Project Runway Dress
The class is designed to teach students how to sew with knits with or without a serger. Therefore, the dress is made in a fairly lightweight jersey knit. A knit just weighty enough so as not to curl at the edges which made it relatively easy to work with -- a lesson I would like to pass on to the students. I chose a solid color as opposed to a fun print to show off the many style details of the dress -- its front pleating, waist wrap treatment and pleated skirt.
I don't have a serger so I employed the usual sewing techniques for sewing knits on a regular sewing machine. The jersey was hefty enough so I didn't need a walking foot to reduce pressure when stitching the seams. Simply loosening the tension a bit was sufficient. Selecting a small zigzag to stitch most seams provided enough stretch throughout the dress. To finish the seams I used my lock cutter which has become my go-to tool when sewing with knits. For those unfamilar with this tool, it secures to the machine much like a walking foot does. Its basic function is to finish a seam edge with a zigzag stitch while at the same time trimming the seam with its built-in cutter.
|Finished seam with Lock Cutter|
As is the case with most of the Joann classes, the pattern is from Simplicity #2145. It's from their Project Runway collection which is component driven. You can mix and match sleeve and front and midriff treatment options to create the style you want to make. Sleeve options include a short sleeve, long sleeve and a three quarter sleeve. For the dress the neckline can feature a cowl treatment or pleated V-neck with either a wrap or drape midriff option. For the class I will be teaching, students will be making the dress with the short sleeves, the pleated neckline and the foldover wrap treatment.
I made the dress in a size 8 which when finished looks more like a size 4 or 6 -- very small in the back and the pleated front rests very high. I used an invisible zipper in the back which gives the dress a very nice, clean finish. Overall, the dress turned out great. It isn't a style I would ever wear, but for someone with a small, thin frame the dress is a winner.