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.
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.