After making a rather ill fitting dress a few weeks ago, I was slightly weary of making another one. Alas, it is apparently best to climb back on the horse straight away when you fall off and I went ahead, possibly a little overconfident. I had practiced sewing knit fabric and felt happy with that, too. Knit fabric is a little more forgiving than linen, which I used last time. A good chance for a reasonably well fitting dress. There was of course a danger that a knit dress might just accentuate my Michelin rolls but it was a chance I was prepared to take.
I found the pattern via the Curvy Sewing Collective, where curvy women review a great many patterns. The pattern is The Lady Skater Dress by KitschyCoo. I thought the dress would suit my shape. I have two similar knit dresses I bought from Boden ages ago which fit me well, adding to my boundless confidence. I bought fabric at MyFabrics, an online shop. They stock a huge range of plain and funky knit fabrics. I am a funky girl and went for funky fabric. Of course I did.
The pdf pattern was a doddle to stick together (unlike some). It was a little more tricky to fit all pattern pieces onto my fabric, although I did buy the recommended amount for my size. I was left with hardly any fabric, which is good of course and nobody heard my cursing as I tried to fit the pattern pieces on the fabric. I did my usual practice sewing piece with some leftover fabric, using different stitches, pressure and tension to determine the best combination for this particular fabric. I find this is a very useful exercise. It is not easy to unpick stitches on knit fabric.
The dress is constructed very simply and consists of a bodice, sleeves (different options) and a skirt. I had enough fabric for the cap sleeved version only. The pattern instructions are excellent. There is a fully illustrated tutorial for beginners and an abbreviated one page summary for experienced seamstresses. I used the fully illustrated tutorial because I like images to guide me through a process. Every last detail was explained very well. Top marks!
|Here is the top stitched neckband on the outside...|
|...and on the inside. You can see the top stitching line, which is a long normal stitch, and the stretch stitch, which is a slightly distorted zig zag stitch.|
It took quite a while to sew the dress, mostly because I was otherwise busy. I did a little every day. I evidently chose the wrong bodice size despite following the measuring instructions carefully. I am glad I followed the suggestion and quickly basted the bodice together for
good reasonable fitting. I had to take the bodice and sleeve in by about 4 cm down to just under the bust. Should have made a toile. I guess I have one now! I would definitely shorten the bodice by at least 5 cm next time. Maybe even cut the dress in one piece, depending on the pattern on the fabric, to avoid pattern matching dramas.
I could have finished this dress a lot quicker with an overlocker. With my trusted old sewing machine, I sewed the seams and then finished those with a mock overlock stitch. I completely failed with the twin needle, which I wanted to use for the hem. Whatever I tried, there were skipped stitches and the fabric bunched up in the back. I tried all the tricks from the trouble shooting guide plus some of my own with no success. I used a stretch twin needle, too. I used a normal stretch stitch instead.
And now, for the photo shoot. Whilst I really like the dress, I just don't have model proportions. Honestly, Annie took about a million photos, none of which pleased me. Cue a lot of eye-rolling and sighing. A knit dress allows for the body to settle in comfortably, bulges do show. I don't mind that so much as I waddle along the road but even my confidence has limits. In then end I did some drastic tummy sucking-in, breath-holding, hand-placing and torso twisting to hide the worst. I am actually blue in the face on this photo but I'll spare you that sight. I didn't manage a whole body shot because by then Annie had lost interest and it was just me, the self timer and limited options to place the camera safely.
What do you think? Are the colours too crazy or just right? You might see this dress again when I write about our holiday.
Bye for now! Christina xx