While on a bit of a dressmaking roll, I decided to delve back into the realm of knit fabrics. Having only made one successful garment with knit, I decided that I wanted to keep the pattern as simple as possible.
The simple question for this project was The Walkley Dress by Wendy Ward MIY.
This pattern requires two pieces to be cut out of your fabric, and they come from the same template. If you’re lucky enough to have 150cm wide fabric, you only need a metre! In this instance, I already had some fabric ready and waiting – a remnant from a fabric shop!
Setting up the machine proved the most difficult part. It’s been about six months since I last tried a stretch pattern, and it was a challenge to set up my machine. Following the advice from the pattern, I opted for the small zigzag stitch for the seams, and the three stitch zigzag for the hems. In addition, I attached a walking foot to my machine and loosened the pressure of the presser foot; without these adjustments, my machine did not want to stitch!
Originally, I planned to try a twin needle on the hems, but I managed to break my stretch needle one a while ago and haven’t replaced it yet. It turns out that I keep loosening the needle whenever I attach the walking foot to my machine!
I didn’t colour match the thread for this garment as I had recently acquired a set of threads in different colours (none of which were a perfect match) and I didn’t want to go out and buy more supplies on this occasion. The downside to this is that the hemming is a lot more noticeable than it would have been.
Also, I stretched the hem a bit while stitching (I did the hem before the neck and armholes). I didn’t have any stay tape or stabiliser, which could have helped to prevent this, but I did adjust my stitching technique to decrease the amount of stretching after noticing the issue on the hem.
The neckline is quite wide (though this could be in part due to my stitching ability!) but it’s really comfy and it is definitely a pattern which provides you with fast results which are satisfying! It’s a brilliant ‘first knit’ pattern too as there aren’t too many steps or seams to stitch which means you can focus on working carefully with the knit medium.
I think next time I use this pattern, I will definitely try out some knit stay tape to ensure that the garment lasts a long time. Also, I think I may opt for a patterned material.
I think I will give this pattern another go with the lessons learnt from this occasion in mind! As it only requires a metre of fabric to create a whole dress, and can be made in less time than a lot of the other patterns I have, I think another one will be made! As the pattern says, this make is versatile for all seasons as you can layer it for the winter or wear it as it is for the summer.