a sunki & a sale April 05 2013, 4 Comments
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of "meeting" Lou from "Wotsybaby", a blog about raising her daughter in a gentle and creative way.
This super gal has allowed me to post about her recent creativity, making the Sunki with knit fabric. I love it when sewists take patterns and made them their own and lucky for us she's sharing a "how to" with us!
When I decided I wanted to make this dress (Figgy’s Sunki! so lovely!) out of a non-woven fabric, I searched to see if anyone had done it before and had any tips. I didn’t come up with anything so thought I’d document what I did here to make it easier in case anyone else wanted to change it up!
1. The first thing is to size down. I have made this dress before in a quilting-weight cotton for my average-sized almost 5 year old and it fits well. Just right in fact (so not much growing room). I thought if I made the knit version in the same size, then we’d get a bit more wear out of the garment. It’s quite loose now and she tells me it’s very soft, comfortable and slinky! I could have made it in a size down for it to fit perfectly now. The fabric is a bamboo jersey and was great to sew with. I used a jersey needle (important tip#1.1) and a stitch that looks like a little lightning bolt that has lots of stretch (zig zag setting with a 3.0 length and a 1.0 width). I used my serger for some of the edges but not all of them (the bits around the armholes seem softer if they’re not finished).
2. I eliminated the zipper by cutting the back piece on the fold.
3. I didn’t bother with the facings and instead cut 2 pieces of 2×2 rib knit (the grey pieces around the neckline). The back piece is 1 5/8″ x 13.5″ and the front piece is 1 5/8″ x 13″ (I probably should have made them slightly – 1/2″? – shorter. So next time I would make them 1 5/8 x 13 and 1 5/8 x 12.5). I put them on in the same way as the Envelope t-shirt in the book Growing Up Sew Liberated (which I’d just made a few weeks before (I’m paraphrasing from the book for this next bit, I couldn’t come up with this genius!): Sew one long edge of front binding to front with lightning bolt stitch and right sides together. Gently stretch binding to fit. Press binding away from the front and turn the binding edge to the wrong side, encircling seam allowances and press. The raw edge of the binding will extend just below the seam on the wrong side of the front, then zig zag stitch (small zigzag) on the right side of the front along the bottom edge of the binding, just above the previous seam. On the wrong wide, the raw edge of the binding will be caught in this seam, finishing the binding. Repeat the entire step for the back and the back binding.
4. Instead of using the fold guides for the sleeves, I measured and marked 3″ over from the centre fold line on each sleeve (so 6″ total on each sleeve) and sewed a basting stitch 1/4″ from the edge. I pulled the threads tight and it was a perfect fit for the armhole once I put the sleeve in. (I sewed the sides first and put the sleeves in in the round which is my preferred method. It was no problem!)
5. I decided that the dress would be cool if I changed up the side panels but didn’t use a different colour of fabric so I freezer-paper-stenciled the stars. It’s awesome! I used Pebeo shimmer opaque fabric paint in Silver. Amazing stuff.
Things I would change for next time:
1. Use stay tape on the pocket fronts. The pockets stretched out quite a bit when I sewed them – a bit of stay tape around the curve where the pockets meet the front piece would help I think.
2. Make the pockets deeper. The pockets on this dress are not quite deep (I agree Lou) enough for a small lady’s hands or other trinkets. I think I will do this with any future Sunki dresses I make, knit or woven. With the knit fabric though, the pockets have a tendency to flop out if there’s vigorous movement (which is pretty much constantly!)
3. Put a bit of stay tape around the shoulders on the sides where the front and back overlap for about 3 inches. As Sylvie has worn this dress, one shoulder might flop off her shoulder (which she thinks is daringly grown-up and fancy but I don’t know if she needs an off-the-shoulder dress… hm). I think cutting the rib knit binding a little smaller (as mentioned above) would help to tighten it up a bit as well). Now that it’s been sewn up I think I’ll just do a few tacking stitches where the two pieces of gray rib meet at the shoulders.
It was a fun project and a very wearable dress. I think it might be one of her favourite garments I’ve made for the little miss!
Lightened Version so you can see more detail. :)
Now, on to the saleS, yep I said sales with an s.
First up a Figgy's sale! In celebration of nothing but a little warmer weather here in Oregon I'm having a 15% off sale on all paper patterns from April 5th - 12th! Please use code SPRING15 to receive the discount!
Next a Craftsy class special!~ If you haven't tried taking a class online via Craftsy then this is the perfect time to grab one. I had a ball filming this class and the reviews coming in are all positive, woohoo!
Just click the banner below!! The sale begins today and ends on April 8th! So hurry before Monday and grab the class but then take the class whenever you like, it never expires!!