Life’s been a bit of a roller coaster ride ’round these parts lately. I’ll spare you the details, but in the past month I’ve lost a dear family member, another is in the fight of her life after undergoing an organ transplant, and much less importantly, that pesky government shutdown has affected my livelihood. Part of my coping strategy has been to keep on knitting and sewing, since working with my hands and being focused on a project tends to calm my mind and keep me feeling okay. Maybe I’m really just distracting myself, but I figure at least it’s a healthy distraction, right? Anyway, here’s the product of my latest efforts at stress reduction: a new knit dress.
I’m excited that I managed to make another knit garment! This time, though, I took it easy on myself and used a nice stable ponte knit (or double knit). It was soo much easier to work with than swimsuit lycra, ha!
The fabric is from my LA haul. I got it at Michael Levine, and I’ve really enjoyed working with it. I sewed it up like a woven, except I used a ball point needle.
The pattern is Simplicity 1754. It’s not necessarily meant for knit fabrics, but the fabric suggestions included double knits, so I gave it a shot.
You will notice that the line drawings are a bit different from my finished garment. It’s designed to have princess seams from the shoulders to waist, and then open into pleats.
I hated the way the pleats looked though. They landed at the wrong place and were stiff and poofy in the most unattractive way. So, I simply stitched the pleats closed all the way to the hem. Problem solved!
Because this fabric stretches, I didn’t have to worry about adding a back slit, which was nice.
I couldn’t figure out how to ease in the sleeve caps with this fabric, so I opted to make a tiny pleat at the top of the sleeve instead.
I did a lapped zipper, completely by machine. This was a first for me. (I’ve always handpicked them before.) It turned out okay, but I really wish I had added interfacing (or tried some fancy fusible knit stay tape) because the lap turned out a little wavy.
As for the insides, I didn’t bother finishing most of the seams because the fabric doesn’t fray. Not the pretty insides I usually aim for, but that’s okay.
Also, for some reason my back neck facings don’t match up. The right one is shorter, which I don’t understand because they were cut the exact same size. My theory is that it has something to do with the lapped zipper. But I really have no idea, and I don’t have the energy to figure it out.
In sum, this dress is a winner for me. It wasn’t too difficult to make, kept me occupied for a few evenings, and now I’ve got a dress that’s as comfy as pajamas. So, how about you, do you sew or knit through stressful times?