And that was when I realized I had found the perfect dress.
Hands down, this is a wonderfully written pattern that is so easy to follow, versatile and flattering while being so very comfortable.
I thought I would have a hard time using an online pattern, but the parts that needed to be printed were perfectly done, and the online directions were thorough and simple to understand. There were also a ton of photos and visuals and that helped me so much.
The pattern gives you all kinds of tips and explanations that taught me about how to use and work with knits.
Making a muslin is recommended. The thing, that in my ignorance, I didn't realize was that a muslin doesn't have to be muslin, but is a first draft of a dress. Don't use actual muslin, especially when it is a knit pattern (please don't ask for photos or any other explanation).
Next I learned that all stitches are not equal... there are different knit stitches on my machines and some of them worked better than others.
The pattern discusses all of this, but I still found it helpful to see how the different stitches worked with each fabric. Ironing also made a huge difference as well.
I found that my first thoughts weren't the best and I played around with the different stitches in different places. I found that the 'triple' stitch worked well for most seams while a narrow zigzag was great for the hem (green dress). The 'lightening bolt' stitch seemed to pucker more and didn't seem as strong (I used it in the purple dress)
I had a hard time finding knits I liked at the store, so I actually ordered some online from fabric.com. I was wary of ordering online, but was pleased at the options.
The ones I chose are 95% cotton with 5% lycra for stretch.
I was concerned they were too thin when they initially arrived as they are like a good t-shirt fabric, but they worked perfectly.
The pattern specifies fabrics, and using the categories to select fabric type and content along with stretch was very helpful in figuring out what would work for this dress.
Also remember to not get overly excited by new fabric,and make sure to wash it before sewing. Yes. fabric will shrink. Especially cottons. And when you cut a dress per the pattern and are taller than average at 5'8", chances are it could end up being a tad short.
I found this out when I excitedly completed the purple dress, tried it on and it fit well then I realized I had a deer in the headlights moment... I hadn't washed the fabric. It's short, but my husband calls it cute, so I'm just going with it.
I will also add that since losing weight I still have issues with wanting to make things larger than I probably need. I cut both dresses a size or 2 larger than what I measured, but the purple shrunk and is a better fit than the green for this reason. The green does have some extra fabric and 'bunching' under the arms which would have been eliminated if I had made it the correct size to begin with.
I'm definitely still learning, but this dress is very quick and seems like it will be a good addition to my wardrobe.
My daughter has also requested a couple of these as they are just easy to wear.
I'm also looking at making some with the longer and 3/4 length sleeve variations included in the pattern as well. It is just warm where I live and short sleeves are practical for a good 6-9 months, or so, of the year.
And since I realized I never seem to smile in photos, I tried to get some where I am more 'me'. I'm not photogenic as I seem to always be moving, but that's just me on a windy summer day in Georgia, and yes, I keep my piano on my front porch.