This post is brought to you thanks to the arrival of British Summer Time! I finished the hem at about 5pm today and I was able to rush outside and get some photos while there was still sun in the garden. Admittedly it was quite cold and windy and I wouldn’t really wear this without a cardigan – but still – sunshine, completed dress, blog pictures – I call that a win!
This is the Sewaholic Davie dress. As soon as the pattern came out I knew it was exactly the shape that I love – fitted bodice and flared skirt, with the additional bonus of being a super comfy knit. Sewaholic have also posted a useful Q&A this week. I downloaded the PDF within a few days and got started last weekend. I chose the longer version with cap sleeves. I cut a 10 for the bodice, grading out to a 12 between the waist and hip.
This dress is really straightforward to make – particularly if you take the easy route as I did and skip all the topstitching. I used my overlocker for all the seams. So this dress could have been done a week ago – except I had a bit of a saggy disaster moment…The fabric is a navy blue viscose jersey from Clothspot. One of the (many) things I love about Clothspot is that they put a lot of effort into providing really informative descriptions of their fabrics, including detailed descriptions of the colours, what you could use the fabric for and how it behaves. This is one of the very useful things they said about this fabric: “It’s a fairly robust fabric which has some weight once you’re holding a metre or two. For that reason we’d suggest lining or otherwise adding some structure in order to help it retain its shape.” So it’s a shame that I didn’t think about any of that as I cut two metres out into very long panels without any support…I tried the dress on with the sides pinned together – I didn’t think it looked that bad until I realised that the underarms were so low that you could see my bra straps, the curve of the princess seam was way below where it should be and the keyhole was also badly situated!Basically the weight of the fabric was pulling the whole bodice down quite a long way. At this point I put it all to one side and felt a bit depressed about the whole process. This weekend I pulled myself together and went back to it. I wasn’t convinced I would be able to save it but I really like both the fabric and the pattern so it seemed worth giving it a go.
First I cut the shoulder seams off and repinned the shoulders one and half inches below the orginal edges. This change meant that I had to cut the back neckline down a bit to match the new seamlines but I didn’t make any change to the front neck line. Obviously it is now a bit higher than in the original pattern but I think it looks fine.I also cut about three inches off the bottom of the skirt to reduce the weight pulling everything down. I took about an inch off the side seams from the armhole to the waist to help to hold it all in place.I was quite lazy about finishing it off after all the pain of re-fitting – I simply turned under and topstitched the neckline and sleeves and I overlocked the bottom edge, turned it up once and stitched it down. I used the overlocker on all the internal seams and used a straight stitch for all the top stitching as my narrow zigzag was looking a little bit wobbly.
I am really pleased with the finished dress and have plans to wear it tomorrow – which is always a good indicator of success. The adjustments seem to have fixed the worst of the sagging, though it will be interesting to see how it holds up through a day of wear. I really want to make more versions when I find the magic jersey fabric that is not too heavy and not too clingy!
So – I am still learning about knit fabric it appears. Has anyone else had to do major surgery to make something work?