Tag Archives: McCall’s

McCall’s 7121 | Stripe Matching Victory!

5 Jul

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Happy Sunday, friends! I hope you are all rested and ready for the week ahead. I have taken advantage of this long holiday weekend to catch up on my never-ending list of things I would like to sew. I have made a simple knit sheath dress from some floral print scuba knit, a psychedelic Closet Case Files Sallie Jumpsuit, a Watson bra, started on the Maison Fleur Halterneck Swimsuit, and just finished this cute little dress — McCall’s 7121.

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Hopefully I will get around to sharing those other things with you but if I don’t, at least you know I’m back to sewing! And now that my knit fest is over, I have plans to start on some woven items like a dress and some blouses. I will keep you posted.

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Y’all know I love a good knit dress. Exhibits 1 and 2. And there are more that I haven’t even shown you but that make regular appearances in my wardrobe. So it’s not a surprise that I picked up this pattern when they went on sale for $1 at Hancock’s. But I think I love this one a little more because it has a waist seam and the skirt is a little more A-line. And since the front bodice is not cut on the fold, McCall’s added a little bit of bust shaping there in the front for you.

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And the stripes make it so fun and flattering. Plus, I get to show off my stripe matching skills! What, you thought I was hiding something under the belt? BAM!

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I chose my size based on the finished measurements, not the size chart, and I selected sizes that would yield zero to a little negative ease in the bust and waist. I made my standard adjustments of 1/2″ forward shoulder and 1″ swayback and I also decided to raise the neckline by 1.5″. After I stitched this up, I realized the armholes and back neckline were gaping and the waist was a little low so I pinched up the shoulder by 1.5″ and stitched a new shoulder seam, effectively fixing all three problems. I think using neck and armhole bindings would prevent the gaping but this pattern just calls for turning and stitching.

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Which, of course, I didn’t do! I decided to self-line the bodice for a clean finish at the neck and armscye. I did sew some clear elastic into the neckline and after I raised the shoulder seams, it lies smoothly. Finally, I serged some clear elastic into the waist seam and hemmed with a twin needle.

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Easy peasy for a great wardrobe builder. I think my next version will be hacked into a peplum top with some great black floral scuba knit that is calling to me from my fabric stash…

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McCall’s 6706 | Carolina Herrera Skirt

12 Mar

Howdy, friends! I have another completed sewing project for you today! But before you get too excited, this is a project I completed sometime last year (probably Summer 2014), and just never got a chance to get good enough photos to blog.

Luckily, we finally had some pretty weather this past Sunday and there is a cute spot outside our new condo, so I took advantage and enlisted my handsome stepson to play photographer. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize until after the photo shoot that there was a large smudge on the lens so you will have to excuse the blur around my feet 🙂

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This skirt started with the fabric. I found it at Promenade Fine Fabrics in New Orleans, one of my favorite fabric haunts. It was milled for Carolina Herrera and is a silk organza with blue flowers with black outlines embroidered on it. Maybe there’s a better term for the way this fabric is embellished but I don’t know it. The black outline appears to be clipped to have exposed threads, kind of reminds me of velvet, but the blue looks like embroidery. Any info on this type of fabric would be appreciated. The fabric was very pricey ($58/yd) so I knew it had to become something that didn’t require much yardage and that I could make without any errors.

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I decided on McCall’s 6706 (rendered once before in a drapey rayon challis), to create a simple, elegant, pleated knee-length skirt.

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Then I found this photo of the designer herself wearing a very similar skirt in an almost identical fabric. I never could find any garments in the exact fabric.

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I decided to underline the fashion fabric with plain silk organza so I could finish the raw edges like I did in my red Hollyburn skirt and to give it a little more opacity and body.

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I also lined the skirt with a bone colored silk crepe de chine from Promenade. At first I thought I would line it with black, but the neutral silk really made the white of the organza stand out.

