Upon seeing this wonderful cotton lycra knit print in the Fabricville online shop, I knew I had to make something that would highlight the scribble print — as a sewing librarian, I have a real weakness for any kind of alphabet/text based print. I used this charming fabric to make my first ever Marcy Tilton pattern, Vogue 9329, which is rated « easy ». And it is. With no closures and no fancy techniques to worry about, I put this together over one weekend. And of course, to highlight this wordy print, I had to take some photos in my local library.
This fabric is a medium weight cotton lycra knit – it has a great hand, not too thin and clingy, not too stiff and thick either. It holds the shape of this dress well but also swings with the pattern lines. It was also really easy to handle while sewing: I just used a medium-weight ballpoint needle and poly thread, as usual.
Even though it’s a knit, it uses an interfaced (knit interfacing) neckline facing which is then topstitched at an inch below the neckline. This fabric just soaked up the navy thread I was using, and I really can’t see any of the topstitching either at the neckline, sleeve bands or pockets unless I am looking very closely indeed. It is really a wonderful finish and my neckline sits much more smoothly than if I had used a knit neckband – I can never get those things right.
I made a large, which fit my lower half well, but was a bit baggy around the bust area. I took in an arc of 3/4″ at the underarm, narrowing out to nothing halfway down the sleeve and just above the pocket. That was all I needed to get a snugger and more comfortable fit. I probably could have sewn a medium at the shoulder and large at hip, but the pattern splits over this divide, so I had to choose one.
The pocket construction was really interesting, too, just one piece topstitched to the front piece and only sewn into the side seam of the back piece. I’m sure it’s a common technique but I haven’t done it before and really like it. The other interesting bit was the hem. Because it is a handkerchief like hem with side slits I was worried they might reveal a little too much of my very short legs, so I didn’t shorten the skirt as I usually do with everything, though the pattern design as shown on the cover is much shorter. The problem with being so short, though, (I’m barely 5’2″) is that the length of my leg from hip to knee is quite small, and so side slits that might be nice on a person with a lot more leg can be a bit more revealing than I’m comfortable with since I have so few inches to play with!
There are narrow sleeve bands and an offset side seam on the back which offer opportunities for print blocking, as shown in the cover images. This time I just used all the same fabric, and love the fit and the comfort of this dress. But now I wonder how useful this pattern might be to use up some larger knit scraps in the stash! There could be ways to play with the neckline and pockets to print block a bit more as well.
In any case, I really enjoyed making this easy dress – it helped me get back into the swing of sewing and have a finished project to show for it. The quality of this fabric was a joy to work with, and as always, thanks to Fabricville for the chance to sew along for the blogger network.