You really can't beat a good husband comment on homemade clothes, can you? I'm going to take a leaf out of Heather's book and start including them in all my pattern reviews. The pattern in this case being (again) the Lady Skater, most other comments of substance are already out there in the blogosphere somewhere, anyway.
It makes my boobs look noticeable. But in a good way!
Begging the myriad questions: what do they normally look like? Not noticeable? (Given their proportions, this would amaze me). Noticeable, in a bad way?? Would that be better or worse than the not-noticeable option?
In the interests of science, here's a side-on display. OF THE DRESS. You don't have to notice my boobs (or do you?? Is that what he meant?)
So anyway, I cut two of these dresses out at once, and then took my time sewing them up whenever I had a moment - it was quite nice to have a couple of easy projects on the go, just ready to pick up here and there. It was also an interesting process as the fabrics are very different from each other - which resulted in two very different sewing experiences, and two very different dresses. They're clearly the same pattern, but the style and the fit varies considerably between the two.
On the left, we have some fleece-backed sweatshirting, very stable with minimal 2-way stretch. On the right is a 4-way-stretch printed viscose with a rather beautiful drape and lovely soft feel.
Now obviously, I was expecting a lot swishier dress with the viscose, and that's what I got. What I didn't expect so much - though perhaps I should have, if I'd thought about it - was how the weight of the fabrics affected the bodice fit. The viscose hangs heavier and stretches vertically too; this not only produces the apparently noticeable and definitely flattering bosom-skimming effect, but also means the waistline sits lower. The sweatshirt fabric, however, is pretty light and doesn't stretch downwards at all. And although the second dress looks fine, I actually find the waistline sits ever so slightly too high for comfort.
Which is ever so slightly annoying, because comfort was precisely the point of making a fleece-lined, throw-it-on-and-go sweatshirt dress. But I nonetheless wear it a lot, because it is 100% lifestyle perfect.
Now let's talk about the finishings on this one, because I like them, and let's face it, garment finishing details are the money shots of sewing blogs really, aren't they? (And let's see what that sentence and all this discussion of noticeable boobs does to my traffic stats). Here's the neckline:
I had unthinkingly pressed the seam allowance up instead of down before topstitching it with a twin needle - and almost immediately regretted that I had done this on the inside, not the outside of the neckline. That thin peek of the neckband from behind the overlocked seam would look great on the other side of the dress, don't you think? In this case I definitely prefer it to the look of the plain neckband the dress ended up with. It'd need suitably coloured serger thread, but I think I'll be doing this deliberately on t-shirts sometime soon.
At the opposite end of things, here's the hem:
This was a miraculous confluence of gadgets that produced a PERFECT hem finish - and I can confirm that it pretty much always works wonderfully, as it's become my default knit hem technique. I use a twin needle, which of course means that you have to sew on the right side of the garment and thus can't see the raw edge of your folded-up hem. So, I use a magnetic seam gauge and line up the fabric's folded edge against it so that when you sew, the left hand one of the twin needles falls very slightly over (i.e. to the left of) the hem's raw edge. On the left of the photo you can see what the finished hem will look like on the inside. All round gorgeous!
Then finally, of course, we have sleeve cuffs. I love sleeve cuffs :-)
So, there you have it: two Lady Skater dresses that are each a marvellous addition to my everyday wardrobe! I feel like I'm having a winning run of wearable clothes at the moment - how long can it last, I wonder?? At any rate, I hope it holds until I get my Papercut hoodie done - all cut out and ready, I hope to be wearing it this weekend. And if I'm really lucky, after that perhaps I'll get a successful Archer shirt made before my streak of sewing success runs out...
What are you working on right now? And do you have any favourite knit hem tips & techniques to share?
Happy sewing, friends!