Monday, October 01, 2007
And Here Comes Autumn!
Well, to be technical about it, Autumn arrived this past weekend. So here I am celebrating the transition with this smooth, easy care, leaf print polyester fabric. And Christine Jonson's 1117 Princess Dress pattern.
I'm loving this fabric. It's from Metro Textiles. I called Kashi last week and asked for several cuts of polyester knit. He sent me three pieces - this one, a great purple and black flowered one, and another one of different colors including green, black, purple and orange. That one was not quite right for me, so I gave it to a friend. In general, because I've worked with him for a while, Kashi is great in knowing what I like, and describing it to me on the telephone. This was the only piece I've ever bought from Kashi over the phone that was not perfect. Oh, I guess I should say NAYY with Kashi. If it matters.
Anyway...back to this pattern. And dress. The neckline is asymmetrical, and easy to execute. A great feature of this dress is that it does not use a flappy facing at the neck. Instead, a duplicate of the dress bodice is made, and inserted into the dress at the neck as a lining. This is much like some RTW I've seen. A very nice, neat, and easy treatment. After the neckline is sewn, simply turn and press.
But there are some tricks to getting a faced neckline like this to look good and not ravel. Because if you clip into the seam, or too closely, you'll wreck the seam, and the fabric will ravel. Not a pretty or smooth look.
Here's how to do a neckline like this. Sew the neckline seam twice. With a straight stitch. Yes, even on a knit. You want it stable. (At least I did in this case...) The second line of stitching is nestled just next to the first line. THEN, trim the two seam allowances separately. The side that will turn down and end up next to your 'fashion' fabric (Or Public Side, as Judy Barlup calls it) is trimmed slightly longer than the side that will nestle against your facing. Then, clip the two seam allowances S.E.P.E.R.A.T.E.L.Y. You need to clip deep, right to the seamline, but clipping weakens the seam. So by clipping the two seam allowances in different places, you create the flexibility needed for a smooth turndown, but you are not weakening both pieces of fabric at the same place.
This dress goes together really well, as I find is usual with Christine Jonson patterns. Christine includes a 'knit sizing' worksheet with this pattern - which helps you decide how much ease you need depending on the stretch of your chosen knit, your measurements, and the measurements of the finished garment, which are posted on the envelope.
I did end up taking the waistline in a total of 1 1/2 inch; this is a matter of individual taste.
When I make this again, I will add a broad back adjustment. I do have a broad back, and I fudged the fit at the armscye so it's more comfortable to wear. Next time, I'll do it 'right' and incorporate that slight alteration which I usually need in well fitted styles.
I will get a lot of wear from this dress. Perfect for autumn into winter.