Tuesday, November 27, 2012

MODKID Knit Bubble Dress Pattern Tips

Have I talked about the Sewing MODKID Style knits book, yet? If you have sewn Patty Young's MODKID patterns, you know how clear and colorful her instructions and pictures are. This is my go-to book for anything knit that I make for Evangeline.  It has so many great patterns for basics like tees and leggings, fun dresses, a bathing suit and yoga pants. The book is a comprehensive guide on how to sew with knits with or without a serger and coverstitch machine.  All the fun stretch trims and laces and how to use them are covered. Sizing goes from 2T-10. I definitely recommend that you check it out!

I made Evangeline the short sleeved version Bubble Dress in a single fabric, rather than two.  It gave for more of an everyday look.  The purple and blue striped fabric jumped out at me when I was at the Pacific Fabric outlet store. It has a sparkle stripe which is my favorite and makes the fabric pop. Truthfully, I would make something for myself if I though I could pull it off.

I'm a novice when it comes to sewing knits.  Knits have always seemed really intimidating so after reading the how-to section of the book carefully I sat down with my serger and sewing machine. After serging the shoulder seams it was time to tackle the neckline. I don't own a coverstitch machine that will finish the neckline in one step.  First, I serged the neckline. Then, I grabbed my sewing machine manual which is always helpful when tackling a new project. Flipping to stretch knit stitches, I picked the one that was described as being the most stretchy and looked OK.  Boy, was I wrong. Yuck!

It was wobbly  and puckered and just wouldn't do.  So I (not so) patiently picked out that mess of a neckline and went back to the drawing board. 

 Still beginning with the serged edge I carefully pinned the neckline over 1/2".  Pinning and sewing slowly were really key to even seams in this dress. This time I used a stretch stitch (called a "stretch triple straight stitch" on my Pfaff) that looks like a regular stitch but goes back and forth when sewing and a twin needle. The needle was on the narrower side  The result, while not perfect, is flatter and more closely replicates a coverstitch hem.

Another really important thing is not to stretch when sewing the hems and necklines. Stretching the fabric will make your neckline stretch out and look terrible like my above example. Use your hands lightly to guide the fabric and let your machine do all the work.  

I'm pretty happy with the end results and grabbed some great pictures of Ev wearing the dress!

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