Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Almost knitting

I hope you will forgive a tiny diversion into the realms of dressmaking today.  I promise a return to the usual mix of vintage, new and general woolly, knitty stuff later in the week.  I beg your indulgence and in my defence plead that I am, after all, sewing with a knitted fabric.  I bought the fabric after having a bloggy chat with Florence  on 7 October last year she blogged about Liberty print jersey and it sent me flying over to  sewbox where I bought this beautiful jersey in a monochrome rose pattern. 

Unfortunately I am not sure whether Leah at sewbox has it in stock at the moment, I couldn't find any today when I checked her on line shop.  But I do know it is rather tricky to get and feel very privileged to have been able to capture the monochrome rose print while it was available.

Florence suggested that the fabric should be washed before cutting out as it can shrink a little when first washed.  It was also a great chance to photograph the print in all its glory on a sunny January day.

Once again my very useful table was conscripted for cutting out.

I have mentioned my extra long pins before and they were perfect for the jersey too as they held the pattern in place very firmly and later, when I was sewing up, the edges of the fabric pieces.

The jersey was bought on a whim - how could I resist? I just had to have some of its lovliness - but then I wondered how I would make it up.  I had a small moan to Florence that I don't have an over-locker and even strayed a little into John Lewis to see how much one would cost.  But,  Florence's good advice was that I first tried the super stretch stitch on my regular machine. I think it is one of the loveliest things about blogging that so many kind and talented people are happy to swap ideas and advise on tricky bits. 

It worked!  I had no idea how brilliant my machine was (well it does not really get to show off properly when I only ask it to make curtains).  Not only did I discover super stretch stitch but also a twin needle function that gave the sleeve ends the perfect 'shop bought' finish and an invisible hem stitch for knits (thank you Elna)

I am feeling a little smug, the dress is my first proper attempt at sewing with knits and I love it. It had its first outing to a very grown up occasion yesterday and behaved impeccably.  I say behaved because the neckline is quite low and although it sits well when I stand up straight, I was a little concerned it may gape as I sat down or leaned forward and distract from my argument (the day job is quite serious) but it stayed in exactly the right place all day


kim said...

Catherine, it's beautiful.........I love the monochrome rose design and the dress pattern you've chosen suits the jersey fabric so well.........I have serious dress envy.

florrie x

Jee said...

Very stylish, Catherine. I've just succumbed to an overlocker on the grounds that my ancient machine no longer likes doing stretch stitch (it got overworked when husband was a drama teacher and I constantly got landed with school play costumes). It hasn't arrived yet and I wonder if I shall hate it, but it was a bargain.

Anonymous said...

Oh, it's lovely! I have some real sewing envy now - my Mum's had her machine out this week too. Perhaps over the summer I'll have time to make some things.

Lizzie said...

Love it- monochrome design perfect, neckline and wayit sits esp flattering and the right degree of cling-nothing to frighten the parliamentary committee! Also love heart-tipped pins!

Anonymous said...

I agree and am very impressed with this dress. 'I' would wear it !!!!! Make me one ??!!! haha :)

Julies Knit Stitch Corner said...

Hello Catherine, I saw your link from Florrie's blog and noticed your new to blogging. Thought you might like another friend, as I am keen knitter and like to sew a little to.
Your work is lovely. best wishes Julie.C

Catherine said...

Thank you all for visiting and your friendly comments. I'm not offering to make a dress for anyone yet, but watch this space for future developments!

Julie I'm glad you have found me, thank you for following. I have paid a visit to your blog, I love the little cardigans (It was the arrival of my first grandchild in 2009 that got me knitting again)

xx C

Sarah Jane said...

Hi Catherine. Thank you for coming over to my blog and I hope you get to make a Cornish Pasty before too long. I'd like to follow you - we are obviously kindrid spirits because most of my sewing has been dressmaking. Nowadays somehow I don't seem able to find a good, well-cut pattern - even Vogue has let me down recently and I have lost confidence. Over to quilting but I hope the move won't be permanent. I knit and crochet, too, but not often.