Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Me in Grey Pinstripes

I just finished this dress. I used a lovely grey pinstriped wool knit I got in Montreal this summer. The fabric has hardly aged a bit!

Again, I tried to follow the directions. Now, I've made Tilton dresses before. I was looking forward to it, and I'm very pleased with the way the dress turned out. It fits well (No thanks to the pattern there. I used a previously fitted T-shirt pattern from Jalie to set things up).

Knits curl. This dress has no hemlines or finished edges at all, and these edges need more thought and attention than the pattern suggests, methinks, as it suggests almost nothing. I found the least curly direction of stretch and cut straight across that to be the bottom edge of every tier. Only wear time will tell if that works.

The pattern has the bottom tier going the opposite way to all the rest. This is said in the instructions to be a way to stabilize the bottom edge. I didn't like the stripes taking off in a vertical direction. Every version I have seen in other blogs look a bit weird when they did that. It takes away a bit of balance, and I need to balance my top and bottom edges. I don't want a really skinny part down around my knees. I like how mine turned out.

I had been warned that this style ends up draping your body with many layers (thanks C!), and this can be a bit like an oven. Indeed you have a layer underneath from top to bottom and then layers sewn, overlapping to that base layer. Up to 3 layers. Hot! I also had that wool to think about next to my skin. I used a black satin tricot with the satin side facing in. It gives me a slip type lining. There's no need to use the same knit for that under layer. I'm surprised they don't suggest a tricot or stretch lining. You do need to be aware of stretch and matching inner and outer fabrics, but if both are fairly stable and you run some tests, you should be able to manage.

I also stitched the bottom hems together (tricot and knit) so the hem doesn't slip down. They are cut to be identical lengths, and you know that will never stay put. I used a tiny zigzag 1 cm from the bottom, and it's invisible. I did the same thing to the sleeves to give that edge some weight. As the sleeves were not lined, I used a 3 cm strip of tricot inside the bottom edge.

I was worried the sleeve armhole seam would be scratchy. I dug out a roll of stretchy tricot (Seams Great) that's meant to wrap seams as a finish. I've used it for easing in sleeves, but found it flimsy and fiddly to work with. Well, as it was meant to bind a seam I tried it. It actually goes on very well if you don't pull on it. You just lay half of it under the edge to be covered, and the other side rolls to the front on it's own. I zigzagged it in place and the seam is lovely and soft.

I don't like wide standard neck finishes. This called for a sewn on binding. The wool is a bit beefy, and I tested it out as the pattern calls for standard stitch, flip, stitch in the ditch. It looked like a tootsie roll. I stitched the neck binding right sides to the front, trimmed the seam allowance right down and flipped it to make a tiny, tight edge. Then I stitched in the ditch and slit the edge to release tension. I used the blind hem stitch so it stitches in the ditch and then makes a little wrap stitch around the collar edge. Very nice. You always have tension when you stitch in the ditch.  Why don't directions mention this?

 How do you like my new tags? They are woven and beautiful! They were under a buck each, and I think it's high time I had some. I may get a cheaper and different version for my more relaxed items. It's good to have more the 1 line. Karl has several, after all!

Here I am in my dress. Aren't I just the cat's meow?