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Finally, I decided to use some fabulous, authentic Petersham ribbon for the waistband. This notion also came from Promenade and Herbert says that it is some of the only truly legit Petersham that is still made. I wish you could feel it through the computer — it is so thick and luxurious. Another pricey option ($32/yd), I purchased just enough to go around my waist twice for the waistband and facing.

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Construction was pretty straightforward. As I mentioned above, I underlined the skirt panels with organza then hand basted the pleat lines and lightly pressed the pleats into place then machine basted them across the top.

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For the lining, I basted it to the skirt along the top then treated it and the outer skirt as one piece when applying the waistband. I laid the Petersham ribbon directly on the waist seam line and used my edgestitch foot to stitch just inside the outer border of the ribbon. Then I matched the other piece of ribbon (the waistband facing) up with the top and edgestitched along the top border to connect the two. The I did one final row of stitches to secure the bottom of the facing to the bottom of the waistband. Fortunately, these stitches just melt right into the ribbon and you can’t see them, otherwise I would have been doing a lot of handstitching!

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I finished the lining with a 1/4″ machine hem and the outer skirt is finished with a 1″ hand stitched hem, catching my stitches in the organza underlining.

All in all, I love this skirt even though it was not the cheapest project. It is one of a kind and I feel like it looks like a designer piece. I think I will be able to enjoy wearing it for many years so I don’t mind the little splurge to create it.

What about you, my fair readers, have you ever splurged a little bit on a project? Did you play it safe with a pattern you knew would sew up well or did you do something more daring? I would love to hear in the comments!

I hope to be back soon 🙂

Me Made May 2014, Part 2

1 Jun

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Wednesday, May 14 — A “day off.” I spent the day running errands and doing house chores. I paired my workhorse McCall’s 6559 knit dress with new flip-flops and my trusty LOFT jean jacket. The necklace is from Kluster Shop.

 

 

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Thursday, May 15 — Work all day. I wore my new Simplicity 1810 dress again, this time styling it with a RTW cropped lace cardigan that picks up the deepest red color in the silk fabric. The shoes look more fun in person — they are a nude color with some shine in the leather. I definitely liked this outfit.

 

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Friday, May 16 — TGIF! I wore my new Lolita Olive blouse to get more photos for the blog tour. I paired it with my new white jeans (J Brand), and my pewter flats.

 

 

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Saturday, May 17 — Mr. Homemaker and I spent all day working around the house, getting it ready to go on the market. I am wearing my striped Renfrew and some Athleta capris I picked up in Philly. Love these pants!

 

 

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Sunday, May 18 — Off to church in an unblogged dress that is a miss-mash of a TNT princess seam bodice and the Sewaholic Hollyburn skirt. I paired it with a cropped white lace cardigan and some white strappy sandals. The necklace is from Kluster Shop. Like my newly made-over dining room?

 

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Monday, May 19  — Back to the office for a busy day. I wore unblogged Simplicity 2365 that I made as a swimsuit coverup for our cruise back in February. I love the pintuck detail on this tunic but it is really blousy in the back and would benefit from some tailoring and a swayback adjustment in its next version. I made it from some J. Crew cotton voile from a recent Fabric Mart Fabrics sale. I paired it with my Citizens of Humanity skinny jeans, my gold flats, and a “vintage” turquoise necklace.

 

 

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Tuesday, May 20 — Another normal day at the office. For dinner we went out to celebrate my stepson’s end of the school year. This is McCall’s 6654 knit skirt is great to wear but is a bit cumbersome in the office because long things get tangled up in my rolling stool. I paired it with a white lace-trimmed cami and black lace cropped cardigan (both from Nordstrom). My shoes are open-toe low heeled Cole Haans.

 

 

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Wednesday, May 21 — A day off spend running errands again. This is one of my favorite me-mades of all time — McCall’s 6559. I paired it with my jean jacket and some flower-adorned flip-flops. The necklace is from Premier.

