Tuesday, 31 January 2012

January dress

Well I made it by the skin of my teeth.  I set myself a challenge to make a dress each month this year and the very first month I’m almost late!  What with decorating, visits away and procrastination I didn’t even buy any fabric until 25th Jan!  My plan was to use New Look 6802 but I’m not sure that's what I made!  I did a FBA, I also added some width to the hips and length as I wasn’t sure how long I wanted it.  So I’d spend ages fiddling with bits of paper, I also had to take a wide pinch of paper out of the back neckline otherwise I get a very bad gape at the back neck.  I don’t actually know what this is called or what it is supposed to resolve but it seems to work….  Once I got the fabric, I realised I hadn’t bought enough, I first bought  2m and then went back and bought another 1m although half would have probably been enough.  I started cutting it out and that when everything started to go wrong.  I wasn’t convinced about the darts I’d created in the paper pattern but sewed one up first of all.  Once I had it looked completely wrong and in the wrong place so I took it out, then a number of mistakes were made on my part which I had to fiddle to resolve, I won’t go into details but pieces ended up upside down and back-to-front!  Anyway I ended up with a dress AKA a sack!  I did need the darts so I did a fudge which I made a design feature which was to add a fold at the waistline which affected the bodice and skirt part.  It somehow works. 


I stitched in the ditch to get this looking ok.


The next thing I had to change was the fit, although the measurements and tissue fitting all showed it needed to add some width to the waist/hip it was too big, so I pinned and shaved a bit off especially the waist. 

Now it was beginning to look like an ok dress, sleeves next, turns out the long sleeves are very long!  I thought they would be a 3/4 length and in my haste I didn’t even try to tissue fit them or anything.  So now I had a dress for an orang-utan!  I tried a couple of methods to resolve this and eventually sewed a line with elastic in the bobbin, shirring the fabric shorter.


So what did I end up with I hear you ask? Well………


……something that's not too bad! And hopefully doesn’t make me look pregnant!

(P.S. I’ll get some better pictures soon when hubby is around)

Not the greatest dress in the world but not the worst either.  As you can see I’ve left it quite long as I felt it looked quite flattering. 

What do you think?

It was strange working with jersey knit after using woven fabric before.  I found it difficult to cut out as it kept moving and lining up selvedge was very had as was finding the grain line.  Coincidently my new Sewaholic pattern, the Renfrew turned up today I’m hoping that Tasia will run a sewalong that might help me with some of these issues.  I also found it hard to identify pieces and which way was which as the knit seems to have a mind of its own and just holding it in your hand is a challenge!  But sewing it was easy, most of it was done on my overlocker using the knife and it was quick and easy and even the mistakes I made were easy to resolve as long as you were willing to be creative!  So whilst I started with New Look 6802 I ended up with something unique!


  1. I always have to take a wedge out of centre back at the top too. I can't decide if it's narrow shoulders or a rounded back.

    Great fabric! And the gathered sleeves work well.

  2. That dress looks lovely, I like what you did to the sleeves, it looks very flattering. I dont wear dresses myself but have some tops to do but its too cold in my sewing room at the moment to do anything xx