View all the latest fabrics to arrive at Minerva Crafts... Click here »

Need help? Contact us on 01254 708068 from 9am til 5pm Monday to Friday

Mis-Print Stripy Jersey Dress

I just couldn't resist this bargain Jersey Fabric. It's a black and grey stripe but with a difference. All the stripes are a little hit and miss like the printer is running out of black ink!
I'm probably totally wrong here but I would class it as a little bit shabby chic and bearing in mind this fab fabric is priced at just £6.99 per mt and measures a full 60" wide, I think it's a pretty good buy. I definately wanted to make a dress making full use of those stripes. I chose pattern Vogue 1336 which unfortunately is now discontinued but it is a dress which I've wanted to make for years and never got round to it.
For those of you who haven't used a Sandra Betzina by Vogue Patterns before, she doesn't follow the 'usual' method of pattern sizing that all the big 4 use. Instead there is a list of measurements to which you check your own measurements. Each set of measurements is given a code from A through to J and you cut out that size. For my measurements I cut the pattern on a size E going out to an F at the waist and hips. Now it has to be said that on a big 4 pattern when we check our patterns and say your measurements coinside with a 12 through to a 14 we all say "but I'm never a size 12/14", or whichever! At this present time I am about a 12 going into a 14 (that's if I was buying a dress) but my measurements on a big 4 pattern state I am about a 16 going on to an 18! It is hard to believe that they aren't really meaning dress sizes as we know them. So it is a refreshing change to say I am an E/F! Many of the Indie patterns use this method of sizing, it just seems to make sense. It makes you measure yourself as well so less mistakes!
So back to my dress, as usual I pre-washed my fabric and found it didn't seem to shrink at all on either the width or the length but it did make it much softer. By the way I only had a 1 mt piece and thought I could make my dress out of it!
I decided I wanted the stripes as follows.
At first I wanted to place the stripes so that when you looked at me from one side all the stripes would be vertical and from the other side they would all be horizontal with all the other pieces fitting in accordingly. Famous last words! I was convinced that I had got it right but as soon as I started to pin the relevant pieces together I knew I had boobed! So the front of my dress has the vertical stripes at the righthand side and so has the back. However I soon realised how much easier it now was because I had no stripes to match up! The following is a photo of my back pieces placed together.
At this stage everything was going well. The following photo shows me cutting out my last piece, the armhole band and that was all the fabric I had left!
I sewed all the seams with my lovely new overlocker, Babyliss Enlighten. I practiced a little on the teeny tiny scraps I had left and found the differential feed just wanted altering to 0.8. The next photo is of my first few seams, just a dream to sew with my overlocker.
After a quick try-on I knew there was no alterations to be made on the shoulders so after sewing these it was time to attach the neckband. First step was to fold it in half along its length and press it.
After marking the centre front circle with a pin, I then marked the corresponding circle on the neckband with another pin.
I sewed around the neck on the overlocker but then remembered it had to be stitched to the centre of the circle (where my pin was positioned) so I just switched to my Pfaff machine and sewed the rest of it. The instructions also tell you to stop sewing about an inch from the end.
And shown as in the instructions.
You then clip at the large circle and slip the neckband through to the back.
Here are the instructions for the rest of the neckband.
And here is the finished neckband, it actually hasn't turned out too bad but I must admit I think I would choose an easier way of sewing in the neckband if I make this dress again!
Just wish I had cut the stripes a little bit more centred on the neckband.
The same process was used to attach the armbands but without the fiddly bits! Just to finish these bands off I always like to top-stitch close to the band. The next photo shows me doing this and can you see those 2 red dots on the foot of the machine?
I positioned the right hand dot on the seam of the band. Instead of stitching in the ditch I stitched slightly to the left of it which I did very slowly to get it looking perfect.
After trying on the dress and roughly pinning up the sides I realised it was quite big on me (so much for my measurements on the pattern, still it is better being a little big than too small). My next step was to machine tack where my pins were.
I find this method much easier for fitting on myself, the stitches are very easy to pull out if you've sewn it too tight. I didn't make a toille because it is quite a loose fitting dress with minimal fitting. The following photo shows how much more I had to take it in!
Those of you that know me will know I'm constantly on a diet and don't tend to ever get to goal. This time however I'm really trying so this is why I have purposely sewn the armbands first before the side seams. This means that as the weight drops off me (I'll believe it when I see it) I can take it in quite easily down the side seams. 
I had thought that I could get away with not sewing the bottom band on but after trying on my dress I realised it would be too short even with the narrowest of hems. I knew I needed more fabric so I got another metre piece and washed it as before. Now do I cut this band with vertical or horizontal stripes? I pondered this for a short while then I had a brainwave. I could cut this band on the bias and it would totally contrast with the stripes of the dress. I didn't bother getting the pattern piece out I just measured around the hemline and cut a bias piece accordingly. 
I stitched the 2 side seams on my Pfaff and pressed them open.
Then folded it in half and pressed again.
Last but not least I pinned then stitched the band on to the dress and pressed again. Well I hope you like my dress, a few hiccups along the way but hey I'm quite pleased with the end result.
Thanks for reading. 
Annette xx

Comment (1)

Please signin to leave a comment

Deirdre Tickner said:

Fab. Just done a search - there are some patterns available on an ETSY site. (8.12.18) I love this style of dress. · 8th Dec 2018 09:15am