Two maxi dresses

March 24, 2012 § 4 Comments

I didn’t really have time for a step-by-step this week but I just wanted to show off the two maxi dresses I made. As mentioned in the last post, I was invited to a fashion event on Friday and had nothing to wear. I decided to pattern a dress from this one by Lex:

But I’ve never sewn jersey knit fabric before and I’ve heard so many horror stories about it, so I decided to make a backup dress too in case things didn’t go well for the original idea. This time I went for the tried and true:

You’ve seen the tank top dress before. It was my first dress. Basically you just take a tank top, cut it mid-rib, attach a “skirt”, and voila! Dress! Only this time I made the skirt part ankle-length and I “stole” a crochet panel from a curtain and used it as a belt :D

Side note: I’ve been eyeing these sandals for so long but they were a bit pricey so I convinced myself I wouldn’t use them in winter anyway and didn’t get them. Well, i walked past the shop, and there they were, half off and my size was one of the last three pairs. Of course I got them :D

Now on to “the dress.” Many thanks to Lex for so generously sharing how she made her gorgeous dress. But there were a few things that made this project challenging for a beginner like me. First, she did her fittings on a dressform, which I don’t have. Second, the bodice is made up of four triangles sewn together. You could cut four triangles of your fabric and then try fitting as you go, but I felt you’d waste so much fabric this way so I actually took measurements for mine. Also, I knew from the picture that she was a lot thinner and taller than me and the dress wouldn’t drape as becomingly on me as it did on her. I decided for a “sleeker” fit rather than relaxed, that meant cutting to my measurements with only a quarter inch seam allowance.

One last thing. When sewing jersey knit, I read that people use that 3-stitch zigzag on their machines. Others would use the longest straight stitch with 0 tension. I tested both of these out and found out that the longest straight stitch with the tension at 2 worked better on my machine. You just have to take the time to experiment. And here is what happened.

I ended up going to the party in my backup dress since I felt this one was too “revealing” (you know how unforgiving jersey knit can be if you don’t have the right “foundation”) and I had places to go before the party. Can’t wait for the right occasion to wear this though. All in all I can say it was a good crafting week, don’t you think? :)

 

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