Thursday, September 6, 2012

Sophie Dress

On Tuesday, I made a dress!


I bought this knit fabric from Girl Charlee just before Niecey-poo came to visit in mid-July, so this idea had been festering in my brain since then.  I fell in love with the print, and it's a modal-cotton blend, so it's also nice and soft.  Girl Charlee listed it as being a fabric designed by clothing manufacturer Blue Platypus, and you can see the dress they made from it here.  I changed the name (a little) to protect the innocent (me).

I wanted a similar dress, but I knew that if I made a dress with no elastic at the waist, I would constantly be tugging at it and rearranging how the belt held it.  After  lot of thought, I decided to use the Pattern Runway Kimono Dress pattern again.

Since I was using a knit rather than a woven fabric, I made some construction changes.  I did away with the back neck opening altogether.  I also decided that using facings at the neck and armholes would interfere with the drape of the fabric, so I eliminated those as well.

I made a strip of binding for the neck, 1" wide by the length of the neck opening.  I serged one side of the binding, then sewed the other side to the neck.  Then I folded it to the inside and topstitched it down 1/4" from the edge.

For the armhole openings, I felt that using a strip of binding would keep the sleeves from draping the way I wanted them to, so I just serged the edges and folded them to the inside, then topstitched them down.  I'm not 100% satisfied with the way this looks on the inside, but I haven't yet thought of a better way to do it.  All the topstitching was done with a straight stitch at the longest length for my machine (4), while slightly stretching the fabric.

This color is more accurate than the collage above.

I did the hem in much the same way, but folded the fabric twice to the inside, a little more than an inch.



Adding the elastic to the waist was the hardest part.  The first time I made this dress, I was afraid to sew the elastic right to my beautiful coral silk, so I made a casing.  But I wasn't very happy with that - the waistband tends to shift a lot while I wear the dress.  So this time I followed directions, pinning the elastic to the center front and back and side seams, then pulling like crazy while "straight" stitching the elastic to the waist.  I put "straight" in quotes because mine is anything but!



Luckily, the bodice blouses over the waistband, so you can't see my wavy stitching.

I'm mostly happy with this dress, and have plans to make at least one more.  I wore it all day yesterday and was pretty comfortable - until I ate banh mi and the elastic started to feel tight around my waist!

30 comments:

  1. The dress looks great! I love that fabric and really should make an order with Girl Charlee. I remember having a horrid time stitching the elastic on straight when I made this dress. There has to be a trick to make it easier!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one! Thank goodness no one will see it!

      Miss your blog and hope you are finding time to sew lots of fantastic items!

      Delete
  2. I love your new dress!! The style, the colors, the print, ... I aspire to sew a dress like this one day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You definitely can! This pattern has really great instructions as well as an online tutorial, so I think it's really accessible for a beginner.

      Delete
  3. Ah how very pretty it looks on you! How lovely that must be to be able to casually say: oh yeah, I made this little ol' dress on Tuesday. You are so talented!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh, that is adorable! I love the color combination. Knits are one of those fabrics that intimidate me to work with (I've had bad experiences with them in the past), so I am very impressed. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's definitely a learning curve! I was intimidated for a long time, but I finally decided to just jump in. BUT - I always do plenty of tests on the scraps before I start sewing any knit project, even if I think I know how the fabric will behave.

      Delete
  5. It just occurred to me that the sleeve opening has two halves. The top half needs to drape, but no one will ever see the hem up there. The bottom half doesn't need nearly as much drape, and that's the part that might show. So maybe just stitch some hem tape along the bottom half of each sleeve?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wow, cute! I wish I could be as prolific as you with the clothes. I'm really tempted with some of Girl Charlie's new offerings.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I totally caved on the Labor Day sale, so I've got more on the way!

      Delete
  7. Love the dress. I've made that pattern in a woven but never thought to make it in a knit. I sewed the elastic to the seam allowance of the waist and it worked really well so you could try that next time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did the same - the problem was that all my seams were serged, so my seam allowance was tiny! I think next time I'll try sewing the elastic next to the seam allowance, rather than trying to keep it on top of it.

      Delete
  8. i love this dress! seriously cute. i've really been into this sort of draped look and have eyed that pattern...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd say go for it! This would be so cute on you!

      Delete
  9. Looking as though you're moving right along on your journey and adding to your wardrobe with some great garments.
    We promise not to inspect your waistline too closely.
    [for elastic application]
    hugs

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hee hee - don't inspect it for extra pounds either please! I put on a few while my guests were here!

      Delete
  10. Really prettyyy. I admit I'm jealous of your sewing skills! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What? You could do this! But thanks!

      Delete
    2. p.s. NO fitting required on this one! LOL!

      Delete
  11. Replies
    1. That's quite a compliment! Thank you!

      Delete
  12. This is absolutely gorgeous! I love it! This pattern really seems to lend itself to knits. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think so too - even moreso than wovens, IMO.

      Delete
  13. You're so lucky to be able to make your own clothes! It means you get the right size every time, its one of those skills i really wish i had

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, not every time, LOL! But I do like the flexibility of being able to say, "I want a green skirt" and then going and making it!

      Delete
  14. What a lively, colorful dress and looks so comfortable! Great job!

    ReplyDelete