Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Knit or not

After seeing so many pretty knit dresses on various blogs I figured it was time to give one a try.  I am really not a knit sewer, perhaps because I have not had a machine that did zig-zag or anything resembling a stretch stitch until just last year.  Or maybe because I have spent so much time with my nose in all the tailoring books I could get my hands on, result being I  choose some way too detailed project for the time alloted involving lapels, underlining or other such details.
A knit - hopefully easy and instant gratification, plus I fell for this fabric (ITY knit seen on line at 2 different  sources)   
NL 6429 front
So made it, wore it, and just kind of ambivalent about it.  I do like the color.  True confession time  - I just don't like sewing on knits.  They are so wiggly.  They slip all over my workspace. They don't press well.  Hand stitches kind of show.    Stop whining, Beth.  If you don't like knits then go back to your wrinkly summer cottons and itchy wools.  Hmm.  Internal debate going on here.   I may have to try something else.  When I ordered this fabric there was a remnant of another knit which I also purchased, very different and I plan another dress.  So I am not giving up yet.   I did make a Donna Karan Vogue knit dress in February for my friend JK, blogged about here, but for some reason I had very few difficulties with that fabric.
The pattern is New Look 6429 and I may be the last person in the sewing universe to make this dress - I have seen a lot of reviews on line.  Only change I made was to have a detachable sash instead of the sewn on ties.

Pattern NL6429
NL 6429 back     Back view and envelope

NL 6429 collar and front
Here is a look at the collar and front bodice,  as you can see there is no topstitching.  There had been but I picked it out as it looked very bad.  What is the secret to getting that right?   In any case I used another secret to keep that facing on the inside where it belongs.

Steam-a-seam, the cheater's method to no flip facings.
I don't use this very often, but every once in a while I think oh, yeah, grab the Steam-a-seam.  Instant double stick of some troublesome facings or other misbehaving components.  I'm not proud.  But I am happy with my smooth bodice edge.

On the very positive side for this dress, I realized as I finished it that it would go perfectly with a leather coat that has been languishing in my closet for a few years.  I bought this coat in Italy, near Vicenza a while ago and while it is very beautiful and soft I just never had anything I really liked to wear with it.  It is very lightweight, has some interesting welt pockets above the waist, and no collar.  For a while I had a little piece of the blue leather in my wallet as I put it there after shortening the sleeves, I think I had some idea of finding a sweater or something to match which was pretty hopeless.  Matching blues after the fact is near impossible.  I wore it with a grey cashmere sweater and wool slacks or something like that.   But now I have a coordinating piece, so the blue leather coat will give me a reason to wear this dress.

coat and dressBlue leather coat

So knits,  yeah or nay?  what should I try to conquer my issues with knits?  

First rose spring 2011

Here is today's SunnyGal Garden photo, which is the very first rose that appeared in my garden this year. Photo taken on 4/14, so by today I have many more blooming but none more beautiful.


  1. This dress looked great on you. Yay to knits. :)

  2. I love knits. It's funny, but even though my Bernina has a stretch stitch option, I just use my straight stitch and give it a slight tug as I stitch.

    I think both of the knit dresses you made look great! Can't wait to see how the next one turns out.

  3. Your dress turned out very well and it's a lovely colour. It was worth working with a wiggly knit! Your leather coat is a beautiful colour and it teams up perfectly with your dress. You could also wear your coat with black, navy blue, white and even some shades of red if you are feeling adventurous. Enjoy wearing your dress and your beautiful leather coat!

  4. The dress looks great and is a lovely colour. Worth the effort I think :-)

  5. Your new knit dress looks amazing and so professional. Definitely continue on with knits. That is a beautiful leather jacket too!

  6. Your dress looks wonderful!

    I LOVE knits. Do you have a serger? A serger makes all the difference in the world, in my opinion. Nothing like a knit top or dress for some instant gratification!

    The leather coast is awesome! Glad I found your blog.

  7. Very pretty! This is a great pattern and thanks for the tip on Steam a Seam for the facings. There are so many great knit patterns. Have you looked at the Vogue 1250? Super easy and flattering.

  8. Love the dress. I lurve the coat! This is a great ensemble. And no, you're not the last person in the sewing universe to stitch up this pattern. Maybe I'll get around to mine. Thanks for the SAS tip.

  9. You can't be the last to make that pattern, because I haven't!! I haven't even purchased it. I understand your dislike for sewing with knits. I have tried once or twice but always given up.
    I seem to collect fabric and patterns much faster than I am able to actually complete items. Your blog is great motivation, though!

  10. Beth! your dress came out very good! and thank' s for the comment in my blog! I sew my knits mostly with serger.

  11. I think your dress is beautiful! You should definitely persevere with sewing knit fabrics - with practice it really does get easier and you have done a great job with this dress.

  12. Great dress!
    I hate sewing with knits, too. Everyone seems to like them, but not me! They're slippery and tricky and even with a serger, I am never thrilled with the final result. One of the great things about sewing for fun, is being able to choose what kinds of fabrics you want to sew with. So for me, it's usually Nay to knits. Perhaps if I spent a lot of time figuring out easy, professional looking techniques, I'd like them better.
    And then again, I have an urge to whip up a bunch of cute tee shirts for Me-Made-June. So I suppose never say never!

  13. Bingo! You captured exactly how I feel about knits. Sewing some now and not loving the process.

  14. Love it! Love how it matches the blue leather coat, too!

  15. I had the privilege of seeing this dress (and coat!) in person, and I think both are fabulous!

  16. I love it! I find knits so tricky to sew and consequently have 2 unfinished knit dresses waiting in my sewing room. Love the fabric you've used. You've inspired me to have another go at my knits.

  17. Steam a seam is definitely my secret weapon for working with knits! I use it liberally and shamelessly. For me the trickiest part of sewing with knits is having to rip out any sewing mistakes, because it's so hard to undo my stretch stitch without causing damage to the fabric! That said, as a beginner who hasn't worked out all of her fit issues, working with knits has given me some instant gratification projects. But wovens are still easier to cut, sew, and press!

  18. I know that I should be commenting on the gorgeous dress, which is indeed gorgeous; however, I am totally gobsmacked by the stunning blue coat! How come I never find stuff like that!


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