Thursday, September 13, 2012

Tippi Dress (The Birds)

A while ago I bought this bird-print fabric from Girl Charlee with the intent of making a long-sleeved Renfrew top.  But the more I thought about it, the more I felt I'd rather it become a dress.  So yesterday I made another knit Kimono Dress, with a few changes.


This time, rather than folding the neck and sleeve edges back and topstitching, I made narrow binding bands.  I'm really pleased with the more finished look this gives.  For my size (size small), I cut bindings of 1" x 18" for the sleeves and 1" x 22" for the neckline.  I sewed the short ends together, then folded the bindings in half and ironed them along the fold before sewing them to the neckline and armholes.  All seams on this dress were done on my serger.


I did a better job on my elastic application too.  This time, I pressed my waist seam allowance toward the top, and applied the elastic to the very top edge of the skirt.  It went in much more smoothly than the last time, when I tried to sew the elastic to the seam allowance!  However, I cut my elastic longer this time and now I'm wishing I hadn't!  I gave myself an extra inch or two because I felt like after I ate, my first dress was too tight!  But with the longer elastic, the dress doesn't hang in the same way.  Live and learn!


The biggest problem I had with this dress was with the hem, believe it or not.  I've been watching another Craftsy course on sewing with knits, and the teacher recommends using a walking foot.  I decided to try it out.  It worked great on my samples, but made a huge mess of my actual hem!  The fabric wouldn't feed through, and I ended up with a big, tangled, knotted mess on the back and stitches so short they almost cut through my fabric!


I tried it twice and got the same result - I literally spent at least half an hour trying to pick it out!  I finally gave up and just did a straight stitch with my normal presser foot.

When Niecey-poo and family were here, she and my sister-in-law and I went shopping for school clothes at Old Navy (they LOVE Old Navy!).  I happened upon this bird-print scarf that I thought would be a nice compliment to the dress:


You're getting hanger photos because I'm "saving" this to wear on the weekend, with some black flats and a super cute red, black and turquoise hat I have.  Now to figure out where to go in this ensemble!

24 comments:

  1. this dress looks really cute! and so comfortable, too. It's funny how some fabrics or yarns seem to have a life of their own and end up deciding themselves what they want to be when they grow up :)

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    1. Thanks, Sophie! Shhhh . . . don't tell anyone, but this fabric still wants to be a Renfrew, so I bought another length!

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  2. oh my, another knit winner from you! so cute with the bird print! i recently got a walking foot but haven't used it on *actual* sewing yet. what a mess it made! adding injury to insult, you also had to unpick it!

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    1. The worst part was that it worked great on the scrap,and then messed up on the dress - TWICE!!!

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  3. LOL - you and I seem to zone in on the same fabrics at GC - this one is in my stash, too. :) It looks really cute as a dress! Definitely a good call on the red accessorizing; they'll really pop.

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    1. I know - I made a Renfrew in the same fabric as your Taffy (which I loved, by the way!)

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  4. And by the way, I hate using my walking foot with knits... I've tried that as well. I always do the straight stitch thing -- with a twin needle sometimes, if I really need the stretch. The biggest help I've found is to loosen up the presser foot pressure as much as possible!

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    1. Thanks for that! I mostly use my serger with knits because it's so easy, but it doesn't work for hemming and topstitching!

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  5. Oh please post a photo of you wearing this, I have a feeling it is going to be a perfect fit! All of your garments always look so professional, I love it!

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    1. Hehehe - Thanks, Ivy! I will, as soon as I wear it!

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  6. Pretty dress! Can't wait to see what it looks like on. I'm sorry but I couldn't help thinking of Portlandia when I saw this "put a bird on it!" Ha! You must teach me your mad sewing with knits skillz.

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    1. Hahaha! That's so funny! I love that show!

      My secret to sewing with knits: buy a serger!! Money well spent, IMO!

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  7. Oh, for the neckline, is that the same method the Renfrew uses?
    This looks really nice :) I love birds!

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    1. Yes, it is! I've been Renfrewizing everything - it works great!

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  8. This red scarf is a real treasure, I love so much grey in combination with red. The dress looks lovely and I can't wait to see it modeled!

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  9. Your knit sewing looks so neat and pretty. Mine always looks butchered. *Sigh* One day...

    It's a great dress to welcome the cooling temps.

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    1. Thanks, Melizza! I do feel I have improved since I first started working with knits. I also think this will be a good dress for layering :-)

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  10. I should have bought some of this fabric too - it is fab! Looking forward to seeing your dress in action!

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    1. Wait - I thought you did buy this one? I know you had bird fabric of some sort! I thought it was the same one!

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  11. Birds!! I have this fabric, too! I was just thinking the other day of what to make with it-- my plan originally was to do the Simplicity Cynthia Rowley 2243 tank dress, but now I'm thinking of a Renfrew or a cardigan or something that I can wear in more seasons!

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    1. Ooooh, a cardigan! That would be awesome!

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  12. Your skills are improving week by week, garment by garment.

    hugs

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    1. Thank you! I agree - practice really does make perfect :-)

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