Archives: October 2019
Posted in Projects on Thursday the 31st October 2019 by Vicki Ormerod
Hello again, Minerva readers! Today I’m sharing my holiday dress—a twist on a cocktail dress pattern and made extra special with a unique embroidered lace. I can’t wait to tell you more!
When Minerva reached out a few months ago about doing a series of blog posts featuring special occasion-type fabrics, I was alllllll for it. There were so many gorgeous fabrics to choose from, among them this interesting lace in “old rose pink” (which I’d say is more mauve in person). I made my fabric pick quickly and then began to search the internet for a pattern with which to make my fancy schmancy dress. Folks, I can’t even begin to tell you how long I spent looking for a pattern I’d want to make. First of all, there aren’t really any Indie/PDF patterns for formal dresses. I figured I’d have to resort to a “Big 4” tissue pattern—which isn’t my preferred way to sew, but even then I found the pattern options somewhat dated and uninspiring. I decided I should revisit Indie patterns that I liked, knowing I could always spiff up more casual patterns with my fabric choice and design hacks.
I was flipping through my copy of Breaking the Pattern by Named Clothing when it hit me like a ton of bricks: use the Kaste Dress! It has amazing lines perfect for customizing, and dramatic sleeves that would look so pretty in lace. It was the perfect starting point! And bonus: if you’ve purchased the book you can download PDF copy shop files of the patterns, saving you the step of tracing tissue sheets. I couldn’t have been more on board with this formal Kaste Dress idea.
The Kaste Dress is a knee length cocktail dress but I knew I’d get more use out of a full length gown. My first step was to lengthen the whole dress by 9.5”. Now this might not seem like much added length. This is true for two reasons: number one, I’m short, so the original dress was quite long on me anyway. Number two, I needed to play a serious game of pattern tetris and that was all I could spare to make the rest of my gown hack work. Luckily I had just enough length to hem and still wear it with heels, though its not too long that I can’t wear it with flats as well. I also shortened the sleeves by 4” and cut a v neckline in the back to mirror the front, both simply as personal preference.
Next, I drafted a godet piece to add some volume to the skirt. Adding a godet to the Kaste Dress is practically meant to be because the pattern already features a paneled skirt, making it super easy to insert eight godets. I absolutely love what this hack did for my dress. It made the gown feel more formal with some extra volume but without adding extra fabric to the whole skirt and my midsection. Getting these extra pieces out of my yardage (I received four meters) was a new level of difficult, so do know that godets require significantly extra fabric. But its such a fun addition and totally changes the look of a pattern.
Finally, I actually left my dress completely unlined. I liked the idea of being able to wear it over different slips (for these photos I wore it over a black Seamwork Ariane slip), and because of the couching-like embellishment on top of the fabric, the lace isn’t super “lace-y”. To finish the neckline and hems I simply serged the edges and folded them over once for a narrow 1/4” hem. And because the lace has some mechanical stretch, instead of inserting a zipper I was able to sew up the center back seam and just slip it on over my head. Even after taking in the side seams at the waist, the dress slips on easily. I tell ya, this gown looks like hot stuff but is just as easy wearing as a t-shirt!
Sewing this dress was a bit of a strength building exercise. As I mentioned, its not very lace-y in the delicate sense, and the couching adds heft and weight that required some extra effort to maneuver at my machine. Fortunately it doesn’t feel heavy when wearing and still moves and drapes beautifully. We actually photographed this dress tucked away under an awning on a very windy day, and it could even be argued that the thickness of the lace adds a measure of warmth, which is always a plus for those winter holiday events.
Phew! That was quite a lot! Thanks for sticking with me and checking out my dress. I am so proud of this baby and really pleased with how my changes to the Kaste Dress pattern turned out, and I’m especially thrilled to have tried this unique lace fabric. My husband’s employer hosts a couple formal events every year, and I can’t wait to wear this gown to the next one!
