I’ve spent the past few years ignoring a couple things that make for some pretty comfy garments: elastic and knits. Elastic was for pajamas and bathing suits, and knits, well, they just weren’t my thing. What was I thinking, you guys?! The turning point for me came one day a couple years ago when I designed a few easy, classic skirts for a collection–and they happened to have an elastic waistband. The ease in making them coupled with the ease of wearing them was a revelation for us, especially me. Remember that for a long time my aesthetic had little to do with weekend wear or elastic or knits. In my defense, there’s nothing wrong with dressier tailored pieces–which is my true love language–but there’s also room for casual stuff too. In fact, I’m finishing a dress right now that has me excited to make more knit garments this winter. They can be just as fabulous as a dress in a woven fabric. But more on that later.
Today I can finally show you another finished piece from my group of fall projects, Butterick 5878. I first made this dress over the summer in a delicious pink floral challis, and I loved it so much I included it on my list for fall. I love this pattern for a lot of reasons: it has sleeves, it has a comfortable and forgiving elastic waistband, it’s quick and easy to sew, and a suggested fabric is rayon challis–only one of the greatest, yummiest fabrics ever.
Knowing I was using rayon challis I drafted a full circle skirt instead of the tiered, gathered option in the pattern, because I wanted the most flow and drape as possible. I also made bias binding for the neckline in place of a narrow hem or facing. It’s easy to do, and it looks nice and clean.
The waistline seam:
Elastic in the sleeve:
Things to know about this pattern:
#1. OMG I LOVE IT.
#2. The fit is excellent. The bodice is a bit long at the end of the front wrap piece, so I adjusted the pattern so that it lays flat and smooth. I also added an small snap to the wrap in the front to keep the dress from flying open and revealing . . . too much.
#3. I like the tiered skirt design and chances are good I will make it in the future, but a full circle was the best way to showcase the movement of my fabric.
#4. It’s so easy to slip on and off, and it’s best thing to wear if you need to be comfortable for long stretches of time. Also, you look pretty sassy swishing around it. #bonus
(Side note: bear with me as I get better with the videos. I appreciate pictures of garments, but the real story is told in the movement and how a garment looks on a body.) The summer version:
This isn’t an expensive project to begin with, but I still got lucky with cost of materials. The pink floral challis came from Fashion Fabrics Club for a steal at about $5/yard, and I got the navy challis from Hancock for next to nothing during their going-out-of-business sale over the summer. It was so inexpensive I don’t even remember how much it was. Either way, fabric, a little bit of elastic, thread–you’re good to go.
I’ll be making this again, for sure! Also, if you’re interested in this style, dig around on eBay for the out-of-print patterns from the 90s. There’s a lot of elastic waist options! I have this one already cut out in a couple fabrics for spring. Happy Sewing, everyone!
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