My first knit dress had a definite learning curve. It was not an “1-Hour Dress” as the pattern envelope claimed. McCalls 6074 is a basic Pullover dress with front elastic casing detail, deep V-neck, flare skirt and a stitched hem. I made view D with cap sleeves and a length of about 2″ below the knee.
I completed this in March 2012. It’s sewn up in an unremarkable purple (eggplant) knit from JoAnn’s. Not knowing what I was doing I cut out the size 16 pattern based on my skewed sense of my body size. I did not understand the concept of negative ease.
Needless to say – It was way too big!
And I had no clue how to sew a knit: straight stitch? zig-zag? use a ball point needle? How do I finish the seams? Crikey! I was paralyzed with indecision. Can you relate? Of course, we all experience it at some point in our sewing. Good thing the seam ripper and I are well acquainted.
I took my questions to the Denver Sewing Collective meetup. Kitty set me straight: She advised to choose to cut on one pattern size lower than what your measurements suggest. And that of course meant buying another pattern!
In the end, I simply cut out nearly six inches from the center back seam (3″ on each side). The fit is not fantastic but it is a great housedress, super comfortable and nice enought for a Walmart trip.
I used a few different techniques for the seam finishing. Technique 1: pressing the seam to one side then stitching the seam flat. And technique 2: turning the edges under and stitching. (It loosely resembles a Hong Kong Seam finish.)
After my initial fear, it wasn’t difficult at all. I don’t know why I fretted so much. I don’t think I will use this pattern again but I have definitely sewn more knit items.
How about you? What was your first knit dress pattern? Success or Fail?
Until next time darlings …