I’ve had this brightly printed stretch jersey fabric for over a year, waiting to find the right pattern to make up. Now I have it! I chose McCalls 7046 which is an easy design including a top with two sleeve choices and a dress with or without sleeves. You can also opt for one long ruffle, or add a second shorter ruffle too.
I particularly like the ruching at the sides, created by attaching elastic to the side seams – stretching it between marked points to create the gathers. I feel it is more flattering for those of us who don’t have a perfectly flat tummy!
I also want to wear the dress in the summer, so chose to add the short sleeves from the top, rather than long sleeves (or the sleeveless option). They are cut from the same pattern piece as long sleeves, so there was no problem fitting them. Again these have elastic stretched part way up the centre on the inside to ruch them.
Cutting out probably took the longest as you need to cut the circular tiers from four pieces of fabric. I didn’t follow the pattern layout exactly because my fabric was wide enough to cut from two layers at a time but it is worth taking time to cut out – it does mean the making up is quicker as all notches match perfectly etc.
Sewing time was just over 2 hours – I stitched most of the seams on an overlocker, just finishing the neck and sleeve edges by sewing machine and sewing the elastic to the side seam allowances using a triple zigzag stitch. I used a stretch needle on the sewing machine because the fabric has two way stretch – and this prevented getting skipped stitches.
For the hem of both tiers, I decided to use a rolled hem on the overlocker, but stretching the fabric slightly as I stitched to create a frilly lettuce edging. I think this adds to the slightly Spanish feel of the dress
It definitely lived up to it’s promise of being easy to sew – not just easy but quick too. So I can wear it to the Edinburgh Knitting and Stitching show this week!
TIP: It’s often difficult to remember which type of needle is in the machine when you return to it, so I keep a scrap of the latest fabric used under the foot to remind me.