 

 

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Thursday, May 22 — Back to work and a professional conference in the evening (where I was able to get some knitting done, too!). I wore my Belle Bow Blouse with my white skinny jeans and some pointy-toe flats.

 

 

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Friday, May 23 — Normal office day and my stepson’s award day at school. Isn’t he a handsome young man? I wore my unblogged Kirsten Kimono Tee (see a blogged version here), and some red skinny jeans from David Kahn. Gold flats.

 

 

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Saturday, May 24 — I whipped up this Nettie bodysuit before heading to Mobile for the trunk show and pattern fitting with Sandra Betzina. It was really easy to make and I love the idea of a bodysuit. My only complaints are the very narrow shoulders and the fact that the coverage in the back isn’t enough to cover my big booty. I will definitely be tweaking this pattern and making it again, though! I paired the top with my Citizens jeans and red patent flats.

 

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Sunday, May 25 — I spent all day sewing with Sandra and other seamstresses. I dressed for comfort in this McCall’s 6559 and gold sparkle flip-flops. I also took a batch of Mimosa Punch to share with my classmates.

 

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Monday, May 26 — Memorial Day started out with hospital rounds in the nursery followed by housework and a cookout at home. I paired my Sewaholic Lonsdale with some new yellow sandals.

 

 

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Tuesday, May 27 — This was a normal day at the office. I paired my unblogged McCall’s 6898 with my white skinny jeans and some old pale pink kitten heels. While seeing patients at the office, I slipped on one of my heels and landed on my knee on the concrete floor, resulting in an ugly bruise. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the first time these shoes made me fall so I put them straight into the Goodwill pile when I got home.

 

 

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Wednesday, May 28 — My first real day off in weeks it seemed. I spent all day working around the house, knitting, and sewing. I made this hot pink stretch lace slip with my trusty McCall’s 6559 pattern, cutting the length off about mid-thigh. I used a contrasting lavender knit for the neck and armscye bands. Sorry, no photos of me lounging in this one 🙂

 

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Thursday, May 29 — Back to the office where I wore my first pair of me-made panties. As you can tell, I made them to match my slip from the day before. You may also notice I used leftover fabric from my Nettie bodysuit for the lining.

To make these, I traced a favorite pair of RTW panties then stitched them up and added a little lavender elastic at the waist. I finished the leg openings with a simple serged hem.

I also wore a blouse made from Vogue 1386, a Sandra Betzina pattern. This top was made by Sandra herself and gifted to me after our class over the holiday weekend. Thanks so much, Sandra, for a great class and this beautiful blouse! I paired the blouse with some slim jeans and animal skin slingbacks.

 

 

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Friday, May 30 — Another Friday at the office. I wore my Vogue 8747 white blouse with some slim jeans and new camel T-strap sandals.

 

 

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Saturday, May 31 — Woo hoo! The last day and I made it!! I wore my Kirsten Kimono Tee again with some jeans and my red patent flats. My sis took this photo at a small gathering at her house where she announced that I am having another niece! Yay for girls!!! 😉

So if you’re still there, why don’t we talk briefly about what I learned from Me Made May ’14? I learned that a few things I made last year don’t fit (that’s the motivation I’ve been needing for that pesky 5 pounds!). I’ve also learned that I’ve made a lot of things suitable for days away from the office but I haven’t made many work-appropriate items. This is something that I hope to address this summer. Finally, I learned that I am terrible about remembering to take daily photos as most of mine were taken at the end of the day when everything was looking a little wilted.

Overall, May was a great month for me — very productive and satisfying — and I am looking forward to my upcoming sewing and knitting projects. I hope y’all have a great week and we’ll chat again soon!

McCall’s 6559 Again — Poster City

2 Mar

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Hello, again! Are you shocked by my three posts in as many days? Can I just tell you what a backlog of things I have to share — both food and sewing related. But I digress…

This dress is the first installment in my “resort collection,” or the things I sewed up to go on a cruise at the beginning of February (a total of 5 things).