XO - Meg
Hey Friends! I’m so excited to share with you these super fun sews! Holidays are my favorite but sometimes the decor and extras come with a pretty hefty price tag. This year I decided to take matters in my own hands, thanks to some amazing Minerva fabric! I had to grab some of this gorgeous spiderweb net fabric. I’ll admit I’m always nervous buying tulle/net online as who knows if it’s going to be stiff, a glitter bomb, full of creases, or something else but I was so pleasantly surprised when it showed up in my mailbox. It’s very soft, zero glitter loss, and a breeze to work with.
I had two plans with this fabric. First, I knew I wanted to make myself a new table cloth. To be honest, with 3 kids, my table has seen better days so I try to keep it looking nice with different table cloths. With Halloween around the corner, I knew this would be perfect. Now, when it comes to cutting really big squares, well, I’m reallly bad at it. So instead of trying to measure and cut I just grabbed a current table cloth and laid it down over my spider web net.
I knew I wanted to add some length so I used my acrylic ruler and cut alongside of that.
The mesh could easily be left unhemmed as it didn’t fray but I wanted a cleaner longer lasting look so I decided to use a rolled hem and it worked perfectly. If you have a serger that will roll hems for you but you’ve never done it- don’t be afraid! It’s easier than it looks! I just googled how to do it with my specific serger, a video popped up and bam! Easy peasy and such a nice finished look.
I couldn’t wait to get it on my table. My favorite pumpkins had to join the party. What do you think? Fun right?
Now for my second project, I decided my sweet little girl needed a spider web skirt. I’ve got two boys so I’m dipping my toe into the world of tulle for the first time. I wanted to take it easy on myself this round and make a super simple skirt. The nice thing about this fabric is it already has a nice binding along the selvage edges so I decided to use that as my waistband part to make it easier to sew. For skirt length- I just chose a length that I wanted for my daughter, added an extra inch to that for waist casing and rolled hem. For the width- I just multiplied her waist measurement times 2.5. I might go a little more next time for a more dramatic look.
To create the waist casing I just flipped down the edge with the selvage binding 1 inch and edge-stitched in place leaving a small 1 inch opening to thread elastic. For her elastic I just cut her waist measurement, threaded it through the casing leaving one edge out and puling the other edge out of the other side of the opening. Next, I overlapped the two elastic edges ½ an inch and stitched them together with a zig-zag stitch. I then moved the elastic back into the casing and stitched it closed. Last but not least I rolled my bottom hem and I was done! So fast and cute! Just make sure you have matching elastic though.
I can’t wait to get different meshes for all the holidays! Skirts and table clothes for every season! Next time, maybe I’ll shoot for a double layer mesh skirt. Thank you so much for reading and I hope you all got some fun inspiration.
My name is Maeve and I live and teach sewing classes in Pittsburgh, PA, USA. This is my first Minerva blog post and I’m excited to be able to share this make with you.
(My excited face)
It was a hard decision choosing which fabric to use, but when I saw this bird print Cotton Fabric it was love at first sight. I mean look at them, they’re adorable, they’re in love, surrounded by flowers and tropical palms. What’s not to like?! It was calling to me to become a tropical button up, and one can never have too many tropical button ups.
I am a big fan of the fact that most of the fabrics on Minerva’s website come with videos. It was much easier for me to gauge the drape and weight of the fabric than just using photos. Also, does this look like the face of someone patient enough to order swatches? Doubtful.
For the pattern I chose Style Arc Blaire Shirtdress, which I’d been eyeing for some time and was glad to have an excuse to try it out. I’d never made a StyleArc pattern previously but from reading some pattern review comments I knew the directions were a little light. I had enough information to make up the shirt but I wouldn’t recommend this pattern for your first collar installation. The collar came together really easily and I didn’t have issues but if you’ve never put one in it would be taxing without supplemental materials.
I cut out a straight size 12 even though I fell into a size 14 in the hips. I decided the fit was boxy enough to go over them easily. If I make up the dress version in the future I might grade between sizes but the shirt fit well for me without grading.
