Monday, September 19, 2011

Spotty Dotty Dress

I'm not sure how I feel about this dress. I have had this fabric for years. Years, I tell you. It was my first attempt at sewing with stretch fabric. I did some research and took the advice of everything I read, stitching with a ballpoint needle. I'm not sure what that does but it seemed to work okay for me. I experimented on the two side seams with various stitches. I read conflicting information in that I should or should not be zigzagging. One side I did, one side I didn't. The zigzagged seam was bubbly and amateurish. The straight seam puckered slightly less so I stuck with that for the rest of the dress. Also, stretch zigzag uses a LOT of thread.

I went patternless on this one and used the dimensions from a dress I own and love. When will I ever learn to account for ease? WHEN?! It's essentially 4 pieces, back panel, lower front panel and two shoulder/chest panels. I wanted them to overlap more than they do. When I wore this to work, I put a tank top on under it. I don't think it's too revealing without it but I felt more comfortable with it and didn't want to be tugging at it all day long.

Because it was super boxy, I added elastic right under the bust line. I'm not sure what happened with that but I had all this bunchy fabric on the sides. While sewing, I kind of felt like this dress was a lost cause. I don't know that I'll ever wear it on its own but, over a tank top, under a jacket, with leggings, it's not half bad. You can't see all my wonky seams unless you're right up on them.

All in all, people who say "sewing with stretch knits is so simple" are wrong. I'm not giving up but it was about as hard as I anticipated it would be. I'm not sure if using a pattern would have helped or not. I was worried the dress was too short but it passed my arm test. In high school, if you put your arms down to your sides, your shorts or skirt had to come past your fingertips or you were sent home. This dress falls well past that mark, and I have long arms. It has the added bonus of being very comfortable but still, the jury is out.

P.S. I still need a new camera. And a new photographer. Mine refused to put shoes on and didn't want to walk out on the grass in his socks. That's why these are so far away.

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