Funny how that can happen, isn't it? This large amount of gorgeously soft and perfectly brown on brown fabric just had to come home with me.
But what to do with it? It was begging to made into something my size and I spent a fair bit of time surfing the net for pattern inspiration before I decided to go with what I had to hand. Not that I had any dress patterns suitable for knit fabric, but that wasn't going to stop me.
I did have this pattern (as yet untouched) Simplicity 2209: Lisette Passport Jacket and Dress:
But I wanted sleeves, so how about some pattern mashing using this pattern Simplicity 1878 Lisette Diplomat Dress
Passport.... Diplomat... This was obviously going to work. (no need to point out that the whole Lisette line are thusly named and it's no guarantee of pattern mashing success that the names sound good together. I was satisfied it was a good idea)
So I pulled out my patterns, traced off the Passport dress in a size that seemed about right, then I laid that tracing over the Diplomat dress. I lined up the side edges and the shoulder edges and then redrew the armhole in order to have Diplomat armholes in a Passport bodice.
I've been doing some very involved pattern matching cutting again lately and so it was a relief to set that aside, fold this fabric over and chop the dress out in a matter of minutes. In fact, I didn't think at all about the fabric's pattern. I assumed it was sufficiently abstract to not matter at all. And so, I came terrifyingly close to a Map of Tasmania Disaster.
For the international reader, don't type that into a search engine. Let me tell you, Tasmania is an island state, shaped like this and thickly forested. Nothing more needs to be said.
I think I got away with it as the Apple Isle is more over my left thigh than dead centre...
|Or maybe not... now that I see it right next to the other map I'm worried it's really obvious!|
The bodice of the dress has a lovely cross over section under the bust and down to the waist seam that gives it shape. It's intended to be sewn in a woven fabric and I was so gung ho about this project that it was only as I was glancing at the instructions to attach the bodice to the skirt that I noticed it usually has a small side zipper.
Thankfully I can now say that should you make this dress in a knit fabric with sufficient stretch you can omit the zip! Phew!
The fabric feels lovely and somehow the shape, the fit and the fabric all conspired together to give me a dress that doesn't show bra lines, or look strangled or overly wrinkly anywhere. I love it!
I had a play with serging some clear elastic on the sleeve hems thinking that was what one did to help stop them stretching. Nope. I've left it there but my skirt hem that I did with the walking foot and double needle is much more successful.
The Passport dress has a facing to finish the neckline. I cut a strip of self binding about 1" shorter than I measured the circumference of the neckline, sewed it together with 1/2" seam then applied it as a binding. That means my neckline would actually be higher (by the 5/8" seam allowance) than the pattern intended) and I'm happy with it just like that.
In fact I just love this dress. It's by far the best thing I've ever made myself but it's also one of my favourite things in my wardrobe right now. And I suppose, if it makes anyone want to go out and hug a tree and picket near a logging coup then I'll wear my Tassie badge with pride.
I'll also probably buy myself a few metres of Liberty viscose jersey cause now I have the perfect knit dress pattern!