Dress blog

Little Blue Dress

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Hooray!  At last an actual sewing post.  Since I got back to the UK  I’ve been plagued by a nasty cold so I’ve spent the last 7+ days on the sofa.  Today I’m feeling much better so I’ve decided to get on with some sewing.

Last summer I bought a new overlocker/serger and haven’t had time to use it as I went back to Singapore then had Christmas in the UK (too busy with family).  My other machine in Singapore is a very basic Pfaff Hobylock (10 years old) so this time I bought a more advanced machine.  The Babylock Desire3 is an overlock and coverlock machine. It has the unique jet-air threading system and automatic thread delivery system which takes the frustration out of the threading we all hate!  I plan to master the coverlock feature on this project then I’ll be able to hem RTW T-shirts.

I just received two metres of a lovely ponte knit from Fabric Godmother on Saturday and have chosen an easy to wear (still carrying winter pounds) pattern from McCalls, 7469.  It’s by Nicole Miller who is an American designer I wasn’t aware of but I took a look at her RTW collection online and loved her clothes.  Here is a link to the website.

I used a narrow zigzag stitch 0.6 and 4.0 length and a regular needle (I tested this and I didn’t get any missed stitches) which I normally wouldn’t use but I didn’t have a jersey needle.  I made my usual petite adjustments and left out the zipper as it was stretch fabric and a loose style.

I decided to not to sew the split at the front and because of that I could have cut the front skirt on the fold, instead I had to match up the dots, not easy and it isn’t perfect (pattern matching on knits is difficult because of the stretch).  The front pieces were a little confusing but I got there in the end.  The centre front section didn’t work first time as I couldn’t get the dots to match up so I had the idea to cut that section out with the pattern going the other way which made a design feature.  I didn’t finish the seams on the inside of the front as I wanted to reduce bulk and they won’t unravel, I also graded the seam allowances but on the side seams I used a 5 thread safety stitch.

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I also decided not to use the facings and used a neck-band instead which I completed before I sewed the sleeves as it’s easier to construct when flat.  This was the first one I’d ever done this way and it worked well.  I used a craftsy class ( Sewing Fashion Knits, Beyond the Basics, by Linda Lee) to show me how to do it so I will do a separate tutorial on how to do this.

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Next I sewed in the sleeves flat and did the sleeve and side seams in one.

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The last job to do was the hem using the coverstitch function on my overlocker.  The first attempt didn’t work as the machine had trouble going over the bulky side seams (I must look into this), the second attempt was ok   The pattern on the fabric helped me as I could follow the dots to keep even.

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Overall I’m quite pleased how it turned out and will get quite a lot of wear out of it in the coming weeks.  I will make it again probably in a scuba as I’ve not tried sewing with that fabric yet and there are some gorgeous designs online.  Maybe one for my sister too.

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