Let me start off this post by saying, I am dumb. A big old dummy. A numbskull. A dunce. A true dingus. This will become very apparent later on.
I really wanted a Halloween dress this year because spooky festiveness pumps through my veins and I want the world to know that I am a Halloween-er. Joann has some adorable Halloween interlock fabrics and I fell in love with these dancing skeletons with hearts instead of pubic bones.
I am essentially an infant when it comes to sewing so I had never worked with knit fabrics. I did a lot of research which included watching YouTube videos and googling different variations of “knit fabric wtf?”. I bought the M7561 pattern from McCall because it was specifically for knits including interlock and was part of the “Learn to Sew for Fun” collection. I can’t imagine any other reason to learn to sew because it isn’t 1850 but I was SOLD.
I was also so very, very wrong.
My bad decisions started from the very beginning. I’ve had a lot of issues with pattern sizing. Based on the McCall size chart I should be a 14 but the actual garment measurements of a size 12 are more flattering for me. HOWEVER, because this dress is designed to stretch there are no finished garment measurements for bust and waist because, well, that would be a completely useless measurement. ALSO HOWEVER, the sizes were XS-S-M with a medium being a 12-14. AND ANOTHER HOWEVER, I thought with the stretch of the garment I might possibly be a 10.
I was so caught between a small rock and a medium hard place I wasn’t sure which size I should use. I thought I should make the smart decision and cut both sizes using tracing paper and figure which would fit best. But I’m not smart AND I’m super lazy so this is the genius plan I laid out:
I would cut the medium sized pattern out but I wouldn’t wash the fabric before sewing. Then, at the end of the project I would try on the dress. If it fit just right I would never ever wash it. And if it was too big, I would wash the dress with the hopes that it would shrink a little.
HA BRILLIANT PLAN SARAH YOU’RE TRULY A GENIUS HOW DO YOU DO IT
You can probably see where this is going.
After a couple of days of fumbling around with a walking foot and stretch stitch (I would’ve used a ball-point needle but it literally broke on my first seam) I thought I had mastered knits. Unfortunately, as I tried on the dress throughout the process it was becoming painfully obvious that this dress was too big. It was baggy in the under arms and just wasn’t sewing up to be a flattering fit.
With only the hem left, I threw the dress into the wash with the hope I would have a perfect dress when it dried. DO NOT DO THIS. THIS IS DUMB. I AM DUMB. Because this is ACTUALLY what came out of the dryer:
So now I have a dress that is STILL TOO BAGGY in the bust but can’t be worn out of the house for fear of a crotch shot ending up on the internet. I wanted to salvage this disaster because I loved the fabric and I had spent far too much time on it. My quick solution was to cut the bottom to shirt length and give it a quick hem.
The result is cute-ish, long-sleeve shirt that is midly flattering. I’ll probably wear this once this Halloween season but it’s not a favorite. Without the weight of the full skirt, the bottom fabric kind of balloons out which would be perfect if I was concealing a pregnancy or smuggling trick or treat candy of the house. Unfortuantely, I am doing neither of those things, I promise.
It does make me feel a lil witchy which is always a good thing. Let’s hope this SoCal weather dips below 90 degrees before Halloween!
Suffice to say I’m going to hold off on stretcy knits for the foreseeable future. People say stretch fabric is difficult to work with but very forgiving. Too bad I’m not so forgiving.