Be Like A Peacock And Dance With All Your Beauty

Drape Jersey Dress

Fabric Godmother recently sent me a surprise gift of this peacock optical dot fabric. It has a super gorgeous velvet touch on the right side, but a slippery wrong side, which means it doesn’t stick to tights. Perfection! But what to make?

I laundered the fabric and left it hanging on a radiator for a couple of weeks. Every time I walked past it, I’d think, What shall you become? Then I remembered a couple of dresses I’d seen recently that reminded me of the Drapey Knit Dress from Fashion With Fabric. They were made from a much lighter jersey than the ponte featured in The Thrifty Stitcher‘s book. I was tempted to have a go – so I did!

Jersey Sleeve Hem

Here’s my biggest top tip for working with jersey. Leave the sleeve hems longer than you think you’ll need. On three separate makes I’ve shortened jersey sleeves and regretted it. Jersey clings and incrementally rides up your arms. Even a centimetre too short and your ickle wrists start whinging. But, Karen, the draft from the window is so cold and now we are all shivery and statement jewellery doesn’t help. Listen to my wrists. Heed their words. Leave your sleeves long.

My other jersey tips? I always, always use Lite Steam-A-Seam 2 to hem jersey and always test my hemming before setting to on the final make. I loosen the tension on both needle and bobbin. I usually forget to use a jersey needle. (That’s not a tip.)

But out of all the above, I’d underline my recommendation to invest in some Lite Steam-A-Seam 2. Hemming is the last stage in a make; you don’t want it to go wrong. For less than £5, you could save your sewing from disaster – and, believe me, a stretched out or puckered hem can spell disaster, with several hours’ sewing wasted. No one wants that.

Hem CollageThe Drapey Knit Dress is a great dress, if you choose fabric carefully and if you’re happy with the deconstructed look. I’d suggest ignoring the pocket insertion. It’s unnecessary complication of this dress’s fabric origami, in my humble opinion, and I don’t see how pockets would ever lie flush to your body.

Thank you, Fabric Godmother. I have a very cosy autumnal dress and you’ve enabled me to deliver a stern lecture about jersey hems!

What do you think to this dress? My guess it’s on the Marmite side of sewing – you either love it or hate it.

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41 Responses to Be Like A Peacock And Dance With All Your Beauty

  1. tamsinwp says:

    I think it is fab! And I love your tights and boots too. I am part way through a stripy version inspired by the one in the book and yours. My stripes seem quite strident so I am not sure how wearable it will be…

  2. Linda Wilson says:

    Looks great! Instead of zig zag for the hem, next time, try a twin needle.

  3. aoteamedia says:

    the dress looks awesome!!

  4. Carol says:

    I love it! Looks fantastic ith the tights.

  5. I get more of a python vibe than peacock, but either way it’s a lovely dress. 🙂

  6. MaZeLiving says:

    This fabric looks and sound like what we call ITY in the U.S. It makes very travel friendly garments and is very easy to care for. Love it! Love the print and your pattern choice too! I sew with ITY quite a bit and I usually just serge the edge of my hem, fold it under and use a lightning stitch. I am not fond of the stitch itself, but I noticed that it gives me a better finish. It is easier to hide in the print as it is not as wide as zig zag and it is still plenty stretchy. I tried double needle before but it tends to pull the stitching together creating a roll of fabric in between, even with the lowest tension. Also, I am not familiar with steam-a-seam, but I use wash away wonder tape for challenging to sew seams. Is it similar?

  7. JaneyB says:

    I love the shape of this dress and it looks amazing on you. You are the queen of statement jewellery! I bought some Steam-a-Seam a while ago – I’ll dig it out and give it a try now.

  8. What a fantastic outfit – looks great with the boots and tights. I know what you mean about the sleeve length. I made a t-shirt with 3/4 length sleeves and they ride up above the elbows, and on these chilly mornings that just won’t do.

  9. ellegeemakes says:

    I want your fabric godmother to visit my house! I love that print, the colors are great! I’ve made the same mistake, hemming jersey sleeves too short…such an uncomfortable mistake to make! I forgot to use my steam-a-steam on the last tee – My hem was not so great. Thanks for the reminder.

  10. oonaballoona says:

    I’m FULLY on the “love it” side. And the colors are perfection on you!

