Nancy Zieman’s Sew Knits With Confidence Blog Tour & Giveaway!

 Nancy Ziemans Sew Knits With Confidence Blog Tour  & Giveaway!I love sewing with knits so when asked if I wanted to do Nancy Zieman’s Sew Knits with Confidence Blog Tour I jumped at the chance.

My biggest concern was the bust/bodice area.  Nothing is quite as unattractive as wearing a droopy knit. In the photos the dress/tunic look as if they are more fitted through the waist and hips.  Where the drawing on the back it looks more like an empire waist type fit.  I prefer a more fitted look so I made adjustments as you will see in the photos.

I noted that there were no notches on the bodice front and back for placement of the sleeves.  There were notches on the sleeveless version.  However I simply lined up the shoulder seam notch on the sleeve pattern to the bodice should seam and the sleeves went in perfectly.

This dress would look great with an asymmetrical hem or long sleeves for fall and winter.  I think this will be one of my favorite knit dresses to whip up.

Here a few observations about the pattern and the process

  1. Nancy peppers the instructions with helpful tips
  2. The sleeve is sewn flat
  3. I learned a new stitch – the Wobble stitch
  4. I cut out a XS.
  5. I created a back seam and took it in by 2 inches to create a more fitted version.
  6. Material used is a Rayon/Lycra/Poly T-shirt knit
  7. I LOVE the neckline. And, think it gives a retro, but dressy look to your usual knit dress.
  8. I did not use a serger, just my sewing machine.
  9. There is no interfacing.
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Little tucks make nice gathers in the bodice.












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Love the soft draping of the neckline














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More neckline views




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Creating a back seam for more fitted look












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Here we are!
































So, what do you think?  Leave a comment below about my version of the Santa Fe Dress from Nancy Zeiman, your love of knits or how you think you would sew it up.  Those who leave a comment will be entered to win Nancy Zeiman’s Sew Knits with Confidence book and four knit patterns from her new collection!  The Winner will be announced Thursday April 25, 2013!

 Nancy Ziemans Sew Knits With Confidence Blog Tour  & Giveaway!

About Jill

I write for the Sew News and Creative Machine Embroidery blogs. I love sewing, vintage and would love to get a comment from you!
This entry was posted in Nancy Zieman's Blog Tour and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

109 Responses to Nancy Zieman’s Sew Knits With Confidence Blog Tour & Giveaway!

  1. Prabha says:

    You have done a great job and the dress looks lovely on you. I would love tomake this dress as well as some of the other patterns in this set. Thanks for the hint about making a back seam.

  2. Ellen says:

    Dress is beautiful. I agree that the neckline is lovely.

  3. Jenn B. says:

    Your dress is beautiful…I really like the pattern! I am definitely going to have to get it and start sewing more with knits!

  4. Jessica M. says:

    Love the color and style of your dress. I’d probably make the exact same style for myself. It would also be good for breastfeeding access, which is essential for my dresses right now! I would experiment with adding a nursing modesty panel inside the neckline, but leave the rest as is. The neckline drape is very flattering.

  5. Shayla Sharp says:

    That is a lovely dress! It fits you perfectly. I am definitely putting this pattern on my wish list, thanks for sharing!

  6. Mary Jo says:

    I love the dress, It is quite stylish and appropriate for a “senior citizen” such as me.

  7. Carole says:

    Your dress looks lovely – I particularly like the weight of the knit you used – it drapes beautifully.

  8. Judy Nolan says:

    Your version of the Santa Fee–taking it in a few inches through a back seam–is a great solution. It occurs to me that you could do exactly the same (add fabric at a back seam) if you have a fuller figure, as I do. Thanks for offering the giveaway!

  9. Every blogger tried something different. And all of them like the patterns! I am ready to go and will try all four!
    Brenda J Wood

  10. Laura Altes says:

    I know! We should use a bit of contrasting (or same) fabric and make the little fabric “bra attachment” that conceals cleavage. They are very easy. And it would make a cute accessory pattern to go with the Santa Fe dress pattern.

  11. Nona says:

    Love your dress and the color you chose for it. Thanks for the opportunity.

  12. ROBIN E. JUERGENS says:


  13. Dolores Campbell says:

    I love the pattern and think you did an excellent job fitting it. After seeing this I am definitely going to make that dress….Thanks!

  14. Letha says:

    I’m like one of the ladies above, I have a scar from open heart surgery and I shy away from deep v-neck or low cut tops. I wonder if this would still look good if you tacked the neckline closed a little higher up? Great article and illustrations. Very helpful.

  15. Cathi says:

    The dress looks awesome on you! I really like how you added the back seam for a better fit. Great idea.

  16. Barbara P says:

    I love wearing knits. They are so comfortable. I love the way you modified the dress. Like the tucks. I would lengthen it some for myself, but overall I love it.

  17. Deborah Powell says:

    I truly intend on making this dress. I can see it also as a blouse, making a small floral print for daytime and maybe a geometric print for dramatic evening wear.

  18. florence marini says:

    Love the look; it gives a little extra attention where I need it most. I’m new sewing with knits but really want to attempt to make this flattering dress. Thanks for all the great tips.

  19. Kim H says:

    I really like this pattern. Thank you for the close ups on the tucks. Nice job on the finished product!

  20. Frances says:

    Really like the color you chose! And it’s great to know that perhaps the pattern is looser than one might prefer. It looks absolutely lovely on you with the change you made in the back. Thank you!