The bottom portion of the shirt was designed to have an underlay but I missed it out in favor of using a bias binding to finish the hem. With the hem curve, bias tape sounded a lot more enjoyable to install than doing a double fold and gave me a bit of extra desired length. I didn’t order enough fabric for both the bias tape and the underlay but I do have enough left over if I wanted to incorporate a faux underlay in the future. I don’t mind the high split on the sides, but it is a bit breezy for non-tropical vacation wear. I opted to wear an undershirt for these photos so no one could catch a glimpse of my rib cage.
I know those seams don’t look even but it is actually even in real life, pinky promise.
This fabric was lovely to work with, it’s so soft and easy to cut and sew up. It holds its shape nicely and has a little drape to it. I’m not a perfectionist when it comes to pattern matching and the pattern is busy enough that this shirt probably only drives about 10% of the population crazy (I hope this percentage has never been to H&M). I added a little contrast purple segment to the button band as I MAY have forgotten to account for the added length. A very happy accident I think.
All in all I intend to get a lot of wear out of this shirt. I love the sleeves, the fit, the print, and the feel of the fabric. A lovely cheery shirt to throw on for a little outfit pick me up.
Thanks for following along everyone!
Posted in Projects on Thursday the 31st October 2019 by Vicki Ormerod
Chloe Montrose (@chloemontrose on Instagram) here, and this is my first post for the Minerva Makers team. Let me start by telling you something about myself that will come as no surprise to any sewist ever...
I love buying fabric. Soooo much. BUT... as an indecisive type, shopping can be a time-consuming and fraught process. It usually takes me a few days of to-ing and fro-ing to make a fabric (or any other) purchase. However, when I saw that Minerva stocks Lady McElroy Viscose Satin Crepe, I snapped some up immediately. I had a brief indecisive wobble when I debated selecting the more sensible black version of this fabric, but with an unaccustomed spirit of reckless abandon I chose to be bold.
This colour is described as terracotta, but I think it tips more towards the salmon/coral end of the orange spectrum. While it looks different in different light, it's a gorgeous saturated colour that helps to relieve the sea of navy and grey and dark green in my work wardrobe. For reference, the closest thread match I found was Gutermann 589.
I hadn't come across viscose satin crepe before, so I wasn't sure what to expect. This fabric is similar to viscose crepe, but thicker and heavier, and A LOT easier to cut out and sew. I used a rotary cutter and cut most pieces in a single layer, but did double up for the cut on fold pieces without an issue. It didn't fray or shift around as much as other viscose fabrics I've used, and it has a lovely weight and drape that makes it feel luxurious.
Used satin side out, this fabric would make a show-stopping evening dress, but since my black tie gala event invitations have dried up lately, I decided instead to add a little luxury to my work wardrobe. I used vintage re-release Butterick Pattern B5880 (from 1951) for some retro glamour, but I didn’t want something I could only wear on (rare) special occasions.
To ensure I get maximum wear I split this dress pattern into separates. So I have a skirt that I can dress down with t-shirts, or corporate-ify with the addition of a black blazer or a crisply ironed white button up shirt. (Just kidding, I don't wear anything that's crisply ironed... let's go with a quickly steamed and only slightly rumpled silk top with paper clips on it).
I decided to use the non-satin side to the outside, to skew this look more daytime. I omitted the lining to keep things light, because the fabric already has a bit of weight to it, and the satin side feels nice and silky against the skin. While the pattern instructs you to stitch together and turn two skirt overlay pieces, I used just one layer of fabric to maximise the beautiful drape of the viscose satin crepe, and I used my overlocker to create a narrow two thread rolled hem to finish the edge.
I blended between size 14 at the waist and 12 at the hips, though a straight 12 would have been better, as I ended up taking in a few centimetres out of the back princess and side seams at the waist.
It's so rare for me to not have to lengthen a pattern to get it to midi length! If you're petite it will definitely come up long for you (I'm almost 5'10").
