|This model must be seven feet tall for the hem to be above her knee.|
Since the Sew Weekly Challenge this week was to sew something without a pattern, I decided to wing the dress. I’ve tried patternless garment sewing before, but have always had mixed results, probably because I’m always winging it. Anyway, I pulled out a fitted t-shirt of a similar knit weight and traced off a quick cap-sleeve pattern. I extended the bottom of the pattern in a vague A-line to get a good dress length.
|The pattern I drew out on leftover fireplace paper.|
In a frenzy of excitement, I whipped out my fabric and started laying it out. Unfortunately, in my excitement and the darkness of the floor of my sewing room, I laid out, cut, and stitched the whole dress wrong sides together. In other words, I made myself an inside-out dress. Fortunately, the knit was stretchier than I thought, so when I tried it on I realized I had enough ease to cut off the side seams and re-stitch it right sides together. Phew. After that I just cut a long rectangle for the collar ties and stitched that to the neckline. I ended up cutting a slit and in the front and facing it so that I could get my head through without totally staticking my hair every time. Finally, I turned the sleeves and hem under and stitched to finish it.
|This red knit was ridiculously difficult to photograph because of the texture and the little black bits woven in.|
|This darker wine-red is closer to the actual color of the dress.|
|The finished dress: much better than the Anthro one, at least for me and my requirements.|
Fabric: One yard of 60” sweater knit from Michael Levine Loft (it was barely enough to finish the whole dress, but I did it! Much as I like having room to make mistakes, it is nice to not have any scraps leftover). I was originally saving this fabric for making a cardigan or shrug, but I think it works really well for this dress.
Notions: None! Love the stretchy knit that requires no closures.
Techniques used: Sewing with knit? Not sure if that really counts, although I did find this page helpful in choosing the correct stitch on my sewing machine. I do really wish I had a serger though!
Hours: For making it up as I went, this went fairly quickly! I think it took me about 4 hours, but it would have been faster if the knit wasn’t ridiculously hard to keep on grain. Even so, I think it’s still slightly off.
Will you make this again? Maybe, if I find the right fabric! This dress is super easy and comfortable, after all.
Total cost: $2! I love buying fabric by the pound! Also, much as I love full skirts, it’s amazing that one can make a whole fitted dress from just a yard of material.
Final thoughts: This dress is perfect for the mild SoCal winter season! The sweater knit is just cozy enough with tights and boots and a cardigan, but not too bulky. I really like the rich red color and demure colar-and-bow-tie detail. I wish I had taken the time to get the grain perfect, but oh well. I’m still wondering if I should do something to make the back more fitted, like maybe put a little strip of elastic to gather it a bit? Or I could just be lazy and call it finished.
|I'm normally a Burda size 34, Big Four size 10 or 12.|
Also, I am so glad that my husband is done with the quarter because not only is he less busy and stressed, it means that he's available to take pictures for me! It's so much easier than trying to balance the camera on things and running back and forth to see how the pictures turned out.
|Look at his handsome shadow taking pictures for me!|