Friday, 29 August 2014

Stripy T-shirt dress

Well hello there strangers, long time no see... Isn't it scary how quickly the last couple of months have gone by? Or is that just me? I actually have quite a few finished makes to blog about, but I've not really been enjoying having my photo taken lately, and blog posts without photos aren't that exciting. However, I did get a few pictures of me in a very recent make during our Sunday afternoon stroll last weekend, so I'll start with that one!

Pattern description

T-shirt dress with cut-on cap sleeves and A-line skirt.

Fabric used

Rayon-spandex knit from This stuff is sooooo soft and not too lightweight, so this very much falls in the category of secret pyjamas!

Did it look like the sketch/idea when you were done?

I've been in need of a few basic-ish jersey dresses as my favourites are starting to wear out a bit. This turned out pretty much exactly how I hoped.

Drafting details

This is based on a cap-sleeve T-shirt I made a while back. I refined the fit by raising the front neckline and lowering the back neckline, taking in the back at the waist, and curving the shoulder/sleeve seam down after the shoulder point to narrow the sleeves. To make it into a dress, I simply extended the front and back pieces downwards and outwards from just above the waist line.

Construction details

I stabilised the shoulders with fusible tape (for some reason straight grain not bias, so they're a little weird and stiff), and all the seams are sewn by serger. (I only had two cones of navy, so I used these in the left needle and lower looper so that any visible thread from the right side would blend in, using an off-white for the other two threads.)

The neckline is my usual T-shirt type binding with topstitching, and the sleeve and skirt hems are finished with a twin needle. I've finally worked out how to stop tunnelling with the twin needle (at least on knits that aren't super lightweight) - take the tension reeeeeeaaaaaaally low. Like the other end of the tension dial low. The only problem with this is that the back doesn't look so neat, but I think this is a trade-off that I'll have to make, at least until I get my pressie of a coverstitch machine (hint, hint, Mr Dibulous...). The belt is simply a long thin rectangle with two sides sewn up, turned right side out, and the remaining short end slipstitched shut.

I did attempt to match the stripes at the side seams, although as I couldn't be faffed with basting the seams before sewing them on the serger, the matching isn't perfect, but is plenty good enough for this sort of quick make.

Would you sew it again?

Yep, I'm definitely going to be sewing up a couple more versions of this dress. I might add a bit more at the front waist and hip as it does cling a little to my belly (no, I'm not pregnant, that's just a food baby...), but other than that I'm pretty pleased with it.


This is a good "transitional" piece (ooh, get me, I sound like Anna Wintour) with the cap sleeves, and can be layered with tights or leggings now it's getting a bit cooler (not that it got particularly warm this summer...). A very handy dress that has already been worn many times since finishing it.

As a bit of an aside about the photos, the ones on the bridge show where the Rhône and the Arve rivers meet, and you can see the difference in colour (the Rhône is clear after travelling through Lac Léman, whereas the Arve is very silty). On a day when the rivers are a bit higher, you get cool swirling patterns as they mix. The stroll took us through the "zoo" near ours, hence the ibex in the other photos. Ibex!