Thursday, January 1, 2015
Sewing for Dressember
I finally decided to sew a dress for myself! I've been wanting to, but not wanting to commit to that much fabric for a couple years. After looking at many patterns, I finally decided on the Out and About Dress by Sew Caroline. Since this month was Dressember (and guess what, you can still donate toward my International Justice Mission fund raiser here!), I thought it would be the perfect time to try this easy dress out to add to my dress collection.
I chose a basic and very inexpensive dark grey jersey rayon spandex from Girl Charlee. (I didn't want to spend much until I knew how to make it fit right, or if it would fit.)
I measured myself, and according to the pattern I should have made a 2XL, which sounded crazy when I ususally wear medium sized clothing. I decided to go make an XL, and am pretty sure that if I make this pattern again I'll make a L.
I sewed the dress with a Juki serger, which went very quickly, and topstitched the neck and hems with my sewing machine and a jersey (ballpoint) needle. When I initially tried this on, I was not pleased with the fit/look or the very scratchy serger seams around the middle. I switched the looper threads on the serger from polyester to wooly nylon threads. This helped sooooooo much! I also ended up cutting the skirt section back off to fix. I cut the skirt width down by 6" and reworked the gathered skirt top. I decided to gather just in the center front and back sections of the skirt, rather than all the way around, to mimic a couple dresses I own and like the fit of. I have about 8" on both sides that are just flat, not gathered. The side gathers made the dress look a little too billowy at the hips and little girl-like to me.
After re-attaching the skirt with the modifications and hemming, I am pretty happy with this dress! I had a little more stretching that I would like around the neckband and side seams, but I'm pretty sure that is due to the thinness and weight of this fabric. Even though it was a bit of a trial, I'll continue to wear this basic dress. If I make this pattern again I'll use a cotton knit that is a little less floppy.
This dress is great by iteself, or layered with a blouse or belt.
The best part is that I finished it just in time to make it my last outfit for Dressember! I took it for a trial run, hiking at Bear Gulch in Pinnacles National Park. #youcandoanythinginadress