Craft, stitchin' and sustainable living

Monday, October 17, 2011

Jersey dress

My sewing machine and overlocker are finally back from the repair shop - hurrah! - and the minute they came home I wasted no time in getting to work stitching. One of the October projects I promised myself that I would finish was the Burdastyle Jersey Dress, made from patterned jersey that I bought in Amsterdam.

Like many Burdastyle website patterns I've encountered, the instructions were unfortunately fairly vague, but thankfully this pattern is relatively simple so I just used common sense to put it together. Most of the seams came together very quickly with my overlocker (I love that about jersey).

Really the only problem that I encountered was the neckline. I started with some of the same fabric to make binding, but it wouldn't sit right, so then I went for facing with top stitching. The first time I put in the facing the neckline went very warped and gapey, so I dutifully unpicked it all and pinned it in again, stretching the facing slightly as I went. This seemed to work better, but there's still a bit of gapey business going on - as pictured below. Experienced stitchers - any suggestions as to what I'm doing wrong? Do I just need to stretch the facing more as I stitch?

The dress is wearable in its current state, but I don't want it to become one of those items that falls to that back of my wardrobe being overlooked everytime I remember its gaping neck. So your advice would be much appreciated! What to do with a gapey neck?


  1. Pretty fabric!
    Stretchy fabric can be a real pain to sew with can't it? It look as if you've maybe stretched the lining too much? What sort of facing did you use? What sort of stitching did you use? Is there a local fabric/sewing shop that you could take it to & ask?
    Good luck!

  2. I've sewn a lot of jersey items and unless you have a cover stitch machine I swear by a same fabric bind.

    Cut a strip 1.5" wide with the greatest stretch running lengthwise along the strip.

    The trick is stretching it out evenly along the neckline. First, Measure one side of you're dresses front neck line(shoulder to the vneck point). Then measure out 4/5 of that amount on you strip. Make a mark at that point.

    That's the point for the v-neck so you'll need to sew it into a v at that point. Fold the strip in half at the marked point. And sew from the edge of the strip where it's folded, in at 45 degrees for 3/4" (until you reach the centre of the 1.5" strip) and then back out at 45 degrees until the reach the other side of the strip. When you open it up it should sit at more or less the same angle as the neckline of this dress.

    Then measure 4/5 of the neckline past your v'neck point. Mark this point as you shoulder seam.

    Measure the back neck length. Mark 4/5 on your strip after the shoulder point.

    Stitch the strip into a loop by stitching the first end to the last mark.

    Fold the strip in half lengthwise so that you have a 3/4" wide loop of fabric with pattern on both side.

    pin each of the marks (seam at one shoulder, v-point and mark at other shoulder). Then stretch evenly and pin between marks.

    Overlock the two together. Or if you want to take the safe route- zigzag them first before committing to overlocking.

    Or... feel to bring it over and use my cover stitchmachine.

  3. hmmm wish could help you with the gappy gap thing, but i'm not much good at stretch. dress looks nice though :) you must be glad to have your machine back!

  4. Thanks guys - and especially thanks for the detailed instructions Beth! I'll give this a try... when I can be bothered to unpick it again : )

  5. Gorgeous dress - love the fabric, the print and the colour are great (I'm a bit obsessed by purple at the moment!)

    Wish I could offer some sage advice but I am yet to sew my first dress, so I'm not much use to you...