Sunday, December 28, 2014

Rainy Holiday sewing - knit dress

Project - New Look 6280 View A - knit dress with 'V' neck and bust gathers
Started - 27 December 2014
Finished - 28 December 2014

I purchased this fabric and pattern in November just before my quilt weekend, intending to get it started - at least cut out and ready to sew. As usual I took far too much with me and this didn't even get a look in.

Post Christmas, with an empty, tidy house and a grey rainy day, what else is there to do but pull it out and sew while the boys are flaked out in front of the TV?

The fabric is a fairly firm knit with one-way stretch. It isn't the colour I would normally wear but fine for trying out the pattern to see if it fitted and if I liked it.

The lining was a stretchy jersey. All up, the fabric I used cost around $17 and the pattern was $6.

I've been looking for summer dresses for a while, but everything I try on is either shapeless or far too small in the bust. I bought this pattern hoping I could adjust it for a custom fit.
I tried out a Full Bust Adjustment using this tutorial from 'Gertie's New Blog for Better Sewing'.
I used my high bust measurement and the finished garment dimensions from the pattern tissue to select the size to use.

My full bust measurement is 8cm larger than my high bust so I needed to add 4cm width and length to each side of the bodice. This would have been easier if the shoulder line and bust apex were marked on the pattern.

I guessed and ended up too full through the high bust. I could probably get away with a smaller increase but it is lovely to put on something that doesn't pull over the bust and that has an under-bust seam that sits exactly where it should.

I made view A from the pattern but altered the front bodice to have a vertical centre seam rather than a cross-over neckline, as there was enough bulk from the gathers under the bust. I should have dropped the neckline lower as it ended up higher than I wanted.

I sewed the bodice pieces with a smaller seam allowance (by mistake) so the straps ended up too wide and the underarms too high. There was also some bagging on the centre bust seam caused by the incorrect seam allowance. I added a piece of elastic to the front bust seam to gather the excess fabric and pull the 'V' down a bit lower. I think I attached the straps a little too high, so it sits a bit strange over my back. Using the correct seam allowance and getting someone else to help place the straps correctly should fix all these issues on any future dresses.

I picked a size with less than the recommended ease around the hips, and when I make it again I will go bigger through the hips for a looser skirt, especially if I make a maxi version.

The result is a comfortable summer dress. I'll make more of these, but with the changes I mentioned above. I've already been scouting out fabrics online.

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