If you're stopping by from Noodlehead, welcome! Anna is one of my very favorite blogging friends, and I'm thrilled that she asked me to be a part of her Sewing With Knits Mondays series. I hope you've been following along each Monday on Anna's blog and also Shannon from Luv In The Mommyhood's blog - they have both shared some great tips and had some super guests joining in. No reason to be afraid of knits anymore, ladies!
With a ruffle detail at the top...
existing fitted knit tank top
2-2.5 yd knit fabric (60" wide)
2 packages 1/2" wide elastic
1 package double fold 1/2" wide bias tape
A Couple of Tips Before We Begin:
- I recommend checking in the "fashion fabrics" section of JoAnn or your local fabric store to find a great knit fabric. Stretch fabrics are usually found in the jersey knit section in most stores, but often nicer prints more suitable for fashion are found in other areas and mixed in with the polyester/rayon fabrics. You have to search a bit more, but it'll be worth it if you find something you love. My fabric is 96% polyester and 4% spandex, and was a great quality. A touch of spandex makes any fabric a dream to work with.
- If you have a serger, use it! Although you'll need a regular machine for parts of this dress, sergers make life easy when sewing with knits.
- As you sew, try not to stretch the fabric, or it could result in puckers. Allow the feed dogs to guide the fabric through, and you'll end up with nice smooth stitch lines.
1. Lay fabric out, right side up, and fold each selvage edge to the middle.
4. Determine the width you'd like your dress at the bottom. For both maxi dresses and skirts, I like the bottom width to be around 50"-60". Since we are cutting both the front and back pieces out of one length, if you want the bottom width larger than 60", you'll need extra fabric to accomodate that. Divide the width by 2 (since we're working on a fold) and mark that, perpendicular from the hem.
5. Adding 1/2" for seam allowance, cut around neck, underarm, and side seam of tank front. Continue on, joining up with bottom width mark. Before cutting, ensure that your dress will be wide enough at the hipline, plus a bit of ease. Since we added 50% to the width of the tank top, this should be enough to fit most hips, but it never hurts to double check :).
6. If your tank was pointed at the top like mine, trim the point to flat, to allow for the 3/4" straps plus 1/2" on each side (for seam allowance) to be inserted later.
7. Mark underbust (where bottom of your bra sits) on fabric, where elastic will sit under bust. If needed, you can try your tank top on to find the exact area to mark.
8. To cut back piece, fold tank top at center back, matching side seams. Adding 50% to tank back width, place tank fold parallel to fabric fold. Adding 1/2" for seam allowance, cut around top back and side seam of tank back, as you did for front piece.
20. Fold one strap in half lengthwise and stitch raw edges together using 1/4" seam allowance.