Work in progress: Slouchy autumn berries dress

Disclaimer: There are no berries on this dress. But there’s a repetitious spot sort of pattern, which if you squint your eyes looks a bit like fallen berries. And autumn is beckoning, and knits are great for autumn. So… um… there we are!

Slouchy autumn berries dress

Compared with the Whale of a Time Blouse and the Frankenstein Polkadot, this pattern is a walk in the park… but not without its own particular difficulties. I’m working with a knit for the first time so that’s a bit of a stress, plus it’s a slippery fine sort of knit which has a tendency to slide around when I’m lining up raw edges and pinning… grrr.

I’ve been experimenting with different stitches on this dress. Most experts seem to recommend a serger (or overlocker) for working with knits (as a stretchy fabric needs a stretchy seam), which I don’t have. So part of the dress (the raglan sleeves and the neckline) is sewn together with a straight stitch and by stretching the fabric on either side of the needle. The other part (the waist and what will be the ribbed hem) is sewn with a zigzag and no stretching of the fabric. Both seem to provide the stretchy seams but I think I prefer the zigzag. It feels sturdier and looks neater on the underside, plus I feel like I have more control over the material.

Raglan sleeve with ribbed cuff

I had to unpick the waist and do it again as I made a bit of a hash of it first time, sewing the bodice and the skirt together and then adding the elastic which seemed to mess it up and give me two lines of stitches. After watching one of the rather fabulous and tremendously helpful videos on the Hot Patterns website, I decided to follow their tip of sewing both in one go. A massive improvement and much neater on the inside as well as outside.

Elasticated waist

Neckline and raglan sleeve

I’m slightly worried it looks a bit mumsy on the dress form, but perhaps once I add the hem and team it with coloured tights and ankle boots it’ll rough it up a bit. Excuse the rather old and crusty belt on there – just wanted to see how it looked!

Dress with belt

What I like most about this fabric is that it’s very forgiving. There are a few mistakes around the neckline but I decided to leave them in rather than redo them as it’s fairly hard to notice them without really close inspection. I reckon I could definitely use the bodice and sleeves pattern pieces to make more casual tops too. Yay. Although let’s not get too excited. We have yet to try it on properly!

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2 thoughts on “Work in progress: Slouchy autumn berries dress

  1. My word this is a beauty! I love everything about it: the fabric choice, the style, the design.

    Thanks for sharing that link. I haven’t worked with knit fabric yet so any sort of tutorials will come in handy.

    • Ah brilliant thank you very much Mujerboricua! Yes the video tutorials on hot patterns are really helpful.They don’t cover absolutely everything but it’s the next best thing to getting one-on-one advice isn’t it? Have a great weekend!

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