3 Piece Sweater Knit Gown Design by Tracy McElfresh

Chocolate covered strawberries are one of my favorite treats. To celebrate spring and freshly grown strawberries I make a “wow” red dress every year. Most dresses sell before I get to wear them but I love making them and this years was no exception.

With this years dress I wanted to try something new with sweater knit. Sweater knit has a great soft drape and lots of stretch that is fun to make your own designs with. My process always starts with searching the internet for inspiration. This was the dress that inspired this make. Now to figure out the pieces and how to easily put it together.

I quickly realized if I folded my bodice pieces in half I could make my dress in 3 simple pieces. 1 square for the main bodice folded in half, 1 rectangle for the collar folded in half and 1 large circle with a small hole for the waist. Why such a small hole? This fabric is super stretch and if I cut it too large I am in trouble. Once you cut you are committed to what you have done.

 

I saved time by using my serger. I even opted to tie on my red thread and not thread the entire machine. Tying on is where you tie the new threads to the old ones and run them through the machine.

This knit is super stretchy and if I used my everyday sewing foot it would stretch out the hemline. This is called wavering. I’ve also heard it called bacon fabric or “making bacon” and if it was done on purpose, lettuce edge. I used my walking foot to prevent stretching.

I added a French style dart that wrapped around to the back of the bodice to give it great fit. I also let the dress hang over night before hemming it. Where parts of the skirt are on the stretch of the grainline (the bias) they can get longer over time. Hemming circle skirts is a lot of fun. To see my full YouTube video on hemming this dress click here.

Here are a few past years “Strawberry Queen” dresses.

Want an intro to knit fabrics class at little cost in a fun and friendly environment? My t-shirt party class is coming up April 18th 6-9pm, more info here.


Behind the scenes~

Lawanda, owner of lstonerockdesigns and I were on WYSO’s show called Culture Couch.

Thank you for reading!

Dream it, sew it!

Tracy McElfresh

Tracy McElfresh

Tracy McElfresh is the owner of Tracy’s Sewing Studio LLC.
Tracy McElfresh

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