Sunday, July 26, 2009

Back to School - 1

I can't believe it, but I am already going to be going back to school this week! School doesn't actually start until next week, but I have to go in a couple of mornings and get my room ready.
This also means that I will be needing Back to School clothes! It is still in the 100's and will be hot all the way through the end of September, so I need to be thinking "cool". Also, I will need to make a couple of cardigans or jackets because I can't stand how cold the air conditioning is when it blows on you, but it's too hot to not have it on!

So this is the first thing I'm making for back to school. It is NewLook 6802. Here is my review of this pattern:

Pattern Description: knit dress with sleeve variations and option for twist front or without the twist

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, New Look typically has good instructions, however there were a few things I would do differently

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I saw Melissa B wear this dress at PR weekend and fell in love with it.
Melissa's Review

It was so flattering on her and I like the fact that the twist top has an underbodice, which makes it more appropriate for work and gives you more options

What I didn't like were the stupid facings. I usually try to make a pattern according to the directions the first time. Sometimes I learn something new, or something that works well that I didn't think would. This time, I should have followed my original instinct to omit the facings. This pattern has you cut strips (about 1") for facings for the neckline and sleeves. After fussing around with the neckline facing (it kept rolling under and getting caught in the stitching) I decided to just turn under the seam allowance at the armhole and zig zag it. Next time I will do this same thing for the neck as well.

Fabric Used: Poly Lycra knit from Gorgeous Fabrics

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:
I had a difficult time deciding how to do the FBA for this top, but kind of came up with my own creative way that actually worked!
I always have to buy patterns by my upper bust measurement since I have narrow shoulders, a small rib cage, but a large bust. I cut a 10 in the shoulders, tapered to a 14 at the bust (front only) and went back to the 10 at the ribs. Then I tapered out to a 14 at the hips. Had this been a woven, none of these alterations would have lined up or worked! Knits are very forgiving!!

I also did a 1/2 inch sway back adjustment because I tend to get that pool of fabric between my butt and waist! I really like how this falls smoothly across the back

In addition to turning and stitching the armholes instead of using facings, I also did the front facing just a little differently. The pattern has you press under the facing and just baste it at the ends. Well, knowing this type of knit would never stay pressed under, I just folded it on the facing line and used steam a seam to press it in place.

On knits I like to use a zig zag stitch to finish the edges. I thought about using the coverstitch, but since I knew the double row of stitching wouldn't really show on this fabric (and because I was too lazy to set it up), I decided to use my favorite finish on knits, which is to use a 1.5 zig zag width and 2.5 to 3.0 stitch length. I get the best result from using this stitch or else using the Stretch and Sew method of lengthening the stitch length to a 3.0-3.5 and stretching the fabric while using a straight stitch. I did use the serger on all of the interior seams.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, I will definitely make this again. This dress is super comfortable and flattering I think.

Conclusion: I'm very happy with this dress and the way it turned out. It took me a while to figure out the alterations, but the next one should go together much more quickly!


Carolyn (Diary of a Sewing Fanatic) said...

Nancy - this is a very pretty dress on you! Nice start to your new back to school wardrobe!!!

gwensews said...

That dress looks terrific on you. Very nice.

Gail said... look too cool for school! Why do so many knit patterns (especially BWOF) have stupid facings?

Amanda S. said...

It's SO pretty! I think the fabric you chose is great for fall and you kept it cool by making it sleeveless. Wow, your school starts the first of August?! That seems really early to me.

Shannon said...

Back to school - ewww! :)

Great dress to get you geared back up for the long ride to next summer!

Me! said...

This dress flatters you well. I really like the shoes,too! Tyna

Diana said...

I relly like this dress . The colour is so pretty. I just made a twist top for my DD and found it surprisingly easy to make.Have a good school year from aretired teacher who knows how one dreads the end of summer.

Ingrid said...

Thanks so much for reviewing this; it's beautiful on you! I have this one in my stash but it's on the back burner (I was put off by the cover photo) but yours is so nice I think I'll be making it up for our summer here in Oz.
You do beautiful work!!!