I pegged the skirt slightly (by blending from size 12 at the hips to size 6 towards the hem) and added vent extensions to the skirt back pieces to allow for movement (although I should have started these higher up). I added a two piece curved waistband (one piece interfaced) with an underlap for a hook and bar closure.
I feel bereft in clothing without pockets and add them to almost everything. The only reason I leave pockets out of my makes is if they spoil the line of a fitted garment, so sadly pencil skirts usually go pocketless. But I figured the flounce of the skirt overlay would hide a sneaky pocket on that side, so I inserted one into the side seam on the left and switched the zip to the other seam.
If only the top (formerly the bodice) had come together as smoothly...
Changes to the pattern:
I scooped the neckline slightly and redrew the cut outs. It's unlined, so I traced the new neckline to create facings.
I cut the back as two pieces (rather than on the fold), adding seam allowances, to have opening at CB, intending to close with button and thread loop at the top.
Since I wanted a top I could tuck in, and also wear with other things, I lengthened the bodice by 10cm and angled it out to allow for hips.
Not good. I cut a size 14, the biggest size in my envelope, because I wanted it loose and boxy. That was a bad call; there is just too much fabric and it doesn't sit right. (I should have done the narrow shoulder adjustment that I always have to do. I didn't. I should have checked my size and the finished garment measurements. I didn't.)
To take out the excess at the top, and give my hips more room at the bottom, I crossed over the back neckline. I stitched the opening down to below the bra line, and finished the edges with a narrow rolled hem.
The middle back opening blouses out unattractively when the top is tucked in, but looks nice when left to naturally swing open (like a tulip-back top), a happy accident that's the result of trying to fix the fit on the fly.
All the things I should have already learnt by now, but mostly summed up thusly: Don't be lazy…
1. Blend between sizes and make necessary fitting adjustments to the pattern, even on loose or boxy garments
2. Measure your pattern pieces and compare them to body measurements plus desired ease
3. Walk the seamlines to ensure they match after making adjustments
This may be the project when it finally sinks in that the less time I spend on fitting before cutting the fabric, the more time I spend trying to fix it later.
It's far from perfect, but this outfit is at least a great pairing of pattern and fabric. The weight and drape of the viscose satin crepe are an ideal match for this pattern’s signature flowy tucked skirt overlay. The fabric, colour and dramatic flounce all make the skirt a bit of a statement piece, but as two pieces it has a versatility that I hope means it will be on high rotation in my Me Made wardrobe.
Thanks for reading,
Welcome to the jungle……….. I am getting tropical vibes from today’s project. I got to work with the most stunning Lady McElroy Cotton Lawn Fabric this time. I chose the pine colourway which is a lovely dusky turquoise shade with the most vibrant bird and floral print. It’s so dreamy and I am so happy I got to get my hands on it and sew it up into a dress.
It also comes in a pink colourway, which is equally stunning. But I had to make a choice. I have made quite a few blue-ish dresses this year, so the pine colourway fitted in very well with my collection. I also think it suits my complexion a bit better.
Since my favourite style dresses are shirt dresses, I reach for them most often. That is why I went for a shirt dress pattern for this project as I want to wear this dress as much as possible and enjoy this lovely fabric. It’s so beautifully soft.
I ended up choosing Simplicity 8014, view A as I had envisioned a 1970s vibe for this dress.
The only thing I changed was leaving the dress sleeveless. This is a very busy print and I felt that having sleeves might be a bit much. I also prefer wearing little cardigans over my dresses and sleeves would get in the way.
I followed the pattern instructions minus the sleeves and find them very clear and easy to follow. I made one more change worth mentioning. I doubled up on the back yoke and cut 2 of them. You often see this in shirts and some shirt dresses. I like that detail. Also the dress is very long, which means you have a lot of weight from the skirt attached to the bodice. The double yoke adds some strength to the bodice and supports the collar. At least I think so.
