Thursday, November 21, 2013

Success Dress

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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.