Stretch knit garments have always been my favorite, especially dresses. They are easy to make, easy to wear and easy to layer and style. And you can’t just make one. However in the last year I haven’t made much from knits, but its cold out and that means warm and cozy weather now so, I’ve been inspired by stretch knit garments as of late. I’ve recently created this head to floor knit dress and I absolutely love how it turned out
This piece was inspired by a look from no other than Beyonce and of course I had to create my own version. The dress is a pretty straight forward fitted floor length knit dress. You can simply grab a similar knit dress pattern from one of the Big five pattern companies or a similar Indie pattern to use as the base for this dress. I have made so many over the years I keep a draft in my size at hand.
However I had never created the turtleneck collar connected to a hood but, it looked easy enough. I used my knowledge of how the neck of the turtleneck is constructed and how a hood is constructed and focused on drafting this combo together and connect it to the neck of my basic knit dress pattern. There was a little trial and error and I created two ways to create this add on. One way being as one seamless piece and the other was connecting the hood in the seam of the turtleneck. I ended up going with the later for this piece. I definitely want to make this again and create this as one seamless piece!
Now here are a few tips on sewing with knits that I like to use and a great place to start if you are beginning to sew stretch knits. To get best results and reduce puckering, use a stretch knit needle for stretch fabrics. I also like to stitch with stretch thread such as Mettler Seraflex thread. Seraflex thread stretches with your fabric and won’t snap, providing strong stitches and longer wear. Iron on hem tape is your friend when finishing hems and adding clear elastic tape to seams that will be stretched out often such as, the neck and shoulder seams, helps keep the seams from stretching out and losing its shape, ultimately prolonging the wear of your garment. You can also use a zigzag stitch or serger to sew clear tape onto of seams.
Many machines now a days have stitch settings for stretch fabrics but I find the serger to be quickest if you have one available, it finishes the seam and stitches, However, it’s not required to create neat seams . Knits do not fray so you can always leave the ends unfinished. However they do look neater if they are finished. Also, did you know there is a stretch knit foot? You can add the stretch knit foot to your machine to help your needle stitch smoothly without bunching or stretching your fabric as you stitch over your layers.
I think a knit dress is a great winter piece to style for a comfy casual look. Its great alone with a crossbody bag and boots or layering it with a blazer, jacket or sneakers. To dress it up you can pair it with tall heeled boots. There are so many options but most likely this is how I will pair it for the Winter.
Until Next Time!