Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Jersey dress with a vintage feel.

Have I ever mentioned that I also have a love for dresses with a vintage look? I actually think I have mentioned my occasional grandmother style in an earlier post but in case you missed that, I think we have a good example in this dress. 
Oh boy I love it...ehh, are you even supposed to say that when you made it yourself? Oh well, what I meant to say is that sometimes a project comes out exactly - or even more rare better - than you expected. And this dress is one of them. 

I apologize but I could just not control myself when I saw this 1960s filter in my photo editing program. I mean c'mon!

Normally I would stay far away from more complicated projects that also require sewing/stitching (not just overlocking) in knit/jersey fabric since I only have a domestic sewing machine and they are not that good friends with knits. And you know how annoying perfectionistic I can be. But I can slack on the perfectionism as long as it is for internal use only (me or my kids) and the outside of the garment is up to my standards. People with my type of education are taught to make the insides almost as nice as the outside but we are also mostly trained on industrial sewing machines and it can be frustrating to try to get the same results with a domestic sewing machine. I sold my industrial sewing machine when I closed my company and I have missed it every day since and a new one is VERY high on my wish list (Hubby are you taking notes!!)

Okay, so what made me decide to make this dress with the smoking inspired front knit? Well, for several reasons. First I have decided to challenge myself more when it comes to sewing as in put some more details on the clothes that I am making. The kids are not exactly missing clothes so no reason to rush.  I am the type who gets frustrated if a project takes too long and when I start on something I want to finish it within reasonable time. We have done some changes to the kids' preschool schedule and I now have 3 mornings for sewing so that will help. Oooh, I was suppose to go grocery shopping, get some exercise or tidy up when the kids are in school? Whatever, I will never win the prize for best housewife anyway, haha. 
And I mean there is no doubt that the more work you put into a garment the more happy you will be with the finished result, right. 
The last reason is the fabrics I ended up choosing. Since I bought the yellow fabric with the flowers I knew it had to become a dress. And you know how I love to mix fabrics and that dark coral/dusty pink fabric was just a perfect match. But is is also the type of knit that is quite firm and not that stretchy or soft and that is actually an advantage when you what to sew/stitch in it. Not like the yellow one that is super soft, has a beautiful drape and is perfect for the semi full skirt this dress has. 

I want to share this little trick for hemming knit fabric with a domestic sewing machine that I have googled myself to. And I have been using it ever since (and probably will continue to do until I get my industrial sewing machine). I did not like the result before when I was trying to hem a knit garment sewing from the inside of the skirt (or t-shirt, sleeve etc).
So via google did I end up on this website Genie Centre that many of you probably already knows. Judith the Genie said to sew your hem from the right side of the fabric - like you see on the photo above - and yippie that worked (but don't think you can skip the ironing afterwards). Since you have the visible overlock seam on the inside the result is not completely beautiful. But the outside is smooth and the seam is even so for homemade use it is, at least for me, good enough. By the way don't forget to change to ball point needles before you start sewing - they are made for knits.

So here we are with another jersey dress made from the same (self drafted) base that the dress my last post showed but still so very different. 

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Monday, August 6, 2012

Jersey faux wrap dress.

FINALLY some news here on the blog. Like I wrote on Facebook I finally sat down in front of my sewing machine for the first time in three weeks yesterday after two weeks of vacation and a week of getting over jet lag, unpacking and just general relaxing. Trying to see as many friends and family as many times as possible in two weeks is, no matter how absolutely wonderful that is, not relaxing. Phew.
So what did I make yesterday? Well, I finished this jersey faux wrap dress that I have had half finished for months. It's actually rare that I have half finished projects lying around like that. I normally change it right away if my initial idea does not work but this time I could simply not get it right. My problem was what fabric/color to use for the ribbons. I tried with black but I did not like the result and other solid colors I had in my stash did not work for me either and then I put it aside. Not long ago did I order this soft burgundy jersey with black dots and yesterday they both caught my eye and bingo there was my solution. I love the grey and burgundy together. To me it gets a bit of a sports wear in the 70s feeling and that they both have black dots in the same size is just even more perfect. 
I am sure you recognize what base I used to make this dress. If not check out THIS or THIS post. I made the skirt a little bit less full just for variation and made two overlapping front pieces that are sewn into the side seams.....and voila faux wrap dress.

I might make the neck line a tad higher next time.

Ha, the pairing with her new yellow sneakers really emphasize the 70s sports wear look....I did not even think about that when I took the photos.

That is all for this time. I have another jersey dress for Evelyn in the making - she is kind of obsessed with them at the moment - so stay tuned.

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