Monday, 8 November 2010

Dotty Patterned Jersey Dress

As I hinted the other day, I have a new toy. One of the parcels waiting to be collected on my return from holidays was this:

I've hankered after an overlocker for a while now but doing the Hong Kong finishes on my red and white dress confirmed my 'need' (quite different to a 'want' you understand). I mean I can't be spending hours finishing seams if I am to get everything on my to-do list sewed up can I?

And, a further bonus, (as well as having gorgeously professional looking finished seams) is that the world of jersey and knit is now mine. 

Time to reveal parcel number two

Several bloggers have already extolled the virtues of this book. It basically contains three basic patterns for jersey - 

a crew-neck t-shirt

a raglan sweatshirt
and a jersey dress
along with 6 or 7 ways to vary each pattern to give you a variation on the theme. In addition, it has very complete instructions on how to sew up the garments and good tips on using an overlocker (which I found extremely useful as the instructions that came with the machine were good in that I managed to thread it and get it working but knowing how to use it properly is another thing altogether - and in some ways quite different to a sewing machine - this is undoubtedly not news to many of you but may be useful to someone who has never used an overlocker before).

Anyway, having spent a little time getting acquainted with the machine - the results of which you can see here, I decided it was time to make up a proper garment (rather than a winged home-made pattern item).  I was tempted to make up the t-shirt first but the only jersey fabric I had in my stash was this

which I felt lent itself rather more to a dress. So the dress it was. I went with the basic pattern as drafted without any modifications partly because the aim of this project was to see how I got on sewing almost entirely on the overlocker rather than  testing my pattern modification skills, but also because, actually, the basic dress pattern was the one that I felt suited this fabric the best.

The dress is made up of a bodice section, a waistband and a skirt section. It has gathered sleeves and, being jersey, no need for closures or darts. I put it together entirely on the overlocker and used my sewing machine only to topstitch down the neckline (after it had been overlocked) and for the hem.

top stitched neckline - and you can see the overlocked edge that has been topstitched down in the background

Overall I am pretty happy. I love the gathered sleeves and I will probably use the bodice section (lengthened) and sleeves pattern pieces to make some tops. This pattern also lends itself to using different coloured fabric for the skirt and/or waistband sections.

And the real bonus? This whole project, from getting the fabric out of the cupboard to doing the final - 'aren't I clever' mirror pose - took slightly less than 2 hours. What is not to like?

gathered sleeves

I will leave you with a photo of my overlocker in action, which also gives you a peep at the fabric for my winter coat....


  1. How cool to own an overlocker! Can't wait to see the coat.

  2. Looking forward to seeing more of your coat!! An overlocker - fantastic! Popsie