For January, the sewing project I decided to make for myself is the Marianne Dress by Christine Haynes. A goal this year is to get over my fear of sewing with knits. This dress was an easy way to gain confidence!
Everything was sewn on a regular sewing machine, no serger required. One thing I love about indie sewing patterns such as this is the instructions. They are clear, concise, tested by real people, and not overloaded with sewing jargon. Patterns by "The Big Guys" (McCall's, Butterick, Simplicity, etc.) often make you feel downright stupid. Not the case with indie designers. They will frequently link to You Tube tutorials or support links on their own website to help with techniques that are unfamiliar. This pattern includes instructions for working either with a serger or traditional sewing machine.
I chose a navy blue and white stripe knit from Girl Charlee for the main body, and a crisp white for the yolk and cuffs.
The bamboo anchor buttons come from Katrinkles, here in Rhode Island. I just love Katy's buttons!
The sizing was spot-on. I graded the pattern larger for hip size, but this lead to a bit more ease than necessary. This only adds to the comfort! I'll definitely use the same size for top and bottom on the next one. There will certainly be a next one--a print of some kind. This pic, though awkward (can you tell I'm still very uncomfortable being IN the pictures??), is one where I can brag on matching up the stripes on the side seams.
Two tricks to sewing with knits: a narrow zigzag stitch and a twin needle. For all the main construction seams, I used a stitch that looks like a lightening bolt, #05 on my machine. For the hem at the neckline and bottom, I used the twin needle. It's important not to use a regular straight stitch with knits--the stretch in the fabric needs a seam that will allow it to stretch a bit.
A very happy seamstress!
You can find my November project here. There are two smaller December projects that have been lost in the holiday shuffle. I guess that means I get to double up soon instead!
As co-owner of Stitchery in Portsmouth, RI, I teach sewing classes to children and adults. Welcome to my blog Dancing Threads RI.