Friday, March 11, 2016

StyleArc Kate dress

I've been looking for a casual but stylish dress that I could wear when I went out anywhere other than an audience with the queen. And I think this dress does the trick. Maybe I could even have an audience with the queen as it is the Kate Dress.

I bravely bought my fabric online without getting a swatch first and I wasn't disappointed. It's Impressionistic Rayon Jersey from Gorgeous Fabrics and it is unbelievably soft.  I prewashed it in the washing machine on delicate cycle with cold water. There is a 26 inch repeat so I bought extra fabric (4y instead of 2.8y) but it was way more than I needed.  It was a little difficult to cut out as the fabric didn't hang perfectly straight. The straight grain was on the pattern correctly so I ignored the 'hang' issue and cut it on the grain matching up the fabric pattern everywhere including the sleeves.
I thought about eliminating the tucks on the right front because I thought the print might look weird but I kept the tucks and I think it looks fine. I also kept the tucks on the sleeve and the tie in the back.

Instead of the tearaway Vilene and elastic along the neckline, I used 1/2-inch Sewkey knit staytape that I bought through Nancy's Notions. I fused it onto the wrong side of the edge, turned the edge in 3/8 inch and topstitched at 1/4 inch (3mm stitch length). I used 1/4-inch clear elastic tape to stabilize the shoulder seams, sewing them onto the back SA with most of the width of the tape on the SA side.

For all the main seams, I used my Brother overlocker with 4 threads (matching Gutermann polyester thread in left needle, beige overlocker thread in the other 3), differential feed at 1.2, stitch W 6mm, L 3mm and a 75 stretch needle. One little tip: when topstitching the front edges where the belt has been attached, make sure the belt is pulled away into it's final position for tying it before doing the topstitching. I wasn't thinking and didn't do that so had to take out the topstitching at the belt and redo it.

Conclusions: This dress fits perfectly and is so comfortable I could sleep in it. Maybe I better make a rayon jersey nightgown! The hang issue (see above) was not a problem at all. I wore it last night for the first time and my only complaint is that the nor'wester with gusts up to 100 k/h is not an optimal situation for a wrap dress! I would happily make this dress again.

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