Thursday, November 21, 2013

Success Dress


This dress is a breakthrough.  About me:  I only want to wear stretchy fabrics, and a woven shirt with a collar and buttons down the front after about an hour starts to feel like a corset.  I just want to lift my arms without showing off my bellybutton!  Actually, I’d probably wear footie pajamas all the time if I could.  Remember when Sharon Stone wore that Gap turtleneck to the Academy Awards?   I’m like that.  I’ll wear yoga pants anywhere I can get away with it. 


Also, as you know, I like to make stuff, and so would like to make some clothes for my admittedly hard-to-fit self, which should be easy because I know how to sew.  However, knit fabric is weird.  You can’t just throw it under your presser foot like anything else and stitch a seam.  You can try (and I did) but it will get ruffly, which might be what you want, but more likely will not.  So, most of the time, knit fabrics are sewn on a serger.  But I don’t have a serger!  I whined.  Alabama Chanin did come riding to the rescue, and by hand I made a couple skirts that were like sweats and wore them around like they weren’t sweats, and it was good for awhile, but you know how it is.  Eventually, you want more.  I didn’t want to have to do it all by hand, and I really didn’t want to buy a serger just so I could make my own t-shirts, but I was pretty sure there was a way to make my regular machine do a passable job of sewing knit fabrics.  Then I found this pattern, and it turned out I was right.  If you want to sew with knits on your regular machine, click here and fearlessly go forth.  Friends, it is possible.  The world has opened wide for me. 


This particular dress that I have sewn is theoretically the muslin version, but it fits me perfectly with no modifications necessary, if you can believe that, so I guess it’s ready to wear, although the bodice fabric is made from a piece of tissue-weight knit I had leftover from a (ruffly) nightgown.  It might need lots of Spanx.  I probably won’t.  See above. 



Quite a few times along the way, I put down my pins and said, “This isn’t going to work.”  I walked away, cleaned the bathroom, made a pot of soup.  Came back, tried again.  Again.  Again.  Finally, one mini breakthrough at a time, it did work.  It worked.  It feels as if I have managed to make toast with the hairdryer.  I totally fooled Miss K into making a knit dress!  Ha!  Success.