I decided to add a bit of contrast to the dress to break up the pattern a bit here and there. When I decided to go sleeveless I opted to bind the armholes with bias binding. I had some Stretch Cotton Fabric in the colour lipstick left from the towel dress I made on the blog. You can also see how I made my own binding here and what tools I used in that blog post.
It’s a rich coral colour that goes perfectly with this print. Instead of binding the armholes and hiding the binding on the inside, I decided to cut very wide binding and let it show on the outside as well for a pop of solid colour. I also picked that colour for the buttons and used Poppers in raspberry pink.
As you can maybe tell from the little sneak peak in the picture above I also picked up that colour again in the belt. I love matching belts to my dresses and have been obsessed with adding them to most of my recent projects. The pattern comes with a tie belt, which is lovely but I wanted a proper belt to go with the dress. I find that more of a vintage touch and since that is the aesthetic I personally prefer for my wardrobe, I had to put in a bit more of an effort. So here is how I made my matching belt.
I used Petersham to interface the belt and fabric to cover the belt. My bias binding I made and a belt buckle
and Eyelets for the belt holes. I had silver and gold coloured ones and ended up going for the gold.
Little tip, make sure to check the size of your belt buckle and your belt interfacing match!
First I sewed my fabric onto the entire length of the Petersham ribbon and then wrapped it all around the belt. I folded the raw edges inwards and slipstitched the whole length of the belt. You can add your belt holes at this stage but I wanted to bring the solid coral colour back and add more detail to the belt.
So I sewed my handmade bias binding to both edges of the belt.
I slip-stitched all the binding on the back of the belt by hand for a neat finish on both sides of the belt.
Then I punched my belt holes where I wanted them to be with a Hole Punching Pliers.
I fed the eyelet through the pre-made holes and then pressed them down to make the finished belt hole using Eyelet Pliers.
And there you have your finished belt.
It might seem like a lot of tools and accessories but if you regularly make matching belts, they are a really good investment.
I am super happy with the finished result, both dress and belt. I’m glad I added that extra splash of colour. It breaks up the pattern. Oh and I totally forgot to mention: THE DRESS HAS POCKETS!!! Of course one of the most important details. They come with the pattern.
I’m not entirely sure if I achieved a 1970s look as planned with this dress but it’s definitely a great summer staple. I don’t have a lot of long dresses so it was about time to add one to the collection. I have already worn it out to a gig and got some lovely compliments from some nice people.
I hope you enjoyed following along with me. You can find more vintage inspired sewing on my Instagram @beatricewinter
Who’s getting ready for the festive season? I am proud to be ahead of the game this year. Sure, I may not have all the Christmas presents all wrapped up (or purchased, for that matter), but I’ve knocked up a little frock in advance of the party season.
And it’s a lace little number, no less. Whilst I was a little worried that an ivory lace dress could look overly bridal (and was debating over the teal vs pink embroidery because of that), I am relieved with the result.
What do you think?
Let’s start with the fabric. It’s a beautiful stretch lace, with stunning floral embroidery. It has an embroidered scallop edge on both sides in a silvery grey thread, and I knew that I had to take advantage of that. No hemming you say? ;)
The lace has a slight stretch to it, but is relatively stable. I decided to line it with an ivory lining fabric from my stash (purchased from Minerva ages ago), which has subtle polka dots woven into the fabric (you will see what I mean in the work-in-progress neckline picture below), mainly because the colour match was absolutely spot on (get it?). It is, however, a lining fabric with no stretch at all, which did mean that I had to “waste” the stretchiness quality from the lace on the lined portions.
To compensate for this, I had to pick a design which is not fully lined, to make the most of the lace. Sleeves were the obvious option. As mentioned above, I also wanted to show off the scallop edges. Well, I say edges, they are really near the edges of the lace selvage. This meant that I had to add a step of carefully trimming around the embroidery, before strategically placing the pattern pieces so that the skirt and the sleeves would be the right length, and have built-in scallop hems.
