Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Conquering knit fabrics

This week I have been challenging my uneasiness about sewing with knits and other stretchy fabrics. I have quite a simple sewing machine and it doesn’t seem to really like stretchy fabrics and sometimes the threads catch up and make a mess on the underside of the stitching or just break altogether. However, I have been doing lots of blog surfing and reading up on the subject, and this week decided to give it another go. Luckily my refashion pile has lots of old t-shirt tops in it so that gave me the chance to practise without having to splash out cash buying fabrics.

I started out with a pretty t-shirt top given to me by my mum. It had a nice lace, sequinned edging around the front neckline, so I decided to try and utilise this. I know quite a few baby and toddler girls so figured I’d use this top to make a pretty, but comfy dress.

I used a basic bodice pattern to mark out and cut a simple t-shirt/ a-line style dress that can be pulled on over the head, carefully lining up the front bodice neckline to incorporate the pretty lace.

Then I cut some strips to finish off the armhole edges and the back neck edge. Since the bottom edge of the top is unfinished, I decided to go for the same effect with the bands. I started with the back neck edge and pinned the band to the neckline, right-sides together. I stitched, then folded the edging up and stitched together edges down, then topstitched. This worked way better than folding raw edges under and sandwiching the dress between neckband layers... no catching or breaking of threads.

Next I stitched the shoulder seams together and then pinned and stitched the armhole edging in the same way as for the back neckline.
The last step was to pin and sew the side seams together, being careful to match up the bottom edges and the armhole edges.

I’m quite happy with how the dress turned out, but I think I might add some ties to the sides around the middle (to tie at the back) to the dress to give it a bit more shape. What do you guy think?

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