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Message Board > Beginner's Forum > help with sewing first knit dress ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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help with sewing first knit dress
lacking confidence!
rmusic1
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rmusic1
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UNITED KINGDOM
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Date: 9/7/12 5:35 PM

I'm intending to make vogue 8728 which is a vintage style dress pattern.

I've made a jersey dressing gown before. My experience with this was that it isn't fun installing zips when using jersey. I did use my zig zag stitch and a ball point needle.

So, on to my questions. The cotton jersey I have bought has a fair amount of stretch. Do I go a size down like some of the other reviewers on PR have done? I am normally a size 12 bust, 16 waist and 14 hips. I've already cut out all of the pieces in a size 12 top, and graded out to a 14 from the waist down. Do I stick with this? The pattern is sized for knits and wovens.

Next, do I make the shoulder pads? they are not something I normally need, having fairly broad shoulders. I recently added them to a jacket I made where they worked really well. But does a jersey dress really need this? Is it also worth sewing this on my serger? not something I have done before (I've just used it for overlocking seams).

Some other modifications. I intend to skip the zip due to the amount of stretch in my fabric. I think (and the shop agreed) I can get away with it. I'm planning on skipping the belt as well.

I hope by this stage you dont feel I am really lazy!
-- Edited on 9/7/12 5:50 PM --

Red Dragon
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Red Dragon
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Date: 9/7/12 8:13 PM

That is such a cute dress!
To be safe Iíd keep your regular sizing mods as you would normally do them, make the bodice as instructed and baste the sides with a long stitch and try it on. If it needs to come in, just take it in as needed, but make sure you have enough room to get it on and off if you are ditching the zip. The amount of stretch in a fabric can drastically change the fit of a dress, so donít panic if it comes in a bit big. Once you are happy with the fit in the bodice you could serge the seams, but not the sides until you have the skirt on. (Horizontal seams then vertical) For most of my sewing I tend to fit then serge rather than go straight to the serger. Jersey doesnít tend to fray, so serging isnít necessary, but it makes for a neater and more RTW finish.
With the shoulder pads, Iíd try it with and without and see what you prefer. Do what suits you, there are no rules, thatís why we sew! Go for it, I think you'll be surprised just how quick and easy a jersey dress is to make.
Look forward to seeing the finished version.

------
Tracy, Canberra

Janome 7700QCP, Janome 4618QC, Husky S25 overlock/coverstitch

SquishSews
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SquishSews  Friend of PR
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Date: 9/8/12 0:27 AM

*eagerly following along*

I am planning my first knit dress this week too. Your pattern is lovely; pics when you finish, please?

Scheri
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Scheri  Friend of PR
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Date: 9/8/12 2:49 AM

I am working on a knit dress pattern to I found this post that may interest you.

How to insert zipper into knit fabri

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Scheri Manson
Edmonton, AB CANADA

tlmck3
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tlmck3
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In reply to rmusic1 <<
thumbsup 1 member likes this.


Date: 9/8/12 4:38 PM

That doesn't look like a pattern intended for a knit. I think you might be asking for trouble by trying to adapt it to a jersey. The details on it would be easier to execute in a lightweight woven fabric.

For a first knit dress, I would probably pick a pattern meant to be made up in a knit.

------
I am going for a level of perfection that is only mine... Most of the pleasure is in getting that last little piece perfect...Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just keep showing up and doing the work.

Chuck Close, painter, printmaker, photographer

Hope has two lovely daughters: Anger and Courage

St. Augustine

PattyE
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PattyE  Friend of PR
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Date: 9/8/12 9:59 PM

I think I would do a muslin first. Alot of the reviewers of that pattern have said they went down at least 1 size, sometimes 2 sizes, in areas, and if your knit has so much stretch that you won't need the zipper, you might end up with it way too big for you. It might be tricky maintaining that specific curve for the bodice seam if you have to lop off quite a bit of fabric because it's too big.
On the other hand, one review I read said you need a zip even with a knit...that waist is very form-fitting...will you be able to wiggle through that area without a zip?
As for the shoulder pads, I always try them if the pattern specifies. I tend to really like shoulder pads. LOL
In the end it's all about what you want in your dress...to serge or not, shoulder pads or not.

zazzie
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zazzie
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In reply to tlmck3 <<


Date: 9/8/12 10:08 PM

Quote: tlmck3
That doesn't look like a pattern intended for a knit. I think you might be asking for trouble by trying to adapt it to a jersey. The details on it would be easier to execute in a lightweight woven fabric.



For a first knit dress, I would probably pick a pattern meant to be made up in a knit.

I would DEFINITELY pick a pattern meant to be made up in a knit !

And make sure the one you find can be made without inserting a zipper. Baby steps !

------
There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in. - L. Cohen.

SquishSews
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Date: 9/9/12 1:24 AM

Lightweight jersey is the first fabric listed on the back of her pattern...

rmusic1
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rmusic1
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Date: 9/9/12 3:05 AM

thank you for all of the replies. To address some of the points raised.

1) this dress has been made successfully by other people in cotton jersey here on PR so I think I will be ok. I have picked a light weight jersey as recommended by the pattern envelope.

2) the shop where I bought the pattern and fabric from said (when I asked) that they thought I could do away with the zip. To give you an idea of stretch, I can stretch to about twice the original size without too much effort.

3) I've checked the waist size (final measurement) on the tissue paper carefully. It says a size 14 (which is what I have cut for my waist) is 30 inches, which is exactly my waist size. So I should have a form fitting, but not too snug given the stretch, waist section.

4) in terms of size I think I am going to start with a 12 for the bodice section. This is based on experience with other dresses. I have never made anything yet where I have had to size down at the shoulders. Even when other reviewers have said they had to size down. I have fairly broad shoulders (I'm 5 foot 11) so am a bit cautious of starting off too small.

am I right in thinking I can always add just more gathering here anyway?

I've cut everything out now after careful consideration. Gosh jersey likes to wriggle about. Despite a careful advance pressing it likes to not lie exactly flat but have little waves. Annoying!

Red Dragon
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Red Dragon
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In reply to rmusic1 <<


Date: 9/9/12 5:03 AM

With the bodice, the important thing is to make sure the shoulders fit as a priority as these are hardest to fix after the event. Then as you said, you can adjust the gathering to fit, and overlock/serge to hide those wavy edges.
Good luck!

------
Tracy, Canberra

Janome 7700QCP, Janome 4618QC, Husky S25 overlock/coverstitch

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