Swirly thing alert

13May12

I had a day out in London with a friend yesterday. Now technically we were supposed to be looking for furnishing fabric, not dress fabric. But we found ourselves having a quick look in the shops down Berwick Street, and she pointed out this amazing viscose knit, and it was reasonably priced.

Viscose knit print

Viscose knit print

So it had to come home with me. And now I need to find a pattern for it. I really want a maxi dress; I’ve seen some fantastic Pucci silk jersey maxis out there on the Internet and I should have enough of the fabric for that sort of style: floor length, long sleeves, and a very deep v-neck. However my fabric’s four-way stretch and very slinky so I need to pick the pattern carefully.

Having spent the day going through my entire collection of Burdas, the big four websites, and all the vintage maxi patterns on Etsy, I think my best option is
Vogue 8489 (line art below) because the interfaced bands around the collar and V-neck will provide some support. I’ll probably double up the fabric in the bodice too. The pattern’s not a maxi but I ought to be able to lengthen the skirt quite easily.

Vogue 8489 view F line art

I suspect I’m going to have to do something to stablize the shoulder and armsyce seams. I’ve heard about sewing clear elastic into them but that sounds like it might turn out bulky. Or is clear elastic much thinner than regular elastic? Anyone out there got any recommendations?



33 Responses to “Swirly thing alert”

  1. That is soooooo you! The pattern choice is spot on. Very excited to see this made!

  2. 2 Jane's sew & tell

    Lovely fabric. Which shop did you find it at?

    • Thanks! It was the branch of Cloth House with the knits – the one furthest from Oxford Street and almost opposite Borovik. Funnily enough it wasn’t in the knit section but with the fancy stuff on the ground floor.

      • 4 Jane's sew & tell

        Ooh! I must go and look to see if they have any more. I’ll be up that way later in the week

  3. 5 Shams

    That is a fabulous fabric! I can definitely see it as a maxi dress.

  4. The fabric is awesome! Clear elastic is very thin and works well as a stabilizer. I use twill tape or rayon seam tape but the clear elastic works well too. I would NOT use regular elastic at all.

    • Thanks, I will definitely be trying the clear elastic if I can find some.

      • Love the fabric! you can buy clear elastic by the metre at MacCulloch and Wallis
        Debbie B

  5. I just love that fabric, petty I’m too far North to buy some

  6. Ooh that’s going to be so you! I love it.

  7. Your fabric is stunning. Great buy! The clear elastic is good too and not bulky so can recommend it. I see it in lots of RTW and have used it myself. Just watch out with the iron!

  8. 13 Gail

    I’d have been distracted by that fabric too! Great pattern choice and yes, from bitter experience, do stablise both the shoulders and the neckline.

  9. Woo you’re really going for the digital prints nowadays aren’t you? (“Good on her. She has the figure to carry it off”-that was Carl’s comment at one of your earlier creations he saw on my screen while I was blog-browsing XD). I use skinny clear elastic (from ebay.com.au) for shoulders- don’t really bother with armscyes-guess you could put a low tension line of straight stay-stitching to prevent them malforming, but that’ll reduce their flexibility) depends on how active you’re going to be in the finished garment..

    • Good point about the armscyes, thanks. While I’m not planning to run marathons in this dress I’d like to be able to move about a bit. Will have to experiment a bit.

  10. im a big fan of viscose… dying to see this made

  11. I’ve read somewhere, PR boards or blogs, that you can use the trim application foot, whatever it’s called, to “appliqué” the clear elastic to the seam. Apparently, some serger feet have a space or whatever you can use but my standard foot for the Brother doesn’t have that.

    I tried once with a glue stick to one side first but I think I didn’t wait enough and it’s rather messy. Maybe holding it down with a wide zigzag first?

    • The zigzag sounds like a good plan. I have read that people use glue but I’d be really likely to get it on the body of the garment I think.

  12. 20 Kat

    I typically stabilize the shoulder seam of my knitwear garments with clear elastic. I baste it on with a straight stitch and then overlock it all together. Be careful with taping feet or attachments because it’s easy to accidentally stretch the tape as you sew or overlock causing puckers or gathers.

    • Ah right – I think I have that foot but I have never used it before. It’s got a gap under the middle of the foot for a tape or trim. I hadn’t thought of using it for this but it ought to make it a lot easier, thanks!

  13. 22 redsilvia

    Love the style you chose then saw this Issa dress am sending the link along:
    http://www.net-a-porter.com/product/193588

    Similar idea with a different sleeve. Love that fabric.

    Stabilizing the shoulder seams could be done with clear elastic or twill tape or even fuse the seam area with knit interfacing. I’ve done all three and they all work. I wouldn’t add anything to the armsyce without testing the technique since you may get some weird bumps or not enough ease of movement. Can’t wait to see what you do with this project.

    • Oh cool, I love the flutter sleeves. I found a nice maxi pattern on Etsy with the sleeves but the rest of the pattern wouldn’t have worked with the knit because there was lots of seaming. Maybe when the right fabric comes along…

  14. 24 SueN

    Wow, fabulous fabric! Clear elastic is thin enough; best thing to do is stretch it three times before you sew it on so that it doesn’t scrunch up too much, and use a wide zigzag. Good luck!

  15. Gorgeous fabric. Can’t wait to see this on you.

  16. 27 Dixie

    What a gorgeous print! It’s just fantastic. I’m glad you’ve been thinking a lot about what style of dress to make, and which details will help keep the fabric from stretching too much. I know you’ll have a stunning look when you’re finished!

  17. Absolutely stunning fabric! Can’t wait to see your finished maxi-dress… :)

  18. Regarding stabilisers – VILENE BIAS TAPE. Seriously, how can you have not experienced this stuff yet? It’s ridiculously cheap (like pence per metre) from Sewessential.co.uk and it’ll be in your postbox the next day. And then you’ll not be able to live without it ever again, like the rest of us. :)

    And as a total solid-lover, I think that print has broken something in my brain… I’m scared! ;)

    • Damn, how could I have forgotten Vilene bias tape. Which reminds me, I need to buy some more anyway…

  19. What pretty fabric! Another pattern option is by Jamie Christina Designs. Here’s the link. http://jamiechristina.com/collections/dresses/products/mission-maxi-sewing-pattern

  20. Oh this is going to be lovely – just lovely. On the clear elastic front, you can use organza selvage, if you have any lurking about. The clear elastic can get stuck on the bottom of the SM/serger foot when you sew it so if you have a teflon one def. use it.

    BTW I love the peacock feather dress. So beautifully done as always.

  21. 33 Lynne

    i just know that this is going to be fabulous. i can’t wait to see what you do with it!



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