Oh.My.Gosh.

I am in love with this pattern and spandex fabric! For now, I can’t say too much about the pattern as it has not been released yet. Deby from So Sew Easy will be releasing the pattern on August 20th. I encourage you to prepare yourself and your fabric because I think YOU WILL LOVE IT and want to sew a gazillion of these dresses!

Only 4 pattern pieces and some thought put in to fabric choices and bam….a simple to sew stunning dress for a night out. Tone down your fabric choices and you have a great day wear dress that is very comfortable yet stylish. That is why we sew isn’t it? For comfort, fit and style?

First attempt with a strip knit. Super comfortable and casual dress.

 

I first tried this pattern with a stripped knit I had bought at the resale store for 50 cents. Here is a secret; no one wants to buy the knits from a resale store because they frequently are out of style. This stripped knit is a perfect example. Hmmm…for 50 cents, they may be worth the risk. After sewing this version up, I saw the monosewn challenge for Monthly Stitch AND this month’s Wardrobe Challenge with Angela Wolf was color blocking! Ooooooo….me thinks this could be one dress that fits two purposes, actually three if the Make A Garment A Month Challenge was included. Now off for some serious fabric shopping.

Enter: Spandex.

This was my first time ever purchasing or sewing with Spandex. While there were a few issues, wowsa, I love this stuff.

This fabric came from Girl Charlee and is soooo soft and drapey and fun. But, also slinky and slippery as all get out! I had to overcome a few issues and it took a long time for me to cut the pieces out because the back middle seam had to be removed and that pattern piece altered. There was no way I was going to be able to match the fabric pattern on that back seam. Altering that piece and the nature of the fabric itself also caused a bit of issue with the hemline.

Removed the back middle seam

 

Still amazed the hem turned out. Yikes, it was a mess.

 

Another issue I had with my first attempt was a gaping neckline, I guess a common problem when sewing knits. You can see a bit of that in the first picture of this post. With some research I was able to get a solution that will work on future knit projects as well.

Flat neckline! Yippee!

 

I did end up spending some time online, looking up knit fabric techniques and in particular spandex.  I also started a knit notebook to store my new knowledge because well….let’s just say my memory is not what it use to be.

Here are a couple of tips that really helped:

1. Pin, pin, and more pins. I pined A LOT. This helped to stabilize the fabric when sewing my side seams and the front and back panels to the center pieces.

2. Stay tape. I wish I had thought to stay tape my shoulder seams but due to the design of the dress and how it fits me, there isn’t too much stress on the shoulders…I’ll probably be okay. I do have a bit of wiggle room under the arms so am thinking I might redo the shoulders. However, in the future, I will definitely use stay tape at the shoulder seams.

3. Stay tape.:) I did use stay tape around the armscye and at the neckline to prevent those areas from stretching and gaping when being sewn. Here and here are great articles on how to prevent neckline stretch. I used 1/4″ double sided tape, laid it down around the armscye and neckline, peeled the backing off and folded over the fabric. This helped in two major areas….completely stabilized the fabric so no stretch and gave me a nice clean line to sew beside. I did not worry about finishing my seams, just trimmed them close to stitching. Spandex fabric does not fray.

4. Use a double needle. I had a lot of “firsts” with this project and a double needle was one of them. That double needle had been in my sewing box for almost a year and I had never tried it. Well, I will probably never sew another knit without one! It worked perfectly on the spandex and produced a beautiful finish with much less fuss than a single needle.

5. Stay tape. 🙂 🙂 This time on the hemline. This was the hardest part of sewing the entire dress due to my pattern alterations mentioned above. Also, when the seams where sewn there was some creeping of the fabric and, just cutting the fabric out; the slightest movement and the spandex would shift some.

6. Next time I will probably try a rotary cutter and mat to cut pattern pieces. Cutting the spandex with scissors just wasn’t that great. Pain in the keester!!

All and all this was a great sewing project. So much was learned about prepping and sewing with spandex and knits in general and also I learned a few things about using my sewing machine and the double needle.

The biggest benefit though is this great little dress I now have that I don’t want to take off and as mentioned before, that’s why we sew right….comfort, fit and style?

xoxo.

 

P.S. Many thanks to Deby for agreeing to let me post this before her pattern release!

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