dixie diy | ballet dress

i haven’t felt much like writing lately, but i do have a backlog of projects to show off! and it’s only natural to start with the last thing i made and work backwards…

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the knit skater dresses have been über popular around the blogs, and for good reason. in the quest for everyday wearable clothes, few things are more comfy than knit dresses. i decided to go with dixie DIY’s ballet dress. and really, how has this pattern not received more love? i’ll give up $4 to avoid drafting my own, that’s for sure. there is only one sleeve length in this pattern (3/4 length) but you could easily shorten or lengthen as needed. i should say, this was probably one of the fastest .pdf files i have ever put together. i managed to cut and tape while playing a rousing game of candy land with my son. multitasking at it’s finest.

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this is the fabric’s actual color

the pattern size chart is simply a list of finished measurements. i find this particularly helpful with knits since the stretch of your knit can vary so widely. i used a grey poly/lycra ponte. i know, i know… ugh polyester… it just felt so nice i thought i’d give it a shot. plus it was only $4/yd. as far as sizing goes, i decided to grade from an XS up top out to a M at the waist. this worked out great, though i have a little bit of pulling on the sleeve at the underarm. the shoulder seam may need to come out a touch, and perhaps the armhole scooped out in the front a tad. the waist seam hits me right at my waist in the back, but hikes up a little in the front. i think next time i’ll add about 1/2″ to the front bodice length. also, i cut the skirt 1″ longer than my size dictated to compensate for my height. these are all minor adjustments, and i’m perfectly content with how this one fits.

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i had planned to do a neck band finish, but when i tried it on for size i was happy with where the neckline was sitting. i decided to bind the neckline edge by serging a strip of fabric to the right side, then wrapping it to the back and top stitching. i was a rebel and used a regular straight stitch. the stitches pretty much disappear into the fabric giving me a nice neat neckline. then i finished off the sleeve and hem with my twin needle.

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i really love this dress and am already plotting several more. i know it’s been said ad nauseam, but this really is a perfect style so if you haven’t sewn one up yet, what are you waiting for?

—lisa g.

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30 thoughts on “dixie diy | ballet dress

  1. cathy says:

    ooooooooo! I’ve eyed Dixie DIY’s patterns before, but you’re right, they don’t get a lot of blog love. I can’t stop admiring that neckline. I’ve only just perfected my neckband technique, and am afraid of straying and relearning… but I like your bound look so I’m going to have to try that and branch out!

  2. Vanessa says:

    Nice dress! It looks like something you can casually wear, and feel chic in at the same time! I have a question about using the twin needle. I have used it often while sewing knits, and wonder how you get such a nice smooth result from yours. I have adjusted the tension on my machine, but I still think it could look better. Any help would be appreciated!

    • lisa g says:

      thanks! the twin needle can be a real hit or miss… mostly it’s about the fabric. this is a nice stable knit so getting a smooth finish is fairly easy. generally, i use my regular presser foot, a 3 on stitch length, and crank up the tension to get the bobbin to zig zag on the underside. on a thinner knit, sometimes it works… sometimes it doesn’t. i haven’t tried any stabilizers in my hems, but many people swear by it!

    • lisa g says:

      thanks, this pattern is definitely worth your time! and thanks to the necklace… i used to do a lot of beading and jewelry making so i made this from a hodge podge of leftover beads. my kids try to steal it… 😉

  3. Kelly says:

    Love it! I had forgotten about this pattern and am off to reconsider since I just love this style of dress on everyone who makes it! Your dress is fabulous, and will go with everything!

  4. Shar says:

    This looks great on you! It reminds me too that I really need some non-print fabrics. I’ve made two Lady Skater dresses both in prints but I think you can really change the look up on this so much more easily. Yeah to $4 dresses – even ON can’t beat that!

    • lisa g says:

      as much as i love the printed knits, every time someone made this style in a solid i was smitten! this dress will be a workhorse… i think i’ll need a few more 😉

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