Sunday, January 4, 2015

Stretching myself

Hello! I'm back, to finally post about the dress I finished just before Christmas. Fair warning, the photos in this post are terrrrrible. Sorry.

Here it is - my first attempt at sewing with knit fabrics. Short story: I like the result, but the process was annoying. Long story, well, that's the post.

This is some of the fabric I bought in London, on Goldhawk Road. It's great, but I suspect possibly not the highest quality, because I think it's already starting to stretch. I found cutting it out to me a massive pain - it kept shifting and stretching, and it was hard to feel like I was really getting the actual lines of the pattern. I'm sure it would be easier with a rotary cutter and mat, but that's just more things to find somewhere to put.

The sewing part was okay - there's a stretch zig-zag stitch on my machine which I used (and a few other stretch stitches, so I'll have to experiment). I even figured out how to set up and thread a twin needle, which wasn't expressly in my machine's manual - I used that to hem the neckline and arms and hem. The actual stitching felt weirdly slow, until I realized that's because it was - the stretch stitch just takes longer to stitch the same length than a regular stitch.

[ETA: the pattern is Colette Moneta. Forgot to mention that!] I didn't bother doing an FBA (the blessing of stretchy fabrics and a pattern that's drafted for a C cup instead of the normal B), but I did add a little length to the front bodice, and did my regular sway back adjustment on the back. It's still a little low in the back waist, so I took another 1/2 " off the pattern for next time. (Looking at the side photo, I might want to add that 1/2" back on to the skirt at the back, hmm.) And there probably will be a next time - despite not loving sewing with stretch fabric, I did like the end result (dresses with sleeves and pockets, hooray!), and I'm sure I'll make it again. And once I figure out the world of knit fabrics, I have a few other patterns lying around to try.


  1. Looks great! What pattern did you use?

    1. Janet, I can't believe I managed to leave that part out! It's the Colette Moneta.

  2. Hi, Rachel, responding to your question about where to consign your mom's things. I would go to the House of Savoy on Oak Bay Avenue. They specialize in vintage and high-end pieces. Wedding dresses are not much in demand, but the silk dressing gown might catch their eye.

    Cheers, and thanks for reading!

    PS - love your blog background. ;-P