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Scuba 6886 Dress

I was lucky enough to receive this gorgeous Scuba Fabric from Minerva Crafts. 

It’s a heavy weight polyester and elastane mix. Indeed, it is heavy and as such it’s great for not clinging to bra straps or panty lines like some lightweight jersey can but not so heavy that I would feel too warm in it. I would happily wear the dress I made with this scuba to a special function and dance the night away.

Originally I had planned to make a circle skirt dress that was a free pattern download in a well known sewing magazine but then I realised the magazine was a few months old and therefore would be difficult to come across for anyone wanting to replicate. So after a few hours searching, I decided on McCalls M6886.

The dress has several variations such as length, scoop or V neck, sleeveless, cap sleeve or long sleeves. I opted for the scoop neck, sleeveless and knee length version D. I’m only 5 foot 2 so knee length suits me better. The measurements on the back of the pattern envelope indicated that I should cut size 16 but I know from past experience to cut a 12 and do a full bust adjustment. However, as the fabric has stretch, I didn’t have to worry about doing the bust adjustment and it fitted me perfectly. The dress also fitted my son’s girlfriend and she agreed to model for me.

The pattern is marked as easy and it would be perfect for an absolute beginner. For the dress I only needed two pattern pieces, both cut on the fold and there were only 5 steps in the instructions. Incredible, I wish I had found this pattern when I was learning to sew.

As for the scuba fabric, I was nervous to start this project for two reasons. I had never worked with scuba before and this is the first time I have been asked to blog for Minerva so I was scared I would mess it up. Talk about pressure. However, I needn’t have worried; the fabric is an absolute dream to work with, so easy to cut with a rotary blade and due to the large print it’s also simple to match the seams on the side of the dress. 

I researched scuba fabric online before I took it to my sewing machine and decided to use a zigzag stitch width 3 with a stitch length of 3 also. Another plus was that while I was experimenting with stitch width and length, I realised that the fabric was so stable that I wouldn’t have to bother switching to my walking foot. I can’t emphasise enough how great this fabric is to work with, perfect for anyone nervous about sewing with knit fabrics.

For marking the notches etc, I love to use washable felt pens as the marks don’t rub off or fade until the project is finished and washed. 

I also stitched the side seams twice as per the instructions. The neckline and armhole seams are folded under by 5/8” and I used a double needle for a professional finish.

The length of the dress was still too long for me, so the only alteration to the pattern was that I took an extra 3.5” off the length so that the dress hits just above my knee and finished with a double needle. I will definitely use this pattern again but next time I will do a sway back adjustment. The fabric is so comfortable against the skin, doesn’t crease and is reminiscent of a very well known fashion house. Can’t wait to wear it to the next special occasion, maybe my son’s 21st birthday party.

Thanks for reading,

Charleen

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