last gasp of 2013…

here are the last of my 2013 makes… my oldest daughter, Anastasia, is not a girly girl. she frowns at ruffles, frills, and anything pink. i bought this double knit in a color just at the edge of her acceptable range of purple and sewed up the anywhere dress from goto patterns. it’s a perfect dress that goes.. well… anywhere. essentially this is a t-shirt dress with sleeve length variations. since i used a double knit i cut one size larger than she measured.

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i typically do all my knits on the serger, but this time i went with my regular sewing machine for a majority of the construction. most of the seams don’t really need the stretch, so i’m not concerned about popped stitches. and if a stitch does pop, well duh i sew. also, i find that double knit is just too bulky for serging since you can’t press the SA flat.

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an odd thing about this pattern is that you are supposed to finish the neckline with a very large facing that extends most of the way down the armholes. while i kinda get the rationale of the giant facing (keeps the facing anchored and free of flip-ups) i decided to make a more standard-sized facing. now, i know you’re probably thinking ditch the facing entirely, genius! so hear me out—i do think it’s a legit neckline treatment, especially on a thicker fabric like a double knit. i serged the facing to the neckline, under stitched it with a zig zag, then topstitched about 1″ away from the neckline edge with a stretchable stitch. i have seen this in RTW and think it provides a nice clean finish. were i using a thinner fabric, i would probably go with a neck band, but it’s nice to try out alternatives finishes.

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to break up the solid color, i used a contrasting thread for topstitching. i have such a hard time with the twin needle on double knits (i always get skipped stitches!) so i used one of the decorative stretch stitches. overall this is a nice pattern, and one i will be coming back to many times. it comes in a huge range of sizes so the $9 price tag is very reasonable.

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for a completely different look, i also made her a slouchy dolman sleeved knit tunic. i picked up this crazy (and kinda ugly in a good way…) fabric from joanns, of all places. it used to be that i couldn’t find any knits there that weren’t 100% polyester, but lately they’ve been stocking a few nice ones. i believe this is a cotton/rayon/spandex… or maybe just a rayon/spandex… can’t remember anymore. while it’s great that they’ve been stocking nicer fabrics, the price tag is just so unreasonable! this was listed around $15/yd. what the whaaaat???? i seriously hate the “mark up to mark down” thing that goes on in US retail. fortunately they frequently do mark down by 40-60%, so i got it for a reasonable price. i make an effort not to over-buy on fabric, but i failed to consider the giant repeat, so i was pretty limited in terms of pattern placement. i just barely squeaked this out while matching side seams.

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i used the flashback skinny tee as my base and eyeballed a dolman-sleeve, using the sleeve pattern piece as a guide. i lowered and widened the neckline and added 1″ to the length and added a wide hem band to make sure it was long enough. turns out i didn’t really need to add extra length to the original pattern, it’s quite long as is. she’s pretty in love with this top, and i think it’s fun for that 80’s slouchy vibe that is kind of her jam at the moment. who am i kidding… i’d wear this top all the time too!

—lisa g.

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23 thoughts on “last gasp of 2013…

  1. Katie says:

    These are very cute — love the neckline on the purple! I have the same annoyance about Joann’s. Their stuff is so overpriced and usually inferior quality. Sure everything is usually at least 30% off but why not price it that way to begin with?? And usually that’s still too expensive. No, I’d rather just buy online and pay an appropriate price.

  2. Shar says:

    I really like the neckline on the purple dress and the contrast topstitching is a great idea! The pattern placement on the knit tunic makes it look almost like a top and mini skirt. I want one just like it!

  3. yosami says:

    Great dresses, my older daughter would love these too, I’m sure! I haven’t heard about GoTo patterns so thanks for sharing them. BTW is it a rule of thumb to size up with double knits? Should I be doing this?

    • lisa g says:

      thanks! and about the double knit, it really depends on how much stretch it has. mine has less than your typical tee shirt jersey, so i didn’t want it to end up being too snug. i usually keep 2-3 tracings of the same pattern just to account for the knit/stretch differences!

      • yosami says:

        Thanks for getting back to me about this Lisa. 2-3 tracings sounds dedicated to me! I’m definitely going to heed your advice though!

  4. Gail says:

    Love both of these, of course! I really like how you finished the neckline on the solid-colored dress – adds a bit of interest to an otherwise plain garment.

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