You have seen me in this pattern before but in the maxi length version.

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I made only minor adjustments to this version beyond what I made in the last one — only widened the back armhole to normal instead of racer-style, raised the neckline 1″, and took another 1/2″ out for a swayback adjustment and added it back in over my derriere to keep the hem level. I also trimmed the seam allowances down to 1/4″ to make it easier to serge.

The fabric is an awesome rayon/lycra 4-way knit that I got from Emma One Sock a little while back — called “Poster City.” And this is your lucky day! She still has some in stock!!

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I constructed the entire thing on my serger, using a 4-thread overlock for the seams and my coverstitch function for the bands and hem. I used the elastic foot to insert elastic into the neckline for stability. This could also be used for the shoulder seam if sleeves were included.

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I don’t guess there’s much else to say about this one other than it won’t be my last!

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Flirty Skirt — McCall’s 6706

1 Mar

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Hi, friends! I am finally sharing a completed sewing project with you. It feels like it has been ages!! Want to know the best part? It’s been about 6 months since I made this but since I wore it to work recently, I decided to snap some pictures and share it with you.

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Be warned, though, this photo shoot took place after 10 hours at work and seeing 40+ patients. You will see wrinkles, stringy hair, and a tired face. And since I conducted this photo shoot with the timer on my camera, my head or feet may be missing in some photos 🙂

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This skirt is made from McCall’s 6706, a great little pattern for a quick and satisfying project. I have not become a huge fan of the hi-low hems yet, but I thought this skirt made in some free fabric would be a great way to test it out. The fabric was a remnant given to me when I went fabric shopping in NYC. It came from Elliot Berman and I am guessing it is rayon challis. It was easy to sew and has a light, floaty feel.

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As for the pattern, it was very easy to sew up and required minimal fitting. All you have to do is select your size based off the finished waist measurement printed on the tissue. I looked for the size that was closest to my waist +1″ of ease. Since it is so full in the hips, adjustments there will likely not be necessary.

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I installed an invisible zipper and finished the waistband facing by stitching in the ditch from the right side. The hem is a narrow 1/4″ machine hem using this tutorial. No hand stitching on this baby!

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My only regret is that I should have used a sturdier interfacing in the waistband.

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And that I don’t look good from behind in this hi-low hem skirt 😦

Oh well. Live and learn!

2013 in Review

1 Jan

Now that 2013 is officially over, I thought I would take a minute to reflect on what the past year has held.  The year started out with lots of excitement when I traveled across the country by myself to attend a 3 day sewing workshop with Gretchen Hirsch and Heather Ross. While there I made quite a few friends, in particular Lauren, who started her own blog not long after the sewing weekend. She and I worked on the same pattern so we were able to give fitting assistance to one another. I also got to visit the brick and mortar Hart’s Fabric, which has become one of my favorite places for fabric shopping.

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My next trip took me to Washington DC for work-related business but I managed to squeeze in a little time to shop at G Street Fabrics.

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I participated in Me Made May for the first time and surpassed my expectations by not repeating any items for over 2/3 of the month.

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I attended a local sewing workshop with Sandra Betzina and made her pattern Vogue 1291. I also got to enjoy a lovely dinner party at a friend’s home with Sandra.

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I participated in the Spring Sewing Swap hosted by Kestrel. I was paired up with Shelly of Shelly’s DIY Style and got some great goodies all the way from Australia.

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I reviewed a pattern for one of my favorite indie designers — In House Patterns — and ended up with a gorgeous, breezy Blossom top. I currently have my next pattern to review cut out. Will be making a muslin soon.

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I participated in a garment sewing competition on the Hart’s Fabric website and thanks to all my wonderful readers, I won a $50 Hart’s gift certificate!

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In August I made an evening ensemble to wear to our hospital’s charity gala. I ventured into couture sewing with a lace bustier with spiral steel boning and self-drafted a silk charmeuse skirt.

