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Made By A Fabricista: Fall & Winter Wool Jersey Dresses


I love sewing with and wearing knits of any kind, but it's always a treat to sew up & wear a wool knit in the cold weather months.  I picked up an embarrassing amount of wool knits in the past few months on Fabric Mart's website and then on a very special drive to their brick and mortar store in Pennsylvania.  I whipped up these two classic dresses with soft and juicy wool jerseys blended with the perfect amount of spandex for resiliency.  I'm mildly sensitive to wool against my skin, but none of these make me feel itchy at all.


Image result for ottobre 5/2016
Ottobre 5/2016 #4



First off, most gals can't go wrong with the an a-line wrap dress. I pulled this pattern from Ottobre's latest issue- Autumn/Winter 5/2016, it's pattern #4, "Wrap & Tie".  I cut my standard size 42 bodice, graded out to about a 46 at the hip and added 3/4" to the bodice length.  It's a fairly standard pattern and truly a wrap dress that's held closed with the built in belt.  Compared to other wrap dresses, I realllly like the extended front skirt-- each piece overlaps pretty far over making sure I'm not going to flash the world if the wind blows.  I finished the neck/collar edge & sleeve hems with a binding I serged on & finished with my coverstitch. I also doubled the width of the belt. I lined the bodice with the same army green wool jersey as the main.





My main concern with the fabric is that it's a tad clingly when it's draped on the body, but not a dealbreaker. I've worn this dress a couple times and didn't even once worry after I left the house.  But clearly it attracted leafy bits to my rear end in these photos!  Ehhh, I'm much too lazy to photoshop!! .  Oh, and if you notice the pink scarf with hearts, that was a little wool gauze scarf made from some yummy Fabric Mart stuff as well.


Image result for new look 6469And for dress numero dos, a black wool jersey.  I picked up a couple of these "trapeze" style, or "tent" dress patterns, whatever they are called.  I was verrry nervous that I'd look like I'm actually wearing a tent.  This pattern is from New Look, it's 6489, it has a raglan sleeve with a shoulder dart plus a little mock turtle neck.  I cut a straight size 16, a normal choice for me.  Before I altered the pattern down DRAMATICALLY, I indeed looked like I was wearing a huge, awful, terrible tent, I'm not gonna lie.  I took a picture but I'm ashamed to show the internet. Sooo I hacked off about probably more then a foot of the width of this thing.


But in the end, it's not a bad little dress.  I had to find the right scale for my figure.  Ahh.. you can see how the back of the dress is a bit clingy to my black tights.  Oh, well.

But I bet you are wondering... how did she PRE-TREAT this delightful wool jersey/spandex fabric?!?!?!?! I washed it in my washer.  I dried in in my dryer.  I do not dry clean everyday clothes.  I used the gentle setting, cold water and a shorter cycle for the wash.  I tumble dried on the lowest heat setting.  This is exactly what I will do with the final garment when I need to wash them after wear. I will not tumble dry them normally, but allow then to air dry mostly because it contains spandex-- heat breaks spandex down quickly over time.  It may have smelled like a wet sheep farm in my house the day I pre-washed my wool knits.  There are certain, very special, very expensive wools I would never wash at home, but these I have no problem with since they are meant for regular life.

Happy Cold Weather Sewing!!
~Kathy

Comments

  1. Both are fantastic!!! I was really surprised at how well the tent dress fit til I read that you did major adjustments!

    That black looks especially luscious. Mmmmm!

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  2. Both dresses are so fitting you but that black one is my fav and it's right up my alley!

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  3. Love these Kathy, both so classic. I totally understand the love for a tent dress but the feeling that you don't exactly want it to look like a tent! Thanks for the inspiration.

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  4. ... Love the Black one.... I'm quite tiny so also have to be careful with the tenty shapes, but they are so comfortable and versatile...and cosy!

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  5. Beautiful classics. I love them both.

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  6. Kathy, you've truly inspired me. I'm glad to know some wool blends can be washed. I hate paying dry cleaning bills. I try never to buy "dry clean only" fab/ready made. My Dad used to work in the dry cleaning business, and my family never had to pay for that service. I even got my wedding dress cleaned for free. Now my dad is no longer with us, and I shut my eyes whenever I have to use that service. However, your work is beautiful, and you sound very skillful (especially with pattern adjustments). Keep doing what you do sooo well. Thanks for the shares.

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  7. I love the olive dress. The fit and the style look great on you. Love the leaf accessorizing too. :) Good job scaling down the trapeze style too. I think you hit a great balance of getting the style without overwhelming your frame.

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