My 2014 sewing intentions were knit-related. I wanted to sew something in knit fabric (other than leggings) and also try out my double needle.
Seeing this photo was the nudge I needed to give it a go. I had this very fabric sitting on my shelf. But it's quite lightweight and I worried it would look too nightgownish as a dress. Yet, when I saw it in the Oliver + S Playtime dress pattern, it didn't look nightgownish at all. I loved it. So I bought a pattern I had been eying for a long while - the Skater Dress.
One reason I resisted sewing knit shirts and dresses was because I feared the dreaded neckband. I've read a lot about sewers struggling to get it right. It sags or looks wavy. I'll admit, I am a perfectionist with my sewing and that would drive me crazy. As it turned out, it wasn't nearly as difficult as I imagined.
It did take me a couple of tries to get it right. I made the mistake of sewing it with my machine stretch stitch, which was very difficult to unpick when it looked awful after my first attempt. The unpicking ruined my neckband and I had to cut a new one. There was a bit of an art in getting the stretch just right. On my second attempt, I used a long straight stitch, then finished the seam with my stretch stitch after I got it right. That worked beautifully.
When it was time to hem the dress I googled double needle tutorials. I landed on this one. Did you know using a double needle is as simple as changing your needle and increasing your straight stitch length? You don't even need two spools of thread. You can simply wind some thread onto a bobbin and place the bobbin on top of the thread on your spool.
It's so simple and the results are amazing. Even my kids were impressed. Indigo teased, "Mom, did you sneak out and buy that at the store and then pretend that you made it?!" :) I have to remember to make all of my New Year's intentions this easy!
As an added bonus, all of this knit sewing happened to transpire on the night of my birthday's eve. So, I officially learned to sew knits before my birthday, which this year had two 3s. (I told my family that all gifts could be given in multiples of 3). :)
This dress came together quickly. I'd venture to say it was faster than sewing a dress from woven fabric, neckband challenges and all. As Indigo grows, she seems more drawn to knits than wovens so I can see my sewing moving in this direction to grow along with her.
I loved this pattern and felt it was a great beginner pattern for learning knits. I did adapt the sleeve length as well as the width of the cuffs. Since Indigo is a string bean I cut the pattern in a size 5/6 for width and 7/8 for length, which is what I generally do when sewing for her. It fit perfectly that way.
And speaking of Ms Indigo, she looks rather forlorn in these photos, doesn't she? The truth is, after I put her dress on to take photos, our nine year old neighbor knocked on the door asking if Indigo could play. So I had about three minutes flat to take these before she was off to far more important matters... like building fairy houses with our neighbor.