I had other plans for the blog today, and they had nothing to do with this dress. I had no idea I would love the two new ones enough to dedicate a post to them, but here we are. I should have known better! You may remember the first one I made a few weeks ago. It was a project I’d put aside for over a year and also my first dive into making knit garments since my college days. I knew when I made it that I wanted to do it again, and I had this gorgeous creamy rayon knit with delicate gold sequins that I knew would be perfect. It had been in my fabric stash for about three years, just waiting for the right project to come along. I found it at JoAnn back in 2013 on the sale rack, which is usually packed with cheap, icky fabrics. Every once in a while you can find something special there though, hiding behind the nasty polyester, and that’s what this is. I love the fact that the gold sequins are subtle enough to make this dress appropriate for more than just holiday parties too.
Many of you know that navy blue is my favorite color. It’s hard for me not to make just about everything in navy, and this dress is no exception. It’s so flattering and comfortable, and I feel like a million bucks in it. I actually made this dress in navy on a whim once I discovered this ponte knit, which is also from JoAnn. I noticed this fabric a few weeks ago when I was there for supplies, and apparently it’s a new and improved ponte knit that won’t pill. I usually steer clear of knits with polyester in them for that very reason–they tend to pill and look inexpensive and gross after just a couple rounds in the washing machine. This particular ponte is a blend of rayon, nylon, and spandex, and it feels absolutely incredible. Nice stretch and recovery, and it’s smooth and soft. I used a coupon on it, but the $17 price tag is probably worth it. I’m not sure if it comes in any other colors but if you see it in burgundy, let me know!
I can add a few notes about this pattern now that I’ve sewn it in three different types of knits. The first is obvious: the more lightweight the knit (as is the case with the cream sequin fabric), the closer it will fit to your body. It may mean you can size down, which I could have done, but it doesn’t look terribly big so I’m not too worried about it. The more stable and substantial the knit, like the grey and navy, the easier it will be to sew and work with. The part of this dress that requires the most patience is attaching the cuffs, which I inadvertently stretched a bit on the cream dress. Also, the pattern instructs you to double stitch the cuff/sleeve seam, trim, and press the seam allowance up into the sleeve, but I wanted that hidden so I pressed it down into the cuff and stitched it closed. Nice and neat.
I am a size or two smaller than I was when I first cut out this dress over a year ago, so I needed to take it in a little in the back. I did this by sewing the bodice and skirt together around the waist and then sewing the center back seam together in on long seam, which is opposite what the pattern instructions say to do. Either way, same result. Here you can see that I started with a 5/8″ seam at the top, gradually increasing to 1″.
I did a blind hem on all three dresses, which is a breeze to do on my sewing machine. I was able to serge the grey and navy dresses, but because of the sequins on the gold dress I double stitched and trimmed the seams. Not my favorite way to finish a seam, even if it is a knit, but it still looks pretty neat. I’m happy with it.
I have this dress cut out in one more color, a gorgeous forest green cotton knit. I’m up to my eyeballs in sequins and red and tulle for the holidays, but as soon as those projects are complete, I’ll get going on the fourth one of these. Then, to the archives this pattern must go! 🙂
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