Experimenting with Knits
Posted on Monday the 28th January 2019 by Milly Noel
In this Knit Fabric Bundle I received five 1 yard cuts of a variety of different jersey fabrics. I’ve really enjoyed getting better at using stretch fabrics over the past couple of months, and this bundle of fabrics was definitely a challenge since they were all very different. There were two extremely lightweight knit fabrics that I couldn’t figure out what to make so if you have some suggestions for those I would quite appreciate it! But I did get three different garments out of the rest of the fabric.
The first thing I made was a dress version the Tilly and the Buttons Frankie tee which can be found in her Stretch! book. Last month I made my sister and I matching shirts from this pattern and fell in love with it. By adding a seam down the center back, I was able to squeeze the main dress pieces from one yard. I had this mint ponte knit leftover from making the Kinder cardigan for the Minerva Crafts blog last year and there was literally just enough to cut out the sleeves and neck binding.
To modify the Frankie pattern into a dress, I cut off the pattern at the lengthen/shorten line. Then, maintaining a slight a-line shape, I lengthened it from the waist by about 20-24” so that it would hit right around my knee. That’s it! I didn’t change anything else. Such an easy tweak but I absolutely love the finished garment. I am hoping to find the chance to go to a fabric store and get some more jersey fabric so I can make about three more Frankie dresses. They come together in about half an hour which makes them such a satisfying make!
The final slight addition I made to the Frankie pattern was to add some cuffs to the end of the sleeves just like I did with the shirts last month. I can’t resist them! They provide such a lovely finish and look fantastic. Cut a rectangle of fabric twice as tall as the desired finished cuff length. Make it the same width as or slightly smaller than the sleeve end. (I totally eyeball all of the above.) Sew the sides together to make a loop. Fold it in half lengthwise so that the raw edges are together and the seam is inclosed. Sew it to the sleeve end with right sides together stretching slightly. Ta-da! Now you have a cuff.
Okay, onto the other two projects I made. They’re both based on a modified version of the Tilly and the Buttons Agnes tee. My wardrobe has been sadly lacking in simple t-shirts for some time. Now, neither of these tops are exactly plain, boring t-shirts. They’re a step up from that, but still basic enough to go with absolutely every.
Let’s talk about the white tee first. This fabric is amazing. It is a one-way stretch jersey with this amazing texture all over it. I knew I wanted to stick with pretty clean style lines in whatever pattern I chose since I wanted it to be all about the fabric. I waffled about between several different patterns. It took me forever to choose!
I changed the scoop neck to a higher v-neckline. And instead of the set-in sleeves, I added length to the shoulder for grown on cap sleeves. I cannot adequately express how happy I am with these adjustments! I liked Agnes, but I find this style MUCH more flattering on me. And now it is even easier to sew.
I left all the edges on my white tee raw. It rather matches the look of the fabric and I don’t have to worry about weird rippling edges. I did do a small zig-zag stitch around the neckline to prevent the v-neck from stretching out with wear.
The navy top is identical to the white. This fabric is sparkly and rather see-through. I definitely have to wear an undershirt under this top! It is quite classy with just that faint hint of sexiness. Not something I would have ever thought to make on my own.
I finished the sleeve and bottom of the shirt with simple hems. The neckline I finished with a binding. I’m not 100% satisfied with how the neckline looks. I added a small dart right at the point of the v through the neckline binding and it took several attempts to get it looking this good. I had to pick it out two or three times which was a pain in the neck. Ripping out black thread in this lightweight, sparkly fabric was no joke. In the end I just had to leave it at “good-enough.” If I had tried to pick it out any more, it would have ruined the fabric.
I also added a dart at the center back neckline. There was a bit of puckering going on that looked unsightly. Popping in a dart took care of that.
So those are the three things I made this month! I love all of them enormously. They are going to get loads of wear. I’ve already worn the dress half a dozen times. It’s just so comfy! It is still a little cold to wear the t-shirts as much as I’d like, but as soon as the weather decides to warm up I’ll be wearing them non-stop for sure. I'd encourage you to try out Minerva's Lucky Dip Fabric Bundles but remember you wont receive the same fabrics as me because every bag is different. Embrace the surprise in the post!