  21. Gale says:

    I like the dress and love the color. I’ve always admired Nancy and think she is a genius. I’d like to make this pattern but would have to alter the bustline and drop it a bit.

  22. Ronda Halvorsen-Ferns says:

    So excited to try this thanks for your extra hints!

  23. Leora B says:

    I do not have much experience sewing with knits.. they kind of scare me because they are so stretch so much… I need to get out of my comfort zone and try some new patterns.. this dress looks very nice and easy to do..and love the variations you can do with it.

  24. Vickie says:

    You did a wonderful job with the dress. The tights and boots are an interesting fashion choice.

  25. Carrie says:

    Such a flattering style! It looks fabulous on you! I’d love to experiement with the pattern, using a stripe on a diagonal, maybe with an asymetrical hem?

  26. Beverly Magoon says:

    I love that dress. Am going to a wedding in September in California. Thought I had found my pattern – now I’m having second thoughts – this just might be the ticket! Thanks for sharing.

  27. Melissa Blithe says:

    I love that dress pattern.

  28. Cindy says:

    Thanks especially for the note about including a back seam to allow a more fitted look.

  29. Crista Abel says:

    I like this pattern because with minor variation and different fabric choices you can use it year round!

  30. Becky Donaldson says:

    IT looks like something that could be easy enough to get the right fit. Sometimes knits scare me (most often!) because I never know if it is going to be too big, too small, stretch out. I think this might be a pattern that I would venture out to buy! THanks for your great photos/ fit ideas!

  31. Kath says:

    Flattering style and knits have always been tricky for me. With help from this book, I just may succeed.

  32. Bee says:

    I would really love to see what adjustments would be needed for a more ample chest area.

  33. Sharon says:

    I love the dress! I must admit I’m intimidated by knits so Nancy’s easy instructions and helpful tips would go a long way toward easing me into knits. I know most folks that sew knits LOVE sewing with knits, so I’m ready to take on the challenge – I just need Nancy’s book to guide my way! Thanks!

  34. Kimberly Porter says:

    This looks like the perfect pattern to make up with the knit that I purchased at Sew Expo. Easy to fit, easy to make & very fashionable.

  35. Malia Becker says:

    I love the dress, and since I’m a redhead, too, the color is perfect! I might want to make mine a little closer-fitting in the waist; do you think it would be difficult to do? I’ve haven’t done much pattern altering.

  36. Vicki F. says:

    What a cute dress. If the neckline is too deep, you could wear a cami with it, I do that all the time. I love wearing knits, because they have that built in give, and sewing with them is easy. Knit fabric is pretty forgiving when you make small mistakes.

  37. Bette Kratoska says:

    I haven’t had the courage to work with knits yet, but your instructions are very good and make me want to try to make this. It looks very nice and stylish.

  38. Jessica says:

    Love the pattern and the color!

  39. Susan Smith says:

    I have been a big fan of Nancy’s for a long time. I love the look of this dress I think I am going to try it.

  40. Carrie Cunningham says:

    Love the color you chose. Thanks for showing the tucking details. I also like the additional coverage the pattern gives vs being a full plunge. I love sewing with and wearing knits. I think I would make a few versions of the Santa Fe dress…with at least on with a printed top vs a solid. The more I see this dress, the more I like it!

  41. valerie vail says:

    Thank you for the article, it offers great ideas and other options come to mind to use the suggestions.

  42. Lynn P says:

    Love the fit of your dress and it’s a great colour on you. I’d like to sew more things for myself–Nancy has some very nice patterns

  43. CJ says:

    I love the look of that! I’ve been really thinking about getting into making tops of my own, I have a really hard time finding tops to fit me that are “adult fashion”. I am a little person, only 3’5″ tall and it makes it hard to find already made clothes. Winning this would be so helpful to push me into getting started and learning!!

    Thanks for this great giveaway, maybe I’ll get lucky! lol

  44. Becky says:

    I like your dress a lot. I, too, am always wary of knit dresses being too droopy, so I’m glad you were able to make it fitted enough. Cute dress, I want to sew my own!

  45. Margo says:

    Your dress looks really lovely. Thanks for the close-ups of the necklines, it was nice to see how the tucks work into the bodice.

  46. Toni Leli says:

    Love this dress pattern and you did an amazing job. It fits you so well! Thanks for participating in this giveaway.

  47. Savannagal says:

    I really love the color you chose. It’s subdued, yet looks really great with your red hair. Your dress turned out quite lovely.

  48. Rhonda Ellis says:

    I love my knit pieces that I’ve made and would love to learn new tricks to making it work for me. In this Santa Fe dress, I love how it’s a V-neck, but still gives plenty of coverage. I bet the bust seam could be dropped and look really cute over a contrasting top.

  49. Lys Shradeja says:

    It’s lovely,,,,,except,,,some of us can’t wear plunging necklines due to cancer or just plain modesty. I’ld like to see a more rounded neckline that has a little more coverage. It’s hard to buy clothes that don’t show scars or don’t ‘droop’ every time I bend a little.
    I like the idea of embelishing the top of the shirt or dress to emphasize the face rather than the hips.

  50. Kathy Tanner says:

    I love that pattern! I’m one of Nancy’s biggest fans. If (when) I sew this one up, I might use a coordinating fabric for the inset.