Dress in medium to heavyweight moderate stretch knit

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Dress in medium to heavyweight moderate stretch knit

New postby kjh9835 on Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:35 pm

Oh Help....

dd1 really wants this dress: http://mccallpattern.mccall.com/m6462-products-15232.php?page_id=108

but wants it made like this (since neither of us will pay asking price)
http://www.etsy.com/listing/87031569/women-summer-dress-penguin-bird-face?ref=sr_gallery_6&sref=&ga_search_query=penguin+dress&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_ship_to=US&ga_ref=related&ga_page=1&ga_search_type=handmade&ga_facet=handmade

I have never sewn knits except rib knit cuffs on scrub jackets. Don't know if I can, if I want to learn or just give up before I start. I'm concerned that it's a lined dress, she has a dropped shoulder that will affect the off the shoulder style and that being made in a knit, will accent her weight if it's clingy (she's got a def. muffin top). Time (that I don't really have right now), wasted money if it doesn't fit right/wear right/look not home-made, and stress as I have enough of that right now.

Going to JoAnn's this weekend for a bolt of interfacing (half off) as I'm tired of running out. Will look at pattern directions and fabric choices if I decide to go ahead. Any advice appreciated.

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Re: Dress in medium to heavyweight moderate stretch knit

New postby kaitlinnegan on Thu Feb 16, 2012 1:18 pm

Medium to heavyweight knits can be very flattering and non-clingy. If you do the lining, it'll be even less clingy. I'm thinking a ponte knit -- Joann's has one that is either poly/rayon or poly/rayon/spandex (can't remember which). It is very easy to sew - it sews more like a woven and doesn't run easily. The zipper in the dress may not even be needed, but isn't a bad idea if there's any concern about popped seams when taking it on and off. I would say give it a try! :)
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Re: Dress in medium to heavyweight moderate stretch knit

New postby MartySews2 on Thu Feb 16, 2012 1:30 pm

Kathy, I sew with knits a lot & it's fairly easy. You just have to remember do you want a cross-grain stretch or a length-grain stretch when laying out your pattern or are you going to cut on the bias. I use a serger almost 90% of the time that I sew knits. Before I had a serger, I used a small zig-zag stitch so there would be give in the seams & they wouldn't pop. I think you would be able to make this dress quite easily. Knits are not scary as some people imagine. I do baste before stitching so the fabric doesn't slip. I can make a knit T-shirt in about 90 minutes or so.
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Re: Dress in medium to heavyweight moderate stretch knit

New postby Skye on Thu Feb 16, 2012 3:52 pm

Knits - love sewing them and they are usually a bit more forgiving.
I use my serger 4 thread stretch stitch or sometimes 5 thread depends.
Really important to have the stretch going around the body. Often with the big 4 pattern compnaies they put zippers in knit dreses which are totally unnecessary and often a PITA to put in.
Looks like a fun dress.
Practice by making a t shirt using the top of the pattern up in a similar weight fabric but the heavier knits are generally the easier ones to sew up. That way you can test the fit and see if the style suits DD and not waste too much fabric or time.
Get a trade off from DD - housework, etc while you are doing the work - that used to be my guage as to how much DD wanted a garment way back when she was 13-14 before she started making her own clothes.
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Re: Dress in medium to heavyweight moderate stretch knit

New postby lendube on Thu Feb 16, 2012 6:19 pm

I just worked with Peachskin (the long sleeved black/white/red t-shirt) for the first time; 96% polyester and 4% lycra. It was an absolute pleasure to work with. It's very forgiving, heavy and just did exactly what it was told to do. No surprises. Wears great. My serger loved it too. I'd highly recommend it if you decide to make this dress.
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Re: Dress in medium to heavyweight moderate stretch knit

New postby LeapFrog Libby on Thu Feb 16, 2012 6:21 pm

I have no trouble sewing knits either on my serger or my regular machine. Janome, by name. Since Nancy Zieman talked about the 'wobble stitch' a zigag stitch with the length at regular and the width set on the most narrow width, it looks almost like a straight stitch, BUT it has the give necessary for a knit fabric. Stitches will not pop with that setting. I like it because it is more secure than the serger for fitted seams like in that dress. I have made numerous garments on my Janome since I learned about that stitch and I love it. Sepcially when I feel the need for leaving a seam allowance in place.
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Re: Dress in medium to heavyweight moderate stretch knit

New postby bridesmom on Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:52 pm

I have no doubt that you can do it, and I really like the idea of a trade off, you take the time to make the dress and she gets to do some extra chores, so you have time.
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Re: Dress in medium to heavyweight moderate stretch knit

New postby Mule on Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:23 pm

Don't be intimidated by knits! I'm a beginner and I've made some things from knits. (I wasn't experienced with woven fabrics either, so I figured it wouldn't hurt to try!)

I would suggest picking a sturdier knit such as a cotton interlock, or a ponte knit. It will be easier to sew on plus more forgiving of any figure faults than a thin, clingy, knit. Just make sure there's enough stretch to meet the requirements of the pattern.

I've used that stitch that Libby mentioned for spots where I don't want to use my serger, and it works great.

Maybe try a t-shirt version first to get the fit right, and to make sure it's flattering. That pattern looks like it might be tough to wear even for someone without a muffin top, because of the way it wraps around the shoulders. It might make someone with broader shoulders (like mine) look like a linebacker! But it could be very flattering on other figure types. A t-shirt could be an inexpensive way to figure that out.
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Re: Dress in medium to heavyweight moderate stretch knit

New postby DorothyL on Fri Feb 17, 2012 8:37 am

Even I can sew with knits. No problem. And if you don't make it too tight it won't be too tight.

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Re: Dress in medium to heavyweight moderate stretch knit

New postby Mom of Six on Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:09 am

I love working with knits!
I also do most of the construction on my serger.
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