It has been a long time since my Janome Skyline S9 has seen any selfish sewing. Don’t get me wrong, it definitely hasn’t been sitting and collecting dust! I’ve been working on a lot of purposeful sewing projects. I think that I work better with projects that have specific tasks or deadlines, which might be why the selfish sewing always gets put to the side in favour of other more immediate needs.
These are challenging times right now. I’m so in awe of all the ways people have stepped up to look after one another; including the sewing community to make fabric masks (I’ve made about 50 so far to just give out to family and friends who need them), surgical caps, and more. There have been some great tutorials here on Janome Life for the masks if you are still looking for a pattern.
After sewing those masks, I just felt I needed a little divergence from everything else that has been all consuming and decided to work on a cheery little project that has been on the back burner for way too long.
I bought this pattern at a small local quilt shop back when I was in NYC in February 2019 (I know a few readers of this blog know me from the dog show world… so you can guess what I was doing in New York in February!) This project has been just waiting for a little free time and the right fabric.
Along came this gorgeous knit that I picked up locally, I don’t know… maybe a year ago? I had actually seen the exact same fabric used for a dress on a designer that I follow. I had been eyeing up the dress but it was a little spendy (quality made, but just not something I could justify… although with the amount of fabric yardage I ended up buy because I just love this print so much, I was might have been better off from an expense point of view to just buy the dress – LOL! Anyone else ever do that??).
Of course, even with the pattern and now the fabric, this still sat on my to do list for way too long. But as I looked around my craft room for a pick-me-up sewing project, this checked off all the boxes.
Instead of my usual method of just cutting out the pattern (one time use), I actually took the time to use some tracing paper that I pieced together and trace out the pattern size that I wanted to use. This way I have options for size adjustments down the road.
I love that the width of this fabric was over 60 inches. Made for little waste when cutting out the pattern pieces.
P.S. I saved all the fabric I had left over as I am using knit fabric for the ties on the masks I’m making. I love this method because I don’t have to finish the edges on the ties because knit won’t fray and the knit fabric makes a nice, secure but comfortable fit when tied around the head. So nothing will go to waste there.
For assembly on the inside of the dress, I used a knit stitch that allowed the fabric to still have a nice give. On my Janome Skyline S9, this was utility stitch #14.
And to finish the wrists and hem, I chose to do a twin stitch. You can also use a zig zag stitch but I love how finished and professional a twin needle top stitch looks. And it also has a great give to the fabric for knit wear.
To do this, first I swapped out my single needle. It was time to retire that one. How do you safely dispose of your sewing needles once they are starting to dull?
I wait till have a plastic case full of dull sewing needles before I discard but of course you have to remember which ones are new and which ones have been used. To distinguish between the two, I always mark my used sewing needs with a black permanent marker on the flat side of the top of the needle.
Follow your sewing machine manual for setting up a twin needle. Generally you need to guide each thread through separately so they don’t accidentally get twisted and then one thread goes through the back thread guide at the top of the need and the other stays out.
It really creates such a beautiful finish.
I ended up going back and redoing the neckline finish. I really gave the stitch ripper a run for its money. But… gotta be happy with the end product, right?
It was worth the extra effort. The pattern called for a interfacing that goes around the neckline but it just wasn’t sitting right. I decided to go back and finish it as you would a neckline on a traditional knit t-shirt. I had to gauge sizing for that since that wasn’t part of the original pattern design.
I cut a 1 1/2 inch strip of my knit fabric and made it 75% of the length of the next opening. I’m so glad I took the time to redo this part of the dress. How many apparel projects haven’t quite worked out and then just end up sitting in the back of the closet and never get worn?
My day job has me working from home right now because of non-essential closures so I’m not really dressing up much to “go to work” but after putting this on to take a picture for you all, I feel like I want to wear this all day long. Much more comfortable than the jeans and sweater outfit I’m living in these days.
Are you finding yourself sewing more right now because you’re home more, or are you sewing less?
What was your last sew?
Hope you are all keeping safe and well! Make sure you take some time to do one thing today that makes you happy. You deserve it.
Dress looks great. What I do with used sewing machine needles is hammer them into the wall. At least some of them. They are strong, make a small hole and so are great for hanging pictures.
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