I used Vogue 8766 from my stash, and made view E. I almost went for view F, but decided that a slimmer skirt would be better for my petite body shape. Surprisingly, after making a quick toile, apart from some petite adjustments (shortening the bodice and the skirt), the fit was pretty good! I did make a design change and made narrower sleeves – whilst I was intrigued by the pleated sleeves from this pattern, I was clear that slimmer sleeves would complement the dress, especially with the built-in stretch in the lace.
I sewed the lace as any other fabric this time, with “normal” seaming methods, i.e. sewing rights sides together, except for the sleeves where French seams were obviously called for. This is my second time working with lace, and I think doing applique seams once in your life is probably enough! But why does it feel like I cheated?
I couldn’t resist, however, to add a couple of special touches.
Instead of the pattern instructions, I finished the neckline with bias binding made with the lining fabric like this:
See what I mean by the little polka dots on the lining?
Finally, I inserted a handpicked zipper. It takes a little bit longer, but I love the result! I do think that a little bit of hand stitching can make the garment. Don’t you just love it when everything is lined up properly?
So, I’m ready for the festive season! The only thing that I slightly regret now is to have not picked a stretch lining – I’m sure a little give in a fitted dress would’ve been appreciated during this time of the year!
Until next time,
Alice from Queen of Darts
Posted in Projects on Wednesday the 30th October 2019 by Vicki Ormerod
For several years I have two or three quilts on my couch to use whenever needed. Boys play and build castles, I snuggle when I have cold feet while watching tv and I cover my couch with quilts when we have guests. All these quilts are made by me and I love seeing these being used and loved. So there can be no mystery why I wanted a Christmas themed quilt to have in hand in December.
When I chose these beautiful fabrics from Minerva I knew I wanted to use white fabric remnants I had in my stash. I think the white brings out all the red and green colors and the patterns and sort of calms the overall feeling. Like the snow when it covers up everything in winter but the beautiful fir and pine trees still bring in some green color.
Once I got my fabric choices done I searched for the pattern. I don't like ready made patterns with exact measurements for quilts - I do my own math and get the quilt as large as I want. I decided to have the quilt approximately 2 m long and 1.4 meters wide. You know quilts shrink when you quilt them - the more you quilt the more it shrinks. I think I spent hours in Pinterest because there are so many beautiful quilts!
I decided to use chandelier quilt for my inspiration. It's something I hadn't done and it gave me a challenge. Usually all the patchwork blocks are sewn together in rows horizontally or vertically but this quilt has all the rows sewn together diagonally. You start from the corner with one or two blocks, then the next row has three or four blocks and so it grows until you get to the other corner. You also need to sew triagles to each end, otherwise the quilt doesn't have a straight edge.
There are two different ways to make this quilt, one with three different kind of blocks and one with just one bigger block. I chose the latter and started to cut into my fabrics. I used a cotton batting and one old fabric with red hearts as a backing. The cotton batting makes this quilt a bit heavier than the polyester ones are but it has lovely feeling and I could use something warmer for snuggling in winter time. I had light grey bias tape at home and I think it neatly finishes the edges.
I had a hard time hiding the quilt from my boys before taking photos. Both of them asked it just for them and I have a feeling I need to make the second one too. I guess I'm going to order some more of those cotton Christmas fabrics so I can sew something as beautiful as this again.
For the quilt I used these fabrics in different colors:
I can't wait for Christmas!
After a fun Christmas sweater for my boy it’s now time for a fun Christmas shirt. Don’t you just love those Santa’s hats on this fabric!? My original idea was to make a vest, but then I would use just a small piece of this fabric. In deliberation with my son we decided that it should be a shirt instead. In my stash of patterns I just found the perfect one for it. It is a bit of a western styled pattern and to emphasize this I’ve added piping band at the front and the back of the shirt. It shows off the shape of the yokes.
I had fun making this shirt with this fabric. It’s a real easy to sew fabric. I’ve prewashed and ironed it before cutting out the fabric. It doesn’t fray much, a simple zigzag stitch is enough for working of the edges.
