I have this new thing I do now, I only buy or sew knit clothing. Why? It stretches. I am darn tired of having to pass down some of my favorite outfits because they no longer fit over my shoulders, arms or thighs. So that’s it, knit or nothing.
For Easter this year, I wanted something fun, bright, modestly styled and knit. I picked out a great retro pattern from Butterick. A 1946 dress with detail in the piecing of the dress. It falls just below the knees and while isn’t form fitting, isn’t a potato sack either.
It’s fully lined, which turned out to be a very good thing for the bright yellow jersey knit I chose. I selected skin-tone dance fabric for the lining. Super slippery, not the easiest to sew on, but the finished product looked right. The dress has a belt that goes with it. I made two, one in matching yellow, and one in a contrasting green so I have options.
Between the jersey knit and the slippery dance fabric, my machine kept jamming, sucking fabric into the bobbin case. Mommy had a great solution: paper. I put scraps of paper between the fabric and the machine at the start of each seam. The paper prevented the fabric from being sucked below deck, and then I just tore the paper off the seam when I was done.
The dress is supposed to have snaps on the bodice where the left shoulder piece meets the bodice front. I chose not to put the snaps because 1) I’m lazy, and 2) the snaps would either be only sewn to the lining, causing the bodice front to droop, or the snaps would have to be sewn through both layers, which would be ugly. Instead, I choose a pin or broach from my collection when I wear the dress. It gives me more options in accessorizing the dress. The dress is also supposed to have a side zipper. That’s one of the awesome benefits of doing everything in knit. No zipper needed!
The hardest part of the dress was trying to install the shoulder pads. The dress really needed them, especially with how much the knit drapes. But try as I might, I just could not get the foam dolman shoulder pads sewn in. When I could get them set properly, the stitches would tear out of the foam. My final solution, I tape them in with fabric tape when I wear the dress. This actually has an added benefit. The shoulder pads are hand-wash only. Since they’re removable, I don’t have to hand wash the whole dress.
For Easter, I used a large gold and peachy-brown butterfly broach on the bodice and wore my green belt with green shoes. On my birthday, I wore the yellow belt and used a pewter sun-hat pin with a red flower on it and wore my red pumps.
Pattern: Butterick B5281