Completed project: Slouchy autumn berries dress

Here we are. It was a bit weird putting tights on, on such a lovely day. But in the interests of complete transparency (which this blog is all  about ) I dutifully got the opaques out and the husband inside and got to work. So here’s the Slouchy Autumn Berries Dress (pattern is HP 1090) – on a real live  person.

Slouchy autumn berries dress

Slouchy autumn berries dress
Truth be told I was a bit worried about this dress. I wasn’t sure it was really me – I was concerned it might look too staid and a bit yummy mummy. But I think as long as I give it a bit of attitooood then I might be alright!

Slouchy autumn berries dress
Next up – I’m going to finish the Frankenstein Polkadot this week if it kills me  and then I’m going to cut out for my first Colette Beignet. I’m extremely excited about this skirt! Does anyone know of a good sewalong for the Beignet? I’ve been googling but haven’t found one. I’ve also ordered the Rooibos Dress  pattern from Colette Patterns – hooray! I think I’ll be too late to do the sewalong but it will all be there for great reference once I’m ready. Plus I can be  a bit of a cheat and watch everyone else before I select my fabric – it’s a win-win!

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!