See there are just more and more gorgeous knit fabrics out there...and I can only make so many cardigans or twinsets! Well, actually I can make quite a few more *LOL* but I really want to try out a knit dress...cause you know how much I love a dress! So Butterick had this pattern in their $3.00 sale a couple of weeks ago and I bought it...and I'm so loving Club BMV now because the actual price of the pattern was $2.70.
As you can see it's a simple straight dress with long sleeves and a very low v-neckline. It was a cute style and Fabric Mart had their knits on sale for 20% off with a PR Membership discount...the two ideas ran together to become this:
Please understand that I am simply incapable of making a pattern straight out of the envelope. This dress is lined and has a lacing up the front that I think gives it a totally different vibe than the dress pictured on the pattern envelope...
Okay some stats:
2 yards of ITY polyester/lycra knit jersey
2 yards of a nude knit lining from Metro Textiles
3 yards of 1/2" satin rattail
1. First this pattern goes up to a size 22 with a finished hip width of 47" - I need a little more than that. Originally I was going to do a pivot and slide and add some inches...but as I was putting the pattern pieces back into the folder, I saw that the hip width of the jacket was 57" which was perfect. So I simply laid the two pieces on top of each other (jacket first then the dress) layered them with a new piece of tracing paper and traced a new front and back dress piece by using the top of the dress and the bottom of the jacket.
2. I added a lining to the dress body using the knit lining fabric from Metro Textiles. This was done by eliminating the front and back facings the pattern provided and laying the lining and the fashion fabrics right sides together...then stitching them together at the neckline. I clipped curves, turned and pressed then added some topstitching to the front neckline to prevent the lining from rolling to the outside.
3. When constructing the dress shell, I added stay tape to the shoulder seams of the fashion fabric but not to the lining. I also added a 1/2" piece of stay tape at the u-neckline to give it stability when I sewed the fashion fabric and lining together and when clipping the seam line in that area.
4. All of the hems were pressed closed using stitch witchery. Then using a double needle, I topstitched the hems. The stitch witchery was used to stabilize the hems and prevent the wavy hemlines that can sometimes occur when using a double needle treatment.
5. After trying the dress on, I noticed that the fronts were flopping around. Of course in the pictures on the pattern envelope, the fronts lay perfectly flat. I guess on my "real world" body that just wasn't happening...so I got the idea to add a lacing to the front. It would hold the front pieces stable and provide an interesting detail.
My first thought was to make eyelet circles (a stitch on my machine) to use for threading the rat tail...but my machine did not like this fabric no matter what I put under it to stabilize it. Then I realized that keyhole buttonholes if made small enough would do the trick...so that's what I used. I make 8 keyhole buttonholes...4 on each side of the dress front approximately 3" apart. After threading the rattail through the buttonholes, the floppy dress front issue was resolved.
This is a very simple dress to make. It will give you much instant gratification and a lot of bang for the buck. I was surprised that there are only three reviews for this on Patternreview ...two for the dress and one for the tunic top & camisole. I am sure that my plus size sisters never even looked at the pattern, cause I sure didn't before it showed up in the $3 sale!
However, I love the finished dress. I love the way it fits and how comfortable it is to wear. I love the lining because you can't see my foundational garments beneath it and I would be comfortable walking down the street knowing that no one is going to be staring at my backside. The dress pattern comes with a camisole but since I had a RTW one available I decided to wear it with the dress.
This dress was envisioned as part of a set of 4 garments. Right now laying on my cutting table is my TNT Burda cardigan and a skirt cut from this brown knit that I purchased from Fabric Mart at the same time as the printed knit. My aim is to get a mix and match knit wardrobe from these pieces for the transition into the spring/summer season!
One last shot...and I'm back to my sewing machine!!!