Thanksgiving: By far my favorite holiday. Not only do I love gathering together with family and food, but it's a wonderful respite from other matters and, with the four day weekend, time to indulge.
For me, that meant lots of sewing between meals. In fact, I finished a garment before the holiday weekend as I telecommuted on Wednesday. I woke up early enough, altered the Sew U Homestretch dress pattern and cut out the pieces. After work, I whipped it up on both my sewing machine and serger and within a few hours it was ready to wear! Talk about low investment, high reward.
Oh, I just love this dress and this pattern. I altered the pattern for a full skirt as part of my Shelley Dress and recently rekindled my interest when I saw Knottygnome's LBD using this same pattern. As Wendy Mullin writes in the book:
A dress made of knit fabric is pretty much the perfect garment. You can stretch out in it, curl up in it, and take twelve hour plane rides in it. ... Why wouldn't you want to own multiple versions?I originally planned to make this in a navy rayon knit, thinking it would be the most versatile given what I've got in my stash. But the thought of dealing with rayon's moody sewing-nature and its slinkiness in a fairly fitted dress filled me with dread. Instead, I opted to use a green thrifted knit that feels like sweatshirt knit without a furry back. I believed I paid $2 for the 2-yard piece, and I've got a 1/2 yard leftover.
Using a size small, I shortened the length by three inches, did my usual square shoulder adjustment, and altered the long puff sleeves to fall three inches from my armpit with a 3/4 inch band. I also redrew the neckline, 3 inches deeper and 1/4 inch (on each side) wider, which I finished with clear elastic sewn onto the wrong side, and folded over and stitched again to encase the elastic.
It fits me perfectly! And Mullin's right: I can stretch out, curl up and manage long distances while still looking put together. And though I've never thought I'd be one for puff sleeves, they're so flattering on my rectangular frame.
Moreso, it's a perfect palate. Above, I'm sporting fuschia tights and black heels. Later that day, I threw on thigh-high striped socks with mary janes and a chunky scarf. Think of all the possibilities of color and texture with cardigans, tights/socks, and scarves! Dress up, dress down, no problem. This'll definitely be my go-to travel dress.
Here's the back. I think the fact that I have swayback is unavoidable given this evidence. I also have slight scoliosis, so it's hightime I learn how to make these adjustments.
The side view. Meh.
There's one thing I find worrisome, which is that my serger, after changing out the threads from black to cream, wasn't functioning perfectly and so some of my seams look like this:
It probably has to do with tensions, which I'm still learning to do. When I try to go over these seams with a zigzag on my regular machine (to guard against peepshow potential!) it causes the knit to pucker. Boo. But I've worn it twice and not a stitch awry. Keep your fingers crossed for me. :0
Needless to say, I'm excited to make more of these "pretty much perfect" garments. The beauty of this pattern is that it has a separate bodice and skirt, which can be altered easily for multiple variations. Here's the ones offered in Sew U Homestretch:
But I'm also on the lookout for other knit dress patterns. I've seen Vogue 1027 done up beautifully by Jessica and Rachel. Any others you'd recommend?
Happy Sunday :)