Monday, September 22, 2008

Vogue 8489 - Black & green print knit dress

Here's my new dress, fresh off the machine. I made plans for this dress here, and actually got it made before the weather turned chilly.

This is only my second knit dress ever. I'm a weirdo who thinks knits are way more challenging then wovens. Those black bands are knit as well but interfaced so they have no stretch and act like a woven. Sewing the two types of fabrics together was surprisingly easy. Here's the back.

The sleeves are 3/4 length, perfect for a Texas fall/winter. This dress has so much comfort and swing that I put it on and don't want to take it off. In fact, I wanted to have a picture made while I was twirling in it, but my photographer was slightly grumpy and in a hurry to be done...

I knew it would be low going into the project and planned to wear a cami underneath. I tried a black and it was too distracting. What do you people this about this nude color? The front pieces are gathered along those top bands as well as the front skirt. I think this pattern has so much style and lovely details that I always go for.

Here on the side you can see where I had to match the seams of the bands where they meet the top and the skirt. Also you get a better shot of the front gathers.

Now let's look at the innards. The reason I don't sew with knits more is because I don't have a serger and the insides look messy. And you all might know by now that I don't like messy insides. Anyway, this jersey knit was thin enough that I could do french seams along the shoulders and sides without adding much bulk. This isn't necessary because knits don't ravel, it's just something I like to do. This is a shot of the shoulder seam. I also put bias tape around the sleeve seam. All those facings were slip-stitched by hand.

This is a shot of the underarm.

These next two are pictures of the zipper closing. I have fallen in love with invisible zippers and will never go back to the other kind. It's much easier to match corresponding seams while using one. Perhaps I will do a tutorial on this technique... Also, while attaching an invisible zipper you are actually sewing on the zipper and not the bodice fabric, in turn avoiding all of the stretch of your bodice fabric.

I made the view E, the red dress, but used contrast fabric for the bands.

This was a fun challenge. Now I was going to show you Vogue 8416, which is finished as well. But while putting it on for my "photo shoot", I noticed it needs some attention in one little spot. So I will attend to that tonight and perhaps blog about it in a day or two. Have a great evening!


  1. WoW! Wonderful dress!!! If you are a weirdo, then I am too! Knits make me nervous, but you did an amazing job!
    Tag, your it! The rules of the game are on my blog... have fun!

  2. Oh yes, this turned out well. Having the pattern in my stash and even got the zebra-fabric for it I chickened out - I might re-consider doing it (maybe with a different fabric) for it looks beautiful on you.
    I think once you lose your 'fear' of working with knits - the whole wide world is open to you. Love you inside to.

  3. Hi Amanda,
    this dress looks absolutely stunning. I really love it. It's also on my to-sew-list but I'm not sure about the sizing. Did you choose your size according to the size chart or did you choose a smaller size?
    Barbara from Germany

  4. "and the insides look messy. And you all might know by now that I don't like messy insides."

    I have to laugh at this, i really do, if only because your idea of "messy" is my idea of OMG this is really good i'm so pleased with it... i'd be turning it inside out to show all the sewers i met if i made something this neat!! I dread to think what you would call the inside of most of my efforts.. probably chaotic!

    Thank you - you're a wonderful inspiration!


  5. It's gorgeous!
    I have this pattern in my stash and have been wanting to make it for a while now. Do you think it can be made without the zipper? I also wonder if you can raise the neckline without it looking weird.
    Anyway, great job!

  6. Thanks for all your nice comments. Babsi1111 - I made my regular size 12 and it fits perfectly. Sorry I forgot to include that. Kasizzle - some people on Pattern Review have made this dress without the zipper. I really don't see how they got it on. Those bands are interfaced and don't stretch, so in my opinion you really do need the zipper.

  7. Very cute dress on you.

    Depending on my mood, I alternate between using my serger or my sewing machine when sewing knits. I took a class in knit construction and was taught to finish seams by stitching 1/8-1/4" away from the first seam, then trim close to the second line of stitching. Sometimes I prefer that finish to my serged seams; it just depends on the fabric.

  8. LOVE this! I almost bought that fabric at least 10 times. I'm not the knits expert that I long to be either, but your innards look fantastic compared to mine! And I have a serger! As far as the cami, the nude looks good in the head to toe shot, but I'm not so sure in the close up. Maybe try white?

  9. Very cute dress!! Looking forward to your tutorial on the invisible zipper technique.

  10. I love it! The nude is just right, it gives the idea of the plunge, but still modest...bravissimo! I love your finishing on the is wonderful, even if it doesn't meet your high standards. Thank you so much for doing this blog. I don't get to sew fashion for myself often...just utility and a few cutesies for my 6 kiddos. I am sewing vicariously through yoU!

  11. Hi Amanda,

    I absolutely love this dress on you! Cute pattern, beautiful fabric and fits perfectly...great job!!

    I have an idea for the neckline filler. I'm thinking a wide piece of black lace over the top of the might have some left from your other black dress that you could try. It needs to be wide enough to come below the point of the necline with the scalloped edge at the top. It might be too busy, or it might look great. What do you think? I like it with the nude cami too though.

    Love, Mom

  12. Kaydee11 - is this MY mother leaving a comment?!!! I just about fell out of my chair! Hmmm... Black lace is a good idea. But that neckline is way low. You might see some cleavage through the lace. I'll definitely think about it. Thanks for the comment!!!

  13.'s me!! I finally figured out how to do this. They wouldn't accept the names I tried before.

    No, what I meant was to stitch the lace (if it's wide enough) across the top of the cami....or maybe stich the lace to the dress and still wear the cami underneath. You'd just have to try and see what works best.

    Love, Mom

  14. What a fabulous dress, Amanda! I really love it!

  15. Your dress is fabulous! My mother is actually making one with the same pattern, but having problems. If you get a minute, perhaps you can tell us what you did. Here's the situation:

    The back facing does not seem to fit the pattern back. The point seems to be at the bottom and not at the neckline. It is also much too short to reach from back center to shoulder. Any ideas?