Coming home friday evening, that piece played over and over in my head. So much so that I started to run through my fabric collection to see if I had something on hand that might "work" with what I saw. Then I remembered a knit piece that was two floral panels that I'd purchased from Fabric Mart earlier this year...bought to make something for vacation...but stored away when we decided not to do an island but instead go to Vegas.
This morning while mulling things over I thought it would be interesting to use my TNT dress pattern as the basis of this dress. I've never used it for a stretchy knit fabric but thought it would be an interesting combination if handled properly.
So here's the finished dress:
2 panels of 60" polyester knit from Fabric Mart
2 yards of tricot beige lining from fabric.com
1 - 9" black invisible zipper
fusible knit interfacing from Fashion Sewing Supply
The success of this dress is based upon the placement of the design since it's so prominent. Normally this dress is cut on the fold...but for this instance I used a center front seam believing that it would help me manipulate the design better.
I also changed the neckline ~ making it a v-neckline instead of the u-neck that the dress usually has. This was also inspired by my trip uptown to the museum. I took the bus up Madison Avenue and spent the trip looking at all of the goods displayed in the designer store windows. There are alot of v-necklines being shown...so this is reflected in the neckline choice for this dress.
The other consideration that needed to be made during the cutting process were the white bands in the fabric separating the panels, I did not want them to interfere with the look of the dress. So while I incorporated the white band into the front of the dress to carry the design across the front, it was omitted in the back pieces for more of a dramatic & slimming effect.
Since I was working with a knit, I had to determine how I would handle the seams. I really wanted them to lay flat without bulk so I opted to finish the fabric edges by serging them in their flat state and then stitch the dress together on the sewing machine.
I also opted to put a lining in this dress...well you know how I feel about unlined knit dresses on plus size women so this dress is lined with a tricot lining fabric that I've used in my last two knit dresses.
There is a 9" invisible zipper in this dress. I wasn't sure how stretchy the dress would be once it was lined and I thought that adding a small zipper to give me a bigger opening for my head wasn't a bad thing! *LOL* So I used a lightweight knit fusible interfacing cut 1" wide and 1" longer than the zipper (1" wide x 10" long).
This was done to stabilize the zipper opening and made the insertion of the invisible zipper a breeze.
I also added the darts that are in the original dress pattern. To insure that the darts didn't stretch out, I used stay tape when sewing them down. This will guarantee that the darts don't grow in any direction and affect the fit of the dress. It also means that the top of the dress conforms to my body and gives me a great fit.
The last piece that makes this dress a success is the lining. It was applied to the neckline of the dress and flipped inside. At one point I thought about applying stay tape to the neckline when sewing the lining and the fashion fabric together. However, after handling the lining, I decided that adding stay tape would be overkill...the lining would be enough to stabilize it. I made sure to double stitch the neckline and carefully clip the seamline in that area.
The armholes have the lining and the fashion fabric serged together and turned under then machine stitched down. Add a machine stitched hem (that does have a little stitch witchery in it for stability) and the dress is done.
The great thing about this dress is that it can be worn with several of the cardigans in my wardrobe as well as a couple of cute little jackets.
Next up is the Vogue 9666 dress which I've cut out...but this knit dress got pushed in front of it because I was just so excited to see if I could make the idea work. I'm thinking it's working just fine!
As an aside, as you are seeing/reading my blog now...this is how it will stay! I'm loving this new background...I can see the design just fine on my netbook, my iTouch and of course my freestanding home computer. Plus I've had a few friends test drive the text color and size of the print and all can read it.
...as always, more later!