|Style Arc Mary Shift Dress|
My version of the Style Arc Mary Shift Dress did not go quite as I had planned...all my own fault. Apparently, when working with a fabric where either side can be the right side, you do need to focus and apply a certain amount of concentration as each construction step is executed. I originally planned to have black sleeves (using the reverse side of the fabric) which would have highlighted the raglan sleeve design, but I only realised my error when I went to press the raglan seams which I had already overlocked. The prospect of unpicking all those stitches in a knit was just too much so I went with a design change, mid project.
|Style Arc Mary Shift Dress|
I do love the nice fit around the shoulders in this pattern. The darts at the top of the raglan sleeves certainly contribute to this.
The centre back seam was eliminated so I didn't have to match the print. Instead of hemming the sleeves, I added black bands to match the black trim on the pockets and the black neckline binding. I think this ties everything in together nicely.
Sorry for the blurry side shot, but this is the only photo we got of the side view. Our photo shoot in the front yard was interrupted by our neighbours calling out. It's always awkward taking blog photos when other people are watching. The design on the fabric seemed to be a little distorted, although I centred the black motifs directly down the centre front and centre back, they didn't run exactly straight horizontally.
This made pattern matching the pockets very difficult, but I am happy with the final result.
The 4cm hem was cover stitched. I used a very helpful tip from Emma who blogs at Earnest Flagg. She suggested I use the seam guide that came with my Bernina 350PE to set the distance from the edge that I needed to position the cover stitching. This worked a treat. Thanks so much Emma for sharing that tip.
This is how I wore the dress to work, dressed up with a bright scarf. I can see this one working with tights and boots for winter too. I had a request on my last post, from DarlaB to share how I do my neckline knit bindings. I know a lot of you already know how to do this, or have your own preferred way. As I used this technique during the construction of my Mary Shift Dress and remembered to take photos I thought I would share them here.
Leaving one shoulder seam open (or in this case one back raglan seam) sew a line of stitching around the neckline at the position of where you want your finished neckline edge to sit. Then carefully trim fabric as close to the stitching as possible. The stitching line simply serves as a guide line for trimming the fabric.
Cut a strip along the stretchiest grain of your fabric for the binding. Calculate the width required by adding 2x binding depth + 2x seam allowance and maybe a smidge extra to allow for turn of cloth. Make the length a little more than the neckline edge. The excess length can be trimmed off. Press in half lengthwise. Stitch one long edge of the binding to the neckline, right sides facing each other using your desired seam allowance. Apply a slight tension to the binding when stitching...no need to stretch it.
Flip binding over the raw neckline edge. The crease in the binding will be the finished edge of the neckline.
Press seam allowances towards the binding.
Pin the binding so that the creased edge sits at the finished neckline edge and the binding overlaps the stitching line on the back. Stitch in the ditch from the right side to secure the back of the binding.
Carefully trim off the excess binding close to the stitching line. It is fine to leave this edge raw in a knit that does not unravel. This creates a nice neat and not too bulky binding.
Trim off any extra length of binding not required. Sew that final shoulder seam, carefully aligning the edges of the binding at the neckline. Finish off the seam allowances as usual.
If overlocking this seam, I thread the tails back through the stitching to leave it neat and secure. I then stitch the seam allowance down on the binding only to prevent it peaking out and looking unsightly. As you can see in my example I have done a terrible job in matching the width of the binding at the join. I think I can get away with it here as it sort of blends into the black motif pattern of the fabric. A true perfectionist would unpick and redo this but I quite honestly, couldn't be bothered.
I hope I have explained this so it makes sense.