Because the hats are all over the place, I didn’t have to pattern match it. This makes it real easy (thus fast) to start sewing. I traced the pattern with a pattern wheel. I just love it when I can do it this way. It was the first time I’ve made a shirt like this with a strip for button closing and a facing on the bottom. In making the cuffs and button strip I pre-ironed the shape of the pieces, so it is real easy to pin and stitch.
In the slit at the sleeves I’ve used black contrasting fabric which goes well with the black piping band. In the end I choose matching black press fasteners.
to make the look complete. It is perfect for a western styled shirt. (Honestly, I was dreading the buttonholes again….;-))
You’ll see the black also in the topstitching. I used the triple-stitch option on my machine, making the stitch real visible. I’ve used it in the pockets. Before stitching te pocket on to the shirt I folded the edges and stitched the inner line. When attaching the pockets, I’ve stitched the outer line.
Because this fabric is 100% cotton so you can iron real sharp edges. So the flap of the pocket and also the corners of the collar are pretty sharp.
It fits him perfectly. The shirt is a bit long, but I choose to make the shirt a larger size for my fast growing boy, hoping he can wear it this and also next Christmas. Might be wishful thinking.
Adding a tie and he looks pre-tt-y sharp.
We had fun during our photoshoot and then again selecting the photo's. I made myself a fun Christmas shirt too. You can read about this in another Minerva blog. On my Instagram you’ll find more of our fun and our Christmas outfits.
Love to see you there!
When I saw this Cotton Spandex Jersey Fabric I knew it would become a good wardrobe staple for fall or winter. The purple colorway had some of my favorite hues: purple, teal, rust, and even a bit of avocado green! I got two meters but hadn't decided if I was going to make a Sallie jumpsuit from Closet Case, one of my many t-shirt dress patterns, or something else entirely!
When the fabric came, I loved the painterly quality of the print; up-close it looks like little brush strokes that form a geometric pattern. I love how the print has both warm and cool colors! The colors are exactly suited to my fall wardrobe so I decided to make a Frankie dress by Tessuti. I've had this pattern in my stash for a while, and I was excited to finally make it. For some reason, even though I'm comfortable sewing knits and love to wear knits, I don't typically choose knit projects even though they are quick and forgiving! I had actually gotten the pattern to make as a holiday maternity dress in stretch velvet but never got around to it.
I immediately prewashed the fabric, which had the weight of a good quality t-shirt. It's soft and sturdy with excellent drape. I even traipsed around the house with it draped over my shoulders; this fabric is delightful!
Luckily my serger had a coordinating color in it; a minty green that I have begun using for most of my projects. I find that even though changing the thread only takes about five minutes, I often procrastinate on projects that need a specific serger thread color (or even use alternate seam finishing techniques if I'm sewing a woven!).
For the dress pattern I chose a size small, even though my bust measurement puts me closer to an xsmall. There's a lot of design ease in the waist and hips, so I was basing the size purely on bust measurement. I often have to make a full bicep adjustment, though, so I went with the larger size. I think a fabric with good recovery like this one could have gone either way, and I'm happy with the fit.
I followed the pattern exactly and it is a good one! The neckline is a new-to-me construction and looks so nice on the inside!
I used stay tape for the back neckline as the pattern suggested, and it seems to have worked well. I almost never use a twin needle due to tunneling (not to mention I actually like the look of a zig-zag finish), but I did it and it came out pretty good after futzing with the tension and stitch length.
I love how the dress turned out! It is totally secret pajamas and I will wear it to work and on weekends. I paired it with some fancy shoes, a pendant necklace, and my favorite vintage leather jacket to kick it up a notch but after talking photos I was super comfy on the couch playing a board game with my daughter!
Luckily I have a few scraps left over so I'll be making a pair of matching undies next!
Thanks for reading! Check out more of my makes on Instagram @pompombandana