>> Monday, May 03, 2010 – Sew what?
Pattern modifications: I had already added quite a few inches to the length of the top when I originally sewed it (pattern runs quite short), but I added an additional 19 inches to the bottom of the top pattern (keep in mind I'm over 6 feet tall) to make it into a dress. Because this was to be a dress, I didn't want it to be quite as fitted around the hips, so I widened the pattern of the bodice about 1/2 inch on both sides around the hips. I then drew a line at a very slight angle from the hips down. I didn't want the skirt part of the dress to be straight up and down, but also didn't want the look of a full A-Line. I made sure the angle was the same on the front and back pieces and then sewed the dress using the same directions as the top.
Before I continue - the necklace in the picture was on loan to me by my 15-yr old daughter Pearly. Unfortunately, when I checked my jewelry box this morning for a necklace to wear, I discovered THREE of my necklaces had been broken. It seems my 4-yr old Caboose has been lasso-ing things using my necklaces. I bribed my daughter by telling her I'd publicly give her credit for the use of her necklace and she obliged.
My additions to the pattern include using Fusible Tape (SewkeysE brand Extremely Fine knit stay tape) around anything that needed to be hemmed and also the neckline. I use this method in all of my knit tops because I find that my coverstitch machine is temperamental and skips stitches. If I apply the fusible tape, I do not have that problem. 3/8-in. clear elastic was used to stabilize the shoulder seam. I use this in all knit shoulder seams. It really works great.
My easy way of applying elastic to shoulder seams: put the end of elastic under the presser foot and start sewing until the elastic is sewn maybe 1/4-in. This helps to secure it. I then put the front/back shoulder underneath the presser foot while holding the elastic on top of the fabric and stitch across the shoulder seam. The elastic is already "anchored" with stitches, so it is fairly easy to guide the elastic as the shoulder seam is sewn. You may have a little slot on your presser foot for applying ribbons/elastic, etc, and if you do, that is easier than my method.
Oh - one more difference with this dress - I made it a sleeveless dress by applying the fusible tape, turning over about 3/8 inch and then using the coverstitch to hem. This dress was so easy to make. The hardest part was ironing the fusible tape to the bottom hemline because I find ITY a challenge to work with - it rolls! You will definitely see more variations of this pattern to come. It will pay for itself in no time by making simple revisions. I was very slow on the bandwagon, but plan on making up for lost time.