I’ve gotten my sewjo back and I’ve been cranking out projects. Unfortunately the 2 year old grabbed my camera off my desk and messed with some settings so you’ll have to forgive a whole lot of funky photos as I slowly mess with settings trying to fix what she’s done!
Anyway… this quick little summer dress was just what I needed to get the sewing machine’s motor roaring again.
This is New Look 6096, view A in the short length. I chose this pattern because I have several old, cheap RTW dresses that are exactly this style that I’ve worn to death so it’s time for some new (ethically!) made replacements.
The fabric is a drapey chevron knit from the mill ends bin at my local fabric store. It seems that the best knits are always hiding in there because they come from factory remnants or seconds and they’re fabrics people actually use to make clothing rather than a store full of quilting cottons and terrible sparkly denim. I snapped up this piece the second I saw it with this exact pattern in mind. You’ll just have to believe me that this print has black, white, tan and brown because you certainly can’t tell there’s any tan or brown, thanks to the terrible pic.
Straight out of the envelope, major pattern companies tend to add way too much ease so I always check the finished measurements to the sizes, especially when I use a knit for a woven pattern like this one. I was actually shocked, however, to find that this dress includes 11.5″ of ease above the body measurement. WHAT!? Who needs an extra 1/3 of their body width added to a dress bodice? It’s not like I picked up a mumu pattern. I’ll nearly guarantee that those models in the photograph don’t have 11.5″ of ease in those dresses. They were certainly pinned up in the back to make them look more fitted. In any case, I chose the smallest size 4 for a 30″ bust when with a 37″ bust I should have been a 10 or 12. That meant I had a finished garment measurement of 41″ still! Oh well. That’s supposed to be “blousy,” right?
I also hacked off about 4″ from the bottom of the smallest size to suit me. Other than that, I didn’t have to adjust anything.
I stitched much of it on the serger which meant it was super quick and easy. I will definitely be stitching up a few more of this bad girls in the near future.
Thanks to a hasty decision to snatch this fabric from the bin and the simplicity of the pieces in the dress, I had plenty left for a bonus camisole without even having to use any creative cutting layouts.
I cut it out at the same time as the dress using Butterick B4989 as a base but in the end it’s not even recognizable as this pattern. The camisole that comes with this pattern is intended to have fabric straps, bust darts, and use a woven fabric. I cut the smallest XS size for my knit and omitted the straps. I swapped them out for fold over elastic from my stash. I finished the entire upper edge with the elastic and extended it up to create the straps. I’m not thrilled with the place where I chose to join the elastic on the back but I’ve figured out a better way to do it next time.
To give a little better fit through the waist, I added waist shaping darts on the front and back, cleverly disguised along the chevron lines. You really have to search to find them.
I’m quite pleased with the changes I made to this and have plans for a few more of these camisoles as well.