You can also exaggerate the cocoon shape by taking in the side seams a little at the hem if you like. So many possibilities! 

Be sure to pass by Melissa's blog to enter some amazing giveaways and to see what other great tutorials and freebies all the other contributors have been making. You can see all the post HERE.


A huge thank you to MisterM for the fun photos! I managed to find a few where my head, feet, hands weren't cropped off. hehe! 

Wishing you all a peachy summer! 


If you make a pleated cocoon dress, I would love to see it! Tag your IG photos with #petitapetitblog Happy Sewing!