July 20, 2016

Progress... of a sort

So, I have made the pattern for that striped dress. I agreed with those of you who commented on my previous post and went with sketch number one. 

Making the pattern, based on my knit sloper, was really easy. The difficulty with this dress was always going to be found in cutting and sewing those stripes to match. 
And when I started on that cutting, I made an unwelcome discovery: No matter how much I tried, I couldn't manage to fold the fabric in such a way that the stripes matched. It even seemed like the same stripes weren't even similar in width across the entire width of the fabric...
Obviously, I gave up on folding the fabric. I decided to go with a single layer lay-out. Then, I realized that one of the selvedges was putting tension on the fabric. So, I cut it off. And then, I realized that there was yet another issue. An issue which is not uncommon for jersey fabrics but I had hoped this one wouldn't suffer from it: The selvedge was not at a square angle to the stripes at all. 
This is common because a lot of jersey is knitted in the round (which is much quicker and therefore cheaper than knitting flat). This means that there are no separate rows of knitting, just an almost endless spiral, which, in turn, makes all the stitches slightly slanted in the direction of the knitting process. Sometimes the resulting big tubes of fabric are sold like that but more often they are slit open and the cut edges are finished with something that kind of feels like glue.  That cutting isn't necessarily done with great care. The round knit fabric didn't really have a perfect straight grain (which is actually an incorrect term when it comes to knitted material) to start with and the rough cutting means you can be in serious trouble with fabric like that.
In this case, the selvedges didn't look like they had been cut. So, I thought it would be fine... No such luck. 
After messing with it yesterday, I decided to preserve my sanity and double the pattern pieces. So, today I had another go at it.

Much better!

This simple thing caused so much fuss that I almost felt like giving up on it. Now I'm glad I didn't. I just machine basted all the seams where the stripes have to match. Like most of the time, all is well as soon as I start sewing.


  1. Yes those tubular knits with wonky edges can be very challenging. Hope it comes out OK and doesn't shrink too much in the first run through the laundry.

  2. Love to see the result of all your work.

  3. I feel your pain. I've had to give up on clothes I've made from that fabric a couple of months down the road; unstable now, more unstable (unstabler?) later.
    They just break my heart.