    I’ve strayed from jersey since the final demise of my serger, but it’s recently clicked that jersey pockets (or any pockets in certain patterns) will never lie flush. Sometimes…I hate to say it…there’s no room for pockets!

  11. sewbusylizzy says:

    I love it. I think a loose funky dress paired with leggings/tights and boots is all kinds of sexy. It’s got a great effortless vibe to it.

  12. stgilbert says:

    You look fantastic! I love the dress! I use Steam-A-Seam, too. 🙂

  13. Shelley says:

    I love it, I want it.

  14. Charlotte says:

    Stunning! I love the shape of this dress & it is perfection in that fabric – definitely the right choice of what to make:)

  15. Lovely dress and great styling. I’m a Lite Steam a Seam 2 convert too. Works great when hemming with a twin needle.

  16. Melanie says:

    Love it! But have never tried Marmite. Heh.

  17. Sox says:

    That dress looks great on you.
    About the Steam-a-Seam; is there a difference between Steam-a-Seam2 and Lite Steam-a-Seam2?

  18. Flashback to the 80s when I had a ton of these dresses! Although usually with shoulder pads 😉 And often worn with suede Robin Hood ankle boots too. It’s one of the few looks from the 80s that I really liked then and still do! Love the fabric and the blue/brown thing. And I love that you’ve picked that up in tights and boots 🙂

  19. I completely love your dress. I really like the fabric colours, they are so great on you. I have the “Fashion with Fabric” book too and have been oggling this dress with a view to making it since I bought the book. I love the stripy version but am yet to find the right fabric for it. I can’t find Steam A Seam in the local shops either but have been using that iron in curtain hemming tape, the really cheap stuff, from IKEA. I just cut it in half lengthwise and iron it in. It keeps my hem stable and in place. I have also used it in satiny fabrics. I don’t know if you can buy it separately from curtains but I do hope so as I have almost run out. 🙂 Xx

  20. Debra says:

    Love the dress and the colour on you. Off to order some steam a seam thanks for the tip

  21. Highball Emy says:

    I have the book and wouldn’t wear this dress myself, but I think you look nice! It’s more flattering on you than it is on the model in the book!

  22. Hélène says:

    Simple, effective and cool styling. You look superb! I’ve been tempted by this pattern from Fashion with Fabric last spring, but I thought it would work better with opaque tights (like you did), so it will be on my to-sew list for autumn. Thanks for your tip about the pocket – I’ll leave it out too.

  23. Morag says:

    I love it. When I saw your glimpse on Instagram I thought I wasn’t going to. But it looks fantastic on you, and love the tights/boots combo.

  24. PsychicKathleen says:

    I love this dress on you – thank you for the tips you’ve offered especially about lengthening the arms. I always find jerseys (even store bought) ride up my arms and make me look like my arms arms are too. I have discovered that with pants as well – knit pants should be made much longer than you think (especially leggings). The dress, tights and boots are a lovely combination. Dress looks nice and comfy but dressy too with that material. Thank you for sharing your experience and results!

  25. tinygoldenpins says:

    I adore your get-up.

  26. fabrickated says:

    Yes. And I like Marmite too.

  27. Charlotte Gladstone-Millar says:

    Hi Karen Can you tell me how you finished the neckline? Did you use the Steam-a-seam on that too? I don’t like a sweatshirt neckline, or facings, and am in a bit of a quandry about whether a hemmed finish will stretch too much. Thanks Charlotte

  28. Love it on you, but would hate it on me! Fab colours, perfect for Autumn!

  29. Jo says:

    Lovely! Really suits you.

  30. Mags says:

    I love it, infact I am ashamed to say that when I was copying your monochrome dress visiting fabric godmother to buy the ponte (but the black with white stripe … You are right it’s lovely) I fell for the abstract wavy jersey to copy your dress above! Hope it works.

  31. Thimberlina says:

    I love yours and everyone else’s but mine did me no favours, so I sent it away to a fellow blogger and she loved it! 😃

  32. Gail says:

    I see you described the pattern book as stonking good. Well that’s not a bad description for the latest dress. Love it and styling it up with tights and ankle books a masterstroke!

  33. New Capel Street: Fabric Division says:

    I love how you style this dress!

  34. Linda says:

    Love the dress on you, so cosy and warm looking. Love how you’ve styled it with blue tights adn brown boots. Lovely!

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