Laurel Dress Sew Along, Week 2

Today, we’re sharing a little Laurel love with a guest post from Colette Patterns founder, Sarai Mitnick. No secret around here that I love (LOVE!!!) a great basic pattern. Also no secret that I’ve recently been bitten by the knit fabric bug. I’ve been taking a close look at the patterns I already have in my library that could work for both wovens and knits. Below are tips from Sarai on doing that with the Laurel Dress pattern.

knit laurel full 02 650x433 Laurel Dress Sew Along, Week 2

Photo from ColettePatterns.com.

I made this version of Laurel because (1) knit striped shift dresses are just about the easiest thing in the world to wear, (2) no closures, and (3) I wanted to see how Laurel would do in a knit fabric.

It’s not a fancy dress, but it’s a good workhorse for those lazy days. And I have plenty of those. The other cool thing is that since Laurel doesn’t have front darts, it works well in stripes and other prints.

Here’s what I learned:

  • Use a stable knit. This is a fairly stable, thick baby rib knit so it held up decently and has pretty good recovery. I think these kinds of knits are the best choice for converting patterns designed for wovens, especially a dress with structure. A doubleknit would be ideal, because they can basically be sewn like wovens.
  • Cut it smaller. I cut this a size smaller than my usual size to make up for the stretch, and it was still very big. I’d recommend sizing down at least two sizes. I ended up taking it in another size or so at the side seams, which brings me to the next point.
  • Sew the sleeves flat. I found this helpful, because I could sew the side seams last and thus take it in quite a bit there as needed.
  • Get a twin needle. I use a twin needle to hem knits. I serge the raw edge, turn, then use the twin needle to stitch the hem. If you don’t have a coverstitch machine (I don’t), it’s a nice way to finish a knit hem with a plain ol’ straight stitch machine.

I used a folded self band to do a clean finish at the neckline, like the ribbing on a t-shirt. It’s really pretty easy. This entire dress took me only a couple hours, start to finish. I’m thinking for my next one, perhaps a heather grey double knit with patch pockets.

This blog post originally appeared on the Colette Patterns blog. (Thanks for letting us borrow it, lovely Colette folks!)

Take a look at week 1 for even more customization ideas, including a free pattern expansion pack.

 Laurel Dress Sew Along, Week 2
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