Sunday, June 21, 2015

A Saved Dress

One of the assignments in my recent pattern making for knits class was to draft a princess line dress for interlock fabric.  As per the lesson, the dress was to have a V-neck, flared skirt and sleeves with a self-fabric band.

I discovered that the key to success for this dress was to pick good quality fabric or some type of fun fabric like some of my classmates did.  I, however, decided to try to save money and purchased a cheap, meaning poor quality, interlock fabric on sale.  (Honestly, I knew better but oh well.)  Although the pattern draft was correct, the fabric did not do the dress any justice.  The fabric has some weight to it so it pulls the dress down.  The fabric just hangs.  I can also tell that over time, this fabric will pill.  I like the color though.

I was going to give the dress away but decided after all of the time and energy I put into it to try to save it.

I did not think the sleeves were flattering on me ….

…so I cut 3 inches off the sleeves and did not use the self-fabric band.  I liked the dress much better with the shorter sleeve. 

We were also taught different methods of sewing with knits.  One of the methods was to stitch a seam using a sewing machine with a ball point or stretch needle.  When sewing knits with a sewing machine, you should avoid using a small stitch; otherwise, you can end up with a wavy seam.  I used a stitch length of 3.1. I then serged the edge with a 3-thread serger stitch.  Always experiment with test swatches to see what stitches work best for your fabric.  I also used the coverstitch for the hem.

I decided to keep the dress.  It's good enough to wear around the house or to run errands.  It's very comfortable.  But….no more cheap fabrics for me!

Happy sewing!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

The Final Project

My previous post was about the wearable muslin I made for the final project in my pattern making for knits class.  The assignment was to make an entire ensemble with the only condition being that it all be made from knit fabric.

I designed a top with a scoop neckline, yoke and 3/4 sleeves.

The yoke and sleeves are made of a semi-sheer stable knit fabric and the floral fabric is made out of a very stretchy polyester knit jersey.  The skirt is a stable Ponte fabric.  I absolutely love the colorful floral fabric.  

I am quite top heavy but I am very happy that I do not have a stress lines across the chest nor do I have the prominent drag lines at the side that I usually get in ready to wear tops.  

I achieved this by adding 1 inch across the bust level.  When I sewed the top, I stretched the back to fit the front from one inch above the waist to one inch below the armhole (see pattern draft below).  I also took up excess fabric caused by a large bust at the yoke / armhole area.  Luckily, since the fabric was so stretchy, these adjustments were all I needed.  With a more stable knit, I would also need a dart.  

I used a 4 thread security stitch to construct most of the top.  This provided a nice even narrow seam for  the semi-sheer yoke and sleeves.  (I used black thread but the thread is reflecting the sunlight from my window):

I finished the neckline edge and sleeve hem by turning the 1/2 inch seam allowance under by 1/4 inch and then again another 1/4 inch, then stitching using the sewing machine.  I used my serger's coverstitch for the hem:

The skirt was a straightforward pencil skirt with an elastic waist.

I am very happy with the ensemble.  It is slimming, colorful and comfortable.  Best of all, it fits!  And isn't a good fit the greatest benefit of sewing your own garments?  

Happy sewing!