Today Kennis over at Itch to Stitch is introducing her newest pattern, the Davina Dress. I was lucky enough to be able to test this new pattern for Kennis and really found the Davina to be a great dress to sew up and super comfortable to wear.
The dress has a lined top bodice with a v neck and center gathers, a waist inset and a circle skirt. I sewed up the size 14 with zero alterations and the 3/4 length sleeve option. Even with no alterations I find the dress fits very well. In general Itch to Stitch patterns are ones I have been able to sew up with NO alterations which is one of the biggest reason I LOVE them.
The Davina dress has 5 sleeve options making it extremely versatile as a wardrobe addition. Here in the midwest we are transitioning from summer to fall so I wanted a dress that would easily make that transition. As usual Kennis provides very clear instructions and step by step illustrations. She does use an interesting technique for the sleeveless version which I read but have not tried. Maybe in the spring?
The pattern in a size 14 and with the longer sleeve option does require a fair amount of fabric. I could only get the main pattern pieces cut out of my 2.5 yards of black fabric and ended up lining the bodice with a different lime green knit. Total fabric usage was close to 3 yards of 56″ fabric. Other than the fabric, fusible stay tape is required. This notion is not all that easy to find where I am located so I went with sew in stay tape and just pinned. This was a bit of a pain though as my fabric was spandex and very uncooperative! Though with the help of my serger I was able to get the job done.
Speaking of which, if you have a serger and are using a spandex type knit, I do recommend it for this dress. It makes the construction go much faster and gives you nice tight seams. Spandex is very bottom heavy and will definitely stretch over time at the shoulders and waist if those areas are not reinforced with stay tape or interfacing. I actually do not recommend using a spandex type fabric for this dress for the above reason. I think a nice mid weight cotton jersey would be marvelous. Also, a digital print like those from Elliott Berman Textiles would be ideal.
It did take me a bit of time to complete the dress mostly due to the Spandex and I did end up ripping some seams which as we all know is a nightmare in knits. Allow yourself time to hem sleeves and the skirt with a nice double needle stitch to keep your edges from rippling.
If you are using a slippery knit such as Spandex and don’t have time to finish with a double needle, follow these steps for a quick hem that looks decent:
1. serge or zig zag the entire raw edge to help stabilize,
2. apply adhesive hem tape to the inside serged edge,
3. slowly remove adhesive while turning the hem up a little bit at a time,
3. stitch close to the raw turned up edge using a small zigzag.
Overall, this pattern would be a great addition to a wardrobe and I am glad for the chance to give it a try! Thank you Kennis for another great pattern!