Hope all is well. I have been busy, busy, busy sewing up my fall wardrobe. However, yesterday I took a brief break from my sewing machine to go out and take a few pictures. I am so glad that the temperature is starting to feel a lot more bearable, which means I decided I should venture off my balcony and take a few pictures in front of the many mountains that surrounds this valley.
So over the past few weeks I have been all over the place with my sewing projects. I seem to have 101 projects going on at once (really 3 to 4 at a time). So far this year, I have been really good about finishing a project before I start on another, but I think the excitement of fall has put me in a sewing frenzy! Every year since living here, I find that by the time I finish sewing up my fall wardrobe, I never get to really wear it, because before you know it, it’s hot again. This year, I have a goal of making several pieces by the end of October 31st, with the hope of being ahead and ready for the cooler temperatures towards the end of this year! Not sure how well I will meet the deadline I have set for myself, but one thing is for sure, I have four dresses sewn using McCall’s M7561. With that being said…
Let’s get into this week’s DIY look! One of four dresses…
I made View D with the boat neck bodice, minus the pockets, with View A’s shorter gathered skirt.
McCall’s M7561 is a fairly simple pattern to make AND it was a great pattern for me to use to make a few knit dresses , while practicing with my cover stitch machine. I got the cover stitch machine earlier this year to help me achieve more professional finishings. It was also an opportunity for me to get over how un-enthused I am about sewing with certain knits, particularly ITY knit. I love wearing ITY, jersey, and other really stretchy knits, but as I have said in previous posts, I am not always excited to sew with it. Well, after having a DM conversation with a fellow sewist on Instagram, I decided to stitch my dresses with my serger. Up until now, I have always stitched my knit makes with a zig-zag stitch first and then used the serger to clean up the edges. It is usually because I want to confirm that I am getting a good fit before committing to a serged stitch, but this time I trusted the process a little more and just went for it.
So I picked up this fabric on a recent trip to Los Angeles. It is a gorgeous black, white, and gray floral liverpool knit. Liverpool is a knit that I actually do enjoy sewing with. It is a more stable knit, with great stretch, and a crepe texture.
As gorgeous as this fabric is on the outside, it is very “flawed” on the inside. As you can see there appears to be another print or something happening on the wrong side. I considered lining it, but then decided it didn’t really bug me that much. I am calling this “weirdness” on the wrong side, “character marks”.
When it came to the waistband, I decided not to do it according to the pattern instructions. The instructions advise to create a casing to insert elastic through. Instead I chose to emulate my favorite RTW ITY knit dress waistband construction. I created the gathers on my skirt first. Then I attached the skirt to the bodice. Lastly, I serged in a 3/8th inch wide strip of clear elastic along the seam to create the gathered waistband (I placed the clear elastic along the gathered side of the seam). The key to this method is the fabric must have a great amount of stretch and recovery, the garment must pull-on over your body before adding the elastic (in other words it still needs to be loose around the waist), and the clear elastic must be the width of your waist, with about a 1/2 inch overlap. I stretched the elastic along the seam, as I serged, until it went around the entire circumference of the waist seam. Once the appropriate width of the elastic is added into the waistband seam, it will bring in the waistband to fit appropriately. If you notice, the waistband does not have a casing, but is serged. If you look closely you can see the clear elastic serged into the seam.
I shared a brief video of this on Insta-story and received requests to show the process again. Therefore, I am going to create a quick video showing the process, along with a few other video requests (but bear with me, I am trying to develop a better relationship with technology, and I have just begun the process to get that going, it’s a new territory for me).
I am still working on finessing my cover stitch machine skills, so there is probably a lot more seam above the edge of the stitch than I would like to see. However, it was a pretty successful time getting a little more comfortable using the machine. The more I use it, the less anxiety I feel about using it, lol.
For this particular dress, I added a little ruffle to the end of the sleeve to make the dress look a little more dainty and sweet.
Ok, that’s all I have for this week. I have more looks to share. I may not post all of the dresses, back to back. However, I will make sure to post them all. Until next time, be safe.
Yours truly, Tee
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