So, I'm not mad at this dress anymore. It's been 2 weeks now, or maybe just one week. We are friends. Middle child loves her and actually cried when she was getting washed, which is a first. I realize now I was unconsciously trying to recreate this dress which is dear to my heart (it's from mini boden) and I get a little panicky when I think of it getting too small, so I am really happy I can make something similar. No matching sketchbook this time, I ran out of fabric, but little barrettes instead which seem like an unacceptable substitution. Again, see the genius of the small object hanger.
There's my little sitter—like for a portrait. Posing for photos is her new thing, so stinkin' cute. Especially because it's all a farce, this demure gesture, because she was probably spitting out chewed food on the rug about 5 minutes later. That's my girl.
The issue with this dress is, unlike Sadie's striped version which was a woven cotton with just a wee bit of stretch— this one is a true knit. Trying to use the FOE to both finish and gather the neck and arms was completely crazy. Here's why—the knit, no matter how careful you are, stretches when you pull the FOE tight while zig-zagging it on. So, you end up with pretty much no gathering. It's a lovely finish, and FOE is wonderful with knits as an ungathered edge finish, especially if you don't want to monkey with hemming, but as a gathering finish—not so good. In hindsight I could have tried a stay stitch to secure the edge of the knit, but I'm not sure that would done the trick. Possibly, and I should test that.
After some swearing, cutting, and messing around, I ended up just running a basting stitch around the neck and arms, gathering it the old fashioned way, and then binding it with the FOE. Wrapping the FOE over a gathered edge was not a super awesome experience, but I did it, and the cool thing is when you do all that and clip the basting thread, it retains it's stretch beautifully. I then added 1/8" elastic across the front and back bodice and this time covered it with FOE using it as a trim, unfolded, to cover the elastic. That's that wide lavender ribbon there across the front of the dress. The girls have very different tastes, Delia picked out the fabric and trim color and it s 100% her, which I love. The fabric is from SewZanne's, as is the FOE.
The Built By Wendy knits book has a wonderful serger tip— I now keep my serger on a 3-thread overlock stitch (instead of the 4-thread) then when I want to use the 3-thread rolled hem, all I need to do it turn a dial. Yeah, it's awesome. Before when I used my rolled hem, it involved a bit more adjusting because I was going from a 4-thread to a 3-thread stitch.
My new thing with knits is no hems, just rolled edges. Within reason, but you know what I mean. I just finished a skirt yesterday in about 5 minutes, no joke. 2 pieces, cut on the bias, FOE waistband, and a rolled hem. It was a woven cotton with a bit of stretch and it's killer. I wore it out to dinner with my mom and brother for her birthday and got compliments on it from the hostess and was showing the FOE waistband off after I asked her if she sewed. Yeah. Someone shut me up and tell me to pull my shirt down. And I just want to say I would buy everyone my serger if I won the lottery, for real. I've had this particular model almost 4 years now and every time I use it I am ecstatic bought it. I'm just saying. It's an Babylock Imagine and I am in no way affiliated with this company, but I wish I were. I actually believe pimping this serger is more like a public service announcement, it's that good.
And thank you for all your rad comments about soy and gladiator sandals! Seriously. This is why I love blogs.