Monday, 11 June 2012

A Nautical Knit

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Ahoy there! Long-time, no blog! Sorry about the lack of blogging around here recently – I’ve been going through a lot of stressful/emotional/unnecessary-to-blog-about wedding-related crap recently (who knew I would find planning a wedding one of the most un-enjoyable things I’ve ever done!!) and it’s zapped my sewing mo-jo a bit. But I think I’m turning a corner and things could be looking up…after all, I have a lovely new jersey dress to wear!

This is my first proper attempt to sew with jersey (previously I made this skirt…but it was super-duper easy so I wasn’t really counting it!) and I used my lovely overlocker as much as possible. The jersey that I bought was part of a big haul that I picked up during a sale at my local fabric shop. I loved the stripes (I am a sucker for anything striped!), but it’s rather drapey, and while that might be nice for the end result, trying to tame it while sewing was a bit trickier than I thought. I had also planned for this to be a maxi-dress, but unfortunately didn’t have enough fabric for this pattern.



The pattern I used was McCall’s 5490, a ‘vintage’ 70’s pattern from an Ebay job-lot I won a few years back. It is specifically for stretch-knits…but requires a zip at the back. I don’t get that! I knew my jersey was stretchy enough to not need a zip, plus I knew a zip would weigh the fabric down, so I omitted it.

You may be able to see that the pattern also comes with your classic 70’s mega-collar. Not normally my style, but I thought I’d give it a go anyway. Turns out, I didn’t have enough fabric to add the collar! I was a bit disappointed about that, but I do like the dress as is nonetheless.


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I cut the front yolk and the waist tie with the stripes perpendicular to the main body for a nice contrast effect, which I really love. The waist tie (or empire-line tie really!) is a god-send because without it the dress would be a bit sac-like. It does have a bit of shaping, but the tie really pulls it all in and make it a lot more flattering.

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It’s not perfectly executed by any means, but as a first attempt at jersey, I’m pretty happy! I can see myself wearing this a LOT over the Summer (Northern Irish weather permitting!!!).

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12 in 2012 update:

I am please to say that this project ticks off a massive THREE goals from my 12 in 2012 list:

12 Pieces of Handmade Clothing:

  • A Summer Dress

12 New Sewing Skills:

  • Sew from a vintage pattern
  • Sew with jersey


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Right…I’m off now to kick some wedding-planning butt!


P.S. For those of you who may be curious the photos were taken on Ballyholme beach, N.I. (where future-hubs and I are hoping to move to soon…if the wedding doesn’t consume all of our savings!!!)

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