This didn't take long! After I sewed the short version of McCalls 6559, I made not one, but two, maxi versions right away. It is such an easy and comfortable pattern.
This first one is done in a polyester/lycra ITY knit from Fabric.com. What a wonderful fabric! Feels so sleek, kinda sexy...
I was glad that I had plenty of yardage for both these dresses. I matched the large stripe pattern on the ITY front and back, it would have looked weird otherwise. But I made no attempt to match the circles and lines on the purple rayon! Just keeping the targets in check took extra fabric. Remember Vogue's goof last year?
No changes for these versions, aside from those I made on my muslin. These two fabrics are both jersey knits and both have lycra in them - but they handle very differently under the needle. To share a few approaches that I find helpful:
- Sewing the long seam - The ITY is done on the serger with a fairly small stitch length. The rayon jersey is sewn on the sewing machine with an elastic stitch, and the edges are unfinished. The latter is to avoid putting weight in the seams.
- There's an easy way to keep the feed dogs from eating a knit fabric when you start a seam on the sewing machine: put your needle down about 1/4" inside the seam. Using a straight stitch, back stitch a couple stitches, and then stitch forward. If you're going to use an elastic stitch, raise the needle after a couple forward stitches and reset the stitch.
- Starting ITY fabric on the serger can be tricky - the top layer tends to fold back as it goes under the pressure foot. Slippery stuff. To avoid this, I run a few basting stitches along the side and top of the start point. Works great.
Speaking of slippery - placing pins parallel to the edge will hold ITY fabric in place much better than placing them at a right angle.
- I also finished the bound edges differently. On both, I sewed the binding RS together on the outside with a 3/8" seam allowance, then turned it over the seam allowance to the inside.
On the ITY, I stitched on the binding close to the edge through all layers. It is so slippery that stitching in the ditch is like chasing mercury!
On the rayon jersey, I stitched in the ditch on the outside next to the binding through all layers.
- Last - my lycra knit dresses are folded and stored on a shelf in the closet - lycra doesn't wrinkle but it does strreeeeetch.....!
Now I need to go somewhere! Hope everyone has a nice week...