I bought a couple of StyleArc patterns in the member sale last month and this pattern came free with my order. It's the Tammy knit dress, a simple pattern with lots of options for different looks.
|StyleArc Tammy knit dress combo|
I love a simple knit dress and was eager to try this out. Since this was going to be an easy pattern to make, I decided to set myself a challenge. This was not to be an ordinary challenge involving speed or tricky fabrics. This was to force me to overcome a hurdle I have been avoiding for years. This was (the excitement is palpable now) to finish the hem with a coverstitch (and the crowd goes wild).
I have a Bernina 2500DCET overlocker which converts to a coverstitch machine. An incredible concept that, despite filling me with excitement, I have largely ignored, aside from a couple of fumbled and disastrous hemming attempts when I first bought the machine around five years ago.
At a recent sewing blogger meet-up in Perth, Sue of Fadanista casually mentioned that she has an overlocker/coverstitch machine and happily flits between the two settings. Well, that was too much for me and mastering the coverstitch became my New Year's resolution.
Anyway, back to the dress. It is a very easy pattern with just the front, two back pieces with a centre seam, sleeves and neck binding to sew together. I used a basting stitch to make sure the stripes were matching before finishing the seams with the overlocker.
I used a nice quality, striped, knit remnant from Potters Textiles. The 1m piece only cost $6 and I managed to squeeze the whole dress out of it, although I had to make the sleeves a bit shorter than the pattern intended to fit them on the fabric.
I made a size 10 and changed only the sleeve length and the neckline. I lowered and slightly widened the front neckline using the Briar t-shirt pattern as a guide. I think the fit of this dress is perfect, not too tight or too loose and incredibly easy and comfy to wear. I know I'll be reaching for this all summer.
The back neckline is scooped, which I quite like, and the front is neatly finished with a narrow band. OK, I know, you want to hear about the coverstitching. Well, here it comes...
Oh be still my beating heart! But wait there's more...
While you reCOVER from that excitement, let me fill you in on the details. It turns out that it's not really that hard at all to convert my overlocker to do coverstitch. The secret is to read and follow the instructions. Who would have thought it? Actually I'm generally pretty good at reading instructions so I'm not sure why my previous efforts failed. Anyway, this time I was super thorough and it worked! Next time I might move on to the next chapter and try a two thread coverstitch. Whee hee!
The only problem, aside from the hem stitching being a bit wonky, was that there was some slight puckering. I'm guessing that this must have been because I had the differential feed set at 1.5 instead of zero. I should have checked that before I started.
I definitely recommend this pattern for a simple and perfect summer dress. I will certainly be making more and look forward to trying the overlay top too. As for coverstitching, well this is just the beginning. A whole new hemming world is opening up to me and I can't wait to explore it!