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The last major sewing of the year involved creating dresses for my nieces to wear in my sister’s wedding — sewing for little girls is so much easier!

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I did squeeze in a quick sewing project right before Christmas — 10 infinity scarfs from my stash fabric to give as gifts to all the girls in my family. I used this tutorial but didn’t snag any pictures of my finished products before giving them away. Maybe one of the recipients will send me a picture so I can post it…

Top 5 Recipes

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Decadent Hot Cocoa Mix

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Caesar Salad

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Bourbon and Rosemary Roasted Chicken

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Cuba Libre, Reinvented

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Goat Cheese Spinach Dip (most searched post of 2013)

Top 5 Sewing Projects

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Knit Maxi — McCall’s 6559

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Bustier Top  Simplicity 1664

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Lace Bustier — Vogue 8849

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Date Night Dress — New Look 6457

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Belle Bow Blouse — In House Patterns

Top 5 Things I Learned

New binding for knit necklines

Underlining to create neat seam finish on vertical seams

Using spiral steel boning

Handpicking zippers

How to draft a skirt pattern

5 Goals for 2014

Post my backlog of completed sewing projects

Learn how to match patterns on fabric when creating a garment

Make some good basics for my wardrobe (knit tops, specifically)

Sew a jacket

Fess up that I have learned to knit in the last few weeks!!!

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Dulce Neck Cozy — free pattern on Ravelry

McCall’s 6559 — Knit Maxi Dress

11 Jun

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Ladies and gentlemen, I have found my official pattern for summer — McCall’s 6559.  This knit tank dress pattern (post-tweaks, of course) is nearly perfect — easy, casual, chic, and comfy.  On top of that it is quick and easy to sew up since it only involves two pattern pieces plus neck and armhole bands.  My fabric for this dress was one of my treasures from last year’s NYC trip.  I don’t know the exact fiber content but I would guess some viscose and elastane.  It is a lightweight, soft knit with great recovery.

 

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I strayed from the pattern instructions (didn’t even look at them, actually) for the neckline and armhole binding.  I have never been satisfied with the bands that most patterns call for so when Lauren at Lladybird posted about this binding method from Megan Nielsen, I was all over it.  I LOVE the results and don’t think I’ll ever go back to the bands unless I have a fabric that is uncooperative.  I stabilized my neckline with knit staytape from Emma Seabrooke and used Lite Steam-A-Seam 2 and a twin stretch needle for my hem.  I have gotten so many compliments on this dress, especially about how professional the finishes look.

 

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As with all Big 4 knit patterns I have encountered, this one runs huge so I just based my size choice off of finished pattern measurements, going with a 12 in the shoulder, grading to a 14 at the bust/under the arms for a cheater FBA, tapering in to a 10 at the waist and then back out to a 14 at the hips.  If I had gone by the measurement chart I would have cut a 16 in the bust, 14 in the waist and an 18 in the hips!

 

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I started with a wearable muslin from a sturdy cotton knit and realized that I would have to make all future versions with a center back seam if I wanted it to fit my figure.  I had to take a 3/4″ swayback adjustment and then added a 1″ wedge back in over the derriere to accommodate for the swayback adjustment plus some for the junk-trunk.

 

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There will definitely be more versions of this dress in both the long and short varieties.  On the next rendition, I think I will go ahead and trim the seam allowances down to 1/4″ for serging and I will raise the neckline a bit to make it more work-friendly.  I will also take a bit more out for the swayback adjustment so it hugs my low back better.  Finally, because my fabric is a bit heavy, this dress could use some reinforcement in the side seams to support the weight.  I will be adding some clear elastic to the seam allowances from the underarm to the hip to prevent stretching and will keep this in mind for future versions if the fabric is really stretchy.  I don’t think it will be an issue with less stretchy knits.

So what do you think?  Could knit dresses be your go-to this summer?

 

 

 

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