In the interest of sharing all the old projects I haven’t blogged about yet… here’s a dress I made today. I’m nothing but consistent!
And, disclaimer: we’ve lost the charger to our camera so all these photos were taken on Mr. Guy’s cellphone. Just now realising what a difference a nice camera makes – the lighting was PERFECT when we took these but they’re still much more glaring than photos taken with our actual camera.
I’ve been wanting to make a faux-wrap dress for a while, but I haven’t had any knit fabric in my stash to try one out. I finally remembered to do a phone order with Levana earlier this week and so I had 7m of lovely cotton-lycra arrive on my doorstep yesterday, and as I have this week off work I was able to spent today working on the draft.
I drafted the bodice, starting with a knit sloper that I made from my bodice sloper/moulage (see more info here). I started off with the instructions for a woven surplice dress from Suzy Furrer’s “Creative Necklines” class, but obviously had to change things because I was dealing with a knit.
Here was my process:
- Traced off the right half (when looking at it) of bodice knit sloper, but drew in the waist line on the other side
- Came in 5cm from the left size seam and drew a line from that, to the right shoulder seam. This line was very slightly curved
- Back bodice was just the knit sloper with the shoulders narrowed slightly to account for the neckband.
- Made a neckband by using the following formula: (2(front neckline) + back neckline) x 0.9. Started off with a finished width of 1.5cm
Then made a muslin, and made the following changes (mainly because the V was much too low):
- Raised the shoulder seams – took 1cm off the front shoulders and 2cm off the back shoulders as the shoulder seam was sitting too far forward, redrawing the back shoulders and neckline lower.
- Shortened the angled line of the neckline by 5cm by removing length from the waistline at the distal end of the wrap, pulling the neckline tighter
- Widened the neckband to make it 3cm once finished (to raise up the center front)
- The neckband became approx 12cm shorter – I just stretched it to fit.
Then I made it up in this black cotton-lycra. For those interested, Levana is a knit textile factory in Levin, NZ. They make a mix of fabrics including technical fabrics for industry, but have a factory shop based in Levin and will also do phone orders (and you can buy merino from them here. The cotton-lycra is really good quality with great 2-way stretch (or 4-way stretch, however you say it) and recovery, and is only $10/m.
The sleeves are borrowed from a Cashmerette pattern (because I haven’t gotten around to making a sleeve sloper yet), and the skirt is a gathered a-line (similar to the skirt from the Moneta pattern), with lovely big pockets that are caught into the waist seam.
Things I need to work out how to fix for next time:
- The side seam comes forward at the waist. I’m guessing this is because the double layer in the front makes the front stronger and less stretchy, so it easily pulls the side seam towards the front. I’m not sure how to fix that without making the back too small? Or making the front bigger, but that might affect how the neckline sits…
- Not sure if the pulling under the bust is something I should bother fixing. I looked at other wrap dresses (e.g. the Wren by Colette) and they’re there, but I never noticed them/they never bothered me before, so probably not?
- Shave off some fabric from the armscye. Because the neckline opens up at the upper chest, and because of the wide neckband, there’s excess fabrics under my shoulders. Pretty sure I can fix this by re-drawing the armscye and taking 1cm off at the shoulder.
- Make the sleeves a bit longer – this isn’t the most flattering length for me. Or I might try flutter sleeves
- I might also try a circle-style skirt rather than the gathers next time. And maybe a contrast neckband? I wouldn’t have thought of it, if it wasn’t for Mary (Idle Fancy)’s last two dresses.
Anything else anyone can recommend changing?? Other than pressing the skirt side seams…
In the photos you can see a bit of our garden, including the lawn mower (I interrupted Mr. Guy’s mowing to make him take photos for me). In the “orchard” you can see the big apple tree on the right, feijoa tree right behind me with a new apricot tree in front of it, lemonade tree to the left, and strawberries on the ground. Out of sight is another feijoa, a lemon tree, some rhubarb, and 4 blueberry bushes. In the background you may just be able to see the fence of the veggie garden (which we put up to keep the dog out of the raised beds, and to stop her from jumping the boundary fence – it’s like she’s got springs for legs!)
Fabric: Cotton-lycra from Levana, 2m = $20
Notions: Interfacing for shoulders and thread, stash
Does anyone have any good resources for drafting with knit fabric? I feel like there must be a completely different set of “rules” than with wovens, but haven’t been able to find anything good. I’ve got my fingers crossed that Suzy Furrer will do a class on it, but in the meantime it’s going to be trial and error unless I come across something.