Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Sewing with knits.

After the success of the Prism Quilt, and finally getting the second Easter dress completed, I needed a new challenge.  My girls are growing like weeds.  I feel like I've mentioned that before.  There isn't anything from last summer that still fits this summer.  I feel like I've been to the mall 100 times to try to remedy the situation.  But somehow, there is still never enough comfy dresses in the closet!  

My favorite summer dresses from last summer, could still fit, but have been rejected.  My ladies are not fans of the elastic thread summer dresses!  So sad, because they are so easy.  I needed to come up with something new this summer.  I really thought if I was going to make things that were going to become summer staples, it had to be out of knits.  But where do you buy knits?!  Buying them online is so hard because they come in all different weights and handles.  Though I was thoroughly reading descriptions online, I was still nervous about ordering a whole truck load of knits sight unseen (other than virtually).  

I remembered the Chez Ami warehouse sale, where I long ago scored a few great pieces of knit when they open their outlet to the public.  Luckily, right when I thought of it, they were in the middle of an outlet sale!  Normally they sell their cuts of knit in 2 yard increments.  Since they are at least 56" wide, that is a LOT of any one fabric!  But they have an "as-is" table with smaller cuts, and this is where I find the best deals.  

With a new bundle of knits in the sewing garage, I was finally able to tackle the Racerback Dress via the Crafterhours free pdf pattern and tutorial!!  I pinned it as soon as it was posted, and I've been wanting to try it ever since!

I've never been a huge fan of matching my girls, but with two yards of super wide cute knit, and a tutorial that seemed pretty easy, I figured to give it a go!

I was about to make them assembly line style so that I'd have two dresses at the end of the night, but on second thought I decided to make one first, try it on everyone before finishing the second.  Good call!  

I love the gathering detail on the front and the back of the dress, but it was a challenge to get my gathers to stay in place on the front of the first dress.  You are supposed to do a gather stitch, then gather it, then sew across it with a smaller stitch to lock the gather in place.  On the first dress, when I sewed over my gather, I basically un-did the gather as I sewed!  It was such a pain.  

But, without that tight gather, the neckline gaps.  I was a bit distraught when I saw it on Jane (I have since added in a little pleat on the neckline to make it fit tighter).  For the second one, before I sewed across my gather, I pulled my bobbin thread up to the top of the dress and knotted off my two threads.  I was going to make sure that that gather didn't come undone!  It worked better, but probably the third dress will be even better ;-) 

While I had my girls matching like twins, I had them hold up the Quick Change Trousers (that have been showcased on this blog 1000 times) that I finally got to make for my own new babies!  Can you believe I had both of the bicycle fabrics in the stash?!  When I found the boy print, I knew it was meant to be.  

(Girls print is a Heather Ross fabric, boy print is a Sarah Jane fabric)

Despite our bug spray, as soon as I was done taking pictures, these girls were bolting back through the woods to the car.  We live in the South, and we're in the middle of summer!  The bugs are out of control.  I think I counted six mosquito bites when I reached the car.  And yes, I had sprayed my legs too!

There they go!  And I still have a huge stack of knits that I'm determined to turn into summer dresses before we leave on vacation this weekend!  


Liz said...

The racer back dresses are sew cute!!! I love them. And if I can ever find some cute knits, maybe Grace will get one too. I wonder if using the gathering feature on the serger would work for the neckline gather.

I'm in love with the bicycle QCT!!

Sarah said...

Okay, so you already know you are having one of each?? How fun! Cute cute trousers and dresses.

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