Greetings kakapos! You truly have sad lives. Are you owls? Parrots? Who can say. All I know is that your 120 year life span, coupled with your noctournal ways and near extinction must make for lots of long, lonely nights talking to yourselves. Have you considered inter-species relationships?
Moving on! I FINALLY got a photo shoot in yesterday, so without further ado, here’s the green and white version of Kwik Sew 3758!
Yay! OK, what to say about this dress? Well, if you can’t really tell from the photo, the bodice is made from a knit fabric and the skirt from a woven – I used cotton interlock and a quilt-weight cotton on the bottom. There’s two views – view A has sleeves and a belt. View B is a tank-style bodice with a piece of superwide elastic at the waist. I mixed the views because I wanted the sleeveless bodice, but I didn’t really want to use the elastic waist because that elastic is only available in black and white (one would assume – I didn’t actually look all that hard!) Here’s the pattern photo…
Doesn’t that dark haired model look like Charlotte from Sex in the City? I think she would have liked this dress.
I was a bit apprehensive as to how construction would work on the non-elastic waist dress. I had a hard time imaging how gathering the stiffer woven fabric into the softer, stretch knit bodice would work and was worried that it’d be a big, baggy mess. Luckily, there was no wierdness in the mixing of stretchy and non-stretchy. Once the bodice is constructed, the skirt is assembled from two rectangles. Then the waist of the skirt is gathered and stitched to the bodice. THEN the instructions have you (or me) cut a piece of clear elastic, but here’s the trick… you’re not cutting it super tight. I made the XL, which is sized for a 45″ bust and 37″ waist and the clear elastic piece was 39″. Enough to get over the bust but not SNAP into place. Since the waistline is slightly raised it isn’t gathered TOO much, but it’s not really that baggy when worn without the belt. Here I am wearing it without the belt.
The belt is wider in the middle with long, skinny ties. Both of the wider pieces are interfaced to give it some body. I used my favorite interfacing for quilt weight cottons, Stacey Shape-flex from Pellon. It’s an actual WOVEN cotton interfacing that’s fusible. The belt doesn’t have super-great ‘staying’ power – it gets mashed up and wrinkled while wearing and I fussed with it a lot, making sure it was in place. I still like the look a lot. Putting some boning in a few channels might help a bit, but, you know, boning flexes as well and if you’re sitting and standing a lot you’d still be fussing with it unless you’re Mr. Bug with a rock-hard middle that doesn’t move when in the seated position! Here’s me practicing my Vanna White posing with the belt.
As I said, I made an XL with no adjustments. The XL measurements are smaller than my measurements and I’m totally happy with the fit, although I probably would be happier had I cut out the size L on the bodice. I really prefer my top-side knits fitted and the arms are a bit gapey. The bodice and arms are finished with bands cut on the cross grain, which is a finish that always works very nicely on knits. On this version I serged most of the seams and twin needled the serged seam allowance down around the neck and the arms. This would be a SUPER easy dress to mess about with sizing if necessary. The rectanglular shape of the skirt pieces are a cinch to add inches to and the knit bodice will ‘size itself’ unless you’re really going for the baggy look.
I made two versions of the dress – the green and white one and another in pink and brown. I wore the pink and brown version to a drum corp show last Saturday in the steaming hot and it was SO comfy! This version was a shop sample as I’m teaching this as a class at the end of the month (register online). Since this was a class sample I finished it completely with a sewing machine, which was super easy. Sometimes I actually prefer using a sewing machine to work on knits – it’s HARD to serge curves! I stitched the knit bodice with a zig-zag stitch set just over 1mm wide and then went back and overcast the seam allowances together with a zig zag set to 5mm wide. I DO have the overcast/overedge all-in-one stitch on my machine, but I always feel like it’s such a commitment to use it – what if I have to rip seams??
I left the belt at home for the show – it was accidental, but I’m glad I did. We were squashed into sweaty stadium seats for almost five hours. Going beltless is much cooler and with the clear elastic acting as a waist stay the dress stayed nice and tidy looking even without the belt!
The Last Word – Kwik Sew 3758 – the Knit’N'Cotton Tank Dress
green and white dress: bodice, Oliver + S City Weekend Cafe Dots cotton interlock (available online); skirt, Tula Pink Turtle Bay in Cream (available online).
pink and brown dress: bodice, Oliver + S City Weekend Cafe Dots cotton interlock (available online); skirt, Amy Butler Trailing Cherry in Brown (available online)
pattern: Kwik Sew 3758 (available online)
notions: thread, clear elastic, interfacing
time to complete: 2 hours, 45 minutes. About 15 minutes to cut pattern, 30 minutes to cut fabric, 45 minutes to assemble bodice, 15 minutes to assemble skirt, 15 minutes to attach bodice & skirt and stitch on clear elastic, 30 minutes for belt, 15 minutes to hem.
likelihood to make another?: pretty high. I don’t have immediate plans to do so, but it’s a comfy dress and only needs 3/4 of a yard of the knit, so it’s great for using up extras from other projects!
curvy girl score: 10. The out of the envelope would fit up to a RTW size 22/24 easily, I think – as long as you like your knits fitted! If I remember correctly the finished hip measurement is in the neighborhood of 72″ (or 60″) – anyway – PLENTY of room!! You may need to add a bit of length to the skirt and/ or bodice, but it’s easy to size up as everything is rectangular. It’s a flattering shape, super comfy, easy to adjust and with the stretchy non-darted bodice and full skirt, there’s a lot of room to fudge sizing!
oh! I almost forgot! Another awesome-o feature of the dress are the super-easy, in-seam pockets! The kind where you sew on the front and back first, then sew the side seams and pockets together in one fell swoop! Yay for dresses with pockets!