It’s not every day that I make something weather appropriate. I tend to only make sleeveless sundresses, you know. Well, I was feeling a little out of sorts a couple of weeks back and decided to go for making a dress that was a little out of my comfort zone: a dress made out of knit material. Hello, McCalls 7160!
I got both the pattern and the material at a super clearance sale that my local Hancock’s was having last January. I almost didn’t even get the material, not really having an idea what I’d make with this thick stretch knit, but then when the associate told me it was even cheaper than listed, I snatched up as much as I could. I think it was about $3.00 a yard, and I think I got 3 yards or just over that. I saw the pattern that day too and figured It’d be worth giving it a try: all this material and a pattern for about $10, why not.
I did everything as directed on the pattern. I cut out a size 10 and went back and forth about shortening the bodice on the lengthen or shorten line. I decided not to, and I am happy to say it worked out alright for me in the end. I don’t think it would have hurt had I shortened it though. The material is thick and the full circle skirt is heavy. It does pull down at the bodice some because of this. Shortening it an inch would have been fine, and I think I might the next time I make another one. Yes, there will be another one.
I’ve got pockets and a full, perfect for twirling, skirt. How could I not love this dress! Also, you may notice it has sleeves. I always doubt my sewing abilities when sleeves are involved, and have yet to keep a pair of sleeves in any of the dresses I make that are cotton (the only exception that I can think of is that Simplicity 1803 that I made). I had a revelation about sleeves after making this dress though: I can make them just fine if the material is knit and stretchy. The cotton sleeves never fit well, and I can’t ever get them to ease in without puckers. I hope to one day overcome this fitting issue. In the meantime, if I want sleeves I will just make something in knit.
Did I mention this material is thick? It is and therefore perfect for a cold winter’s day. Much like the day when I was taking these pictures. The only cold parts of me were my arms and my nose. Finally, something to wear when the weather gets cold that isn’t a sundress and doesn’t need a sweater on top of it. I can’t wait to make another, and I have already bought the material.
One more thing to add, sewing with knits wasn’t as hard as I always thought it was. As long as you remember not to stretch the fabric as you sew, and make sure you cut everything on the grain lines as directed. All those years of failed knit dresses from my former sewing self. If only I would have read the directions way back when. Live and learn.
Thanks for reading. Please feel free to leave a comment. (I am desperate for more feedback.) Tell me about your favorite material to sew; or if you don’t sew, your favorite type of dress fabric to wear. I’d love to hear from you!